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Quick search for email and messages

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Hi, I've searched for quite a while and I'm not sure if I used the wrong keywords or terms, but is there anyway I can do a quick search with a name in Alfred and have conversations and emails pop up (like in Spotlight)?


I've reindexed everything, and I have the email and messages boxes unchecked in the don't show section in file search. I've also tried adding /Library/Messages into search scope but that didn't yield any results either. Is there anyway I can do this at all?


Any help would be much appreciated.

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9 minutes ago, Machinegun said:

I've also tried adding /Library/Messages into search scope


That's the wrong directory (if you're using Mail.app). It's ~/Library/Mail that you want.


Personally, I'd recommend creating a separate File Filter to search your emails. As above, set the Scope to the directory where your emails are stored, then drag an email file into the File Types list.

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@Machinegun Welcome to the forum! :) As @deanishe suggest, a File Filter workflow is ideal for searching specific types/locations like emails.


If you'd like to search Mail.app by sender, you can use this workflow if you're using macOS Mojave or older OS version.


[Edited to add: This workflow will only work on macOS 10.14 Mojave and older. Apple have removed access to Mail content for third parties from 10.15 Catalina onwards, so no results will be returned in these macOS versions.]




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Thanks for the replies and I'll definitely try it when I have the chance. Is there anyway I can do a file filter workflow with iMessage conversations?


Thats what I meant when I added a scope for Library/Messages but nothing still comes up or is it chat.db?


Edit: I figured it all out with the advanced parameters and what not. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Edited by Machinegun
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  • 7 months later...


I have the same question, I can't find in iMessage text, in alfred 3. on MacOS 10.13.4, 


when I update MacOS 10.12 to 10.13, alfred search iMessage can't find  in iMessage text.


*** Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 19:59:51 ***

When I update "Security Update 2018-001"  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222


I can use alfred search iMessage text.


At 10.13.1 - 10.13.3 can't search. 

Edited by RueiShuYe
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  • 2 years later...

@apndavies Which version of macOS are you using?


There was a direct link to the workflow higher up in this thread (which I've now removed, and added the caveat), so I'm guessing you haven't seen the notice in the original post here:


Unfortunately, this workflow is only suitable for macOS Mojave and older, as Apple have removed access to Mail content for third-party apps from Catalina onwards. As such, if you're on Catalina or Big Sur, you won't see any results returned.



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  • 3 months later...
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