How Do I Fix Apple Mail Search Not Working?

When you want to type a term in the Search field, you have the option of selecting a person or a subject or choose a category. But now that the mail system for indexing is much separate from searching the message contents, you could fail in finding the contents of the message that is matched during the search. Apple Mail uses a different set of collective approach that is called as the Envelope Index and searches the message headers. So, if you are having trouble finding the message while searching headers, there is a good chance the Envelope Index has some problems.Follow one of the following methods if your Apple Mail search not working.

Apple Mail Search Not Working


  • Step 1: Turn on your Mac computer.
  • Step 2: Perform a double-click on the Mac Mail icon to open.
  • Step 3: Click the System Preferences option at the top-left corner of the Mac screen.
  • Step 4: Select the Privacy tab and then click on the + option at the bottom-left corner of the Mac HD.
  • Step 5: You will now come across a warning asking, “Are you sure you want to prevent Spotlight from searching in Macintosh HD”?
  • Step 6: Click OK, and you will see the Mac driver appear on the screen.
  • Step 7: Now, select the drive and click on the ‘-’ (minus) button to remove it.
  • Step 8: The indexing will now take place on your Mac. Click on the Spotlight option at the top-right corner of the Mac screen.
  • Step 9: You will see the indexing progress and the number of minutes left at the bottom of the progress bar.
  • Step 10: Once the indexing is complete, you can restart your Mac. You will find the Apple Mail search working again.


  • Step : 1 Open Apple Mail.
  • Step : 2 Click the Go tab at the top-left corner of the screen, scroll down the list, and select the option Go to Folder.
  • Step : 3 Paste the file path, ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData. You will see a set of files.
  • Step : 4 Select and delete any file named ‘Envelope Index’ and close the Apple Mail.
  • Step : 5 Restart the Apple Mail, and you will see the ‘Welcome to the Mail’ message. Click the Continue button to start the import.
  • Step : 6 Once the import is complete, you will no longer face the Apple Mail search not working.
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