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How to get retention policy to work with Gmail.

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I really need the retention policy for Thunderbird's folders to work properly with my Gmail accounts, as manually deleting my old mails is painfully, excruciatingly slow and I have 10 gmail accounts I need to manage. I understand Gmails peculiarities, but what I don't understand is how come the delete button can move things to trash and actually see them deleted properly (not just going into the all mail folder) however the automatic retention policy never actually deletes them, only removing the folder label thus, leaving the mail in the "all-mail" archive. I have tried a rack of different plugins on the addon page, none of them work. Thunderbird's filters could do it, if they actually ran on mails that aren't brand new, but alas it does not either.

There isn't even any viable options to do this purely on the Gmail side, as they seem to have both, removed any auto-delete options they used to have, and broken all the Gmail addons that seem to offer this feature. At this point I've spent weeks and over 20 hours researching this problem to no avail, to the point where I feel immensely defeated as the overabundance of emails I cant do anything automatically with to manage them, is crippling my ability to use email at all. Thanks to my inability to set up proper auto-delete options, Thunderbird is slowly crushing itself with a quickly inflating database and manually deleting emails more than 70-80 at a time, often brings it to a screeching halt, further exacerbating my problem.

I honestly just find it so mind blowing how impossible it is to set this up and how much effort I have already wasted to the point where I feel like I am losing my mind. This shouldn't be so complicated but it is. Please, I really need someone to help with a viable solution that doesn't involve me paying 100$ for another mail client on a hope and dream it will actually function the way I need it to, and I need to be able to use my email again. Just letting retention policy do it's thing and unsubing from all mail doesn't stop the inevitability of my account being one day filled to the point of unusability, since I will one day hit the limit and have a real fun time figuring out how to delete all the mails I need to at that point. On another mention, It's a glaring privacy concern to me that Google will have a copy of everything I've ever written forever thanks to this massive brick wall in the way of me doing something about that.

At this point the only option I see remotely working for me is (if it even works) switching to locally stored only, so no remote copies are kept, so retention policy actually works as intended. This still really screws me however, as I need several of those accounts to be accessible remotely, without having to duplicate and mirror my Thunderbird database each time I need to take my laptop somewhere.

Seriously, any help that isn't telling me to "not use gmail" or something along the lines of that sort of "just completely switch up everything your doing like I am" solutions would be so greatly appreciated, because I'm at the point where I feel like I'm a complete idiot or going mental or something because this is such a simple issue that shouldn't be this immensely difficult, yet it is....

I really need the retention policy for Thunderbird's folders to work properly with my Gmail accounts, as manually deleting my old mails is painfully, excruciatingly slow and I have 10 gmail accounts I need to manage. I understand Gmails peculiarities, but what I don't understand is how come the delete button can move things to trash and actually see them deleted properly (not just going into the all mail folder) however the automatic retention policy never actually deletes them, only removing the folder label thus, leaving the mail in the "all-mail" archive. I have tried a rack of different plugins on the addon page, none of them work. Thunderbird's filters could do it, if they actually ran on mails that aren't brand new, but alas it does not either. There isn't even any viable options to do this purely on the Gmail side, as they seem to have both, removed any auto-delete options they used to have, and broken all the Gmail addons that seem to offer this feature. At this point I've spent weeks and over 20 hours researching this problem to no avail, to the point where I feel immensely defeated as the overabundance of emails I cant do anything automatically with to manage them, is crippling my ability to use email at all. Thanks to my inability to set up proper auto-delete options, Thunderbird is slowly crushing itself with a quickly inflating database and manually deleting emails more than 70-80 at a time, often brings it to a screeching halt, further exacerbating my problem. I honestly just find it so mind blowing how impossible it is to set this up and how much effort I have already wasted to the point where I feel like I am losing my mind. This shouldn't be so complicated but it is. Please, I really need someone to help with a viable solution that doesn't involve me paying 100$ for another mail client on a hope and dream it will actually function the way I need it to, and I need to be able to use my email again. Just letting retention policy do it's thing and unsubing from all mail doesn't stop the inevitability of my account being one day filled to the point of unusability, since I will one day hit the limit and have a real fun time figuring out how to delete all the mails I need to at that point. On another mention, It's a glaring privacy concern to me that Google will have a copy of everything I've ever written forever thanks to this massive brick wall in the way of me doing something about that. At this point the only option I see remotely working for me is (if it even works) switching to locally stored only, so no remote copies are kept, so retention policy actually works as intended. This still really screws me however, as I need several of those accounts to be accessible remotely, without having to duplicate and mirror my Thunderbird database each time I need to take my laptop somewhere. Seriously, any help that isn't telling me to "not use gmail" or something along the lines of that sort of "just completely switch up everything your doing like I am" solutions would be so greatly appreciated, because I'm at the point where I feel like I'm a complete idiot or going mental or something because this is such a simple issue that shouldn't be this immensely difficult, yet it is....
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Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3236 solutions 22241 answers

If you do not like the service, why use it? that is not what you want to hear, but you have to really like Gmail really to continue to use it.

The best solution is to simply use POP instead of IMAP and remove the mail at the time of download.

Seriously though. when you delete the mail in Thunderbird it is deleted. what is the problem with deleting it? You read it and press the delete key instead of closing the reading pane for that mail.

Thunderbird 68 to be released soon will have filters that can be run on I think every 10 minutes, so that might go some way to using filters to delete your mail.

If you do not like the service, why use it? that is not what you want to hear, but you have to really like Gmail really to continue to use it. The best solution is to simply use POP instead of IMAP and remove the mail at the time of download. Seriously though. when you delete the mail in Thunderbird it is deleted. what is the problem with deleting it? You read it and press the delete key instead of closing the reading pane for that mail. Thunderbird 68 to be released soon will have filters that can be run on I think every 10 minutes, so that might go some way to using filters to delete your mail.
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