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Thunderbird hanging frequently with a "not responding" message

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As soon as I installed version 60.x (Windows 7), Thunderbird started hanging every few minutes, displaying a "not responding" message. It would take 30 seconds or more for it to recover each time. Disabling add-ons and restarting Thunderbird in safe mode made no difference. The odd thing is that these problems persist even after switching back to 52.x, in a desperate attempt to make the program operational again. There has been no change in my hardware or software that might possibly be the culprit and all my other programs, including CPU/RAM-greedy ones, behave normally. I've been using Thunderbird for more than ten years without any problem and I'm now frustrated to the point of considering scrapping it altogether. Any ideas?

As soon as I installed version 60.x (Windows 7), Thunderbird started hanging every few minutes, displaying a "not responding" message. It would take 30 seconds or more for it to recover each time. Disabling add-ons and restarting Thunderbird in safe mode made no difference. The odd thing is that these problems persist even after switching back to 52.x, in a desperate attempt to make the program operational again. There has been no change in my hardware or software that might possibly be the culprit and all my other programs, including CPU/RAM-greedy ones, behave normally. I've been using Thunderbird for more than ten years without any problem and I'm now frustrated to the point of considering scrapping it altogether. Any ideas?
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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:66.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/66.0

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christ1
  • Top 25 Contributor
2143 solutions 15623 answers

What is your anti-virus software?

these problems persist even after switching back to 52.x

It is not recommended to downgrade Thunderbird this way. It can cause problems with the profile when the later version upgraded parts of the profile, the older version doesn't know about.

Also, profile files are stored separately from the Thunderbird program files. The program files are static and do not change (except when you upgrade the Thunderbird application version). Because we store profile and program files separately, you can uninstall Thunderbird without losing your messages and settings, and if something goes wrong with a Thunderbird update your information will still be available. It also means that you don't have to reinstall Thunderbird in order to delete your information or troubleshoot a problem.

What is your anti-virus software? <blockquote> these problems persist even after switching back to 52.x </blockquote> It is not recommended to downgrade Thunderbird this way. It can cause problems with the profile when the later version upgraded parts of the profile, the older version doesn't know about. Also, profile files are stored separately from the Thunderbird program files. The program files are static and do not change (except when you upgrade the Thunderbird application version). Because we store profile and program files separately, you can uninstall Thunderbird without losing your messages and settings, and if something goes wrong with a Thunderbird update your information will still be available. It also means that you don't have to reinstall Thunderbird in order to delete your information or troubleshoot a problem.
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Question owner

Thanks, christ1. 1.The anti-virus is Avast Internet Security. Tried deactivating it but it made no difference. The problem is there with or without anti-virus. 2. Do you suggest upgrading again to 60.x? 3. I'm still at a loss about the cause of the problem and what I can do to correct it.

Thanks, christ1. 1.The anti-virus is Avast Internet Security. Tried deactivating it but it made no difference. The problem is there with or without anti-virus. 2. Do you suggest upgrading again to 60.x? 3. I'm still at a loss about the cause of the problem and what I can do to correct it.
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christ1
  • Top 25 Contributor
2143 solutions 15623 answers
Do you suggest upgrading again to 60.x?

It is always recommended to run the latest release version of Thunderbird, which is currently 60.6.1.

The Thunderbird version has got nothing to do with your problem.

The anti-virus is Avast Internet Security.

Avast tends to be problematic in connection with Thunderbird. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing:Antivirus_Related_Performance_Issues#AVAST

Try to start Windows in safe mode with networking enabled. - Win10 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12376/windows-10-start-your-pc-in-safe-mode - Win8 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17076/windows-8-startup-settings-safe-mode - Win7 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17419/windows-7-advanced-startup-options-safe-mode#start-computer-safe-mode=windows-7

Still in Windows safe mode, start Thunderbird in safe mode. - https://support.mozilla.org/kb/safe-mode

Does the problem go away?

<blockquote> Do you suggest upgrading again to 60.x? </blockquote> It is always recommended to run the latest release version of Thunderbird, which is currently 60.6.1. The Thunderbird version has got nothing to do with your problem. <blockquote> The anti-virus is Avast Internet Security. </blockquote> Avast tends to be problematic in connection with Thunderbird. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing:Antivirus_Related_Performance_Issues#AVAST Try to start Windows in safe mode with networking enabled. - Win10 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12376/windows-10-start-your-pc-in-safe-mode - Win8 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17076/windows-8-startup-settings-safe-mode - Win7 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17419/windows-7-advanced-startup-options-safe-mode#start-computer-safe-mode=windows-7 Still in Windows safe mode, start Thunderbird in safe mode. - https://support.mozilla.org/kb/safe-mode Does the problem go away?
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Question owner

No, the problem is still there in Windows safe mode + Thunderbird safe mode (I just don't get the "not responding" message displayed but the program hangs all the same).

About the anti-virus, I've been using Avast Internet Security and Thunderbird for many years without an issue. As I wrote, the problem started as soon as I installed the first 60.x version of Thunderbird.

Thanks for your quick reply!

No, the problem is still there in Windows safe mode + Thunderbird safe mode (I just don't get the "not responding" message displayed but the program hangs all the same). About the anti-virus, I've been using Avast Internet Security and Thunderbird for many years without an issue. As I wrote, the problem started as soon as I installed the first 60.x version of Thunderbird. Thanks for your quick reply!
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christ1
  • Top 25 Contributor
2143 solutions 15623 answers

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I just don't get the "not responding" message displayed but the program hangs all the same

That would indicate to me that Avast is at least involved.

Beyond Avast, see if this article helps. https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing:Memory_Usage_Problems

<blockquote> I just don't get the "not responding" message displayed but the program hangs all the same </blockquote> That would indicate to me that Avast is at least involved. Beyond Avast, see if this article helps. https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing:Memory_Usage_Problems
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Question owner

O.K., looks like I have quite a bit of homework. I thought it would be simpler. Will have to pause this for a while as I'm leaving for a 4-day trip (without Thunderbird). Will resume the diagnostics as soon as I return. Again, a big thanks for your help.

O.K., looks like I have quite a bit of homework. I thought it would be simpler. Will have to pause this for a while as I'm leaving for a 4-day trip (without Thunderbird). Will resume the diagnostics as soon as I return. Again, a big thanks for your help.
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Question owner

Well, after a long and frustrating series of unsuccessful attempts to diagnose and remedy the problem, I finally did find a solution and it's called eM Client. It does not have the flexibility of Thunderbird, but I can at long last compose a message without stalling every few seconds with a "not responding" software. Dear Thunderbird folks, if the input of a computer-uneducated user, who uses an email client as a tool rather than an opportunity to dwelve into the program's intricate workings, is of any use to you, my hunch is that all problems started with version 60.x. Something went very wrong there and I'd suggest you give it some thought. I would be the first user to return to Thunderbird if that ever happened.

Well, after a long and frustrating series of unsuccessful attempts to diagnose and remedy the problem, I finally did find a solution and it's called eM Client. It does not have the flexibility of Thunderbird, but I can at long last compose a message without stalling every few seconds with a "not responding" software. Dear Thunderbird folks, if the input of a computer-uneducated user, who uses an email client as a tool rather than an opportunity to dwelve into the program's intricate workings, is of any use to you, my hunch is that all problems started with version 60.x. Something went very wrong there and I'd suggest you give it some thought. I would be the first user to return to Thunderbird if that ever happened.
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