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How do I configure Thunderbird to keep LOCAL copies of mails that are only less than 90 days old ?

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  • Last reply by ng.newbie

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I want Thunderbird to download only recent mails and delete its local copies of mails that are more than 90 days old.

Note: I want LOCAL copies deleted. Not actually deleted from the server.

I am using Gmail.

Should I configure from Edit > Account Settings > Synchronization & Storage > Synchronize the most recent 90 days ?

I am worried if I do the above then Thunderbird will delete mails from the server that is less than 90 days old.

What I want is all automatic deletion operations be restricted to Thunderbird locally and not the actual server.

Chosen solution

re :Should I configure from Edit > Account Settings > Synchronization & Storage > Synchronize the most recent 90 days ?

Yes.

But, you will need to compact folders on a regular basis to force removal of local emails subsequently downloaded.

It starts off with 90 days and as more recently received emails are downloaded the number increases as older ones are not auto removed from Thunderbird until you compact.

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Chosen Solution

re :Should I configure from Edit > Account Settings > Synchronization & Storage > Synchronize the most recent 90 days ?

Yes.

But, you will need to compact folders on a regular basis to force removal of local emails subsequently downloaded.

It starts off with 90 days and as more recently received emails are downloaded the number increases as older ones are not auto removed from Thunderbird until you compact.

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What about retention policy ?

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'Retention Policy' is entirely different. That can be set on a per folder basis or via Account Settings and applied to entire account. 'Retention Policy' is about deleting or not deleting emails. Any email that is deleted either via Thunderbird imap account or via webmail is deleted off server and so will not appear in any imap folder because it does not exist. So if you choose eg: 'Delete all but the most recent 2000 messages' then only the latest 2000 messages would be saved all others will get deleted. Deleted means gone - deleted from imap account and therefore deleted off server.

Imap accounts should never be considered a separate copy because the folders synchronise with server to show what is on server. The folders on the server and the folders in imap account are in effect one and the same.

Imap folders can only show what is on server, but it can be selective in only selecting to synchronise/download full copies of the last eg: 90 days. Edit > Account Settings > Synchronization & Storage > Synchronize the most recent 90 days.

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Toad-Hall said

re :Should I configure from Edit > Account Settings > Synchronization & Storage > Synchronize the most recent 90 days ? Yes. But, you will need to compact folders on a regular basis to force removal of local emails subsequently downloaded. It starts off with 90 days and as more recently received emails are downloaded the number increases as older ones are not auto removed from Thunderbird until you compact.

I tried compacting. It did nothing. Not sure if this is a bug in Thunderbird. I tried experimenting with the retention policy and ended up deleting mails from the server.

I wish Thunderbird was better documented.

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