Spotlight does not deliver any result from mail messages (although searching inside Mail.app works)

I tried to re-index the mails with the following result:

$ mdimport -Vp -d 4 -r /System/Library/Spotlight/Mail.mdimporter
Total processing time spent in importer plug-ins: 0.000000 seconds for 0 files
Top 0 most expensive files for importer plug-ins:

What could be wrong?

  • are you trying to search inside emails for a specific text.
    – Ruskes
    Jun 12 '15 at 14:54
  • @Buscar웃SD Anything: text, from, to. No problems inside the application but nothing is found with spotlight.
    – Matteo
    Jun 14 '15 at 14:38
  • The From & To & Subject should work in Spotlight.
    – Ruskes
    Jun 14 '15 at 15:31
  • @Buscar웃SD It should work, as it works on all my other machines ...
    – Matteo
    Jun 14 '15 at 16:18

You can go for a re-index of the whole drive. Check out this help page at Apple: Re-index folder or drive

Also looking in there might show that the mail folder has been hidden for privacy.


Also make sure the Mail & Messages is not unchecked in the Spotlight preferences pane.

There are 3-rd party utilities that will delete your spotlight index (I use Onyx) forcing the Mac to rebuild it from scratch. I would try that after verifying the above item is checked off.


Try re-indexing your system drive.

sudo mdutil -E /

This will delete and re-create your Spotlight index.

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