HoudahSpot Alternatives for searching Apple mail

Since I installed the latest version of macOS Sonoma, I am unable to use HoudahSpot to search my Apple Mail. HoudahSpot was great for me because I could input a keyword and it would show me everything related including emails and files.

I don’t see a way to even do this with spotlight. Is there another way of conducting such a complete search? I don’t want to have to open Apple Mail and search that separately from a file search.

I haven’t upgraded to Sonoma yet, but InfoClick from Nisus does a great job of searching Apple Mail for me on Ventura.

Apple mail no longer accepts plugins so “As of now, Mail search through HoudahSpot is not possible on macOS Sonoma.“

@mjtsai has published a blog post about this issue back in June:


It is a short nice read from a developer’s perspective. The thing is that Apple basically has pulled the plug on Apple Mail extensions. It has been long in the making. Apple has created MailKit for 3rd party developers to implement. Unfortunately, apparently MailKit seems to be severely limited, not as feature-rich and bug-ridden with two WWDCs passing without Apple improving anything regarding MailKit. Apparently, Apple did not care about the issues out there. Which is quite a blow. It for sure does make Apple Mail worse.

HoudahSpot apparently is one of those third party apps that cannot really make use of MailKit in a sensible way, so it has lost one of its features thanks to Apple.

I live in Thunderbird these days and I also do my mail search in Thunderbird. For all the other stuff, Houdah Spot remains my go-to-choice.

Is there a way to use spotlight in Finder so that I could search for mail and other files at the same time, using full text search?