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Emails disappeared

  • 11 ответов
  • 5 имеют эту проблему
  • 19 просмотров
  • Последний ответ от Toad-Hall

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All emails, received and sent, older than 30 days have disappeared!! Where are my emails?

All emails, received and sent, older than 30 days have disappeared!! Where are my emails?

Все ответы (11)

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what mail provider are you using? I would guess that either your provider has a 30 day retention policy, of you have recently added a phone or other device to the mail account and it has such a policy. Synchronization of IMAP accounts means looking for answers involves all of the connected devices.

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I use Thunderbird. All my emails have been here consistently for ages....suddenly today they're gone.

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I actually asked questions. Your response did not answer them. So I will repeat myself.

1. What mail provider are you using? (No, Thunderbird is a client not a provider. Your provider is the bit after the @ in your email address usually. 2. Do you have the account set up on another device like a phone or tablet?

and I will add, Is your account IMAP or POP?

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I use USFamily.net. Have been with them for 20+ years and never had an issue. How do I tell if my account is IMAP or POP? I have the account on my phone as well but do not save them there. I have depended on Thunderbird to save my folders and history (As you can tell, I'm very low tech)

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This issue only began yesterday. I've always been able to save folders with my history. They're now all gone also. This is a lot of information lost to me. Is it retrievable?

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Also, I understood that the whole purpose of an email account like Outlook or Thunderbird was to preserve emails, even when the provider holds them only for 30 days. The fact that years of saved items have disappeared is devastating.

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Thank you for helping me connect with my provider. The tech who set me up with Thunderbird had, in fact, not checked POP3 and that was the source of my issue. My provider has helped me reestablish the correct account.

 However, I'm wondering if there is any way to reclaim the saved folders that were in my previous inbox.  I had saved a lot of important things there and they all disappeared.
 Thanks for any further help you can provide
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Thanks for your info. I've been in touch with USFamily.net and they've guided me through resetting my Thunderbird to POP3. However, I'm wondering if there's any way to retrieve the saved folders I had in my email prior to everything disappearing?

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re :How do I tell if my account is IMAP or POP?

In Folder Pane:

  • Right click on the mail account name folder and select 'Settings'.
  • It open the 'Account Settings' in a new tab.
  • Select 'Server Settings' for the mail account.
  • On the right, at the top it will say: 'Server Type:' and it will say either 'Pop Mail Server' or 'Imap Mail Server'

re :they've guided me through resetting my Thunderbird to POP3. My provider has helped me reestablish the correct account.

That sounds a bit odd because you mentioned emails being deleted and nothing about losing an entire mail account. Are you saying the original mail account was not a Pop account? Are you saying your original account was set up as an IMAP account? Please note: you cannot and should not simply swap the server settings. So, if your original mail account was set as an IMAP account, you would need to create a new mail account and set it up as POP. I hope they guided you correctly.

If you previously had an IMAP account then it can only display whatever is on the server. Emails are stored on server and the imap account folders synchronise with server folders to display what is held on server.

You mention I have the account on my phone as well but do not save them there

If you have an imap account on the phone and deleted emails then you deleted them off the server, so they do not exist meaning an Imap account cannot see what does not exist. If you have a pop account on the phone and it is not set up correctly to leave a copy on the server, then when emails are popped off the server they get deleted off the server. Which means the emails do not exist on server, so an imap account cannot see something that does not exist. They would disappear from the Imap account.

re :Also, I understood that the whole purpose of an email account like Outlook or Thunderbird was to preserve emails, even when the provider holds them only for 30 days.

Thunderbird and Outlook are not email accounts they are email clients - programs running on your computer. In Thunderbird, you can create a mail account for a particular email address and download copies from server and store them on your computer, but it depends upon what type of account you have set up, the choice of settings and whether you have other devices accessing the server.

Imap accounts can never be thought of as independent copy because all imap folders synchronise with the server folders and can only display what in held on server.

In your case, it sounds like you had set up the phone to access the server to see emails, but then if you were using an imap connection you deleted those emails not realising you were deleting them off the server or you had a pop account which was not set up to leave a copy on the server.

If you have a POP account in Thunderbird, then it will only access the server Inbox and download emails into the Pop account Inbox. These emails are stored on your computer, but it is only one copy and therefore you should have been creating a backup especially before any major update. Now that Pop account is working ok in Thunderbird, please make sure it is set up to 'Leave mesasges on the server'. That is in Account Settings > Server Settings for the pop mail account.

I also strongly advise you check what the phone is set up to do. Because if it is imap and you delete emails from Inbox then Thunderbird cannot download them if they were new. However, if it is pop and you have not set up to leave message on server, then emails will get deleted off server and Thunderbird cannot download if it does not exist.

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Thank you for your considered responses. I appreciate getting better educated even at age 75!

My email provider had me delete my Thunderbird account which my computer tech had originally set up in error as IMAP. Then they then had me set up a new POP account. This was able to access the 30 days they keep on their server and they told me going forward, they would now remain on my Thunderbird account. Hopefully that was the correct process. Please let me know if it was not as I do not wish to have this happen again. (Losing my saved folders after the IMAP period expired is a bit traumatic.)

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kmk56 said

Thank you for your considered responses. I appreciate getting better educated even at age 75! My email provider had me delete my Thunderbird account which my computer tech had originally set up in error as IMAP. Then they then had me set up a new POP account. This was able to access the 30 days they keep on their server and they told me going forward, they would now remain on my Thunderbird account. Hopefully that was the correct process. Please let me know if it was not as I do not wish to have this happen again. (Losing my saved folders after the IMAP period expired is a bit traumatic.)

Yes, downloaded emails are stored in the Pop account on your computer. Pop account can only access the server Inbox and download whatever has not been downloaded before. Those emails get stored on your computer. There is no synchronising with server folders.

To ensure you are downloading full copies you can check : There are a couple of ways to access the Account Settings. You choose whatever method you like as none are better than any other, it's just preference. Do one of these:

  1. Select - (left click on) pop mail account name folder in Folder Pane and top right click on 'Account Settings'
  2. Right click on the pop mail account name folder in the Folder Pane and select 'Settings'
  3. Left click on Menu icon (3 lines) and select 'Account Settings'
  4. Or if you use the top Menu Bar - click on 'Tools' and select 'Account Settings'

It opens in a new tab In left Pane - Select 'Server Settings' Under Server Settings on the right side These checkboxes should be selected:

  • 'Check for new messages at startup'
  • 'Check for new messages every eg: 10 minutes'
  • 'Automatically download new messages'
  • 'Leave messages on server'


It seems very odd for a server to delete any email older than 30 days, because the purpose of an imap account is that all emails are stored on the server until you choose to delete. However, Emails in imap Junk/Spam and Trash may get deleted by the server after a short period.

I think pop is much easier to understand with less complex options. It should be perfect for you.