Every message in Mail.app corresponds to a file in the filesystem (typically located somewhere here /Users/[username]/Library/Mail/V3/[account name]).

Is there an easy way to locate the corresponding file? Searching for contents (phrases) of the message does not seem to work. I want to add "Finder tags" to certain messages.


I'm tempted to say the easiest way to do a file contents search in what Finder would consider a System location would be EasyFind - freeware, though it's one app I'd happily pay for. [No affiliation]

You can drag a folder to define the search domain, then search by Phrase in File Contents. You can either QuickLook the result, or right click & open in Mail or Reveal in Finder

I picked a fairly innocuous monthly summary from Backblaze as an example…

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One thing to note is that the same mail may appear in more than one location. I really don't know why this is.


You can use HoudahSpot to search for mail messages. Full disclosure: HoudahSpot is commercial software that I develop.

Mail.app does a very good job at sharing information with Spotlight. Technically: OS X includes a Spotlight importer that reads .emlx files and provides Spotlight with loads of metadata to index.

HoudahSpot searches the Spotlight index and can find mail messages by subject, sender, recipients, etc.

HoudahSpot can also be used to assign Finder tags to files. The easiest way to do so is to reveal the sidebar

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