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Email provider discontinuing their email service, will it affect my Gmail in Thunderbird?

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Hi!

My email provider will soon discontinue their email service. The webmail site will be discontinued, and I have learned that this email account will disappear from my Thunderbird client (I have a PC, not a Mac).

When the email service discontinues, will it affect my Thunderbird client, in my PC (other than not displaying the discontinued email account), like creating technical problems (not receiving emails to my Gmail) or a need to reinstall Thunderbird, and/or lift emails from my Gmail webmail to the Thunderbird client?

Many thanks in advance for all help!

All Replies (10)

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My email provider will soon discontinue their email service. The webmail site will be discontinued, and I have learned that this email account will disappear from my Thunderbird client

It will not disappear from your Thunderbird email client, but you won't be able to send and receive email using this account any more at some point.

What is the account type - POP or IMAP?

When the email service discontinues, will it affect my Thunderbird client, in my PC ..., like creating technical problems (not receiving emails to my Gmail) or a need to reinstall Thunderbird, and/or lift emails from my Gmail webmail to the Thunderbird client?

No, it won't affect your Gmail account at all.

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Hi christ1!

Many thanks for your answer!

I believe the email account is a POP account. Why is this relevant? Does it change anything in your answer?

Many thanks in advance for any additional info that might be helpful!

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I believe the email account is a POP account. Why is this relevant?

I'd assume you want to preserve the messages in the discontinued account. With POP all your messages are local, and hence kept in your Thunderbird email client. You can still decide if you want to keep the orphaned account once the service has been shut down, or move all messages to your Local Folders account, and delete the orphaned one.

With IMAP, you'd most likely lose access to your messages once the email provider shuts down their service, because all messages are located on the server.

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Hi again christ1!

Many thanks for your answer. Very useful basic info about differences between POP and IMAP accounts.

I´d like to share some follow-up questions and reflections about this:

1/ Truth be told -- I misrembered about my soon-to-be-deleted email account being POP. In Thunderbird (TB), under Account Settings, it says IMAP for all my three active email accounts (one from my broadband provider, to be deleted soon, one Gmail. one Hotmail). Today I asked my local PC maintenance firm, and was told that the IMAP setting was most likely chosen when they installed TB on my PC nearly half a year ago. Today I also asked my email provider about POP or IMAP settings. Their first line customer service was not familiar with POP and IMAP, though they confirmed that, from their side, old emails will unavailable when the service folds.

2/ Today, my local PC maintenance firm told me that if I delete my username and password from the relevant email account, the account (in TB) will be insensitive to the deletion of the account, and thus I will be able to save old emails in my TB client. Is this correct? Also, in my TB, under Account Settings for the relevant email account, I see a Servername box and a Username box, but no Password box. Maybe it is the Servername and the Username that should be deleted? Should I, as a layman, attempt to do these changes? Or ask my maintenance firm to do it? Or just save my emails by forwarding them to my Gmail (see under 6/ below) and put them in Folders later?

3/ In my TB, under Account Settings, bottom screen left, there is a Server for outgoing emails. Currently, this has my soon to be deleted email account as a Standard setting. When the email account has been discontinued, should I manually change this Standard setting to Google Mail (SMTP server)? Or will it change automatically? In TB, under Account Settings, my Gmail account is currently set to a Google Mail SMPT server, and my Hotmail account is set to an Outlook SMPT server.

4/ If many emails should be lost from my Gmail account in TB, is it possible to lift emails from my Gmail website to my TB client?

5/ Customer service at my email provider advises against Forwarding emails from one account to another in TB. Might cause problems. But my local PC maintenance firm says this should not be a problem. Would like to hear your view on this.

6/ Recently, to create a backup, I forwarded a lot of emails manually from my soon-to-be-deleted account to my Gmail in TB. It worked fine until I got a message about security protocol error. Another Mozilla Support contributor advised me to discuss software updates with my email provider. My local PC maintenance firm says that this problem is maybe caused by my email provider having started a gradual discontinuation process. Would like to hear your view on this also.

7/ For future use, I would be most grateful for a link to the Thunderbird admin/support team. Are there different teams for different countries?

Thank you for pointing out that my Gmail account will not be affected. That´s the most important thing for me. When my local email account folds, I expect that my Gmail will look exactly alike in my TB and on my Gmail Google webpage, is that correct?

Again, thank you for helping out! For me as a TB layman, your info is most instructive. Looking forward to your answer!

Modified by stefan.andersson14

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2/ Today, my local PC maintenance firm told me that if I delete my username and password from the relevant email account, the account (in TB) will be insensitive to the deletion of the account, and thus I will be able to save old emails in my TB client. Is this correct?

I don't think you can delete the user ID, I'd expect that you can't complete the account config then. You could delete the password Thunderbird has remembered for the account though, but then you'd still see connection attempts, which will ultimately fail. And all this would only be true for a POP account as explained earlier.

For an IMAP account I'd copy all messages from the server to the Local Folders account, and once completed, delete the IMAP account in Thunderbird. This way you'll have all messages on your local disk, and will never be bothered again about a non-functional account.

You'll have to manually re-create any folder hierarchy which may exist on the server in Local Folders. Copy over message, don't move them. This way the messages will still exist on the server if something goes wrong. Copy messages in smaller batches, don't attempt to copy thousands of messages at once. Don't drag and drop messages. Instead select a batch of messages on the server, then right-click a selected message - Copy To. Select the desired destination folder. Make sure to complete all this prior to the shutdown of the servers.

3/ In my TB, under Account Settings, bottom screen left, there is a Server for outgoing emails. Currently, this has my soon to be deleted email account as a Standard setting. When the email account has been discontinued, should I manually change this Standard setting to Google Mail (SMTP server)?

Just delete the orphan SMTP server. There is no need to manually designate another existing SMTP server as default. I doubt that another SMTP would be set as default automatically, but I'm not sure about this.

4/ If many emails should be lost from my Gmail account in TB, is it possible to lift emails from my Gmail website to my TB client?

This is what backups are for. Backup your Thunderbird profile folder on a regular basis, and you should never have a need to download your email archive via browser from Gmail. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data#w_backing-up-a-profile

Assuming the account is IMAP, you'll have to download an offline copy of all your messages to your local disk, so that there actually is something to be backed up. In Thunderbird this is called 'Synchronization'. See https://support.mozilla.org/kb/imap-synchronization

5/ Customer service at my email provider advises against Forwarding emails from one account to another in TB. Might cause problems. But my local PC maintenance firm says this should not be a problem. Would like to hear your view on this.

You could do that, but it's cumbersome, and all messages would then appear to be sent from you. I.e. even though the messages as such would be preserved, it would be a nightmare to find a message from a specific sender. If you follow the suggestion for 2/ above, this is a moot point.

6/ Recently, to create a backup, I forwarded a lot of emails manually from my soon-to-be-deleted account to my Gmail in TB. It worked fine until I got a message about security protocol error. Another Mozilla Support contributor advised me to discuss software updates with my email provider. My local PC maintenance firm says that this problem is maybe caused by my email provider having started a gradual discontinuation process.

I doubt it's related to 'a gradual discontinuation process'. More likely this happened after the update to TB78. See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbird-78-faq#w_after-upgrading-to-thunderbird-78-i-cannot-get-or-send-email-messages Wrt forwarding messages as backup - see 5/.

7/ For future use, I would be most grateful for a link to the Thunderbird admin/support team. Are there different teams for different countries?

This support forum is the official Thunderbird support venue. There are no payed support teams. Contributors here are mainly Thunderbird users like you.

When my local email account folds, I expect that my Gmail will look exactly alike in my TB and on my Gmail Google webpage, is that correct?

Correct.

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Hi again christ1!

Many thanks for your extensive answer. There was much that was helpful to me. I´ll look into your information more closely and then decide what to do.

1/ Currently, I a/ save emails from my Gmail account on my PC disk, and b/ have forwarded older emails from my soon-orphaned account to my Gmail. Spontaneously, it seems that I should work more on b/ copy older emails to a folder in Local Folders in TB on my PC disk. In TB, I tested copying two batches of emails, around ten emails/batch, from my soon-orphaned account to a Local Folder in my TB. It worked fine. When copying emails to a Local Folder, should I continue the copying in my TB, or copy emails from the webmail page on my email provider´s website to a Local Folder in TB? What is easiest, what is most advantageous for avoiding problems of accessing individual emails later on?

2/ Can I copy a Local Folder in my TB to another place, outside TB, on my PC disk? If so, will this convert emails to Word, txt or something similar?

3/ Should I save my soon-orphaned account by creating an offline copy of the webmail page, using Save As/Webpage, All in the web browser?

These are just spontaneous reflections, on first reading your information. Looking forward to your answer!

Modified by stefan.andersson14

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When copying emails to a Local Folder, should I continue the copying in my TB, or copy emails from the webmail page on my email provider´s website to a Local Folder in TB?

To me copying within Thunderbird seem to be a whole lot easier than anything where webmail is involved.

what is most advantageous for avoiding problems of accessing individual emails later on?

As long as the result is the same, I'd say it's up to you.

2/ Can I copy a Local Folder in my TB to another place, outside TB, on my PC disk? If so, will this convert emails to Word, txt or something similar?

You can export individual messages to .eml files, but I don't know what you're trying to achieve here. If the motivation is backup, make sure to backup your Thunderbird profile folder on a regular basis. That's all what's needed. https://support.mozilla.org/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data#w_backing-up-a-profile

3/ Should I save my soon-orphaned account by creating an offline copy of the webmail page, using Save As/Webpage, All in the web browser?

If you follow all the suggestions given so far I don't see a point doing that. But it's ultimately up to you.

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Hi again christ1!

Many thanks for your latest answer and the valuable information and links you shared with me.

1/ My main motivation is currently to move old emails from my soon-orphaned account, before servers are shut down, to my local disk. This I can do by copying batches of emails to Local Folders in TB, correct? Local Folders in TB is located on my local disk and separated from any email servers, correct? Copying emails to Local Folders gives me time to further copy or save these emails later on, correct?

2/ When opening a specific email in TB, screen right I find a dropdown menu with options such as Save As. When using Save As, I can save specific emails on my local disk, outside TB. Once saved, these emails look a bit like PDF files and no longer function as emails. I use this function to save important current emails outside TB, for reference. But this only works for specific emails, right? To backup my whole TB I need to backup my Profile Folder, right?

3/ Where do I find passwords memorized by TB? In Account Settings? I found usernames there but no Password box. Reconfiguring an account (including deleting password, as per your earlier instruction) that is quite inactive and will soon be orphaned, just to reactivate the Forward command, seems a bit unnecessary. I´m just curious about this, might be informative to know more about it.

4/ Emails incoming to my Gmail show up on Gmail, TB and my smartphone simultaneously. Does this mean that synchronization is active? Emails to my soon-orphaned account show up in TB and on my webmail page simultaneously. Messages deleted in TB are deleted simultaneously on my webmail page, if I´m not mistaken. I may have to follow the synchronization instruction anyway, right?

5/ Thanks for the link to the instructions for Synchronization and to backup my Profile Folder. I just had a first look at them. To a layman, they are quite involved. I´ll have to study them more before trying to follow the instructions. One question, though: should I save the Profile Folder backup in TB, outside TB on my local disk, or on a USB stick? What is possible? What backup is most accessible over time, in TB, on my local disk, or on a USB stick?

Hope it´s OK for me to continue this conversation later on, with more questions, as and when needed?

Again, many thanks for your help!

Modified by stefan.andersson14

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1/ ..., correct?

Yes.

2/ ..., right?

Yes.

3/

At the top right of the Thunderbird window, click the menu button > Options > Privacy & Security > Passwords > Saved Passwords

Emails incoming to my Gmail show up on Gmail, TB and my smartphone simultaneously. Does this mean that synchronization is active?

No, that just means you're using IMAP on both, Thunderbird, and the phone. It's just how IMAP works. 'Synchronization' is Thunderbird speak for downloading an offline copy of your messages from the server to your local disk. It can be enabled for the entire account, or on a per folder basis. Follow the instructions from the support article.

5/ ... To a layman, they are quite involved.

It's as simple as copying a folder.

should I save the Profile Folder backup in TB

No.

outside TB on my local disk, or on a USB stick? What is possible?

Anything is possible, whatever you deem appropriate. It doesn't hurt to do both.

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Hi again christ1!

Thanks for your latest reply! First I´ll proceed with copying old emails, so as not to worry about server shutdowns and losing emails. Then delve into doing backup of my Profile Folder. Again, many thanks for all your help!

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