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Threads not showing all replies including thread starter's message

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  • 2 have this problem
  • 5511 views
  • Last reply by sfhowes

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I'm having a hard time working with threads. View > Sort By > Threaded is active. Now, regardless of which column name is clicked to sort the Thread Pane, threads are missing some replies, including the thread starter's message. And opening the thread stack in the Message Pane replicates this problem. How do I fix this? Thanks.

Chosen solution

I'm using the All Mail folder instead of the Inbox folder. Problem solved! :) BTW, if you use the All Mail folder instead of the Inbox folder, make sure to enable the following option, otherwise it won't auto update with new incoming messages: Right click the All Mail folder > properties > When getting new messages from this account, always check this folder.

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Are the messages you say are missing, ones that you sent? TB doesn't by default display sent and received messages in a thread in the same 'master thread'. It can be done from the right-click menu, Open Message in Conversation, or with the Conversations add-on.

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Lets just make sure we are on the same page. The historical list of replies and forwards within an email is a quote, not a thread.

The threaded view which I think you are referring to is sometime problematic because no all mail clients are created equal and to make it worse not all users of mail are actually capable of doing things in what might be considered a normal manner.

Threading works on a references header in the email. So when this references information is not updated (old copies of Outlook are particularly probe to not doing it) the mail is not threaded, it is treated as a new email thread as it is not in reply to anything else. When someone writes to you bu opening an old mail, clearing out all they can see, writing in the new content and clicking send that it becomes part of an old email thread because the header still considers the mail to be in reply to the mail in the references header.

It is also possible that the mails are not stored in the same folder within Thundebird. If this is the case, right clicking one of the mails and selecting open in conversation will bring in the mail stored in all folders. into a new list in a tab.

When this support article was written it left out a lot of pertinent information. There are several settings that manage threading that can be changed using the Config Editor

  • mail.thread_without_re will thread based on the subject even if there is no Re: in the subject. It defaults to false starting with Thunderbird 3.0.
  • mail.strict_threading disables threading based on the Subject and only uses the References/In-Reply-To headers headers to determine threads. It defaults to true starting with Thunderbird 3.0.
  • mail.correct_threading will thread messages correctly using the References/In-Reply-To headers regardless of the order the messages were added to the folder. It defaults to true starting with Thunderbird 3.0.
  • mailnews.localizedRe defines a comma-delimited list of alternative prefixes to "Re:"

If you want to stop all threading by Subject set mail.strict_threading true.

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sfhowes said

Are the messages you say are missing, ones that you sent? TB doesn't by default display sent and received messages in a thread in the same 'master thread'. It can be done from the right-click menu, Open Message in Conversation, or with the Conversations add-on.

The hierarchical thread stack for each thread in the Threads Pane is missing all my replies. It only lists the other person's replies along with their thread starting message, if any. And some of my replies to others are not listed at all in the Main Threads Panel.

Opening the thread via the Open Message in Conversation option does show the entire message chain including all my replies in a dedicated Threads Pane. But, is it possible to have the main Threads Pane to show such entire chains by default? I tried the Thunderbird Conversations add-on, but I don't like it. I'm probably overlooking its features that are relevant to the current issue I'm having, and my aversion to it may be premature. But, it seems like Thunderbird Conversations is the only threads/conversations processing add-on for TB.

Matt said

Lets just make sure we are on the same page. The historical list of replies and forwards within an email is a quote, not a thread. The threaded view which I think you are referring to is sometime problematic because no all mail clients are created equal and to make it worse not all users of mail are actually capable of doing things in what might be considered a normal manner. Threading works on a references header in the email. So when this references information is not updated (old copies of Outlook are particularly probe to not doing it) the mail is not threaded, it is treated as a new email thread as it is not in reply to anything else. When someone writes to you bu opening an old mail, clearing out all they can see, writing in the new content and clicking send that it becomes part of an old email thread because the header still considers the mail to be in reply to the mail in the references header. It is also possible that the mails are not stored in the same folder within Thundebird. If this is the case, right clicking one of the mails and selecting open in conversation will bring in the mail stored in all folders. into a new list in a tab. When this support article was written it left out a lot of pertinent information. There are several settings that manage threading that can be changed using the Config Editor
  • mail.thread_without_re will thread based on the subject even if there is no Re: in the subject. It defaults to false starting with Thunderbird 3.0.
  • mail.strict_threading disables threading based on the Subject and only uses the References/In-Reply-To headers headers to determine threads. It defaults to true starting with Thunderbird 3.0.
  • mail.correct_threading will thread messages correctly using the References/In-Reply-To headers regardless of the order the messages were added to the folder. It defaults to true starting with Thunderbird 3.0.
  • mailnews.localizedRe defines a comma-delimited list of alternative prefixes to "Re:"
If you want to stop all threading by Subject set mail.strict_threading true.

You're right. The Main Threads Pane does not list a lot of my replies to others, they're missing. I'm guessing this is because they're all in another folder, namely the Sent Mail folder. I'm still very confused as to how exactly the Main Threads Pane sorts and pulls its messages from the email account folders. A detailed tutorial would be great.

As a side note, the Location column in the main Threads Pane is blank after enabling it, but it does show the corresponding folder location for each message when opening a thread with the Open Message in Conversation option. How do I fix it?

Is it possible to have the Main Threads Pane show the entire message chain for each thread by default? (I'm assuming one of those configs you listed does this.)

I'll try experimenting with those config settings and report back if I have any problems. Thanks.

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The Conversations add-on does show the entire chain in the Inbox Threads Pane. ThreadVis is another option to display the chain.

The Location column is empty for folders because the folder is the location. Location is useful when viewing the results of a search, such as the Open Message in Conversation tab - it depends on Global Search being enabled.

There is a setting in the Copies & Folders section of Account Settings to have replies stored in the same folder as the received message.

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I am not aware of anything that forces the thread pane into exactly the same state as the right click view in conversation. The threaded vies is designed for mail in the current folder, not all folders.

I place replies in the same folder as the mail I am replying to (that option is in account settings) so occasionally I have to manually move my initial email from the sent folder. But just having the replies in the same folder generally works for me.

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Matt said

I place replies in the same folder as the mail I am replying to (that option is in account settings).... But just having the replies in the same folder generally works for me.

Would this also move my gmail.com account's Sent Mail messages to its Inbox or is it only local?

Modified by Fat Tony

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sfhowes said

The Conversations add-on does show the entire chain in the Inbox Threads Pane. ThreadVis is another option to display the chain.

I ditched ThreadVis for Thunderbird Conversations, but neither add-on is showing the entire thread message chain in the Inbox Threads Pane. Am I missing something? BTW, TC is actually showing all the replies in the Message Pane for a thread, but thread stacks in the Inbox are still incomplete. I'm so close to achieving my goal.

sfhowes said

The Location column is empty for folders because the folder is the location. Location is useful when viewing the results of a search, such as the Open Message in Conversation tab - it depends on Global Search being enabled.

I don't understand your explanation for why the folder Location is not shown for any Inbox messages. And Global Search is enabled.

sfhowes said

There is a setting in the Copies & Folders section of Account Settings to have replies stored in the same folder as the received message.

Would this also move my gmail.com account's Sent Mail messages to its Inbox or is it only local?

Would the Manually Sort Folders add-on help display entire thread chains in the Inbox?

Modified by Fat Tony

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TixTax said

Would this also move my gmail.com account's Sent Mail messages to its Inbox or is it only local?

That could be interesting. Thunderbird would place a label in Gmail for the same folder as the message you are replying to, but gmail adds it's own copies when emails go out through their SMTP server (you are probably showing two now) So I guess you will still have two show, the one Thunderbird adds to the folder you are replying from and the one gmail adds to the sent folder.

Would the Manually Sort Folders add-on help me with what I want to do?

An addon to sort the folders and accounts in the folder pane. Unless I completely miss your purpose completely useless to you.

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Conversations shows the entire chain in the Threads Pane here, with the default settings. If you receive mail from email programs that break threading, the outcome may be different. Consult the FAQ.

If you are viewing the Inbox or any other folder, you are by definition viewing messages whose Location is the Inbox or the folder that is opened. It's somewhat like showing the Recipient column in the Inbox - redundant. Showing Location only matters if the location is not the same for all messages, like the Open in Conversation tab.

Gmail accounts are a bit different in that they automatically copy sent messages to Sent. Check the box in Copies & Folders and see if you get an additional copy in the Inbox.

Manually sort folders acts on the Folder Pane, not the Threads Pane.

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sfhowes said

Conversations shows the entire chain in the Threads Pane here, with the default settings. If you receive mail from email programs that break threading, the outcome may be different. Consult the FAQ.

I only have Gmail accounts in TB at the moment. Actually, I deselected some settings changes TC recommended during initial setup like enabling Global Inbox. Could this have broke its ability to show the entire thread chain in the Inbox? TC is currently running with its default settings. So, I'm not sure where the problem is or what I'm overlooking. BTW, when View > Threads > Collapse All Threads is enabled, some threads shown in the Message Pane includes messages from other completely different, unrelated threads. How do I fix that or this is a TC bug?

sfhowes said

If you are viewing the Inbox or any other folder, you are by definition viewing messages whose Location is the Inbox or the folder that is opened. It's somewhat like showing the Recipient column in the Inbox - redundant. Showing Location only matters if the location is not the same for all messages, like the Open in Conversation tab.

Gotcha! That's what I thought you meant in the your original message. Thanks.

sfhowes said

Gmail accounts are a bit different in that they automatically copy sent messages to Sent. Check the box in Copies & Folders and see if you get an additional copy in the Inbox.

Ok. I'll try this out. Thanks.

Matt said

TixTax said

Would this also move my gmail.com account's Sent Mail messages to its Inbox or is it only local?

That could be interesting. Thunderbird would place a label in Gmail for the same folder as the message you are replying to, but gmail adds it's own copies when emails go out through their SMTP server (you are probably showing two now) So I guess you will still have two show, the one Thunderbird adds to the folder you are replying from and the one gmail adds to the sent folder.

So should I try this anyways? You tried it before, did you have duplicate messages in your TB Inbox?

Modified by Fat Tony

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Chosen Solution

I'm using the All Mail folder instead of the Inbox folder. Problem solved! :) BTW, if you use the All Mail folder instead of the Inbox folder, make sure to enable the following option, otherwise it won't auto update with new incoming messages: Right click the All Mail folder > properties > When getting new messages from this account, always check this folder.

Modified by Fat Tony

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Sorry but I applied all solutions suggested here but I still cannot see the full thread. My provider (Zoho) does not offer an "All" folder, so If I am on inbox I can see only all the sender's messages threaded, in "sent" folder I can see all my messages sent also threaded but I cannot put them all together. I changed advanced options (about:config) as suggested but with no result (see attached image).

Why not to provide a virtual "all" folder if it is necessary (or better yet a "thread view", one that put threaded mails together following the rules that already has the app to identify threads, it could build the threads by looking for them into inbox and sent easily.

Modified by JorgeDaniel

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JorgeDaniel said

Sorry but I applied all solutions suggested here but I still cannot see the full thread. My provider (Zoho) does not offer an "All" folder, so If I am on inbox I can see only all the sender's messages threaded, in "sent" folder I can see all my messages sent also threaded but I cannot put them all together. I changed advanced options (about:config) as suggested but with no result (see attached image). Why not to provide a virtual "all" folder if it is necessary (or better yet a "thread view", one that put threaded mails together following the rules that already has the app to identify threads, it could build the threads by looking for them into inbox and sent easily.

Do you have Global Search enabled, as mentioned above? It's under Options/General in TB 78, Options/Advanced/General in 68.

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sfhowes said

JorgeDaniel said

Sorry but I applied all solutions suggested here but I still cannot see the full thread. My provider (Zoho) does not offer an "All" folder, so If I am on inbox I can see only all the sender's messages threaded, in "sent" folder I can see all my messages sent also threaded but I cannot put them all together. I changed advanced options (about:config) as suggested but with no result (see attached image). Why not to provide a virtual "all" folder if it is necessary (or better yet a "thread view", one that put threaded mails together following the rules that already has the app to identify threads, it could build the threads by looking for them into inbox and sent easily.

Do you have Global Search enabled, as mentioned above? It's under Options/General in TB 78, Options/Advanced/General in 68.

Yes, as it can be seen in the attached image

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See if it works after rebuilding the global database:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/rebuilding-global-database