Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since updating to Big Sur 11.5.2 (I was on Big Sur before, just an earlier iteration), my Apple Mail's search functionality keeps breaking repeatedly.

Here's the pattern:

I restart my computer and the search works fine. 10 mins later, it spontaneously breaks and won't find any search results for emails I know exist. I restart again and it works again for 10 mins. Rinse and repeat.

How can I figure out what's happening in that 10 mins that causes it to fail?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,942 Posts
How can I figure out what's happening in that 10 mins that causes it to fail?

I would suggest having a look through your Console log and keep an eye on your Activity Monitor, and do you have any utility that could be turning Spotlight on or off???


- Patrick
=======
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not that I know of. Ok I've got Console open and have started "streaming." Now what? It looks like latin to me. I do see a bunch of errors popping up but they only stay on screen for a second so it's hard to get a good look.

For what it's worth, the problem persists even after quitting all applications but Mail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, if I use spotlight via Command + Space, it works just fine. It's just my Mail app that's affected.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,942 Posts
It's just my Mail app that's affected.
You might want to try going through the suggested fix-its here:
How to Fix Mail Search Not Working on macOS

If you don't find anything from there that works, then maybe have a look at some other hits:

Hopefully there will be something amongst all those possibilities to fix the problem.


- Patrick
=======
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I've tried many of these but the problem persists. I have not done any major reinstalls though and would like to avoid that as much as possible. Something I realized this morning is that if I unplug my external drive (need to test with others) the search problem seems to resolve. Perhaps the timing was a coincidence. Will have to test further.

Did you have any other thoughts on using Console to identify the problem?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,942 Posts
Did you have any other thoughts on using Console to identify the problem?
I'm sorry I cannot help you very much with using Console, and all I have ever been able to do with it is look for a mention of some application and see if I can translate some of the computer-geek language.

You might want to experiment with your external drives by adding them to your Spotlight System Preferences -> privacy tab.

You also might want to try rebuilding your Spotlight search.
Rebuild the Spotlight index on your Mac

Some Mac utilities have the ability to do this as an option. Your choice, but be aware it can take some time to complete regardless of method used.

If you need some other search utilities that will also work with Mail, you might want to try using Find Any File.app or EasyFind.app,

Neither are as fast as Spotlight when it is working, but both are actually faster when Spotlight is not working or not working properly... 😏


- Patrick
=======
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Patrick. I'm rebuilding my Spotlight index now. Looks like it'll take a few days to finish... maybe I'll leave my machine running overnight. Thx!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,942 Posts
Thanks, Patrick. I'm rebuilding my Spotlight index now. Looks like it'll take a few days to finish... maybe I'll leave my machine running overnight. Thx!
Unless one has a heck of a lot of data that needs to be indexed, I have never known Spotlight to take longer than a few hours on most users Macs.

It can certainly take an excessive amount of time if there is not a normal amount of available free space on the drive.

Letting the Mac run overnight will certainly not hurt anyting and may even improve things as it will give it a chance to perform some of its normal maintenance tasks that are normally performed during the wee small hours of the morning if and when the Mac is not shut down for the night.

Let's hope things improve... 😏


- Patrick
=======
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I found the offender: Safari. As soon as I close Safari, the problem goes away. At least I have a workaround for now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,942 Posts
I found the offender: Safari. As soon as I close Safari, the problem goes away. At least I have a workaround for now.

That is bizarre and I cannot understand how or why there would even be any connection between Safari and Mail and Spotlight and I don't imagine it is a "feature" of updating to Big Sur 11.5.2 😏 otherwise other users would be experiencing a similar thing.

I would suggest you go over the various points and check everything is set correctly according to Apple's article here:
If searching doesn’t find the right emails in Mail on Mac

Hopefully one of those will get things working for you as they should, and regardless of what other applications are running.

And I am assuming that you are searching incorrectly, I'm not sure if things have changed in Big Sur because I sure as heck don't use it.

Anyway, maybe have a look here just in case:
Search for emails in Mail on Mac



- Patrick
=======
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top