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Restored deleted email using time machine, emails disappear when I go online

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I deleted some emails from my thunderbird account by accident. They do not show up in my Gmail anymore either.

I restored these emails using time machine and when I am offline, they show up in thunderbird. The problem is that if I go online, the emails all disappear from thunderbird.

At first my restored emails weren't even showing up. I decided to turn off Wifi and then restore the backup files and they were all there!

But now I cant go online without them disappearing. I think this is because thunderbird is talking to gmail and realizing that the files were deleted?

What can I do to keep the files while I am online?

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If you are using IMAP mail accounts then the email is synchronized with the mail server and it is considered to be the "canonical source" so you can restore from backup for ever, then when the sync occurs all the mail will be removed to bring the local copy into sync with the server.

You only hope is to restore it to another location and use the import export tools addon to import the mail into Thunderbird into "local folders" as they are not synchronized with the server


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Thank you for your help!

That didn't work for me, the importexporttool wouldn't do anything once I downloaded it. But I did find this workaround:

The workaround:

in open a folder such as Inbox, go to menu "Mailboxes" -> Export mailbox, save the file to your Desktop. On your desktop you'll see a file named "Inbox.mbox". Double-click on the file and you'll see its contents in a Finder window:

The file "mbox" contains all messages from your exported Inbox folder in Rename it to "Inbox" (or Inbox-1, Inbox-2, ... if you have several POP accounts in Go to Users/username/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/chjkodif.default/Mail/Local Folders/ and drag the renamed Inbox (or Inbox-1, ..) file into "Local Folders", while Thunderbird is closed. Now start TB and you should see the imported Inbox as a sub-folder of "Local Folders".

Proceed the same way to export all your folders from, e.g. for the "Sent (Messages)" folder you will get a "Sent Messages.mbox" file -> double-click it and rename the "mbox" file to "Sent" (or Sent-1), ... etc.


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