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recent problems with Thunderbird updatres

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  • Last reply by bobgru

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My primary Thunderbird usage remains on my Windows 7 computers. Until recently, I needed only to copy the email files of PROFILES over to my Windows 10 computers for the Windows 10 version of Thunderbird to continue working. The last several updates of Thunderbird have botched that straight forward procedure so that when I copy the PROFILES over to Windows 10 after an update on Windows 7, the Windows 10 version tells me that it flatly refuses to work. Only by then copying the entirety of the Mozilla Thunderbird directory from Program Files (x86) is the Windows 10 version then willing to proceed to function at all. Even then, it demands that I REINSTALL my essential "Manually Sort Folders" function each and every time that I have replaced the PROFILES files. Is there any cure for this messiness other than (1) copying Mozilla Thunderbird directory from Program Files after each nonsense "update" along with the PROFILES #OR# (2) refusing to allow updates to my primary Windows 7 installation of Thunderbird. I don't know what, if anything relevant, I might be missing by refusing to allow updates but the expansion of time and energy for maintaining a functional Thunderbird installation on Windows 10 (without allowing it to gather new emails that aren't in my Windows 7 version by allowing it access to the Internet). But forcing updates across multiple systems is a problematic procedure unless it is done on a "forgiving" basis not currently extant.

Chosen solution

Found the top of column labels capable of sorting everything in the "Saved Logins" list such that I was able to wade through the entire overstuffed set. Once I realized that the logins were in PAIRS, one for the POP and the other for the SMTP login information, it was a little easier to figure out which ones were live and operable and which ones were expired or long since modified duplicates. Am now down to exactly 32 entries for my 16 POP based email accounts. Only one of the accounts remains incapable of sending outgoings and I have every reason to believe that that is a "feature" of the server involved for an email address that I've had since the pre-Internet bulletin board system days.

Bottom line, the various comments that Toad-Hall has made in response to my inquiries have helped me clean up numerous aspects of my Thunderbird installation and has resolved a worrisome to me "apparent" security risk which turned out to be nothing of the sort. I now have version 68.10.0 installed and operable on both my Windows 7 and Windows 10 computers. I am likely to want to be cautious when version 78.anything is offered to make sure that the bugs that Toad-Hall has been working on have all been cleared up, but his seriess of comments have solved my concerns at this time about the "updates" and I am marking this discussion as SOLVED.

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I need to know what has changed between the version 68.8.1 that I already have and version 68.10.0 which proposes to install over that previous version. I haven't been able to find any details on the web site. Can somebody please tell me HOW to find what is getting ready to change if I install that more recent version?

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I presume you are not using imap mail accounts or you have a reason why you do not use imap mail accounts or emails are stored in 'Local Folders'. Hence why you go through this process.


re : Until recently, I needed only to copy the email files of PROFILES

Profiles themselves do not have email files. Email files are mbox files (they have no extension) and they are in the mail account files. So do you mean you were copy pasting mbox files ? OR are you copy pasting the 'profile name' folder, it is usually called xxxxxxxx.default, where the x's are letters and numbers ? I presume you are doing this and overwriting the same profile name in the process as an updated version.

re :The last several updates of Thunderbird have botched that straight forward procedure so that when I copy the PROFILES over to Windows 10 after an update on Windows 7, the Windows 10 version tells me that it flatly refuses to work.

You have had an update on Windows 7, but you do say whether Windows 10 has the same version of Thunderbird? Because it sounds like you do not.

Profiles are no longer backwards compatible since the start of version 68 without a special method of access which is best not to use when it is unecessary.

Do you have the same identical version of Thunderbird on each computer at the same time before copying 'Profiles'? If no, then make sure both computers are using the same version.

A profile that works in version 68.8.1, should work in version 68.10.0, but a profile that works in 68.10.0 may need a special method of access in order to work in 68.8.1 because profiles are no longer automatically backwards compatible. That has been the case since version 68 started.

In some cases, thunderbird may start on a new default-release profile, so it may require you changing the profile that is set as default. This is done via Help > Troubleshooting information > click on 'about:profiles'. Then you can choose which profile you want to set as default'. Restart Thunderbird to use selected profile.

You do not mention any attempts to use this process, but it should only be done if using same version of Thunderbird and the wrong profile has been set as default.


re: Only by then copying the entirety of the Mozilla Thunderbird directory from Program Files (x86)

but that is the installation directory which you usually download and install using the wizard or use the update process, so that it is correctly setup in registry. You should not need to be bothering with what you mention if both are using the same version of Thunderbird. I cannot think of any reason to do this.

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Thanks to Toad-Hall for attempting to address my coordination problems for "updates" of Thunderbird versions 68. The reason that I CAN'T USE the typical "online" update process for the Thunderbird on my Windows 10 computer is that allowing access to the Internet would automatically bring down every new email that had arrived on the numerous account servers to my Windows 10 computer instead of the primary Windows 7 computer. Would then require me to copy all of that new information somehow back over to the primary Windows 7 computer, an at least problematical process. The only reason the different slopperating systems aren't using the same version of Thunderbird is the unclear as to WHY IT'S BEING DONE "update" process which I was allowing only the Windows 7 computer to access the Internet to get done. Can't do that on the Windows 10 computer to coordinate versions because of the problem of new emails getting downloaded to the wrong computer when allowing any such access.

Yes it is vitally important to numerous security concerns that I never allow the absurd "imap" account procedure to get involved in my emails. Leaving my communications "online" indefinitely is absolutely unacceptable. In fact I need to download and delete the online server versions promptly numerous times each day to minimize felony identity theft concerns of having my email records maintained anywhere other than on my own computers. As for what "PROFILES" are, I am referring to the computer directory which is labelled that and contains the xxxxxxxx.default with all of its mbox and msf files. As part of my Windows 10 updating process, I am deleting the old "Profiles" directory and then copying in the one from my Windows 7 computer.

It is, as you said, the change of intent of versions 68 so that profiles "are no longer automatically backwards compatible" which "has been the case since version 68 started". Exactly when my problems with coordinating my different slopperating systems began. I looked at the Help > Troubleshooting information > click on 'about profiles' thingy which was unclear HOW I COULD ACTUALLY get it to use a different profile than the one it appears to want. In other words, IF I had allowed 68.10.1 to update on my Windows 7 computer (I haven't because of this problem), then the 68.8.1 on my Windows 10 computer would refuse to handle the profile. That leaves only what I was doing for awhile of "copying the entirety of the Mozilla Thunderbird directory from Program Files (x86)" which is the only way of getting the "update" version over to the Windows 10 computer in the absence of being able to allow Internet access to do the "update".

So I wound up down at my latest addition to the question of where and how do I find out WHETHER version 68.10.1 has any value TO ME as an update of 68.8.1 to justify the messy process of copying over the program files directory instead of maintaining the 68.8.1 on both computers without the repetitiously "suggested" updates that I have refused to allow because of lack of information on whether they have anything relevant for me. If there are any registration changes being made outside of that directory, there could sooner or later be problems even with copying that directory. Whatever the motivation for making "updates" BACKWARDS INCOMPATIBLE, it is causing problems at least for me and my coordination situation.

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You do realize imap synchronizes across all devices that access the mail account I hope. My reading of your last extensive reply appears to be all about maintaining some sort of control over the order in which mail is downloaded. With IMAP you don't need to worry, it just appears in each device. Even the read unread status syncronised

The bottom line in Thunderbird has downgrade protection for profile. It will not be going away and while some parts (updates on point releases) will be loosened on the understanding their will be no watershed changes in point releases. Thunderbird 68.5 is a watershed release in that information in key4.db is being converted and is not backward compatible, so password would be lost going backwards from any version after 68.5. So I have doubts that any loosening is going to be a good thing.

You ask if the new version has any benefit to you personally. That is easy to answer. Yes it does, every release does as it closes security holes that have been detected. But there are always folks that think they have an anti virus so that has security covered. They are also the folks that have issues with malware and ransomware. But you make your own decisions. Please first look here at the vulnerabilities fixed. They are numerous, six in 60.10 alone.

Note: Most Firefox vulnerabilities also affect Thunderbird as both products are built on the Mozilla platform and Thunderbird contains browser like contexts. Here is my take on about:profiles https://thunderbirdtweaks.blogspot.com/2019/09/i-lost-my-profilemail-on-update-to.html but surely selecting a profile and clicking load profile in a new browser should not require a lot of discussion. And yes I know Thunderbird is not a browser. (Remember I did say Thunderbird shared stuff with Firefox)

Backward compatibility will become very important with the release of Thunderbird 78, downgrading will loose your contacts. They will be converted on update o the new version and the old product will be unable to read the new format.

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I do understand your explanation of why you think IMAP is a tolerable procedure in relation to synchronization between devices. Long aware that it synchronizes not only between any devices of mine but also with each and every criminal hacker intending to perpetrate felony identity theft against myself. Simply put, the only reason I *have* two different devices involved is the insistence and major sabotage efforts during its last year of "support" against Windows 7 that Windows 7 is "dead". Numerous former functional aspects of Windows 7 were brutally destroyed by the criminal purpose "updates" inflicted after years of refusal to provide any updates at all. Certainly Windows 7 was intended to be "dead" on behalf of the ferociously intrusive, invasive, noise polluting, and criminally abusive Windows 10 which was designed from the ground up to be a felony identity theft device on behalf of its creator convicted criminal predatory monopoly whose latest version 2004 "update" intends to finalize felony identity theft procedures (when it runs at all as I'm told by knowledgeable sources that it has numerous reported total failures). In any event, there is no version nor style of the industrial espionage system euphemized as the "cloud", neither IMAP nor any other version, which is tolerable in my situation.

Thank you very much Matt for referring me to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/ which does in fact provide the information I needed to evaluate what the "updates" are doing. That was the important supplementary question that I asked and your answer provides an apparent ongoing excellent source for what I need to know as more "updates" are notified.

There was no indication in your response of when "Thunderbird 78" is going to be released nor what "losing contacts" actually means. Since Thunderbird has been maintaining some "contacts" that have long since ceased to exist and doesn't seem to provide any way of eliminating those false contacts, I'm unclear what the impacts of "losing contacts" might be. Any details you could provide about that pending modification of Thunderbird would be appreciated.

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re : Since Thunderbird has been maintaining some "contacts" that have long since ceased to exist and doesn't seem to provide any way of eliminating those false contacts,

The contacts will be in one of the address books.

When you are creating an email in a Write window and start to type, the auto function offers potential email addresses based on what is available in the address books. It does not look elsewhere. If you are being offered an email address which you thought you had deleted, then it is likely there was more than one instance of that person or email address. It is possible the 'Collected Addresses' may have an instance of that email address.

So if using the 'All Address Books' option, enable the 'Address Book' column header, then sort by 'Name' and check and also sort by 'email address' as it may be entered without a name and check.

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Alternative method on locating address.

Start to create email and in a TO field, choose that email address which you cannot locate in address book. Type some text and save as a draft. Close write email. Access 'Drafts' folder and select that email so it shows in Message Pane.

the 'TO' email address will have a coloured star if in an address book. Click on that email address and select 'Edit contact'. The pop up window will tell you which address book it is in.

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Thank you Toad-Hall for a majorly helpful pointer to *where* it is possible for me to clean up the massive numbers of irrelevant email addresses which have accumulated over the years that I have been using Thunderbird. All I had to do was to go to Tools/Address Book and I was able to start "delete"ing numerous of the interfering nonsenses which have been delaying my process of sending emails to known regular correspondents who have had email address changes over the years. Do I gather correctly that once I "delete" the thing in Thunderbird's Address Book it will stay gone when I copy the PROFILES over to Windows 10 from the Windows 7 computer or is that Address Book maintained in the Program Files (x86) version of my Thunderbird program?

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The address books are in the 'profile name' folder, which is usually called xxxxxxx.default , where the x's are letters and numbers. So if you are copying that folder or higher eg: 'Thunderbird' or 'Profiles' then the updated address books will get copied over.

Address books will have the .mab extension.

'Personal Address Book' is called 'abook.mab'

'Collected Addresses' is called 'history.mab'

Other address books you imported or created will be called eg: abook-1.mab or impab.mab etc.

See example image below on their location.

Modified by Toad-Hall

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Thanks Toad-Hall for identifying that the address books ".mab" files are located in the "xxxxxxx.default" directory which is included in my PROFILES copy from Windows 7 to Windows 10. That has the positive result that when I make changes they will be carried over to the "in case of disaster would have to use Windows 10" version of Thunderbird. Verified by searching on "*.mab" and going to the file location. Excellent solution for that aspect of my less than perfect relationship with the extremely useful despite coordinating update complications Thunderbird software.

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bobgru said

I do understand your explanation of why you think IMAP is a tolerable procedure in relation to synchronization between devices. Long aware that it synchronizes not only between any devices of mine but also with each and every criminal hacker intending to perpetrate felony identity theft against myself.

Err, it is no less secure than POP. if they have your credentials then they can access you pop account just as easily and just as undetectable as if they use IMAP. If IMAP is not secure enough, then email is not secure enough. It is that simple.

Simply put, the only reason I *have* two different devices involved is the insistence and major sabotage efforts during its last year of "support" against Windows 7 that Windows 7 is "dead".

Windows 7 is out of support with Micrsift, they no longer issue security fixes, nor any other kind of fixes. Nothing criminal, just a fact of life. I still miss windows 2000 but it was also end of life a decade ago.

Thank you very much Matt for referring me to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/ which does in fact provide the information I needed to evaluate what the "updates" are doing. That was the important supplementary question that I asked and your answer provides an apparent ongoing excellent source for what I need to know as more "updates" are notified.

I never read it. I link to it when folks query the value of updates. That you intend to try and become a security expect and evaluate each of the advisories is I find quite alarming. Just accept software is not static, that new issues arise daily and updates are a necessary evil.

There was no indication in your response of when "Thunderbird 78" is going to be released

It is out now.

nor what "losing contacts" actually means.

They will be upgraded to a new format and you will not be able to access them in an older version. That is what it means. Downgrading is not an option if you want to keep access to your contacts.

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Matt said "if IMAP is not secure enough, then email is not secure enough". Something of a tautology since nobody who has been around for long, let alone originally working on mainframes as long ago as 1968, could conceivably believe that email nor any other Internet anything is ever secure with full data taps available for any Sysop along the path that any Internet communication traverses. The point of my emphasis on downloading and deleting is to minimize the time that criminal hackers have to access my confidential communications. Leave it all laying around indefinitely on SOMEBODY ELSE'S servers and it is certain to be hacked.

Further, the notion of relevance for "Windows 7 is out of support with Micrsift" makes the radical assumption that anything they ever did was supportive, as distinct from intentionally sabotaging of the usefulness of that slopperating system (which is what I was finding especially during the last few months of their fraudulently misrepresented "support"). Incidentally, they have not been willing to provide the key "Cumulative Updates" for my Windows 10 system since January 2020, likely because of incompatibilities between their demands for felony identity theft capabilities having been at least temporarily thwarted by modifications that I made to my own installation.

There is a key problem Matt with your notion that "Just accept software is not static, that new issues arise daily and updates are a necessary evil". What you ignore with that line is the inherent demand for blind "trust" in pogrommers whose motives can be and in recent years "elsewhere" have been brutally criminal in their demands for control of human lives and fortunes. We suffer from "banks" who openly publish the routing numbers into everybody's accounts on their infinitely hackable "web sites" with resulting felony thefts and accumulations of minor thefts which vacate account balances. We suffer from felony illegal seizure of all stocks since October 2007 and later bonds into the permanent adverse possession of the criminally slopperated "computer" systems of the fraud and theft industry in violation of Article IV of the US Constitution Amendments, but of course authorized by the feloniously corrupt regulators complying with the whims of frauds and thieves desirous of applying the Madoffian Felony Theft system of "account statements only". The result has been massive infliction of fraudulent fees and destructions of property wrongfully held. Nobody believes "the computer did it". We all know it is the feloniouslly abusive "programmers" of the "computer" systems who are perpetrating the felony thefts and illegal seizures.

Refusing to allow "updating" to the "out now Thunderbird 78" is by no means a "downgrading" so as to keep access to my contacts. It is a growing awareness that the refusal of the programmers to allow COMPATIBILITY with earlier versions of the contact list and especially of the mbox and msf files in PROFILES are warnings of "potential" criminal intent to control of information which the programmers have no lawful right to control. The "Internet of Things" is a totally criminal scheme threatening LIFE as well as liberty and property, as is the notion of facilitating industrial espionage on the kind of permanent basis involved in any kind of "cloud" operations. I may profoundly understand their desire to "sell" the naive on those criminal schemes, based on decades of criminal hacking experienced. But I have no basis for believing their scams and emphasizing such control systems is like triggering a BURGLAR ALARM.

With the long history of Mozilla Firefox and the now separated Thunderbird operations providing reliable and relevant software for useful human activities, it would be a shame if the involved programmers got so inflated in their demands for CONTROL of human lives as to sabotage that decades built positive reputation.

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Keeping up to date regardless of whether OS or other downloaded programs means you are less likely to suffer issues as those updates include fixing of security issues.

Thunderbird 78 has been programmed to take the current address books (used prior to version 78) and convert them for use in version 78 at time of updating to 78. Which means address books used in 78 cannot be used in versions prior to 78. This is the backwards compatibility issue mentioned.

Is it perhaps worth considering using the Windows 10 computer for Thunderbird?

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Thank you Toad-Hall for your comments. I suspected that the mention of backwards compatibility was assuming the set of files on Windows 7 had been "updated" to Thunderbird 78 and the ones on Windows 10 had not. If I were to allow the Windows 7 Thunderbird to be thus updated, I would have to copy the Program Files (x86) directory for Thunderbird over to the Windows 10 computer (assuming, and I need verification for this, that there wouldn't be any Registry issues arising from such a procedure). As mentioned before, I can't allow any actual Internet access for the Windows 10 version of Thunderbird because of the "new emails" problem. Key question is whether it is no longer v68.10.0 but in fact v78.?.? which is being offered when Thunderbird tells me it is time to "update". If in fact I can do that once and get past the backwards compatibility problems, I would likely proceed with it.

The notion of using the Windows 10 computer "for Thunderbird" is I gather based on the idea that both computers can be running at the same time. In many locations that might be a reasonable alternative. However, there are PHYSICAL problems below and beyond the defects of Windows 10 itself and its own refusal to update since January 2020 with the insisted "cumulative updates" and its attempted installation of "version 2004" over the existing version 1903 (a grotesque YGBK attack against computer owners as evaluated in detail at https://www.computerworld.com/article/3561635/bumps-on-the-road-to-the-win10-version-2004-rollout.html ) The Windows 10 physical computer has a grotesquely small Ethernet plug which can't conveniently accept a wired connection to my DSL line. For security reasons, I have to be able to UNPLUG the Ethernet cord when my computer in use is under criminal attack from the crime infested whirled wide wubb. Can't be timely done on the Windows 10 physical computer. I do have a couple of important programs on the Windows 10 computer which can't be installed on the Windows 7 computer (for using which I do have adequate workarounds on my Windows 7 computer). But thus far there hasn't been anything important "enough" for me to actually abandon the Windows 7 primary computer. Bottom line is that physical arrangements make clear that I can't use both computers at the *same* time hence relying on the Windows 10 computer for Thunderbird while doing my basic work on the Windows 7 computer simply can't happen in my office. Good thought Toad-Hall, just not workable in my location.

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My detailed response to WHY Toad-Hall's notion of running Thunderbird on Windows 10 won't work in my environment failed to post. Less important than the remaining open question.

I suspected that the mention of backwards compatibility was assuming the set of files on Windows 7 had been "updated" to Thunderbird 78 and the ones on Windows 10 had not. If I were to allow the Windows 7 Thunderbird to be thus updated, I would have to copy the Program Files (x86) directory for Thunderbird over to the Windows 10 computer (assuming, and I need verification for this, that there wouldn't be any Registry issues arising from such a procedure). Key question is whether it is no longer v68.10.0 but in fact v78.?.? which is being offered when Thunderbird tells me it is time to "update". If in fact I can do that once and get past the backwards compatibility problems, I would likely proceed with it.

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re :I suspected that the mention of backwards compatibility was assuming the set of files on Windows 7 had been "updated" to Thunderbird 78 and the ones on Windows 10 had not.

Yes. Or if you were already running 78 on both and decided to go back to 68.10.0

I have made a backup of profile whilst running 68.10.0 just in case I have to downgrade for some reason.

re: Key question is whether it is no longer v68.10.0 but in fact v78?

Help > Troubleshooting Information

Under 'Application Basics' section, it will state what version is currently being used. If currently running 68.10.0 and then you get prompted about update, it will be wanting to update to version 78.

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Okay Toad-Hall, actually the problem goes back further than your response suggests. Under Troubleshooting information\Application Basics it observes that I am currently running version 68.8.1. Of course I am always backing up things that are known to function mostly properly "in case I have to downgrade for some reason". But when I click on "Learn more" about Thunderbird "update", it offers only v68.10.0 NOT anything from v78.?.?. Do I have to conclude that the "updates" are sequenced so that WHEN AS AND IF I do accept v68.10.0 it will then promptly start insisting on v78.?.?. If I do proceed with version 78 will the backwards compatibility problems disappear or is that an ongoing policy decision?

I also have a complication based on something that I have seen backing up when I do my nightly system backups of crucial file systems including Thunderbird. A file shows up under storage\permanent\chrome\idb with more than 1.5 megabytes of REGULARLY UPDATING .sqlite file containing what appear to be site-tracking information. The reference to the SPAM LAW violating and felony identity theft involved Google CHROME as having anything whatever to do with Thunderbird is alarming to me. Is that file a consequence of my having a solitary gmail.com email address among my plethora so that Google Chrome is intruding on my Thunderbird activities? or is it something that Thunderbird is knowingly allowing the dangerous to me Google to perpetrate?

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Yet another posting was rejected when I added an inquiry into the regularly updating .sqlite file under storage\permanent\chrome\idb which concerns me but apparently was treated as cause for rejection.

Be that as it may, okay Toad-Hall, actually the problem goes back further than your response suggests. Under Troubleshooting information\Application Basics it observes that I am currently running version 68.8.1. Of course I am always backing up things that are known to function mostly properly "in case I have to downgrade for some reason". But when I click on "Learn more" about Thunderbird "update", it offers only v68.10.0 NOT anything from v78.?.?. Do I have to conclude that the "updates" are sequenced so that WHEN AS AND IF I do accept v68.10.0 it will then promptly start insisting on v78.?.?. If I do proceed with version 78 will the backwards compatibility problems disappear or is that an ongoing policy decision?

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Hi.

I'm always surprised to how some support people shifts question focus. Why not answer about the (claimed) incompatibility between versions instead of trying to change the user works?

I do not do IMAP at work, and I use it at home. At work we have a payed Google account but we have long surpassed the drive quota and won't pay them more for more space, plus being captive of them having our e-mail, one they they may not work and our operations will suffer. We have more than 20 years of e-mail (before Gmail existed) so we do some webmail but mostly POP. While possible, it is difficult to move 30GB of e-mail from a provider to another.

At home I do IMAP for a couple of gmail and hotmail accounts to TB to have a "copy" but it does not work as expected or at least it is not what I expect. Every time I open TB it downloads new e-mail. It is set to keep a copy of everything, forever. But when I want to backup that, I set TB to go "offline" and it start re-downloading all e-mails for all folders. I do not know why, and it may have something to do with signatures or a way to ensure everything is there, so IMAP in TB does not seem to be a good way of keeping e-mail safe at your local drive.

Can you please comment on those two points?

Thanks!

David.

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re :Why not answer about the (claimed) incompatibility between versions instead of trying to change the user works?

Just to reiterate, this question relates to understanding why profiles running under a newer version of thunderbird, do not auto run when all files in profile are copied to an older version. I'm not going to repeat it all again, so here is a load of links with info.

To protect your profile data against a downgrade, Thunderbird 68 may display a message "You have launched an older version of Thunderbird" and will not allow opening a specific profile. Workaround: start with option --allow-downgrade.

Please read:


When version 78 starts then there will be further backward compatibility issues because the address book will get converted from mab to squite file formats. Squite format of address book will not work in a version that uses mab.

iampowerslave You should not be highjacking another persons question to ask your own which is totally unrelated. When you post a comment in someone elses question you are sending them a direct email and they may be able to help but may not. In this instance they have made it clear they do not use imap.

Please ask your own question.

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