Searching emails via IMAP in Android email client

I’m trying to find a way to search through all my emails via IMAP on my Android phone. I’ve tried the Gmail app, Aqua Mail and Nine, but I’m not able to find old emails in any of them. The search window just spins for a good while, and then comes back with nothing found. Do I need to configure something in my Runbox account? Or is there some black magic that need to be cast in the Android app to be able to do this?

As a side note, I know that Runbox7 works as a PWA, but I’d prefer using a separate app since I have other email accounts as well.

I think that, in AquaMail, if you do a search from the account list, it only searches the e-mails cached on your phone. If you go, in AquaMail, into the inbox (or other folder) of a specific account, I believe it searches all e-mails in that folder that are stored on the server.

You are right. It does search the folder I’m in. But it takes ages and ages. Several minutes to return the search results. Is this to be expected?

It’s all relative.

If you have only 100 e-mails to search, it will be quicker than if you have 30k of e-mails which will, of course, take longer.

That’s true, I guess. It just didn’t dawn on me that it would be that time consuming. I mean, 30k emails isn’t that much.

Searching via IMAP is always time consuming and that’s not specific to Runbox either. If you think you are likely to need to search a large number of emails then it is best to tell the email app to cache them locally so that they are there when you need them.

With the amount of storage available on mobile devices these days and a good WiFi connection it wouldn’t take long to download several GB of emails if necessary.


If you wish for all emails to be stored locally, you’d have to enable that when you set up the account for the first time.
Choose Sync Period: Everything (sometimes All) to have all emails downloaded to your phone. Depending on how many emails are stored, this could adversely affect a limited data plan.
In my case, I have 28K emails, but I only need a few thousand at my fingertips at any given moment, so I create folders by topic and allow some folders to hold all email and others to hold a few months.
Some applications require you to use form modifiers otherwise some emails will not show. So if you wanted to get mail from a particular sender, you’d have to type ‘from:’.

1 Like