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Error message when moving messages from inbox

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  • Last reply by Matt

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Note: This might be related to the problem here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1268857, but I'm not sure.

Short version: I sometimes see this error (see image) in the message body when trying to move a group of messages to a different folder. The presence of the error seems to disrupt moving the messages -- when I don't see the "moving xx messages..." status at the bottom, I know one or more messages has the error. At least some of the messages move (haven’t checked them all) but this leaves behind the empty copy (subject but no content), which causes inbox management issues. It happens only with two of several accounts, the ones normally accessed on other devices first. All accounts use POP with mail left on the server. Thunderbird version is 45.7.0.

Details: I manage several email accounts in Thunderbird and like to keep a lot of email. My typical method is to move messages from the inbox to separate folders. (Keeping the inbox full causes various problems.) I use POP3, leaving messages on the server for several months at a time and selectively delete locally. I do that because I want a copy on different computers for different reasons and don’t want to synchronize them. The problem involves only two accounts, the two that are regularly checked by someone else, also using POP3.

In only those two accounts, which are on unrelated servers (one Yahoo and one Runbox), when I try to move messages from the inbox to another folder, the email subject remains on the inbox list, but with an error message instead of content. It happens only with some messages. It seems to be a minority of them.

For the messages I’ve investigated, it has copied the message to the intended folder, but not removed it from the inbox. There are too many to check all of them. This wouldn’t be a huge inconvenience, but I cannot highlight those messages and delete them as a group. I can delete them individually, but there are many hundreds of them. I can’t easily determine which were copied to another folder, but I hope they are there and I just delete them individually when I have time. Leaving them in the inbox prevents me from easily managing the old messages. I can’t, for example, highlight and take action on any group of messages containing those. All other email functions seem to work. The empty messages show up in searches by subject (which is visible even when the content isn’t).

Since it’s only two of several accounts, the only two routinely accessed on other devices (two pcs and a tablet), I’m assuming that’s the key to the problem. I don’t know if it applies only to messages left on the original server or some other factors. I’d have to do some testing to figure out a pattern. It seems to be more with old messages, so they were probably read on the other devices and might or might not still be on the server. All devices are set to leave mail on the server. Other than it generally being older messages, I don’t see a pattern. The only other clue is that the messages were probably viewed on the other devices first since they are for him, not me. I just keep a copy on my computer as backup and read very few messages.

Thanks!

Attached screenshots

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I appreciate the replies.

It turns out that the email was not being scanned by the antivirus program. I did some cleaning and compacting, and found some reasons for the large file size, and my inbox is functional for now.

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I will start by pointing out that Thunderbird 45 is no longer supported, and is receiving no security fixes. The current release version is 68.3 and I strongly encourage you to update and keep the product updated.

Right click the inbox, select properties and then the repair button. That should re-index the mail and remove the dead links.

I would guess the root cause of the issue is you anti virus product of choice. Create an exemption in the anti virus for on access scanning for your Thunderbird profile folder and it's contents.

See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data

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Thanks. Do you have an idea of why it would affect only 2 of 16 email accounts? Specifically, the only 2 that are primarily viewed on other devices.

I've been planning to update my software, but I've been cleaning and backing up messages before making changes. It sounds like I should try the repair and move on.

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"On access scanning is slow, all anti virus files scanning is, something like 10 minutes per GB. with files regularly exceeding 4 gb in size for busy inboxes, the anti virus spends it's entire existence in a tug of war with Thunderbird. You press the delete key, Thunderbird updates the file, a 10 or 20 minute scanning process commences. Thunderbird tries to scan the file for some reason, no access, it is scanning.

That is a simplification, but it will impact busy accounts more that stable ones with few changes, it will also impact large accounts because they take longer to scan. It can also lead to a failure of the automatic compact process that purges deletions from the mail storage file resulting in some odd folders appearing in local folders starting with NS.

Failure to compact meant the mail storage files grow for each new mail, but never shrink for moves and deletions. so compacting is an essential process.

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Thanks again. I neglected to mention that the messages are stored separately from the profile on another partitioned drive where I have more room. One of the problem accounts has the largest file, 1.5 GB. A few other accounts have message files that size but no problems.

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Chosen Solution

I appreciate the replies.

It turns out that the email was not being scanned by the antivirus program. I did some cleaning and compacting, and found some reasons for the large file size, and my inbox is functional for now.

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topazz said

I appreciate the replies. It turns out that the email was not being scanned by the antivirus program. I did some cleaning and compacting, and found some reasons for the large file size, and my inbox is functional for now.

network storage is always a bit iffy, a few years ago there were issues with files stored on netgear NAS devices for instance. One thing has been made obvious over time is that the file system on the network device has an impact, at least some file systems do. Things like drive mapping not working for network shares can also be an issue for some. UNC all the way for non local devices.

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