Keep this checked.

keep this checked

Keep this checked.

Marco Arment’s (and my) “Entire Message” search in Mail.app hasn’t worked for a long time, always just inexplicably returning zero results for any search. Today it was finally causing enough of an inconvenience that he searched for a fix.

He learned that for “Entire Message” searches, Mail just uses Spotlight on the message files. So if you leave this box unchecked* in Spotlight’s preferences, “Entire Message” searches simply won’t work, and neither Mail nor Spotlight felt it necessary to tell him this. (You also need to ensure that ~/Library/Mail isn’t excluded from settings in that Privacy tab.)

He was impatient, so after fixing that setting, he told Spotlight to manually import the messages immediately:

mdimport ~/Library/Mail
As soon as that completed, “Entire Message” searches started working.

* he had unchecked it because mail messages always cluttered up the results when I was simply trying to launch an app or find a document.

Keep this checked.

3 Comments leave a comment below

  1. This is annoying because I’m one of those people who disables and deletes as much of OS X as I can before it starts acting weird. Disabling spotlight searches was one of my ways to give the system a small speed increase, but I noticed the same problem too.

    I’m sure one day a feature I depend on will be tied into the Dashboard, making it impossible for me to remove the dashboard code from my machine too.

  2. You mentioned using Spotlight to launch apps. Have you tried Quicksilver? It’s so much more than an app launcher, but that’s primarily what I use it for, and it stays out of the way. Very speedy, even on an old machine like my PowerBook G4.

  3. Same deal with search in iCal. Irked me for months until it finally dawned on me that spotlight might be more integrated to those apps.

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