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When I attempt to Empty Deleted, why does Thunderbird threaten to Empty "Inbox", instead?

  • 13 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by DickMiller

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en-us, as packaged with Ubuntu 18.10 and still so with latest updates.

All Replies (13)

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When I attempt to Empty Deleted, why does Thunderbird threaten to Empty "Inbox", instead?

You'd need to explain in more detail

  • what are you doing
  • what happens
  • what you expect to happen
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Thank you for your help. Elaborating:

- When I attempt to Empty Deleted In other words, from Thunderbird's main view, click on File > Empty Deleted .

- "why does Thunderbird threaten to Empty "Inbox", instead? The top line of the resulting dialog box reads Empty "Inbox". Shouldn't it read Empty "Deleted", instead?

As I explained before, it WORKS correctly. But this misleading and rather alarming message stops the casual user who wants to clear the Deleted (Trash) folder, not the Inbox!!

Again, I see this misleading message with all recent versions of Thunderbird (en-us, with Ubuntu 18.10) - ever since it renamed the Trash folder to Deleted.

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This looks odd indeed. Try to start Thunderbird in safe mode.

Does the problem go away?

If not, you may try the vanilla Thunderbird version from instead of the one provided by your distribution.

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Thanks and hello again.

I hoped to fix this wrong Thunderbird alert for a few million Ubuntu users, before its 19.04 version releases in three days. Maybe not. :-(

But I've learned more. If you have the Inbox active when you do File > Empty Deleted, the action and the message within the box will be correct - BUT the message-box TITLE wrongly threatens to "Empty Inbox"! (See the image I posted previously.)

If you have ANY folder active when you do File > Empty Deleted, the action will be correct BUT the message-box TITLE wrongly threatens to "Empty (THAT folder)", instead of to "Empty Deleted"!

I've now confirmed this with a random group of Thunderbird users, NOT all using Ubuntu. I wonder why you aren't seeing it - but either way, I hope it does get fixed. Some of those users understandably do not trust Thunderbird in this regard.

That is, the message-box title should ALWAYS read "Empty Deleted", and not mention the name of the folder that happens to be active at the time.

Best wishes from Dick Miller <>

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I cannot confirm this, as I don't get any confirmation prompt upon emptying trash.

Did you try safe mode?

Did you try the vanilla version of Thunderbird?

If this behavior still exists in safe mode you may want to file a bug in Bugzilla.

Modified by christ1

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In safe mode, Thunderbird misinforms in the same threatening manner.

I did not try the vanilla version of Thunderbird. Either way, this very popular version of Thunderbird (now also bundled in the new Ubuntu 19.04) needs a fix. Perhaps the vanilla version does, too, and you can determine that.

I think you are not seeing this problem because your Thunderbird has this warning-suppression option toggled to TRUE. To un-suppress it, click on Edit>Preferences>Advanced>Config Editor>Accept The Risk. Now search for "empty"; the bottom four booleans should default to false. Do yours??

If not, fix that - at least, temporarily to test. Now, you should see what I've been saying. The Empty Trash routine needs a code fix. My Thunderbird installation and many others we've tested say 'Empty "Inbox"' (if focus was on the Inbox). See the print-screen image in my original message. Does yours now say that, also???

Again, it's that prompt line that's wrong, NOT the performance. That line threatens to empty all messages from your Inbox, instead of from your Trash/Deleted folder. It's WRONG; it should say 'Empty "Trash"' or 'Empty "Deleted"'. It scares users away from Thunderbird, and should be fixed.

For comparison, click on File>Empty Junk. THAT dialog box reads correctly!

Do you see the problem now?

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Not a problem here. This may be an Ubuntu issue, so I'd suggest you ask in an Ubuntu forum.

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Thank you.

Before I notify the Ubuntu team, please share your results. When you disable that dialog-box suppression (see my instructions above), what wording IS in the top line of your dialog box?

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Aha. Yes, YOUR dialog box reads "just right".

Thanks. I will carry this message thread on to the Ubuntu team.

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The issue is now reported to Bugzilla

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Aha. Yes, YOUR dialog box reads "just right".

I was simply right-clicking the Trash folder in the folder pane - Empty Trash.

Even though that feels somehow awkward, when using the File - Empty Trash method as described above, while another folder, e.g. Inbox, is selected, I also do see Inbox in the title bar of the confirmation prompt window.

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Thank you, christ1! So, after all these rounds, we DO agree that it's a bug, and one that's NOT only in Ubuntu versions of Thunderbird.

I think I (and others, including Canonical/Ubuntu, thanks!) have provided all necessary clues. But let me know if you'd like more.

So, hopefully, and per my original message:

Can we also agree that Mozilla now will fix it?