Over the weekend, I wrote about my totally useless search in Mail. I got so frustrated by my inability to search in Mail that I decided it was time to for a complete rebuild. I exported all my locally-saved mail, deleted my accounts, quit Mail, trashed its prefs and data files, rebooted, then rebuild it mailbox by mailbox, account by account.
I started with my iCloud account, which I barely use for anything—it has a total of seven messages in the inbox (four of which are iTunes Store receipts), and only 121 sent messages. As a test, I searched for Linea, an excellent drawing app that I had recently purchased. No matches.
At that point, I decided to quit Mail and force Spotlight to rebuild its index overnight. In Terminal, sudo mdutil -i on / will do just that (and take many hours). Today, opened Mail, and search was still dead. Argh! (I had also tried this suggested fix, but it made no difference.)
But doing some random testing today, I discovered a fix! It's a weird fix, but it seems to work:
This doesn't make any sense to me, as any one of my recent actions—rebuilding mailbox indexes, reimporting, and redoing the entire Spotlight index—should have been enough to force a rebuild. But for whatever reason, only manually moving the messages seems to force a rebuild.
Now pardon me while I go back to manually dragging a quarter-million email messages around…