Indexing Your Messages for Search


Index your messages to unleash the power of Postbox search!

Postbox contains a powerful search engine that enables you to find almost anything within email messages and RSS feeds.

Before messages can be searched, they must first be downloaded to your computer and then indexed by the Postbox search engine. This process will occur automatically or it can be initiated manually.

Note that messages are downloaded in a two-stage process:

  1. First, the message headers are downloaded, which populates the message list. Postbox automatically indexes the headers as they are downloaded. At this stage, Postbox can only find information such as subject, sender, recipients, date, etc. It cannot find the contents of messages as the message bodies haven't been downloaded yet.
  2. Second, the message bodies are downloaded when a message is selected. Once a message body has been downloaded, Postbox will then index its contents.

Automatic Indexing

Postbox will automatically download and index your messages when it detects that your computer is idle after 3 minutes. 

Note that if your computer is seldom idle, the indexer might not have enough opportunity to kick in. From time-to-time, it may be beneficial to initiate a manual index or decrease the amount of time that Postbox will wait before automatically indexing. This preference can be found at Preferences (macOS) or Options (Windows) > Advanced > General.

Manual Indexing

If you would like your message content to be searchable right away, you can manually start the indexing process.

To index every message in Postbox, go to Tools > Indexing > Index All Folders. To index a specific folder, first, select the folder and go to Tools > Indexing > Index This Folder.

Postbox will index messages in the background so you can continue working within the app.

Indexing Newsgroups

By default, Postbox only indexes your email messages and RSS articles. However, you can enable the indexing of newsgroups if you would like to have these messages appear in the search. Just go to:

  • Mac: Postbox > Preferences > Accounts > [Newsgroup] > Local Storage
  • Windows: Tools > Options > Accounts > [Newsgroup] > Local Storage

and check the option to Index message bodies.

Indexing RSS Feeds

Postbox indexes RSS articles by default. If you would not like to see articles when searching for messages in Postbox, go to:

  • Mac: Postbox > Preferences > Accounts > [RSS Account]
  • Windows: Tools > Options > Accounts > [RSS Account]

and uncheck the option to Index message bodies.

Advanced Preferences

If searches aren't returning the desired results using the default settings, there are two additional settings that you can try. Both are located in Preferences (macOS) or Options (Windows) > Advanced > General:

Download all message headers - When Postbox checks for new messages, it will also check all other folders for messages as well. 

Download all message bodies - Postbox will automatically download the message bodies for messages marked for offline

Index on idle after [180] seconds - This determines how long Postbox will wait for your computer to be idle before kicking off the indexer. A lower setting will more aggressively index your messages.

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