Updated: iPhone 3.0 Spotlight Search Finds Deleted Messages?

UPDATE: iPhone 3.1 does indeed fix this.

Matt Janssen has discovered what looks like a bug in iPhone 3.0 Spotlight, whereby the search feature keeps emails in the index/cache even after they've been deleted from the inbox and purged from the trash (and even obliterated from the host server). Janssen claims in the video above he's found emails he deleted several months ago using this method.

Email is likely cached to speed up searches. Initially tapping on a deleted email in a search result will launch Mobile Mail, which will promptly crash, but searching and tapping a second time will actually show the email, albeit in a buggy manner.

Engadget (via CultofMac) has heard this bug might be fixed in iPhone 3.1, now on Beta 3, and perhaps to be released as soon as Apple's next iPod/iTunes event rumored for the week of September 7.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Japans Best Selling Phone - iPhone 3GS

Next up →

Apple's New North Carolina Data Center Among Largest in the World

Reader comments

Updated: iPhone 3.0 Spotlight Search Finds Deleted Messages?


Matt Janssen has discovered...

Not likely. I noticed this a long time ago and just assumed everyone else had noticed it.

Exactly, I've known of this for a long long time. I've even submitted this bug to Apple and they've told me they're aware of the problem and are fixing it.
This has all been blown way out of proportion, it is no way anything new. I noticed this when I first got the 3.0 Beta.

Fastlane and Frag:
I remember the headlines on this a from WEEKS ago, I think they were even posted on the big geek sites (engadget, gizmodo) and they are running the same news ass if it were unheard of.
I guess nothing makes headlines like the iPhone!

I've known about this as long as I've had the 3GS. In fact, I use this feature very often as a secure way to recover informatoin that was once sent to me but information I do not want others to find (access codes, etc).

This is a fantastic summary, I located your web page looking around aol for a related subject matter and arrived to this. I couldnt get to much other information on this piece of writing, so it was awesome to locate this one. I will end up being back again to check out some other posts that you have another time.