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Why can't I mark multiple folders in Thunderbird

  • 17 replies
  • 14 have this problem
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  • Last reply by Toad-Hall

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Why can't I mark multiple folders in Thunderbird, you could before updating to version 115.4.2 (32-bit). It is a good idea when, for example, exporting emails in EML format Best regards Kenneth Winther

Why can't I mark multiple folders in Thunderbird, you could before updating to version 115.4.2 (32-bit). It is a good idea when, for example, exporting emails in EML format Best regards Kenneth Winther

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This was a 'design' decision that might be overruled if there's sufficient outcry:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1817605

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I have not solved my problem

Please hope the problem can be solved, if not:

What is the last version of Thunderbird that allows this? I just want to downgrade if possible and disable automatic updates.

Most wish the problem will be solved in the new version

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It would be helpful if you used that Bugzilla link to explain the importance of what it means to you as developers do not appear to understand the importance of this functionality and how it effects in the workplace environment - work throughput and time costings or how the alternatives - lots of clicking impact on workers increased risk of getting RSD. Your voice is important. But please keep it factual as that gets the attention of the developers who are not interested in 'personal feelings'.

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I have this problem also and would love to downgrade back as it really is a thing I use daily.

I have tried to comment on the bug but it always says I do not have permission to comment on a closed bug.

I use it mainly for marking multiple folders read at the same time. I get in alerts from various systems and often it is not a matter of what the alert says, but how many of them their are (but I can't just use a counter as just as often I need the content of these emails). My filters direct these emails into certain folders and they sit there and my little number that shows the number of new emails on those folder increases. At certain levels I need to do something and mark a number of these folders as unread. It has always been super easy as I hold down Ctrl and just start selecting a dozen or so folders and once I have the ones I need to clear I right click and select mark read and I am all set. I can no longer do that and it is really effecting a pretty important process that has worked fine with thunderbird for 15+ years.

I cannot fathom why this bug was marked won't fix.

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Hello Toad Hall I have a lot of local folders where my emails are put. I use add-on ImportExportTools NG in Thunderbird. This add-on can create e-mails in EML format, which I want as a backup of all e-mails located in different local folders. As it is now, I can only mark one folder at a time. It's always been super easy as I hold down Ctrl and just start selecting the number of folders I wanted. It takes a very long time to backup this way as it is now. Before Thunderbird was updated, there were no problems and has worked fine for many years. There are several people who write about it, see jason141 who has also written posts for you. Really hope this feature comes back. Hope I have explained it well enough. Best regards Kenneth Winther

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Hello, without the "mark multible folder" feature since version 115 and further we have the same problem as described here by e.g. Kenneth. We get a lot of digital invoices from our suppliers by mail (envelop mail + pdf attachment) every day. To maintain some kind of transparency we sort all these emails in different subfolders (named after suppliers) within the accounting departments mailaccout. As german tax legislation forces us to archive these documents (envelop mail and pdf) to an unchangeable media the easiest way to fullfill this requirement is the export of all these subfolders with the Thunderbird add-on ImportExportTools NG to html-format with the whole structure index and attachments to a filesystem share and burn them on a read only CD periodically. Before version 115 with multible folder selection the export from Thunderbird was a matter of a handful clicks and several seconds. Now this is a job of at least an hour or more because you have to export every subfolder one by one. The risk of errors or forgetting a subfolder is also increased a lot. Regards Johann

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Hello Johann Pieverling Thank you very much for your support regarding my post. I thought you should also make a post with what you write in my thread. If more people post something about the subject, maybe something will happen. Then it can be the low ones so that we can mark more folders again in Thunderbird. Best regards Kenneth Winter

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I missed this thread but posted the same issue elsewhere. The variety of uses for this feature voiced in just a couple of days suggests that its popularity may have slipped under the developers' radar. I rolled back pre-Supernova to insure I got it back, but I wasn't using any of the new features in recent builds anyway. I find the older layout options more useful, but if this feature is restored I'm sure I'll explore Supernova in depth. I'm sure many of those embracing the new format but missing the multiple folders marking ability would like to see its return.

Does anyone have some insight into the technical challenges in implementing this selection feature? And why the newer builds broke it?

Thanks... Chris Berthelsen

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Hello chris317 Thank you very much for your reply to my post. Read your post for Thunderbird. I have written to you on your post for Thunderbird.

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Hi, Kenneth...

Regarding your request (via email) for info on how to roll back to the pre-Supernova 102.15.1 build: I'm going to describe how I did it, but I invite forum members to vet this for me (esp sfhowes, who is already on this thread and shows a lot of savvy in this area elsewhere on the forum), although I had zero difficulty nor data loss using it. And please understand that I rolled back this far because I didn't need (yet) any of the Supernova features. From other threads, I gather that some of the Supernova builds have kept the multiple folder marking intact. The link in sfhowes post above suggests it began with build 111.

To disable automatic updates, go to the Tools tab in Thunderbird and click on Settings. (Not Account Settings.) Make sure you're on the General section and scroll down to the Updates option. Switch it from Automatic to "Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them." You'll be notified about new builds but can decline them with a click.

Then go to the Thunderbird releases page for 102.15.1 at this location:

https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/102.15.1/

Click on your operating system, then on your language and download the .exe file.

Run the .exe file and follow the install prompts. This will overwrite your current build but will keep all your settings and data (mail).

I have never had a problem with installing over an old build, either manually or through automatic updates. But if you are worried about losing anything and you don't already have a back-up strategy, you can back up data and settings like this:

In Thunderbird, go to the Help tab and click on More Troubleshooting Information and scroll down to the section called Profile Folder. To the right should be a button labelled Open Folder. This is the fastest way to get to your profile folder. Back out to the parent folder (which should be called Thunderbird.) The name of the profile folder you just left will be a mishmash of letters followed by the extension ".default". Copy that to a safe place. I suggest the root directory of your boot drive, especially if that is an SSD. This folder can be particularly large (several GB) if you have a lot of stored mail and haven't cleaned up for a while. Copying to an SSD won't take long.

If everything looks fine with your rollback, delete the copy you made. If you need to restore everything, just drag this copy back into the Thunderbird folder you got it from (in the restored build) and overwrite the one that's there. Again, I have never lost data or settings by just installing over another Thunderbird, but this is an option if you're paranoid about data loss.

If you decide to try another build beside 102.15.1, got to the master Thunderbird releases page and follow the instructions above with the build you choose:

https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/

Again, I invite any member with more skills than me to vet my advice. Hope this helps.

Chris

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Hello chris317 Thank you very much for an incredibly nice guide on going back to version 102.15.1 I have changed automatic update – now I have to approve myself. I am now running version 102.15.1 in Thunderbird. Super nice, now I can mark many folders at a time. The only problem was that it didn't take my calendar with it. But I have now had it done manually. If version 115.4.2 will one day work so that you can select more folders, then I can update to this version: I'm not sure I'll hear about it. If you do, please write to me. Thank you very much for your great help. Best regards Kenneth Winther

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You're welcome, Kenneth. If you liked the new Supernova UI, I suggest you monitor the forum for any fixes to the marking issue. Then you can upgrade again.

I don't use the calendar so I didn't encounter your problem. Searching upgrade discussions from a few years ago, I saw mention that rolling back might require reinstalling the calendar if the restored build undid changes to how Thunderbird employs the calendar feature. I can't find anything about rolling back pre-Supernova doing the same, although some users report upgrading TO the new UI broke their calendar.

You might search the forum for "restore calendar data". One post I found addresses several calendar issues with upgrades:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/calendar-updates-issues-thunderbird

Has anyone else on this thread encountered Kenneth's problem?

Chris

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Always create a backup before any major upgrade or if wanting to revert to an previous version.

Profiles are version specific, so they can get issues if you attempt to go backwards this has been the case since version 68*. Good info in a Support Article:

In recent upgrades there has been some major changes to the file format for address books and folderpane etc. Hence why creating a backup can be very useful on occasions.

Each profile name folder has a 'compatibility.ini' file which is used to ensure a speicifc version can work with a given profile.

So I would advise this process when wanting to go back to a previous version. 1.

  • Settings > General
  • scroll to 'Updates' section
  • select : 'Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them'
  • Uncheck/do not select 'Use a background service to install updates'

The above means you get the chance to say NO and even if you do accidentally say Install, you will find the computer UAC controls pop up to ask you, if you want to allow changes, so you get a second chance to block it.

2. Exit Thunderbird program now.

3. Get a backup of the : C://Users/User name/Appdata/Roaming/Thunderbird folder

  • In bottom windows search type: %Appdata% - see image below as guide.
  • select the '%Appdata%' file folder
  • Select 'Roaming' folder
  • Copy the 'Thunderbird' folder to a suitable external storage location to act as a backup - note it is worth creating a folder to contain it and call it eg: 'TBIRD Bkup 115.4.2'. Then you know that profile data was used on a specific version.

4. Locate and delete the 'compatibility.ini' file

  • In Appdata - you are currently looking the 'Roaming' folder.
  • Select the 'Thunderbird' folder
  • Select the 'Profiles' folder
  • Select the 'profile name' folder typically called something like this eg: '123hgj4.default'
  • Scroll to find 'compatibility.ini' file and delete it.

5. Uninstall Thunderbird program - just the program.

6.

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Hello Toad Hall Thank you very much for your feedback. I used installation instructions from chris317 which I received first. I got previous version of Thunderbird 102.15.1 (64bit) with no problems (however it didn't take my calendar with data). I didn't uninstall Thunderbird version 115.4.2 first, I installed 102.15.1 which overwrote version 115.4.2. it seemed fine. I had taken a backup before installing. Toad-Hall you write this: Settings > General scroll to the 'Updates' section select: 'Check for updates but let me choose whether to install them' I have done that.

But: Uncheck/unselect 'Use a background service to install updates' Is it important that I do this: Uncheck/unselect 'Use a background service to install updates' - why ?

Thanks again for your feedback Toad-Hall I am happy to have Thunderbird version 102.15.1 where I can again mark many folders at a time.

Maybe Thunderbird makes it work (with ar mark many folders) with version 115.4.2. so I would like to update to this one. Please write if you see or hear about it.

Best regards Kenneth

Modified by Kenneth Winther

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re :But: Uncheck/unselect 'Use a background service to install updates' Is it important that I do this: Uncheck/unselect 'Use a background service to install updates' - why ?

On Windows OS whenever something wants to update a program it needs permission. Usually there is UAC which controls what is allowed to update what. Really good info here on UAC controls. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/application-security/application-control/user-account-control/

That checkbox basically says when you have clicked on install update in Thunderbird, then let the update go ahead and by-pass the UAC check. So if you accidentally clicked on install the update then this is like a second defence meaning you can still prevent the update. It's up to you whether you think you will never make that error. In the future, should you want all updates again then you can easily select that check box again.

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in a german support community they are not happy with the lack of "multible folder selection" either... https://www.thunderbird-mail.de/forum/thread/92729-keine-auswahl-mehrere-ordner-m%C3%B6glich/

other sidequestion:

I have an bugzill account, but can not comment on closed bugs like the relevant one: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1817605

"You need permission to comment on this closed bug." How do I get permissions?

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This is an update:

At the bug report the Status has chnaged from 'Closed : WONTFIX' to 'REOPENED' Comment 38: After considering feedback and evaluating possibilities, this feature is more a UX efficiency matter for folder management. Still a fairly edge case as the majority of users don't do any folder management at all, therefore the low priority and the not targeting of 115. I'll take this in order to explore and scope this work to define objectives, limitations, and implementation.

comment 40: This bug has enough comments already, please refrain from writing pure advocacy comments like "I use this too" or "this is very important to me". We will evaluate this implementation and have it done when we can.

In other words, it is an improvement in the right direction and means people can still 'Vote' for this bug. Voting for the bug has a better impact, so if you know other forums which mention that bug report then ask them to Vote for it. But I would recommend people refrain from posting comments. It just annoys the developers and they are less likely to be inclined to work on the problem.

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