The search in iPhone's Mail.app doesn't find anything. The same problem exists on OS X.

When I search a word I usually get no results. It only works if the word is included in a recent email, let's say 1 or 2 weeks old.

Also, there is an option called "Search on the server". It never worked in the last 2 years.

Why is my search broken when using an Apple client to search Gmail?

  • What type of mail server are you using?
    – ingh.am
    Feb 28, 2013 at 1:04

4 Answers 4


The most likely suspect for this behavior would be in how you have mail settings configured. The mail account will only search as many messages as you tell it to pull down from the server. Go to settings, and then select "Mail, Contacts, Calendars."Scrolling down will reveal the different settings that you can configure for mail. One of them will be an option to let you change the number of emails that are pulled from your server. If you get a large number of emails, but the settings are only configured to store the most recent 100, then it would be reasonable to expect search to find only those items from the last couple of days. Depending on how far back you think that you will need to go on a regular basis, the number of emails that you will want to hold onto will vary greatly. So, you can easily adjust the number of emails that will be kept and will be able to be searched, but it will be up to you to determine this based on what you think your needs will be.

  • I actually have another question. I usually delete the emails in the garbage, because it is faster than archiving them. Is maybe for this reason than they are not any ore searchable? what your standard usage of the app? Do you archive them? thanks
    – aneuryzm
    Feb 28, 2013 at 20:56

If you use gmail, you may want to use the Gmail app which is much better at searching.


When I am on wifi 'search on the server' will pull up results in a matter of seconds depending on the number of results. However when I am on 3G it will often never display search results and just time out.

  • This doesn't appear to answer the OPs question. He mentioned that none of his search worked, and that "Continue Search of Server" simply doesn't improve the situation at all. Would you be willing to edit your answer? Feb 28, 2013 at 1:09

Search results will display time out indicates connection problem . Reconnect and browse.

  • 1
    Reconnect to what exactly?
    – nohillside
    May 29, 2013 at 11:04

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