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Thunderbird is deleting emails from both imap and pop3 accounts, without me asking it to do this

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I went to look in my 'sent' box to check on an email but found that they had virtually all been deleted. I have imap and pop3 accounts, but this has happened in both. Also happening in Inbox. As far as I am aware I have requested never to delete emails.

I went to look in my 'sent' box to check on an email but found that they had virtually all been deleted. I have imap and pop3 accounts, but this has happened in both. Also happening in Inbox. As far as I am aware I have requested never to delete emails.

Chosen solution

Thank you so much - I have now created a 'local folder' (it wasn't there before) and I shall put into this folder all emails I need to keep. Thank you so much for your absolutely excellent advice. June B

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Rogério Butzqui 0 solutions 5 answers

Can you access your Imap from browser and check if they are still kept there ?

The default setting is to delete old messages within Trash folder only, after 15 days. Not Inbox or Sent ones. Do this deleted messages have something in common, like date, subject, destination, attachment ?

Best Regards, Butzqui

Can you access your Imap from browser and check if they are still kept there ? The default setting is to delete old messages within Trash folder only, after 15 days. Not Inbox or Sent ones. Do this deleted messages have something in common, like date, subject, destination, attachment ? Best Regards, Butzqui

Question owner

Today the programme deleted all emails over a 10 day period. Deleted from imap server too. My previous email client Incredimail didnt do this.

Today the programme deleted all emails over a 10 day period. Deleted from imap server too. My previous email client Incredimail didnt do this.
Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1837 solutions 12372 answers

1. Is there any mention of the deleting in Tools > Activity Manager ?

2. Tools > Account Settings > Disc Space for the mail account Is this selected? 'don't delete any messages'

you will need to check that for each mail account.

'''1. '''Is there any mention of the deleting in Tools > Activity Manager ? '''2.''' Tools > Account Settings > Disc Space for the mail account Is this selected? 'don't delete any messages' you will need to check that for each mail account.

Question owner

I have already checked the box on each account to say Do not delete any emails, but as soon as I delete them on my imap server, they disappear from Thunderbird too - even if they've been moved to a folder.

I have already checked the box on each account to say Do not delete any emails, but as soon as I delete them on my imap server, they disappear from Thunderbird too - even if they've been moved to a folder.
Rogério Butzqui 0 solutions 5 answers

Juneb, if you delete your email, it will simply get deleted. It doesn't matter whether you're dealing with your browser or your Thunderbird, because both reflect the very same folders, the very same email. If you wish not to have your email deleted, you must not order mail to be deleted. Have a nice day !

Juneb, if you delete your email, it will simply get deleted. It doesn't matter whether you're dealing with your browser or your Thunderbird, because both reflect the very same folders, the very same email. If you wish not to have your email deleted, you must not order mail to be deleted. Have a nice day !
user01229325 2241 solutions 10216 answers

Helpful Reply

This is where it helps to know how email works.

If your account is working like you say then you must be using IMAP email.

IMAP email is server based. You use an email client, like Thunderbird, to access the server and remotely view and manage your emails. If you deleted the messages off the server they are gone. No email client can view them then.

If you do not move the messages that you want to keep to a folder under Local Folders then they are still on the server and what ever you do on the server is reflected in your email client.

Local Folders are there so you can move your "Keeper" email to you local drive and off the server.

This is where it helps to know how email works. If your account is working like you say then you must be using IMAP email. IMAP email is server based. You use an email client, like Thunderbird, to access the server and remotely view and manage your emails. If you deleted the messages off the server they are gone. No email client can view them then. If you do not move the messages that you want to keep to a folder under Local Folders then they are still on the server and what ever you do on the server is reflected in your email client. Local Folders are there so you can move your "Keeper" email to you local drive and off the server.

Question owner

Of course I realise that if I delete emails, they will become deleted. My issue is that when I delete on my Imap server, all these imap served emails are deleted, even if I have them in local folders. Also, I have ticked the 'do not delete any emails' boxes on aall accounts. I have used Incredimail for years and never had this problem. Same emails addresses, same Imap servers.

Of course I realise that if I delete emails, they will become deleted. My issue is that when I delete on my Imap server, all these imap served emails are deleted, even if I have them in local folders. Also, I have ticked the 'do not delete any emails' boxes on aall accounts. I have used Incredimail for years and never had this problem. Same emails addresses, same Imap servers.
Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1837 solutions 12372 answers

re: but as soon as I delete them on my imap server, they disappear from Thunderbird too

This means that you are actually deleting the emails. IMAP mail accounts: The Imap mail account folders in Thunderbird reflect what is on the server. You subscribe to see folders that are on the server and headers are downloaded. When you select to read an email, it is fetched from the server. These emails are not stored in Thunderbird, they are stored in a temp cache.

If you synchronise subscribed folders, then a copy is downloaded to Thunderbird and stored in your Profile folder. This means you can read them even if offline. Those folders will repeatedly synchronise with the server to show what is on the server; updating the server if you move or delete etc and if you do anything on the server, then those folders will resynch to show what is on server.

If you delete an email either via Thunderbird or via webmail account using a browser, you are deleting from the same folders.

You can move emails from a synchronised subscribed folder to Local Folders. Local Folders stores emails in Profile and does not connect with IMAP server.

Pop mail accounts: can only access and download from the Inbox on the server so that the email is stored on your computer and usually auto deletes the copy off the server. However, you can set it to leave emails on the server, then if you delete an email in a pop mail account in Thunderbird, it is only deleted off the server if you have settings to say eg: 'Leave message on server' and 'Until I delete them'.


re: My issue is that when I delete on my Imap server, all these imap served emails are deleted, even if I have them in local folders

So the issue is not the IMAP mail accounts emails that have been deleted - you would expect them to be deleted because you deleted them...

If you 'moved' IMAP emails into 'Local Folders' then you have moved them out of IMAP, so they will be deleted off server. This is understood and not a problem.

Confirm: The real issue is any IMAP mail account emails which you had moved to folders in your 'Local Folders' mail account are being deleted from 'Local Folders'. So you are actually only losing emails from Local Folders?

Question: Do you synchronise subscribed folders or just subscribe?

Tools > Account Settings > Local Folders > Disc Space. Confirm: 'dont delete any messages' is selected.

''re: but as soon as I delete them on my imap server, they disappear from Thunderbird too '' This means that you are actually deleting the emails. IMAP mail accounts: The Imap mail account folders in Thunderbird reflect what is on the server. You subscribe to see folders that are on the server and headers are downloaded. When you select to read an email, it is fetched from the server. These emails are not stored in Thunderbird, they are stored in a temp cache. If you synchronise subscribed folders, then a copy is downloaded to Thunderbird and stored in your Profile folder. This means you can read them even if offline. Those folders will repeatedly synchronise with the server to show what is on the server; updating the server if you move or delete etc and if you do anything on the server, then those folders will resynch to show what is on server. If you delete an email either via Thunderbird or via webmail account using a browser, you are deleting from the same folders. You can move emails from a synchronised subscribed folder to Local Folders. Local Folders stores emails in Profile and does not connect with IMAP server. Pop mail accounts: can only access and download from the Inbox on the server so that the email is stored on your computer and usually auto deletes the copy off the server. However, you can set it to leave emails on the server, then if you delete an email in a pop mail account in Thunderbird, it is only deleted off the server if you have settings to say eg: 'Leave message on server' and 'Until I delete them'. ''re: My issue is that when I delete on my Imap server, all these imap served emails are deleted, even if I have them in local folders'' So the issue is not the IMAP mail accounts emails that have been deleted - you would expect them to be deleted because you deleted them... If you 'moved' IMAP emails into 'Local Folders' then you have moved them out of IMAP, so they will be deleted off server. This is understood and not a problem. Confirm: The real issue is any IMAP mail account emails which you had moved to folders in your 'Local Folders' mail account are being deleted from 'Local Folders'. So you are actually only losing emails from Local Folders? Question: Do you synchronise subscribed folders or just subscribe? Tools > Account Settings > Local Folders > Disc Space. Confirm: 'dont delete any messages' is selected.

Question owner

I have moved emails into a 'local folder' but they are being deleted from there also.

I have moved emails into a 'local folder' but they are being deleted from there also.

Question owner

Thank you for your advice - best I've had so far. The Message Synchronise box is definitely ticked and I have ticked the box on the 'server' settings on Thunderbird not to delete any emails. If I delete emails from my imap server, I am losing ALL emails from All the imap folders. I didn't have this issue with either Incredimail or Outlook Express, so I am a bit baffled. I am currently copying all my emails to my POP3 account in order to keep them, which is OK but should not be necessary.

Thank you for your advice - best I've had so far. The Message Synchronise box is definitely ticked and I have ticked the box on the 'server' settings on Thunderbird not to delete any emails. If I delete emails from my imap server, I am losing ALL emails from All the imap folders. I didn't have this issue with either Incredimail or Outlook Express, so I am a bit baffled. I am currently copying all my emails to my POP3 account in order to keep them, which is OK but should not be necessary.
user01229325 2241 solutions 10216 answers

Helpful Reply

Just to be sure we are talking about the same Local Folders. These would be folder that are created under the Account Local Folders and not some new folder you created under your actual account heading. Any folders that you create under the email account heading are still on the server and subject to the IMAP workings.

The Local Folders account is usually the account listed at the bottom of the accounts in the Folder Pane. They are the only folders that are really on your local drive and cannot be removed due to any actions taken on the IMAP server.

Just to be sure we are talking about the same Local Folders. These would be folder that are created under the Account Local Folders and not some new folder you created under your actual account heading. Any folders that you create under the email account heading are still on the server and subject to the IMAP workings. The Local Folders account is usually the account listed at the bottom of the accounts in the Folder Pane. They are the only folders that are really on your local drive and cannot be removed due to any actions taken on the IMAP server.

Chosen Solution

Thank you so much - I have now created a 'local folder' (it wasn't there before) and I shall put into this folder all emails I need to keep. Thank you so much for your absolutely excellent advice. June B

Thank you so much - I have now created a 'local folder' (it wasn't there before) and I shall put into this folder all emails I need to keep. Thank you so much for your absolutely excellent advice. June B
Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1837 solutions 12372 answers

Why have you chosen your feedback as a solution. It is a very confusing statement?

re: I have now created a 'local folder' (it wasn't there before)

Well now I'm really confused by what you are doing.

Thunderbird creates a 'Local Folders' mail account by default when it originally created the Profile; you do not create it. 'Local Folders' contains your 'Outbox' and is positioned below your mail accounts. See Image below. You can create new folders IN the 'Local Folders' account and these are the folders and emails that are kept in the Profile on your computer.

See image below:

Why have you chosen your feedback as a solution. It is a very confusing statement? ''re: I have now created a 'local folder' (it wasn't there before) '' Well now I'm really confused by what you are doing. Thunderbird creates a 'Local Folders' mail account by default when it originally created the Profile; you do not create it. 'Local Folders' contains your 'Outbox' and is positioned below your mail accounts. See Image below. You can create new folders IN the 'Local Folders' account and these are the folders and emails that are kept in the Profile on your computer. See image below:

Question owner

There was no 'local folders mail account' in the list - in the server settings this had not been ticked. Once I ticked it, a 'local folder' was added. I am happy now with how it is working. Thank you.

There was no 'local folders mail account' in the list - in the server settings this had not been ticked. Once I ticked it, a 'local folder' was added. I am happy now with how it is working. Thank you.