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10.7: Restore missing search results in Mail Apps
After upgrading to Mac OS X Lion, I started searching for mail to find registration emails for software that I had to reinstall. I knew they were in my mailboxes because I had found them with no problem in my previous Snow Leopard Install. None of the emails were showing up when I did a search via Lion's search function.

After doing a search I found a thread on Apple Discussions that helped solved the problem but I went back to search for the thread so I thought I'd submit it as a hint.

The solution is to force Spotlight to re-index your hard drive. There are a few ways you can do this:

Follow this Apple Knowledge Base article,

or in Terminal type:

sudo mdutil -E /

You will need to enter your admin password to execute the Terminal command.

[crarko adds: I had to do a Spotlight re-index when I did the Lion upgrade. It took forever on the Firewire drive that I'm using. But afterwards searching behaves quite well.]
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10.7: Restore missing search results in Mail | 2 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Restore missing search results in Mail
Authored by: astrosmash on Oct 26, '11 05:31:48PM

I had the same problem after upgrading to Lion.

But there's no need to reindex your entire drive, which will take a very long time. You can simply use the mdimport command to re-import a specific folder or mailbox.

e.g.:

mdimport ~/Library/Mail/V2/IMAP-your_email@imap.gmail.com/[Gmail].mbox/All Mail.mbox

It runs for a couple of minutes and then your email index is as good as new.

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10.7: Restore missing search results in Mail
Authored by: sjk on Oct 27, '11 08:42:48AM
And Joe Kissell mentions this more general method, without doing a full volume reindex, in Solve Mail search problems | Macworld:
mdimport -r /System/Library/Spotlight/Mail.mdimporter
That's easier if you don't want to figure out the specific folder(s)/mailbox(es).

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