I'm using Apple Mail on OSX Mavericks, with an IMAP account configured (Google). Since all my mails are archived on the server (I'm using Apple Mail just from a few months), when I search emails, I need to retrieve all the emails stored on Google servers.
Instead, I can only retrieve recent emails, while on my iPhone (Mail app) the search is distributed on the server.

How can I apply a distributed search also on my Mac? Is it possible?

I also tried to enable the (translated to english) "Do not limit the number of messages in IMAP folders" option on Gmail, but after some time Mail on OSX shows me an empty inbox and only a few mails in my folders.

1 Answer 1


I can confirm that the IOS 8 Mail app (and on IOS 7) searches all IMAP mailboxes on all 5 of my mail accounts on different servers when I use the search box via the "All Mailboxes" list item in IOS Mail. It can take a little while sometimes but it always works for me.

In Mavericks Mac Mail I leave the Inbox selected when I search otherwise it seems to search only the selected mailbox.

In the case of Gmail Archived mail it must depend upon how Google has implemented their Archive mailbox. But if it is a regular IMAP mailbox, your search will include its contents.

  • Also unselecting the inbox folders, search does not return any result.
    – auino
    Oct 2, 2014 at 16:13

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