How to Fix Mail Search Not Working on macOS Big Sur

Is the mail search not working on macOS Big Sur?

If you have many emails going through your account, it is quite hard to keep track of them manually. Thankfully, the Mail app on macOS has a search function that allows you to view emails from a specific topic or person so that you don’t need to browse your entire inbox.

Unfortunately, after the release of Big Sur, several users have reported that the Mail app’s search function is not working properly. This could be a big problem for those who rely on emails to do their day-to-day work.

With this, we’ve decided to make a simple guide on how to fix the mail search not working on macOS Big Sur. 

Let’s begin!



1. Restart the Mail App.

If the Mail app is not working on your Mac, the first thing that you should do is to restart the application. The Mail app may have encountered a temporary error that causes its features like the search bar to malfunction.

To fix this, simply restart the Mail app to reload all of its resources.

  1. On your Mac, click on the Search button at the top right corner of the screen. 
  2. On Spotlight Search, type Activity Monitor and open it. 


  1. Inside the Activity Monitor, click on the Memory tab
  2. Finally, select the Mail app from the list and close it using the Activity Monitor.

Now, open the Mail app again and try using the search function to see if the problem is already resolved.



2. Restart Your Mac.

If restarting the Mail app could not fix the issue, try restarting your whole system to eliminate serious errors that could’ve occurred on your Mac. Doing this allows your computer to reload all of its resources and flush its memory of unnecessary applications that can slow it down.

  1. On your computer, press on the Apple logo located at the top of your screen. 
  2. Next, click on Restart


  1. Lastly, wait for your computer to reboot completely.

Now, relaunch the Mail app and search for a couple of emails to see if everything is in order. 

However, if the search function is still not working on the Mail app, head down below and try doing the next method below.



3. Remove and Add Your Account. 

Another method that could fix the Mail app’s problem is to remove your account and add it back again to your Mac. This way, your account data can be reloaded and the connection with Apple’s servers would be refreshed.

  1. On your Mac, click on the Apple logo located at the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. After that, click on System Preferences.
  3. Inside the System Preferences, click on Internet Accounts.
  4. Lastly, click on your accounts, then click the minus button (-) to remove them from your Mac.

mail search not working on macOS Big Sur


After removing your email accounts, add them back one by one and try using the Mail app’s search function to see if the issue is already fixed.



4. Update macOS.

If none of the methods above worked, try updating your operating system. Possibly, the version of macOS installed on your computer has a bug or glitch related to the Mail app that causes the search feature to malfunction.

  1. On your Mac, click on the Apple logo at the top of your screen and select System Preferences
  2. Inside System Preferences, click on Software Update
  3. Lastly, click on the Update Now button if available. 

mail search not working on macOS Big Sur


Once the update is installed, go back to the Mail app and try using the search feature again to see if it is now working properly. 



5. Boot in Safe Mode.

If your Mac computer is not working properly, you can try booting it on safe mode. Starting your device in safe mode allows it to check for possible errors on your system and repair it automatically.

Now, to boot your Mac computer in safe mode, check out the step-by-step guide below.

  1. First, turn off your computer completely.
  2. After that, press the Shift key on your keyboard and hit the Power button. 
  3. Continue holding the Shift key until your Mac boots up completely. 

Once your computer is in safe mode, try using the search function on the Mail app to see if it will work.

However, if you are still having issues with the Mail app, check out the next method below to address the problem.



6. Reset NVRAM/PRAM.

You may have changed a few settings on your Mac unknowingly, which causes other features on your computer to malfunction. It is also possible that the applications you have installed changed some system preferences, which could’ve also caused the problem.

To fix this, try resetting your NVRAM or PRAM to restore the default preferences on macOS.

  1. First, turn off your computer. 
  2. Next, locate the Option + Command + P + R keys on your keyboard but don’t press it yet. 
  3. Lastly, press the Power button on your Mac and immediately hold the Option + Command + P + R keys on your keyboard and continue holding it for 20 seconds.

Now, restart your computer normally and try to use the Mail app again to check if the search function is working properly.



7. Contact Apple.

If the problem continues after doing the suggested solutions above, we suggest that you seek professional help. It is possible that your problem is related to a corrupted operating system or faulty hardware, which needs to be diagnosed immediately. 

Try visiting Apple’s support page where you would find the details on how to contact their customer support


mail search not working on macOS Big Sur


Be sure to provide them with important details like your account information, the exact model of your Mac computer, and the macOS version installed on it to help them resolve your problem faster.

This ends our guide on how to fix the mail search not working on macOS Big Sur. If you know other ways to fix this issue, let us know in the comment section below. We’d be glad to give you credit for the solution once this article gets updated.


If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂



  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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