Can Thunderbird be set to notify me automatically when it runs into a problem retrieving email?
Thunderbird sometimes stops retrieving email from one or another of my email addresses. When that happens things can easily be set right, at least temporarily, by exiting and restarting Thunderbird. The problem is that Thunderbird doesn't notify me that it's stopped retrieving email from that address, so I sometimes don't find out about the stoppage until someone asks me via some other medium why I haven't responded to their email. Thunderbird will tell me there's a stoppage if I click on "Get Messages", so I've resorted to doing that regularly. But there's got to be a better way.
I searched through Thunderbird's settings to see if there's a check-box or a drop-down menu that will let me tell Thunderbird to notify me when it can't retrieve email as instructed. But I didn't find anything. Did I miss something? Alternatively, is this a capability that should be added to a future version of Thunderbird?
FYI, the underlying problem here is apparently common and arises from miscommunication between Thunderbird and Yahoo servers. Over the years there have been several threads that have discussed the source of this specific underlying problem and how and whether it can be fixed. (See, e.g., https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1268468 ) I don't understand the technical issues involved and don't think I can contribute to solving the underlying problem. My question is concerned with finding a way to live with this problem. Restarting Thunderbird is quick and effective, and I would be happy if only Thunderbird would tell me that it needs to be restarted.
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If you have Thunderbird set up to check at regular intervals there is information in the 'Activity Manager'. It tells you when x email address connects to server, whether there are messages downloaded or not. It also lets you know what has been deleted or moved etc.
This will help you determine whether it has stopped checking the server.
Thanks, Toad-Hall, but your suggestion didn't help me determine whether Thunderbird has stopped checking the server. When a stoppage occurs, Activity Manager consistently reports that there are "No messages to download" even when there actually are messages to download.
FYI, I have Thunderbird running on two computers, and I find that when Thunderbird stops downloading messages for one email account on one computer it will continue downloading messages for that account on the other computer. On the computer with the stopped account, Activity Manager will persistently report that there are "No messages to download" (see below) even though Thunderbird should have detected and downloaded messages on the stopped account many hours ago. But when I click on "Get Messages" Thunderbird will give me a POP3 error message for that account (see below).
Any further assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated. For me this is aggravating because, once I know that a stoppage has occurred, the work-around (exiting and restarting Thunderbird) is quick and easy. The problem, from my perspective, is that I don't know that a stoppage has occurred unless I frequently click on "Get Messages."
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So the pop account is checking for mail, but the yahoo server is being a pain.
If you have pop accounts on both computers to download emails, is there a reason why you are not using imap? Imap is designed to store emails on server and faciliate viewing those server folders from several devices.
POP accounts require that you select the account server settings option to 'Leave messages on server' (for all pop accounts on different computers accessing same email address ).
So how many downloaded emails are left on the server (which you would see by logging on to your webmail account) ?
The error message you are getting is being sent from the yahoo server, it is not being generated by thunderbird. It means the server is refusing to accept the option to download and leave on server. It wants you to uncheck the pop account setting 'Leave messages on server' in order for you to download mail. Unfortunately, yahoo servers do exhibit this problem from time to time. It is as if one of their server clusters is throwing it's toys out of the pram. Sometimes you wonder if this is a deliberate ploy by yahoo as if they would prefer people to create imap accounts and stop using pop :)
Suggest you try these two options.
1. Log on to the webmail account using a browser. Delete all emails that you have previously downloaded to significantly reduce the number of emails currently stored on the server. Leaving only those not previously downloaded and also make sure the server 'Spam' folder and 'Trash' are emptied. Then retry downloading in thunderbird.
2. If above fails: On computer of good download, do a Get Messages to ensure they are downloaded. On computer of bad download - uncheck the option 'Leave message on server', click on OK. click on 'Get Messages' and emails will get downloaded. But it will mean they have been removed from server. Then reset the pop account to 'Leave message on server' and ok it. This clearing of emails off the server may fix the issue.
The 'does not support UIDL or XTND XLST' etc message is not new and has been known to occur on yahoo servers and quite commonly for inbound.att.net for years. Yahoo do support it otherwise everybody using a yahoo server would not have been downloading and managing to leave on server. Obviously, yahoo has an issue. Yahoo have several clusters of server to handle the volumn and it would seem one or more get a problem and send out that error message.
In many cases, restarting Thunderbird fixes the issue or it miraculously fixes on it's own after a few days. But try clearing down the server as suggested above to see if it gets past the yahoo road block.
Thank you for your suggestions, Toad-Hall, but unfortunately they turned out not to be helpful. After repeatedly emptying all the webmail folders on various accounts (i.e., the inbox, spam, trash, etc.), and checking and unchecking "Leave message on server" as you suggested, it seems the only thing that will set things right is to exit and restart Thunderbird. That works every time, but only temporarily. Which brings me back to my original question, namely how do I get Thunderbird to notify me that it's encountered a snag downloading email from the Yahoo servers? If I can get Thunderbird to do just that then the workaround (exiting and restarting Thunderbird) is quick and easy.
You ask why I'm not using IMAP if I'm downloading email onto two different computers. Actually, I'm only using two computers because neither of them can reliably download email. If one computer stops downloading from an account then the other computer will usually continue downloading from that account, so my messages will timely get through on one computer and I will effectively be notified that I need to restart Thunderbird on the other computer. But I'd much rather use only one computer, provided that I can get that computer to reliably download email or at least notify me when it can no longer do so.
And I don't know enough about POP and IMAP to figure out which one is more appropriate for me to use. I set up my current configurations, involving AT&T and Thunderbird, over ten years ago and I assume that back then I was just following directions that were given to me. Everything worked flawlessly until a couple of years ago, which I believe is around the time Yahoo entered the picture, when things started to get frustrating. If switching to IMAP will solve the problem once and for all then maybe I should do that.
Can you offer me any more advice or suggestions?