Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

Using TB since '99 create folders by Year,Month,subject, suddenly folders are triplicated, ex. 1 July 1999, 1 July 1999.msf~qbjqnnep, 1 July 1999.beq4k8vh

  • 11 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 22 views
  • Last reply by Toad-Hall

more options

As I mentioned using folders since 1999 to store Thunderbird mail I want to keep, then suddenly in the last month my folders have been triplicated, using odd extensions, ex. " 1 - JULY 1999" has two more folders using the following extension ".msf~QBJQNNEP" , ".BEQ4K8VH" . Thunderbird has been on this computer since 2013 and I have updated Thunderbird to 52.7.0 32 bit about 2 months ago . I have deleted the duplicate files in years 2018 to 2011 but I just noticed 2012 to 1999 folders today, I thought they were lost but they were in a folder just below where I could see them on my screen, the folder is in "Outlook Express Import" "Inbox" the others are in the "All Folders" "Inbox" I am fearful of deleting these older folders with the odd extension names since they are very old and I don't think they can be replaced. One thing I did notice while I was deleting the odd named folders in the years 2018 -2012 was that they seemed to grow, that is replace themselves, I would delete about six months of folders and when I rechecked the folder view later there was more duplicates along with the regular months folder, I began clearing the "Trash" and after many attempts the duplicates no longer showed. I am providing Snips of the folder arrangement, hope this helps. God bless James

Attached screenshots

All Replies (11)

more options

The duplicates all seem to have .msf in the names.

In the profile folders, all .msf files are indexing files, they do not contain emails. The indexing files are used by Thunderbird to show headers, then when you click on email, thunderbird uses the index header to point to the real email held in the mbox file.

For some reason your .msf files are being shown in the Folder Pane.

Make hidden files and folders visible:

In Thunderbird Help > Troubleshooting Information click on 'Open folder' button

A new window opens showing the contents of your Profile name folder.

Exit Thunderbird now

You can create a temporary backup by copying the 'Profile name' folder and storing it on an external hardrive, usb of suitable size or even on desktop as a temporary store until you are happy with all fixes. Then you can delete it. 'Profile name' folder will be called: 'xxxxxxxx.default' where the x's are letters and numbers.


I'm assuming you have pop mail accounts and the '1999 Folders' is a folder you created.

click on 'Mail folder click on 'pop mail account name' Not sure of folder hierachy, look in folders ending .sbd to locate: 1999 Folder.sbd click on the 1999 Folder.sbd folder

It will have mbox and index files. mbox files have no extension and contain emails. .msf files are indexing files and do not contain emails.

So you want to keep: example

  • Keep File called 1-July 1999

It should have an index file called: 1-July 1999.msf If you see '1-July 1999.msf~QBJQNNEP' Then this is an index file which has gone awol. That additional bit eg:~QBJQNNEP after the .msf has made thunderbird think it is an mbox file without an extension and shows it as a folder in the Folder Pane.

Delete:

  • '1-July 1999.msf' (a new one will be created afresh based on 1-July 1999 mbox file )
  • '1-July 1999.msf~QBJQNNEP'
  • '1-July 1999.msf~BEQ4K8VH'

Restart Thunderbird

This time you should only see '1-July 1999' folder

Assuming all is OK....Repeat the above to remove all similar *.msf~QBJQNNEP files and *.msf files to recreate a new fresh index file.

Remember Thunderbird must be closed whilst doing anything on profile folders. When completely finished and all looks ok, delete the temp backup and suggest you perform another backup immediately and keep in external drive.

more options

I want to thank you for your efforts, but for some reason after trying for 3 hours I got no where, my procedure was to copy the profile to another drive and proceed to my profile and do the editing as you suggested, I would open TB go to Thunderbird Help > Troubleshooting Information. click on "Open Folder" button, next to "Profile Folder" in blue, I had enabled "show hidden folders" I would see my pop gmail account, but nothing helped from there, I never got to seem my folders, I can't see for trying and will try again tomorrow. Thanks, God bless you, James

more options

re :I would open TB go to Thunderbird Help > Troubleshooting Information. click on "Open Folder" button, next to "Profile Folder" in blue, I had enabled "show hidden folders"

This is the correct process.

I can offer more help, if you can post some images.

Access the profile name folder and click on 'Mail' folder. re : I would see my pop gmail account, you should see the pop gmail account folder and also 'Local Folders' folder.

  • click on the pop gmail account to show contents.
  • make sure all the files and folders are visible.
  • Post a jpg image showing all contents of pop gmail folder.

Q: Is "Outlook Express Import" a folder and is this in the pop gmail account or in 'Local Folders' mail account? If it is in 'Local Folders'.....

  • click on the 'Local Folders' folder to show contents.
  • make sure all the files and folders are visible.
  • Post a jpg image showing all contents of 'Local Folders' folder.

I may ask you to post further images depending upon what I can see in those images.

more options

Hi Toad,

Sure good of you taking the time to help me, I have attached three files, identified by their file names. hope this helps. I can not find any files for 2016 on this hard drive, but I do have clones of these drives, C:\ is an SSD and D:\ a regular HDD. If you can get this working the empty 2016 folders should be seen and I can always get the messages from the cloned drives, don't want to install them yet since they must be messed up also.

Again, Thanks, God bless

James

more options

Thanks for images. At this point it looks like the issues are in the 'Mail'/'Local Folders' mail account.

These 'files' are the correct ones.

  • 'Drafts' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Drafts.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

The emails are displayed in the 'Drafts' folder in the Folder Pane.

  • 'Inbox' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Inbox.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

The emails are displayed in the 'Inbox' folder in the Folder Pane.

  • 'Junk' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Junk.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

The emails are displayed in the 'Junk' folder in the Folder Pane.

  • 'Outlook Express Import' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Outlook Express Import.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

These files are required to point to the 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' folder. In the Folder Pane, you created subfolders under 'Outlook Express Import', those subfolders will be located in the 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' folder.


  • 'Sent' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Sent.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

The emails are displayed in the 'Sent' folder in the Folder Pane.

  • 'Trash' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Trash.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

The emails are displayed in the 'Trash' or 'Deleted' folder in the Folder Pane.

  • 'Unsent Messages' (no extension) this is the mbox file which has emails.
  • 'Unsent Messages.msf' this is the index file which thunderbird uses. It does not contain emails.

The emails are displayed in the 'Outbox' folder in the Folder Pane.


You also have some folders. Any Folder that has an extension *.sbd means you have created subfolders. You created a folder called 'Outlook Express Import' . It does not contain any emails in itself because the mbox file has a size = 0, but it does contain subfolders because there is a 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' folder.

Any folder with a .mozmsg extension has been created so that Windows OS can use those files to perform searches. Any searches performed within Thunderbird user interface eg: Global Search, does not use those files as it has it's own database. However, some of these .mozmsgs folders have incorrect names and they are only duplicating what is already in the correctly named folders.

Look at the images I have posted. I have put red outline rings around all the files and folders that need to be deleted.

Thunderbird must not be running whilst you are doing this. Access the location via Thunderbird as before. Then Close Thunderbird. Then perform those specific deletions.

Please open that 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' folder and post an image of the contents exactly as you did before. If you see it contains any *.sbd folders, open each of those .sbd folders and post image of contents.

I'll be around for at least three hours, so will watch for any responses from you.

more options

Had a hard time to upload the last jpg, hope they are all there, can only upload one at a time, hard to tell which ones are loaded or not. Let me know if you need more. God bless James I had replied just as I was uploading, but don't see my reply, think I'm getting too old for this. I will not attend to your instructions and delete files, hope I can shut TB and then delete files.

more options

re :hope I can shut TB What do you mean by 'hope' ?  :) Close TB does not mean uninstall.

In Thunderbird

  • Click on 'Menu icon' or if 'Menu Bar' toolbar is visible, click on 'File'
  • click on 'Exit'

Image below as guide.


For some unknown reason you seem to got a load of duplicate files.

This means you have quite a few files and folders that need deleting. Thunderbird must be closed before doing anything in the profile folders.

All the images I have added at the bottom of this comment will have files and folders that need deleting. I have outlined the file or folder in 'red' to show that is the one that needs deleting. Be careful, double check every file or folder to be certain you are deleting the correct one.

Some files that need deleting are in these locations:

  • 'profile name' folder: 7o14yjuy.default
  • 'Mail'/'Local Folders' folder
  • 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' / Inbox.sbd folder


In this location.. 'Mail'/'Local Folders'/ 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' / Inbox.sbd' folder You will see a folder called '1999 Folders.sbd' click on that folder to open it. This is the folder you were originally looking for. Post image showing contents of the '1999 Folders.sbd' folder, so I can tell you what to delete.


Also something else is not correct. All your *.dat files have been told they can only open using Word Perfect. This is wrong. At some point you in the past, you have instructed your computer to open all .dat files using WordPerfect. You do not want this and you should not have made that change. You must change this otherwise thunderbird will have problems. Please access the Thunderbird profile folder as before. Then make sure Thunderbird is not running; Thunderbird must be closed. This is important.

Access your profile name folder. Close Thunderbird.

In your 'profile name' folder: 7o14yjuy.default

  • Right click on 'mailViews.dat' file
  • select 'Open With'
  • select 'Choose default program'.
  • select 'Notepad'
  • select the checkbox: 'Always use the selected program to open this kind of file'
  • Click on 'OK'
  • Once it has opened, do not edit or anything; just close the window.

See additional images below as guide.

more options

I have been working all night deleting and trying to follow your instructions, which were very good, problem is to know where you are, and to make sure TB is closed, I am going to make a final check to see if I followed all instructions. My old eyes are getting tired. Sure hope all is done right, please write back, I may have made things worste

Thanks, God bless you

James

more options

I am sending you the 1999 files to look at, need to delete some here also, I must be doing something wrong, I had written a note to you and when I previewed the files I could only look at one at a time and the message was gone, had to open three times to preview files sent.

Thanks again, God bless you

James

more options

I have noticed Mozilla is full of these duplicate files, it looks like an endless task, would it not be easier to save the good mail and folders then uninstall TB and reinstall the folders from 1999 to date, I will wait for your decision, you will notice an example is included.

Thanks, God bless James

more options

Sorry, but you posted the wrong images. You posted images showing contents of the 'Inbox.sbd' folder. You had already provided those images. That's how I located the '1999 Folders.sbd' folder.

In this location.. 'Mail'/'Local Folders'/ 'Outlook Express Import.sbd' / 'Inbox.sbd'/ '1999 Folders.sbd' folder In the 'Inbox.sbd' folder, you will see a folder called '1999 Folders.sbd' click on '1999 Folders.sbd' to open it, so you can see it's contents. This is the folder you were originally looking for. Post image showing contents of the '1999 Folders.sbd' folder, so I can tell you what to delete.

Suggest you just clean up Thunderbird first. Firefox browser can simply be removed, profile deleted and reinstalled. If you have bookmarks you want to keep then it is easy just to keep those, but in Thunderbird you have alot of various important email files and folders. There are more good files than unwanted duplicates, so it is easier to delete than copy. Remember to empty your computer 'Recycle bin' folder.