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I use a smart mailbox in Apple Mail to filter out some of my messages automatically. Up until recently, it was instantaneous but something happened (I'm not sure what) to where now if I click on the smart mailbox, it takes about 30 seconds to generate what it apparently already found & I notice that Apple Mail's CPU usage spikes while it's looking. I'm not sure where to begin troubleshooting this.

** Edit **

I tried vacuuming the envelope, which didn't fix the problem. However, it did slightly change what was happening. Before, I would click on the smart mailbox & the count of messages would disappear & it would be 30 seconds of high CPU activity by Mail before I'd see the messages. Now, the count doesn't disappear, but it's still 30 seconds of high CPU activity by Mail before I see the messages.

I tried deleting the envelope so Mail would recreate it, which apparently re-imports your inboxes & re-indexes everything in Spotlight, but that didn't help either.

I'm considering renaming ~/Library/Mail & just starting from scratch.

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What happens when you create another smart mailbox with the same rules? – Daniel Beck Mar 30 '11 at 13:10
I actually deleted the smart mailbox & re-created it with the same results. – churnd Mar 30 '11 at 13:11
have you tried vacuuming your mail database? (google that or search superuser for instructions) – Daniel Beck Mar 30 '11 at 13:22
Yes & it doesn't help. I'm contemplating deleting the Envelope Index but I can't remember what happens if I do. – churnd Mar 30 '11 at 14:50
Anything interesting in /Applications/Utilities/ – Daniel Beck Mar 30 '11 at 17:13

My Smart Mailbox got slow after I archived 6000 emails to an imap folder "archive" and added the filter "Message not in 'archive'" to the bottom of the smart mailbox filter list.

Then I realized that it is probably not a good idea to have an exclusive filter at the end of the filter list, since apple's "smart mailboxes" might not be that smart to optimize the filter lookup.

Moving the "Message not in" filter to the top of the list made the hole thing fast and responsive again.

Now I am happy again :)

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I think something got corrupt. I manually rebuilt Mail & the problem is solved.

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Please accept your answer. This question was just bumped to the front page. – Daniel Beck Jul 4 '11 at 13:50

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