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Gmail emails deleted from the archives: is it a feature or a bug?

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Hello guys, I have some problems with deleted Gmail emails (deleted from the archives) managed using IMAP inside TB.

This is what happens: - if I delete an email from TB it will be deleted also in gmail (that's OK) - if I archive an email from TB (seems) it is saved i nthe local archive (for local I mean in the PC) - if I delete an email from Gmail web client it will be deleted also in TB (OK) and in the (local) archive (!!! that for me is wrong)

How can I prevent email deletion from archives? I want that every email read and sent from TB is saved in the archive. I would like to save also those sent by the gmail web client but at the moment I will be happy also without.

Thanks, Massimo

Hello guys, I have some problems with deleted Gmail emails (deleted from the archives) managed using IMAP inside TB. This is what happens: - if I delete an email from TB it will be deleted also in gmail (that's OK) - if I archive an email from TB (seems) it is saved i nthe local archive (for local I mean in the PC) - if I delete an email from Gmail web client it will be deleted also in TB (OK) and in the (local) archive (!!! that for me is wrong) How can I prevent email deletion from archives? I want that every email read and sent from TB is saved in the archive. I would like to save also those sent by the gmail web client but at the moment I will be happy also without. Thanks, Massimo

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Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1840 solutions 12422 answers

Helpful Reply

re :if I archive an email from TB (seems) it is saved i nthe local archive (for local I mean in the PC)

'for local I mean in the PC' - this depends upon where you put it as imap mail accounts can have mbox files stored on computer, but they are only a view of what is held on server and not something you can rely on to be permanent as it is an imap mail account.

You need to tell me what you have got selected for that account in the Account Settings.

  • Right click on imap mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings'
  • Select 'Copies & folders'

Under 'Message Archives' Have you selected checkbox 'keep message archives in' ? Have you selected 'Archives folder on' or selected 'Other' ? What folder in what account is selected? eg: 'Archives on yourname@gmail.com' 'Archives on Local Folders' 'All Mail on yourname@gmail.com'


So when you say 'local' are you talking about a folder in the gmail imap account or are you talking about a folder in the 'Local Folders' mail account?

re :''if I archive an email from TB (seems) it is saved i nthe local archive (for local I mean in the PC) '' 'for local I mean in the PC' - this depends upon where you put it as imap mail accounts can have mbox files stored on computer, but they are only a view of what is held on server and not something you can rely on to be permanent as it is an imap mail account. You need to tell me what you have got selected for that account in the Account Settings. * Right click on imap mail account name in Folder Pane and select 'Settings' * Select 'Copies & folders' Under 'Message Archives' Have you selected checkbox 'keep message archives in' ? Have you selected 'Archives folder on' or selected 'Other' ? What folder in what account is selected? eg: 'Archives on yourname@gmail.com' 'Archives on Local Folders' 'All Mail on yourname@gmail.com' So when you say 'local' are you talking about a folder in the gmail imap account or are you talking about a folder in the 'Local Folders' mail account?

Modified by Toad-Hall

Question owner

Excuse me for the late answer.

Under 'Message Archives' Have you selected checkbox 'keep message archives in' ? ' YES' Have you selected 'Archives folder on' or selected 'Other' ? Archives folder What folder in what account is selected? Massimo Manca - AKIoTechTK (the account folder created by TB)

When I wrote "local" I meant a folder in the PC so in TB folder(s) space.

Excuse me for the late answer. Under 'Message Archives' Have you selected checkbox 'keep message archives in' ? ' ''YES''' Have you selected 'Archives folder on' or selected 'Other' ? '''Archives folder''' What folder in what account is selected? '''Massimo Manca - AKIoTechTK''' (the account folder created by TB) When I wrote "local" I meant a folder in the PC so in TB folder(s) space.
Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3362 solutions 23310 answers

Helpful Reply

Due to oddities in Gmails implementation of IMAP, Thunderbird ignores your archive settings. So while you think you have set a local archive, it is still set to the Gmail "ALL mail folder"

Due to oddities in Gmails implementation of IMAP, Thunderbird ignores your archive settings. So while you think you have set a local archive, it is still set to the Gmail "ALL mail folder"

Modified by Matt

Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1840 solutions 12422 answers

It is possible to get emails Archived into an 'Archives' folder in the 'Local Folders' mail account. But gmail will still remove all labels and archive the email in the gmail account 'All Mail' folder anyway.

I have these settings running for specific emails where I want to keep copies on my computer outside of the imap account.

In Thunderbird, the gmail Account settings are set up to download full copies and not just headers. So in Account Settings > Synchronising & Storage I've selected 'keep messages in all folders for this account on this computer'

Then under Account Settings:

  • Select 'Copies & folders'
  • Under 'Message Archives'
  • Select checkbox 'keep message archives in' .
  • select: 'Other' and choose : 'Archives on Local Folders'
  • click on OK

So when I archive an email, I get a copy into the Thunderbird default 'Local Folders' mail account and gmail auto archive email, so it appears in the gmail 'All Mail' folder.

It is possible to get emails Archived into an 'Archives' folder in the 'Local Folders' mail account. But gmail will still remove all labels and archive the email in the gmail account 'All Mail' folder anyway. I have these settings running for specific emails where I want to keep copies on my computer outside of the imap account. In Thunderbird, the gmail Account settings are set up to download full copies and not just headers. So in Account Settings > Synchronising & Storage I've selected 'keep messages in all folders for this account on this computer' Then under Account Settings: * Select 'Copies & folders' * Under 'Message Archives' * Select checkbox 'keep message archives in' . * select: 'Other' and choose : 'Archives on Local Folders' * click on OK So when I archive an email, I get a copy into the Thunderbird default 'Local Folders' mail account and gmail auto archive email, so it appears in the gmail 'All Mail' folder.
Sharkbite 0 solutions 2 answers

Wow this seems odd as when I archive emails they are removed from Gmail and saved solely on my local PC in the folders I specify. However for some ungodly reason when "compact folders" runs it deleted emails that have not been deleted nor have they been archived as they haven't reached aging just yet and Thunderbird is set to never delete messages. Gmail is also configured to not delete messages. The only function that seems to work correctly is the "do not delete starred emails" which seems like an extreme hassle when emails being deleted as in the hundreds of recent emails in sub-folders

Wow this seems odd as when I archive emails they are removed from Gmail and saved solely on my local PC in the folders I specify. However for some ungodly reason when "compact folders" runs it deleted emails that have not been deleted nor have they been archived as they haven't reached aging just yet and Thunderbird is set to never delete messages. Gmail is also configured to not delete messages. The only function that seems to work correctly is the "do not delete starred emails" which seems like an extreme hassle when emails being deleted as in the hundreds of recent emails in sub-folders
Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1840 solutions 12422 answers

re :Wow this seems odd as when I archive emails they are removed from Gmail and saved solely on my local PC in the folders I specify.

If you archive an email from an imap mail folder into a folder in 'Local Folders' mail account, you are moving it off the server, so it will get deleted off server as server has no knowledge about 'Local Folders' mail account on your computer.

re :Wow this seems odd as when I archive emails they are removed from Gmail and saved solely on my local PC in the folders I specify. If you archive an email from an imap mail folder into a folder in 'Local Folders' mail account, you are moving it off the server, so it will get deleted off server as server has no knowledge about 'Local Folders' mail account on your computer.
Sharkbite 0 solutions 2 answers

That is what is supposed to happen.

I am seeing another issue that is random and happens at "folder compact". Where emails that are not slated to be deleted are being deleted and they do not meet the aging requirements I have set which is "never".

That is what is supposed to happen. I am seeing another issue that is random and happens at "folder compact". Where emails that are not slated to be deleted are being deleted and they do not meet the aging requirements I have set which is "never".
Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1840 solutions 12422 answers

If you compact a folder and emails that are not marked as deleted actually get deleted, then this means there is some corruption in the file.

The most common reason is that the file has not been compacted on a regular basis; it has been left for too long before compacting. Another common reason is the Anti-virus product has scanned file and attempted a fix and thus messed up sections of the file. Sometimes emails were marked as deleted, but due to corruption, later reappear unnoticed and so end up being deleted when compacting, thus appearing to delete emails. Often, the files involved can be larger rather than smaller files. Basically, the information which tells Thunderbird about the start and end of a marked as deleted email has gone awol, so corruption has occurred.

Fix the corrupted file: It would be advisable to create a suitably named folder and move all good wanted emails out of eg: Inbox. If the emails are older, suggest you Archive the older emails. When 'Inbox' is empty, compact the Inbox. Then Exit Thunderbird. Access the profile folder for the mail account. Delete BOTH the "inbox." and "inbox.msf" files for that account. Start Thunderbird.

Suggest you do not allow any folder to become too large and stop Anti-virus from scanning files and incoming/outgoing emails.

Good info: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders http://kb.mozillazine.org/Keep_it_working_-_Thunderbird

If you compact a folder and emails that are not marked as deleted actually get deleted, then this means there is some corruption in the file. The most common reason is that the file has not been compacted on a regular basis; it has been left for too long before compacting. Another common reason is the Anti-virus product has scanned file and attempted a fix and thus messed up sections of the file. Sometimes emails were marked as deleted, but due to corruption, later reappear unnoticed and so end up being deleted when compacting, thus appearing to delete emails. Often, the files involved can be larger rather than smaller files. Basically, the information which tells Thunderbird about the start and end of a marked as deleted email has gone awol, so corruption has occurred. Fix the corrupted file: It would be advisable to create a suitably named folder and move all good wanted emails out of eg: Inbox. If the emails are older, suggest you Archive the older emails. When 'Inbox' is empty, compact the Inbox. Then Exit Thunderbird. Access the profile folder for the mail account. Delete BOTH the "inbox." and "inbox.msf" files for that account. Start Thunderbird. Suggest you do not allow any folder to become too large and stop Anti-virus from scanning files and incoming/outgoing emails. Good info: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders http://kb.mozillazine.org/Keep_it_working_-_Thunderbird

Question owner

Seems to me there is no optimal solution do to the oddities of Gmail IMAP implementation.

Seems to me there is no optimal solution do to the oddities of Gmail IMAP implementation.