The search box in macOS Messages.app seems to bring up results within conversations but doesn't search just by the name of the conversation sender or recipient.

Often I'm trying to find the latest conversation with a contact and it doesn't appear that I can just enter their name in the search box.

I'm curious if there is a way to specifically bring up a conversation by a specific contact.

Only workaround I've found is to go into Contacts.app and initiate a new message with them - it sends the message within Contacts.app but then when you switch back to Messages.app its the topmost conversation. Not an ideal workflow.

1 Answer 1


In the messages app you can start a new conversation with an individual using the pencil icon. If you start a conversation and the existing one is in your message history it will show the past conversation as soon as you select their name.

This will not pull in the message history if you've deleted the conversation from your Mac. It only works if this conversation is in the long list of past conversations.

  • Thanks - a bit counterintuitive but seems to accomplish what I'm trying to do. Would make most sense if Apple would just include contact when searching. Mar 27, 2017 at 16:35

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