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Horrible, irresponsible default setting for Thunderbird re: deleting mail from POP server

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Yesterday I downloaded and booted an ISO of Linux Mint 16 because I was curious about the current state of Linux and whether it would make sense to finally switch from Windows. The OS booted and ran without any major issues and seemed generally well-polished.

Then I ran Thunderbird and did a quick setup of my POP3 e-mail account (provided by GoDaddy) using the default configuration, which I assumed would be appropriately configured for someone who wanted to give Thunderbird a test-run. I waited a few minutes while Thunderbird downloaded all the e-mail messages from GoDaddy's server and then I spent some time poking around with the program. Seemed fine.

Unfortunately, I did not realize until after rebooting my system into Windows that Thunderbird was configured by default to delete all my e-mail messages from the server upon download, and I was shocked to find that I could no longer access my old messages via my Android phone. That's several months worth of important e-mails that Thunderbird unceremoniously wiped from my mail server without so much as a warning.

This is a horribly irresponsible way to configure Thunderbird's default settings and I'm sure I'm not the only person who has gotten burned in this manner. Needless to say it has soured me not just on Thunderbird but on Linux in general as a desktop OS. As an attorney I frequently need to review previously-read e-mail messages in my account and your mail client's default settings have caused me a major inconvenience. I strongly suggest that you alter Thunderbird's default configuration to leave downloaded messages on the server in order to avoid upsetting users in the future.

Yesterday I downloaded and booted an ISO of Linux Mint 16 because I was curious about the current state of Linux and whether it would make sense to finally switch from Windows. The OS booted and ran without any major issues and seemed generally well-polished. Then I ran Thunderbird and did a quick setup of my POP3 e-mail account (provided by GoDaddy) using the default configuration, which I assumed would be appropriately configured for someone who wanted to give Thunderbird a test-run. I waited a few minutes while Thunderbird downloaded all the e-mail messages from GoDaddy's server and then I spent some time poking around with the program. Seemed fine. Unfortunately, I did not realize until after rebooting my system into Windows that Thunderbird was configured by default to delete all my e-mail messages from the server upon download, and I was shocked to find that I could no longer access my old messages via my Android phone. That's several months worth of important e-mails that Thunderbird unceremoniously wiped from my mail server without so much as a warning. This is a horribly irresponsible way to configure Thunderbird's default settings and I'm sure I'm not the only person who has gotten burned in this manner. Needless to say it has soured me not just on Thunderbird but on Linux in general as a desktop OS. As an attorney I frequently need to review previously-read e-mail messages in my account and your mail client's default settings have caused me a major inconvenience. I strongly suggest that you alter Thunderbird's default configuration to leave downloaded messages on the server in order to avoid upsetting users in the future.

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Toad-Hall
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Pop mail accounts can be configured to leave emails on the server. I presume you did not check your settings nor choose those settings in Account Settings prior to choosing to download to a Pop mail account.

So what exactly is your question. You have spent some time discussing your feelings about your presumptions and failure to checking your newly created mail account settings before downloading, but not actually stated what it is you want to do.

So I'm presuming that there are two questions that you were wanting to ask, but forgot to mention.

Do you want to know how to change your settings?

  • Right click on mail account name in left Folder Pane and choose 'Settings'.
  • then select 'Server Settings' for the mail account.
  • select 'Leave messages on the server'
  • make any other selection syou require
  • click on OK to save changes

Do you want to put those messages back on the server?

If yes, please find some helpful info at this link http://kb.mozillazine.org/How_do_I_put_messages_back_on_the_POP3_server%3F

'''Pop''' mail accounts can be configured to leave emails on the server. I presume you did not check your settings nor choose those settings in Account Settings prior to choosing to download to a Pop mail account. So what exactly is your question. You have spent some time discussing your feelings about your presumptions and failure to checking your newly created mail account settings before downloading, but not actually stated what it is you want to do. So I'm presuming that there are two questions that you were wanting to ask, but forgot to mention. '''Do you want to know how to change your settings?''' * Right click on mail account name in left Folder Pane and choose 'Settings'. * then select 'Server Settings' for the mail account. * select 'Leave messages on the server' * make any other selection syou require * click on OK to save changes '''Do you want to put those messages back on the server?''' If yes, please find some helpful info at this link http://kb.mozillazine.org/How_do_I_put_messages_back_on_the_POP3_server%3F
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I am well aware that Thunderbird can be configured to leave messages on the server. And putting the messages back to the server via the method you suggested is a no-go at this point because they were lost from Thunderbird when I rebooted back into Windows. I'm sure there is some convoluted way to restore them from the mailbox files of my Outlook client and I guess I will now have to spend an hour or two figuring out how to do that.

Your response completely misses the point of my post, which was not to ask a question. My point is to assert that Thunderbird should NOT, by default, delete mail messages from the server. That kind of behavior runs completely contrary to the expectations of people who are downloading and evaluating Thunderbird as an alternative e-mail client. To release a mail client that deletes all messages from the server by default is just insane.

I don't know if you're a developer or just an evangelist, but blaming users for making reasonable assumptions about how software works is a GREAT way to piss off people who are genuinely interested in trying your product. Which means more complaints like mine and these:

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2697179

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2275613

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/VivB_gogrJ4

I am well aware that Thunderbird can be configured to leave messages on the server. And putting the messages back to the server via the method you suggested is a no-go at this point because they were lost from Thunderbird when I rebooted back into Windows. I'm sure there is some convoluted way to restore them from the mailbox files of my Outlook client and I guess I will now have to spend an hour or two figuring out how to do that. Your response completely misses the point of my post, which was not to ask a question. My point is to assert that Thunderbird should NOT, by default, delete mail messages from the server. That kind of behavior runs completely contrary to the expectations of people who are downloading and evaluating Thunderbird as an alternative e-mail client. To release a mail client that deletes all messages from the server by default is just insane. I don't know if you're a developer or just an evangelist, but blaming users for making reasonable assumptions about how software works is a GREAT way to piss off people who are genuinely interested in trying your product. Which means more complaints like mine and these: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2697179 http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2275613 https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/VivB_gogrJ4
Toad-Hall
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1806 решений 12184 ответов
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It is not my product. If you do not have a question to ask then do not put one in a Question forum. It is not a chat forum.

re: ' no-go at this point because they were lost from Thunderbird when I rebooted back into Windows.;

If you still have the Linux Mint 16 OS on your computer, then the files are likely to be there as Pop mail accounts download to an mbox file and are stored in the Thunderbird Profile - not in the Thunderbird Program. So if you have not completely erased the Profile folder, then they should be on the computer.

It is not my product. If you do not have a question to ask then do not put one in a Question forum. It is not a chat forum. re: ' no-go at this point because they were lost from Thunderbird when I rebooted back into Windows.; If you still have the Linux Mint 16 OS on your computer, then the files are likely to be there as Pop mail accounts download to an mbox file and are stored in the Thunderbird Profile - not in the Thunderbird Program. So if you have not completely erased the Profile folder, then they should be on the computer.
Toad-Hall
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1806 решений 12184 ответов
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Some links to help:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Show_hidden_files_and_folders#Linux

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird

Linux and Unix

Profile folders are located here:

   ~/.thunderbird/<Profile name>/ 

However, if you're using a third party build from Debian or Ubuntu, those builds store your profile folder here:

   ~/.mozilla-thunderbird<Profile name>. 

Both are hidden folders. See first link for more information.

In Nautilus, go to the Edit menu item, then to Preferences. There should be an option right on the first tab (Views) called "Show hidden and backup files", make sure it's checked. You should then be able to see the .mozilla and .thunderbird folders, as well as the rest of the hidden files and folders in your Home folder.
Some links to help: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Show_hidden_files_and_folders#Linux http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird Linux and Unix Profile folders are located here: ~/.thunderbird/<Profile name>/ However, if you're using a third party build from Debian or Ubuntu, those builds store your profile folder here: ~/.mozilla-thunderbird<Profile name>. Both are hidden folders. See first link for more information. In Nautilus, go to the Edit menu item, then to Preferences. There should be an option right on the first tab (Views) called "Show hidden and backup files", make sure it's checked. You should then be able to see the .mozilla and .thunderbird folders, as well as the rest of the hidden files and folders in your Home folder.

Изменено Toad-Hall

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Thank you for your suggestions, but I had booted Mint directly from the DVD and had not installed it. I was simply testing it out. Thunderbird was remarkably easy to configure - I just gave it my e-mail address, name, and password and it figured out the rest. But nowhere did it indicate that it would remove downloaded messages from my mail server by default, hence my shock and dismay.

I sincerely hope that somebody within Mozilla will acknowledge that this is a problem and change the default settings.

Thank you for your suggestions, but I had booted Mint directly from the DVD and had not installed it. I was simply testing it out. Thunderbird was remarkably easy to configure - I just gave it my e-mail address, name, and password and it figured out the rest. But nowhere did it indicate that it would remove downloaded messages from my mail server by default, hence my shock and dismay. I sincerely hope that somebody within Mozilla will acknowledge that this is a problem and change the default settings.
Matt
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But nowhere did it indicate that it would remove downloaded messages from my mail server by default, hence my shock and dismay.

It appears to me the default is not "delete" see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=531088

That i not to say the Mint people don't have their own default

<blockquote> But nowhere did it indicate that it would remove downloaded messages from my mail server by default, hence my shock and dismay. </blockquote> It appears to me the default is not "delete" see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=531088 That i not to say the Mint people don't have their own default
jscher2000
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I find this confusing. I don't have any POP accounts, but when I set one up, an autoconfiguration routine runs, and the account is set to keep mail on the server for 14 days.

However, when I look in the Config Editor, it appears that in the absence of this autoconfiguration, I might not have my mail kept on the server. I don't know enough about this to say for sure. (It is difficult to test without having POP accounts on multiple providers...)

I find this confusing. I don't have any POP accounts, but when I set one up, an autoconfiguration routine runs, and the account is set to keep mail on the server for 14 days. However, when I look in the Config Editor, it appears that in the absence of this autoconfiguration, I might not have my mail kept on the server. I don't know enough about this to say for sure. (It is difficult to test without having POP accounts on multiple providers...)
jscher2000
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Those default preferences I saw may be obsolete. The code file accountConfig.js sets new POP account settings to the ones I got for my Example account. I'm not sure how many code paths there are for creating a new account, though, so it's worth investigating further to try to understand the Linux Mint 16 result.

Those default preferences I saw may be obsolete. The code file accountConfig.js sets new POP account settings to the ones I got for my Example account. I'm not sure how many code paths there are for creating a new account, though, so it's worth investigating further to try to understand the Linux Mint 16 result.