Monday, February 15, 2021

Big Sur bug: Mail Search (corespotlightd) fails on multi-user machine after a user logs out

We are indebted to GanawaGangunawa for figuring out why Mail search was failing on Emily's M1 MacBook Air (known to our family as "Crashy" [1]). It's a Big Sur bug (though I think it happened in some Catalina environments) that hits multi-user machines.

In our case Ben and Emily both have non-admin accounts on her M1 Air running Big Sur 11.2.1 with fast user switching enabled. When Ben logs out Emily's Mail search stops working. There's no error message, but search does nothing and Smart Folders are inactive.

The fix is to kill corespotlightd.

I created an AppleScript with the contents: 

do shell script "killall -9 corespotlightd"

I saved it as an application and put it on Emily's dock. Two clicks fixes her Mail search until Apple fixes the bug.

[1] When we first got the M1 Air it crashed (spontaneous restart) every few hours. Reinstalling Big Sur meant it crashed every few days, with Big Sur 11.2 it didn't crash, with 11.2.1 it restarts every week or so. I suspect a firmware/OS mismatch in the factory was the initial problem and that for the rest that Big Sur/M1 are not quite stable yet. I almost returned Crashy in the 2 week return window but it seems just stable enough. Good chance future OS updates will fix. It does pass hardware test.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Fixing the Mojave Mail split view in full screen bug

For many users Mojave email will periodically open in Split View mode even then Mail Preferences: General split view is unchecked.

I'm trying this fix:

  1. Check Mail Preferences:General "Prefer opening messages in split view when in full screen". Confirm Mail opens in split view. Maybe quit and restart.
  2. Now open mail preferences and uncheck that option and force quit Mail. (Somewhere in the Mojave era or earlier macOS preferences got wonky such that an app on exiting could do weird and occult things to preferences.)
  3. Restart mail with Safari open in full screen and confirm you don't get the Split View -- get Mail as full screen.
Works so far but I wouldn't be surprised if fix doesn't last.