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Messages vanish after a few seconds once importing profile

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Quick story; last week my fathers email asked him to compact / compress as Thunderbird tends to do from time to time. He clicked yes and it started to do it's thing, however it was crawling along. Thunderbird also would work for about 10 seconds and then the task bar would display the "not responding message". It did this over and over and after about an hour the process was at like 200 / 135,000. I shut it down and proceeded to back up his profile via just copying the folder.

At this point I tried several things that did not work (obviously). I tried moving the profile back over and as expected had the same issue. I also fresh installed TB and tried it (nope) and also did so in safemode. This is when some hope glimmered. When moving the profile over and starting TB ALL of his emails were there (yay) but after three seconds they vanished (not yay). So I rebooted in safemode without networking and tried again... there they were as before but this time they stayed. I also didn't notice any "not responding messages" so right clicked on each folder and told it to compact and it (didn't notice it doing anything). I then restarted and... the same thing happened they vanished.


(sorry this is so long)


At this point I was frustrated, I went through the setting in TB again and unchecked "synchronize" I thought maybe it was going out and noticing the server was cleared and well synchronizing itself. Didn't work. I then rebooted to no networking safe mode, dragged the profile folder over and "surprise" there they were. I then said screw it and starting attempting to drag over some of them into a new folder. I figured it might work. BUT it only allowed me to create one folder then nothing happened when I tried to move them. I am really stuck now and he has a ton of emails mixed in that are important so I need to get them somehow.

TLDR:

Restoring a profile only keeps old messages up for 3 seconds before vanishing Old messages do stay up in safemode "without networking" I can not figure out how to get any emails out of the profile and perhaps move them to their own folder.


I REALLY appreciate any help!


(windows 10 computer, newest download of Thunderbird)

Quick story; last week my fathers email asked him to compact / compress as Thunderbird tends to do from time to time. He clicked yes and it started to do it's thing, however it was crawling along. Thunderbird also would work for about 10 seconds and then the task bar would display the "not responding message". It did this over and over and after about an hour the process was at like 200 / 135,000. I shut it down and proceeded to back up his profile via just copying the folder. At this point I tried several things that did not work (obviously). I tried moving the profile back over and as expected had the same issue. I also fresh installed TB and tried it (nope) and also did so in safemode. This is when some hope glimmered. When moving the profile over and starting TB ALL of his emails were there (yay) but after three seconds they vanished (not yay). So I rebooted in safemode without networking and tried again... there they were as before but this time they stayed. I also didn't notice any "not responding messages" so right clicked on each folder and told it to compact and it (didn't notice it doing anything). I then restarted and... the same thing happened they vanished. (sorry this is so long) At this point I was frustrated, I went through the setting in TB again and unchecked "synchronize" I thought maybe it was going out and noticing the server was cleared and well synchronizing itself. Didn't work. I then rebooted to no networking safe mode, dragged the profile folder over and "surprise" there they were. I then said screw it and starting attempting to drag over some of them into a new folder. I figured it might work. BUT it only allowed me to create one folder then nothing happened when I tried to move them. I am really stuck now and he has a ton of emails mixed in that are important so I need to get them somehow. TLDR: Restoring a profile only keeps old messages up for 3 seconds before vanishing Old messages do stay up in safemode "without networking" I can not figure out how to get any emails out of the profile and perhaps move them to their own folder. I REALLY appreciate any help! (windows 10 computer, newest download of Thunderbird)

Chosen solution

This is what is happening. Imap accounts will only show you what is on the server. Server is not showing emails except new emails.

You created a backup - that may prove to be very valuable.

When you put the backup profile back into thunderbird all was good until you synchronise with an empty server. At this point the imap account updates/synchronises to show what is on server, which is probably only a few new emails as all other emails are not on server. Imap account can only show what is on server. It is a sort of virtual view of server.

You need to use the backup to get mbox files full of emails into 'Local Folders' mail account. mbox files do not have any extension and they contain emails.

Please try the following to try to save emails from imap Inbox. Download ImportExportTools addon:

How to install addon:


  • Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account in Folder Pane
  • select 'ImportExporttools' > 'Import mbox file'
  • If only importing the one 'Inbox' mbox file then select the first option: 'Import directly one or more mbox files'
  • If the Inbox had subsfolders the select the second option: 'Import one or more mbox files with its/their subdirectory'
  • click on 'OK'
  • Locate and select the profile folders imap mail account 'Inbox' mbox file.

Note mbox files do not have any extension.

  • click on 'Open'

That mbox file should now get imported into 'Local Folders' mail account.

Repeat the same action to get other mbox files from backup into Local Folders mail account.

Did this work? Can you see those emails in 'Local Folders' mail account.

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Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1703 solutions 11364 answers

re :unchecked "synchronize"

This tells me you are using an IMAP mail account. Therefore all emails are stored on the server and Thunderbird imap account offers a view of what is on server.

The 'not responding' message can mean your Anti-Virus product has intervened to scan any files being downloaded or opened. Starting the computer in 'Safe Mode with Networking' and then starting Thunderbird should stop AV product from working and let Thunderbird access internet for uploading/downloading and opening of files without that AV product from interrupting the process. It is a means of discovering if the AV is the culprit.

You mention the emails keep disappearing, I'm wondering if this occurs when the imap folders synchronise with server to show what is on server.

So the first question is this: Logon to the webmail account via a browser and see what is currently stored on the server. Do you see all the emails stored in all the various folders on the server in the webmail account? Please report back on what you find.

re :unchecked "synchronize" This tells me you are using an IMAP mail account. Therefore all emails are stored on the server and Thunderbird imap account offers a view of what is on server. The 'not responding' message can mean your Anti-Virus product has intervened to scan any files being downloaded or opened. Starting the computer in 'Safe Mode with Networking' and then starting Thunderbird should stop AV product from working and let Thunderbird access internet for uploading/downloading and opening of files without that AV product from interrupting the process. It is a means of discovering if the AV is the culprit. You mention the emails keep disappearing, I'm wondering if this occurs when the imap folders synchronise with server to show what is on server. So the first question is this: Logon to the webmail account via a browser and see what is currently stored on the server. Do you see all the emails stored in all the various folders on the server in the webmail account? Please report back on what you find.
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Question owner

Hey thanks for replying!!!! It's the only help I have gotten so far (no one on Reddit responded).

I do believe it is an IMAP account, and we use Rackspace as our provider. The folders on there are empty.

Outside of windows security stuff nothing else is installed on the computer. Will that mess it up also?

The first thing that came to my mind also was that TB was synchronizing with rackspace and since nothing is on there it dumps the folders on TB. Hence why it doesn't do that without an internet connection. I unchecked in settings the sync options although I am not sure if that's what I needed to try. But yet everything in TB vanishes after a few seconds (every folder goes blank). However new messages pop up that came in after the profile folder was copied.

Thank you for the help!

Hey thanks for replying!!!! It's the only help I have gotten so far (no one on Reddit responded). I do believe it is an IMAP account, and we use Rackspace as our provider. The folders on there are empty. Outside of windows security stuff nothing else is installed on the computer. Will that mess it up also? The first thing that came to my mind also was that TB was synchronizing with rackspace and since nothing is on there it dumps the folders on TB. Hence why it doesn't do that without an internet connection. I unchecked in settings the sync options although I am not sure if that's what I needed to try. But yet everything in TB vanishes after a few seconds (every folder goes blank). However new messages pop up that came in after the profile folder was copied. Thank you for the help!
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Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1703 solutions 11364 answers

Chosen Solution

This is what is happening. Imap accounts will only show you what is on the server. Server is not showing emails except new emails.

You created a backup - that may prove to be very valuable.

When you put the backup profile back into thunderbird all was good until you synchronise with an empty server. At this point the imap account updates/synchronises to show what is on server, which is probably only a few new emails as all other emails are not on server. Imap account can only show what is on server. It is a sort of virtual view of server.

You need to use the backup to get mbox files full of emails into 'Local Folders' mail account. mbox files do not have any extension and they contain emails.

Please try the following to try to save emails from imap Inbox. Download ImportExportTools addon:

How to install addon:


  • Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account in Folder Pane
  • select 'ImportExporttools' > 'Import mbox file'
  • If only importing the one 'Inbox' mbox file then select the first option: 'Import directly one or more mbox files'
  • If the Inbox had subsfolders the select the second option: 'Import one or more mbox files with its/their subdirectory'
  • click on 'OK'
  • Locate and select the profile folders imap mail account 'Inbox' mbox file.

Note mbox files do not have any extension.

  • click on 'Open'

That mbox file should now get imported into 'Local Folders' mail account.

Repeat the same action to get other mbox files from backup into Local Folders mail account.

Did this work? Can you see those emails in 'Local Folders' mail account.

This is what is happening. Imap accounts will only show you what is on the server. Server is not showing emails except new emails. You created a backup - that may prove to be very valuable. When you put the backup profile back into thunderbird all was good until you synchronise with an empty server. At this point the imap account updates/synchronises to show what is on server, which is probably only a few new emails as all other emails are not on server. Imap account can only show what is on server. It is a sort of virtual view of server. You need to use the backup to get mbox files full of emails into 'Local Folders' mail account. mbox files do not have any extension and they contain emails. Please try the following to try to save emails from imap Inbox. '''Download ImportExportTools addon:''' * https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-GB/thunderbird/addon/importexporttools/ '''How to install addon:''' * https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/installing-addon-thunderbird * Right click on 'Local Folders' mail account in Folder Pane * select 'ImportExporttools' > 'Import mbox file' * If only importing the one 'Inbox' mbox file then select the first option: 'Import directly one or more mbox files' * If the Inbox had subsfolders the select the second option: 'Import one or more mbox files with its/their subdirectory' * click on 'OK' * Locate and select the profile folders imap mail account 'Inbox' mbox file. Note mbox files do not have any extension. * click on 'Open' That mbox file should now get imported into 'Local Folders' mail account. Repeat the same action to get other mbox files from backup into Local Folders mail account. Did this work? Can you see those emails in 'Local Folders' mail account.
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