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how to download messages from server?

  • 12 replies
  • 4 have this problem
  • 262 views
  • Last reply by Zenos

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When my messages arrive in thunderbird mail, I want them to be automatically deleted from my server. In other words, I want to store all mail in thunderbird mail, not on my server.

All Replies (12)

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That's fine. What prevents you from doing this?

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I just don't know how and don't seem to be able to find where to change the settings in Thunderbird...so that it will do this for me. Your step-by-step guidance on how to do this will be very much appreciated. Thank you!

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Before you do anything - what type of mail account do you use ? Pop or IMAP ?

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Pop account

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Unless you have changed the settings from their default values, POP does exactly what you ask for.

Have you found that it leaves copies on the server? If so, check that

Tools|Account Settings|{select account}|Server Settings→Leave messages on server

is UNchecked.

Are you sure it's using POP?

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Thank you so much for your help! I am not sure that it is a Pop account. I had a Pop account using outlook...so I assumed that I still have a Pop account with Thunderbird mail. How do I find out what type of account I have?

In any case, when I go to Tools | there is no account settings in the menu choice. Account settings is available as a choice under Edit...but then it doesn't let me select account. So, I am guessing that I don't have a Pop account after all.

Please let me know how automatically download messages from the server in my case. Thank you so much!

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Ah! You have a Mac, or you're using Linux. In either case, account settings are under Edit.

Also, you can right-click the account and select Settings.

Having opened the account settings pane, the server settings page will tell you if it uses POP or IMAP. By default, when it's available, Thunderbird chooses IMAP when setting up an account.

IMAP doesn't offer a setting to save copies on the server, since that is intrinsic to IMAP.

The way to get Thunderbird to download and remove from the server is to set it to move messages out of the account's folders. Thunderbird offers Local Folders as a useful alternative location. You can set up a message filter to move your messages automatically.

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Thank you! Yes, I am using Linux! Could you please send me the specific directions on how to move messages out of server? Is there a specific pathway to get this done? Thank you so much for your help.

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With IMAP, the intention is that all messages are stored on the server. The mail client acts as a remote view tool. It shows you what's on the server. If a message is in the Inbox, it appears in Thunderbird. If you remove that message, in Thunderbird, then it will also be removed at the server, because IMAP requires that the client and server are consistent with one another.

Deleting that message will certainly remove it. Another way of removing it from the Inbox is to move the message to somewhere else. And the Local Folders account in Thunderbird is, to me, the obvious place to move your messages to.

Create a folder or folders under Local Folders to keep your messages in. Now you can do any of these:

  • Drag-and-drop messages into the new folders in Local Folders;
  • Select, right-click and use "Move to...";
  • Set up message filters on the Inbox to move them automatically.
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To find out if you have POP or IMAP: Edit > Account Settings > Server Settings at the top it will say 'Server Type': Pop or IMAP Mail Server.

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Thank you, Zenos! Your answer was very helpful! I have created folders and moved the existing messages into the new folders. You mentioned that I can create filters that will automatically move the messages from my inbox into the folder I have created. How do I do that? Thank you so much for all your support!


Zenos said

With IMAP, the intention is that all messages are stored on the server. The mail client acts as a remote view tool. It shows you what's on the server. If a message is in the Inbox, it appears in Thunderbird. If you remove that message, in Thunderbird, then it will also be removed at the server, because IMAP requires that the client and server are consistent with one another. Deleting that message will certainly remove it. Another way of removing it from the Inbox is to move the message to somewhere else. And the Local Folders account in Thunderbird is, to me, the obvious place to move your messages to. Create a folder or folders under Local Folders to keep your messages in. Now you can do any of these:
  • Drag-and-drop messages into the new folders in Local Folders;
  • Select, right-click and use "Move to...";
  • Set up message filters on the Inbox to move them automatically.
more options