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Emails Disappearing

  • 35 replies
  • 8 have this problem
  • 23436 views
  • Last reply by Toad-Hall

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I noticed yesterday that the majority of emails in my inbox are gone. There were emails dating back to 4/2017, when my desktop machine was new and I installed Thunderbird. Yesterday, they only went back to 3/11/2018. When I booted up this morning, 9 more days were gone. Folders and sent items do not appear to be effected. Only the inbox. I have not touched any settings. Looking for a solution to make this stop happening, and possibly retrieve the missing emails going back a year. My ISP is Comcast. I am not sure if they are to blame, but I'm waiting to hear back from them. If they are disappearing from my Thunderbird inbox, it seems like a local problem. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I have version 59.0.2 64 bit installed on Windows 10. Thank you.

Chosen solution

re : I have version 59.0.2 64 bit You are using a beta version as the most current release is 52.7.0 https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/all/

Inbox is a folder designed for new incoming mail. You should then be sorting and organising read mail into various folders; deleting anything you do not want and then compacting the folder to remove all traces of old deleted items.

However, at the moment do not compact anything until it known what is going on.

Create some new folders and move all of those remaining Inbox emails into a better place to store them. Get them out of the Inbox.

Is this a pop or imap mail account?

  • Right click on mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings'
  • If pop select 'Disc Space'
  • If Imap select 'Synchronisation & storage'
  • select 'Don't delete any messages'
  • click on 'OK'
  • Right click on Inbox folder and select 'Properties'
  • click on 'Retention Policy' tab
  • make sure it says 'Use my account settings'
  • click on 'General Information' tab
  • Check to see if folder index is out of synch with actual storage,
  • click on 'Repair folder' button
  • click on 'OK'
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All Replies (15)

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Thanks once again for your individual support I forgot to mention that instead of turning off my PC like I always do @ 7:30 pm I decided to put it to SLEEP instead realizing the matter.

These beautiful e-Mail communication where sitting in the SENT folder that morning when in the afternoon while doing my online internet work for my employer I was just looking around in the e-Mail client when I notice a low count in the SENT folder & it HIT me BIG that every communication address to her wasn't there & then the panic & then I recall the ARCHIVE folder that I had accidentally created by mistake & since I couldn't delete it I then proceeded to delete the one from within to the TRASH & from there as well only later realizing & asking myself WTF did I just do.

OMG!

I do believe that no COMPACT has taken place in this folder at least as best that I can recall.

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OK Hang on in there, there may be a way to sort this out. As you are using POP, those emails were not stored on server, they were stored in Thunderbird. I've got to write some instructons and you need to follow them exactly. Hopefully, together, we'll be in luck and can retrieve them. Watch out for the next communication.

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For Your Info I'll be going on break @ 11 am & then returning before 12 noon for a recursive training, so should you not hear anything from me in-between that time I'll get back to you when I return.

I praise you for your commitment & dedication to assist me w/ this horrible situation of mine.

Thanks!
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Compacting removes marked as deleted emails. As you have not compacted the Sent folder, this should mean your Sent mbox file will still contain a load of hidden marked as deleted emails. Do Not compact anything; this is absolutely vital at this point in time.

Read through everything first, so you get an understanding of the procedure. This is not difficult, but you do need to do exactly as instructed. I've included a few images to help as guides. If all goes to plan, you will be able to recover your emails.

In Thunderbird

  • 'Help' > 'Troubleshooting Information'
  • click on 'Open folder' button

a new window opens showing the contents of your profile name folder.

  • Close Thunderbird now - this is important because you cannot edit files currently in use.
  • click on 'Mail' folder to see contents
  • click on pop comcast mail account name folder to see contents.

I've included an image to show you a typical pop mail account, so you will know what a 'Sent' mbox file looks like.

In Thunderbird, emails are stored in mbox text files. mbox text files do not have any extension. You should see a file called 'Sent' (not 'Sent.msf' - this is an index file)

  • Open the 'Sent' no extension mbox file using a text editing program like Notepad.

Emails are written to the file in the order they are downloaded or created, so the oldest will be at the top.

Each email will start with these lines: this is an example

  • From - Sun Dec 28 18:14:40 2014
  • X-Mozilla-Status: 0019
  • X-Mozilla-Status2: 00800000

I've included a couple of example images to help show you what I'm talking about.

  • Use 'Edit' > 'Find'

Starting at the top use 'Edit' > 'Find' to help to look for this line:

  • X-Mozilla-Status: ( - NOT this line: X-Mozilla-Status2:)

Make sure each X-Mozilla-Status: line has the number 0001

  • Edit the number as required changing to say 0001 working down through the document. Take your time.
  • Save the file.
  • Delete the 'Sent.msf' indexing file. A new one will be auto created.
  • Start Thunderbird.

Report back on results.

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Again, many praise for your commitment w/ this matter of mind I have received your communication & as well see the images in my account @Mozilla.com w/ regards to this unfortunate matter I'll continue to study them & will begin to make a strong attempt to recover, so hopefully if I need to get back to go I'll do so this afternoon.

P.S. In analyzing the material yes it very different to handle especially for 1st timers, but I'm no quitter not to mention that I have an Associate's Degree in Computer Info. System so hopefully that will become useful to me on this quest.

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Good afternoon I'm back online in preparation for a recursive training that is held every Wednesday for all employees on the internet w/ the employer within this particular department as there is another on Thursday w/ different employees.

I shall again repeat that'll be studying closely this matter throughout the afternoon & into the evening & if I'm not able to follow through w/ it then I will certainly tackle in over night as well will be keeping my PC in SLEEP mode once again.

I'll will let you know where things are @ moments notice & only hope that I run into no problems, however should this occur than I'll be of course communicating it through this account in your direction.

Thank you so much from my soul & heart.

God Bless You Always!

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Dear Toad-Hall;

I want you to know that I have not forgotten about your aid to say the least, however last night I had to look after a relative w/ special needs & thereafter had other things in mind to which I decided to call it a night & went to sleep.

Despite the fact that I'm now 1 day behind I fully intend to follow through w/ this assistance after 8 p.m. tonight & will keep you fully informed of any outcomes through this account.

Shortly thereafter I need to move on the Microsoft Updates that were recently released this 08/14/2018 for my NT before the operating system decides to take over & handle it for me.

In the meantime I just wanted you to know that I'm also a Vonage.com customer w/ the U.S. & Canada Unlimited Plan including Puerto Rico w/ the allocation of 3000 minutes a month & despite the fact that I don't have your phone # I would be able to reach faster w/ this matter.

Please look out for another or follow-up communication from me within the next 48 hrs. detailing everything as much as possible.

Thanks!

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Hello if I do a RESTART right now will that get in the way of recovery for this situation.

Please response asap.

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Restart should not make any difference providing you do not compact folders either manually or automatically.

You would need to exit Thunderbird anyway to access the profile folders in order to perform the info, then restart afterwards.

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Dear Sir;

1st let me again give you much praise & professionalism for wanting to assist me w/ this horrible situation that has it had occurred by error I believe things move so fast that morning that i had not realized the scope of my grave mistake until after 12 noon only for my panic to have kicked in & them immediately contacted Mozilla.com by phone.

Your instructions in the last communication weren't a problem to me although the images you as well provided were there as aid thinking & not being able to fully recall everything that had occurred you gave me high hopes that yes we both could do this & everything would be great again for me since all those e-Mail communications were of value to myself.

After having followed through w/ your last communication & getting into my operating system & locating those folders & files I will say that excitement grew, yet once inside that particular file "SENT" & then analyzing it all my hopes drop & as human as I am so did my heart & soul.

My last request was to her hoping that all those communications may have been sitting in that account & if so, if she could forward me a copy of each one back to me since I enjoy reading past e-Mail communications as I reflect aka reminisce.

In conclusion, I wish that there were more individuals like yourself always wanting to give it their all & showing nothing more than the upmost caring reflection from there heart & maybe even professionalism.

Muchas gracias por toda su profesionalidad de este Boricua aka NuYoRican y desde La Isla aka Puerto Rico.

1 amor a todos los hijos del senor.

Manhattan - da Bronx - Brooklyn - Spanish Harlem aka el Barrio - Queens - Staten Island

Yonkers - Mount Vernon - West Chester

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City

Sr. Ramón Jaime Conde Vélez

e-Mail:

Website:

¡Hablamos Español!


edited out website and email.

Modified by James

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Before you start reading this, I figured out the problem. See the bottom paragraphs.

I have T-Bird 52.9.1 32 bit. I am on the Release Update Channel. I am using gmail. I have noticed today that e-mails are disappearing out of my T-Bird In-Box. I check for new message at startup. Check for new message every 10 minutes. Automatically download new messages. Fetch headers only. Leave messages on server. I don't empty trash on exit. I don't have an Archive mbox. I checked Drafts, Trash, Sent. I did have "Enable Adaptive Junk Mail Controls" turned on. I did not have "Move New Junk Messages To Junk Folder" turned on.

The mails will download and I will see them. Then after a while, they disappear, even though I haven't read them. I went to GMails help on reloading the emails https://support.google.com/a/answer/6089246?hl=en And was able to redownload some of the emails, by changing gmail to Enable POP for all mail (even email that has already been downloaded). But I wasn't able to redownload all of them. There are even emails that I sent to myself from Gmail Webmail that have shown up in the T-Bird Inbox, but disappear after a while. They are in my Gmail account In Box, but I can't redownload them from Gmail, even with Enable POP for all mail.

I checked my Vipre Antivirus and there was nothing in the Quarantine Folder. I went to Examine Recent Email events and there was no entries saying that my email had been cleaned.

I have not Rebuild My Folder.

I bet the problem is that I did not have "Move New Junk Messages To Junk Folder" turned on, the Junk filter is running and sending the messages to Valhalla. I will know in a while. I bet what happened, I copied the T-Bird config file from my other computer to copy all the emails and duplicate the folders on my new computer. Then I set it up so I could download all the emails to both computers. In the process, the "Move New Junk Messages to Junk Folder" wasn't defaulted On.

I just checked my other computer. The "Move New Junk Messages To Junk Folder" was not checked on the same faccounts. Fixed that. That ain't the problem.

I finally figured it out. The PC downstairs was running with T-Bird up. Automatically pulling my Gmail e-mails and downloading the complete email every 10 minutes. The PC upstairs which I am on, had T-Bird up, automatically pulling headers only every 10 minutes. When I had the headers up on the screen in the In Box for the e-mails (upstairs) and the computer downstairs would pull the full e-mail, but leave it on the server, The next time I would pull the e-mails (upstairs, headers only) the headers would disappear, because they had already been Popped by the downstairs computer. I would think that, on the upstairs computer, once the headers were loaded, they would stay loaded. But apparently not.

I thought that T-Bird made the determination of what e-mails have been read, but apparently it is G-Mail that makes this determination.

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Hello, if I may intrude briefly, I too lost one file but made the mistake, as I didn't know, of comprising them (is that the word?) when I delete a file and it asks me to comprise. So, then there's nothing that can be done to find and recuperate the file? I tried to follow all your wonderful helpers' instructions but couldn't do it. For instance, how do you open the "Sent" folder into the NotePad? But if I've totally killed that file then there's no sense in taking any time to find it, right?

I can kick myself really hard because it took me 5 hours to make it and now I don't know how to do it again. Thanks for the chance of asking this small question.  :)

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Adelaa: re :when I delete a file and it asks me to comprise. So, then there's nothing that can be done to find and recuperate the file?

File? Do you mean 'Email' ?

Background info: Emails are downloaded and written to an mbox text file, one after the other in the order downloaded. So emails are not stored as separate files. That mbox file eg: inbox, is displayed as a folder in the Folder pane. When you delete an email, it is 'marked as deleted' and then hidden from view. It is still in the folder at this point, just hidden. You may see it in the 'Trash or 'Deleted' folder and can drag it back to the original folder. This changes the 'marked as deleted' marked back to normal.

Compacting is done to completely remove the 'marked as deleted' email so you can clean up the mbox file and recover space.

So, if you delete an email and later 'compact' the folder, that 'marked as deleted' email is completely removed. You cannot get back something which does not exist.

If you delete an email from 'Sent', but have not compacted the 'Sent' folder and that email is not in Trash. You can recover the email by manually editing the 'Sent' mbox file.

If you have deleted an email from 'Sent' folder and then 'compacted' the 'Sent' folder, you will not be able to recover the email.

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Toad-Hall said

Adelaa: re :when I delete a file and it asks me to comprise. So, then there's nothing that can be done to find and recuperate the file? File? Do you mean 'Email' ? Background info: Emails are downloaded and written to an mbox text file, one after the other in the order downloaded. So emails are not stored as separate files. That mbox file eg: inbox, is displayed as a folder in the Folder pane. When you delete an email, it is 'marked as deleted' and then hidden from view. It is still in the folder at this point, just hidden. You may see it in the 'Trash or 'Deleted' folder and can drag it back to the original folder. This changes the 'marked as deleted' marked back to normal. Compacting is done to completely remove the 'marked as deleted' email so you can clean up the mbox file and recover space. So, if you delete an email and later 'compact' the folder, that 'marked as deleted' email is completely removed. You cannot get back something which does not exist. If you delete an email from 'Sent', but have not compacted the 'Sent' folder and that email is not in Trash. You can recover the email by manually editing the 'Sent' mbox file. If you have deleted an email from 'Sent' folder and then 'compacted' the 'Sent' folder, you will not be able to recover the email.

Thanks so much Toad-Hall, and I'm sorry for not explaining clearly. Yes, it is one email that I lost by stupidly trying to correct something in the panel! I did look for it everywhere first with the Find then I went to all my folders email by email, even in WordPad, File Explorer, Documents, etc. just everywhere!

This email was in the Draft, not the Send folder, and for subject it had (no subject) yet. Also I hadn't yet written the Recipient's name, so much more difficult to use the Find.

I can see I may have lost it forever unless I didn't compress, but I can't remember for sure...If I didn't, are there any other places or ways to search besides all my search?

If not, I have one last chance : Carbonite. When I lost an email last March I asked Carbonite to replace it but they said because Tbird files things differently, it'll take some work for me to get it. They also said to have a Tbird expert to help me but I just couldn't follow the things I had to do so I just had to live with my heartache. I just emailed them again about my present lost email but I expect them to say the same thing.  :(

Yet, I'm not sure it's their fault entirely but I must find out whether they'll have the same problem with another email program or not, say Gmail. I'm terribly confused as I had to adjust my belt tighter to pay them to rescue any lost files and....they don't!

Anyway, when it happened last March and asked for help here too, I was told that there were things for me to do, but I simply quit since I just couldn't follow the steps. Lastly, may I ask why Tbird has different filing system so that companies like Carbonite can't deliver without subjecting a non-savvy person to do things?

Thanks again for explaining so clearly what happened here and if Carbonite again is helpless in delivering, I do hope you could help me further?  :)

Modified by Adelaa

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In a previous comment in this question, I discussed X-Mozilla-Status:. Locate that comment. Follow instructions. You can perform this on an mbox file of your choice.

Another means of recovering an email can be done using an addon, but nothing can be recovered if that file was 'compacted'. RECOVER DELETED MESSAGES: an extension that allows to recover deleted messages, if the folder has not been compacted yet. To use it, select the folder, right-click and choose "Recover deleted messages", then follow the messages in status bar. From the 0.2 version it should be able also to recover deleted messages from Imap folders, if they're set for offline use. Download from this link:

How to install an addon: You will be downloading an xpi file.

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