Apple Mail Search Not Working? Resolve the Issue Easily

Published by John on Last Updated On :

Apple Mail Search Not Working


The built-in Mail app on Mac is very efficient. It is filled with user-friendly functionalities and is commonly used by all Mac users. However, as with every other application, you can face sudden technical glitches with this one too. One of the common problems is when its search field isn’t able to function properly. So, users frequently report about Apple Mail search not working. This problem can be because of software errors or technical bugs. It also points to an underlying issue within your app. But there are various fixes you can implement to eliminate it. In this article, you’ll learn how to troubleshoot this issue. 

Also Check, Why:- Mac Mail Not Working


Why is Apple Mail Search Not Working?

The search field in the app is at the top-right corner of the Mail’s window. It effectively searches and filters content based on your demand. Here are some probable reasons it doesn’t work. 

  • Technical issues with the app.
  • There is some problem with other applications on your Mac. 
  • A problem with the Spotlight Search on Mac can also result in the search not working in Apple Mail.
  • An old macOS is another reason. 

Also Check, Why:- iPhone Mail Notifications Not Working


Troubleshooting Apple Mail Search Not Working Problem

To fix this issue, firstly restart your Mac. A simple restart will fix many bugs and software glitches. If the Mail Search still doesn’t work, follow these measures.


1. Remove Cache in Apple Mail and Reset It

The presence of bugs prevents Apple Mail Search from working optimally. So, you must remove the cache in the Mail and reset it to troubleshoot the bug problems.

  • Press the launchpad that’s on the doc of the screen.
  • Now hit the ‘Search‘ field and input ‘Activity Monitor.’
  • When the ‘Activity Monitor‘ app begins, hit the ‘Memory‘ tab.
  • Input ‘Mail‘ on the search bar of the activity tab.
  • Hit ‘Mail‘ when it comes in the list.
  • Now press ‘Quit‘ when a popup launches.
  • Hit ‘Confirm‘ and then press ‘MailCaches‘ and use the same procedure.
  • After exiting the activity monitor, launch the Mail app again. Do it by control pressing the Mail icon and hitting ‘Quit.’
  • Check if the search field is functioning.


2. Refresh the Account Signed in on Apple Mail

After implementing the first technique it’s a good measure that you should follow. Here are the steps to do so.

  • Hit the Mail app.
  • Then press ‘Mail‘ on the menu bar, followed by ‘Accounts.’
  • Hit the account you want to remove.
  • Press the ‘‘ symbol.
  • Now sign in to your mail account after relaunching the Mail app.
  • Input an email ID in the search field and find if it’s working.


3. Reconfigure the Touch Bar Settings 

Reconfiguring or customizing the touch bar settings has helped many users who complained about Apple Mail search stopped working. But you can use this technique only if your Mac device has a touch bar. To do it, you open the Mail app while holding the Shift key. 

  • Exit the Mail app. 
  • Hold and press down the Shift key and open the app again. 
  • Wait for five seconds and close Mail.
  • Repeat this procedure of pressing the Shift key, opening Apple Mail, and exiting the app. 
  • Now, start your device again and open the app as you usually do. See if the issue has been fixed. 


4. Rebuild the Mailboxes

Rebuilding your mailboxes can also help you when you find Mail search not working on Mac. Note that you’ll need to repeat the steps given below for every one of your mailboxes. 

  • Open the Mail app and find the mailbox you wish to rebuild. If the left-hand pane on which the mailbox is present isn’t visible, choose ‘View‘ and then tap ‘Show Mailbox List.’
  • Choose the mailbox and navigate to the mailbox menu. 
  • Here, tap the ‘Rebuild‘ option.
  • Wait for some time till the Mac finishes this process. 
  • The time varies according to your mailbox size. 


5. Find MacOS Updates

Have you not updated your Mac for a while? If so, this could be a major reason for your Apple Mail Search not working on Mac. Updating the MacOS not only enhances its performance but also eliminates software bugs. It also affects its search function on it. To find MacOS updates and upgrade them, follow these steps.

  • Hit the Apple icon present in the menu bar.
  • Next, head over to ‘System Preferences.’
  • Now click ‘Software Update.’ 
  • Look for new macOS updates. If you find them, hit the ‘Update Now‘ button to install the new macOS.
  • After installing the updates, open ‘Mail‘ on your Mac. You will not find the search feature malfunctioning now.


6. Boot Mac in the Safe Mode

Booting the Mac in the Safe Mode works tremendously well to fix software-related errors in the device. It’s because the Safe Mode loads critical kernel extensions and ensures that unwanted software is switched off when you start Mac. So, whenever you find Apple Mail Search not working, boot your Mac in the Safe Mode so that bug-infected software doesn’t impact other applications’ proper functioning.

Apart from Mac, this action will also eliminate unwanted cache on your Mac. So, if you find no other techniques working in making the search function work, you can boot Mac in the Safe Mode.

  • Firstly, ensure that the Mac is switched off correctly.
  • Hit the ‘Power‘ button. When it starts to boot, press and hold the ‘Shift‘ key on the keyboard. 
  • Press the key till you find the Apple logo.
  • The Mac will boot in the Safe Mode.


7. Execute an SMC Reset

Do an SMC reset if you are still struggling with the search problem. Follow these steps below to do it. 

  • Exit the Macbook.
  • Hold Shift + Control + Option keys on your keyboard’s left side. 
  • Now, hold down Power along with them. Keep holding for ten seconds. 
  • After this time, release all the keys and hit the Power button to switch on the machine. 

Also Check, Why:- Mac Mail Keeps Crashing


Final Thoughts 

There isn’t any need to feel concerned when you find the Apple Mail search not working. Use these quick resolutions and fix the issue easily. Follow the stepwise instructions carefully so you can pinpoint what’s the cause of the case. You can also seek additional assistance if the problem persists. Connect with expert email support services and let the professionals troubleshoot all software issues. 


Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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