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Thunderbird does not stay logged in to server, does not download emails consistently

Kuphostiwe

Tbird seems to have to log back in to our email server every time it tries to download email. Also, even though I have it set to check and download new emails every minute, it does not. Even when I click "Get Mail", it does not download. I have to close out of Tbird and re-open it to get it "un-stuck". Then, it downloads my emails in big bursts, and I find "new" emails time-stamped hours ago.

Details: Thunderbird 24.6.0 Windows 8.1

Server: Office 365 IMAP SSL/TLS 

No encryption No security software; just using native Windows security

I imagine that this might be a server issue. I am working with our IT staff to explore that. But if anyone has any suggestions about how I might make Tbird work better, please advise! Thank you. BGW

Tbird seems to have to log back in to our email server every time it tries to download email. Also, even though I have it set to check and download new emails every minute, it does not. Even when I click "Get Mail", it does not download. I have to close out of Tbird and re-open it to get it "un-stuck". Then, it downloads my emails in big bursts, and I find "new" emails time-stamped hours ago. Details: Thunderbird 24.6.0 Windows 8.1 Server: Office 365 IMAP SSL/TLS No encryption No security software; just using native Windows security I imagine that this might be a server issue. I am working with our IT staff to explore that. But if anyone has any suggestions about how I might make Tbird work better, please advise! Thank you. BGW

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Eminye Imininingwane

Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1766 izisombululo 11877 izimpendulo
Kuphostiwe

re: I have to close out of Tbird and re-open it to get it "un-stuck".

I'm searching for answers. does it improve - get unstuck - if you go offline and then go back to online. I know this is not a fix, but if it works then it is better than having to log out.

to go offline: click on two blue screen icon located bottom far left in Status bar.

to go online: click on two black screen icon located bottom far left in Status bar.

re: I have to close out of Tbird and re-open it to get it "un-stuck". I'm searching for answers. does it improve - get unstuck - if you go offline and then go back to online. I know this is not a fix, but if it works then it is better than having to log out. to go offline: click on two blue screen icon located bottom far left in Status bar. to go online: click on two black screen icon located bottom far left in Status bar.

Umnikazi wombuzo

Actually the more I do that the more it seems to "gum up the works". I am starting to think my server settings must be wrong. Tbird just isn't talking to the server correctly.

Actually the more I do that the more it seems to "gum up the works". I am starting to think my server settings must be wrong. Tbird just isn't talking to the server correctly.
Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1766 izisombululo 11877 izimpendulo
Kuphostiwe

Assuming the server settings are ok. Maybe this has something to do with the IDLE command.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP:_advanced_account_configuration The IDLE command is a extension to the IMAP protocol that lets the IMAP server notify Thunderbird when there is new mail by sending a command over the existing TCP-IP connection. If your IMAP server supports that you don't have to manually check for new mail or have Thunderbird poll for new mail every x minutes.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/How_do_I_check_for_new_messages_in_other_folders Read IMAP section.

Assuming the server settings are ok. Maybe this has something to do with the IDLE command. http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP:_advanced_account_configuration ''The IDLE command is a extension to the IMAP protocol that lets the IMAP server notify Thunderbird when there is new mail by sending a command over the existing TCP-IP connection. If your IMAP server supports that you don't have to manually check for new mail or have Thunderbird poll for new mail every x minutes. '' http://kb.mozillazine.org/How_do_I_check_for_new_messages_in_other_folders Read IMAP section.

Umnikazi wombuzo

I don't understand what this has to do with anything.

I don't understand what this has to do with anything.
Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3251 izisombululo 22401 izimpendulo
Kuphostiwe

Impendulo Ewusizo

Ok, Item 1. Turn the check for new mail into something that has a chance of working. Every minute would probably mean each download is failing to complete before your initiating it again. Something like 5 minutes for on premised and every 15 minutes for internet mail servers.

Item 2. Mail clients do not maintain a constant connection to a mail server, they connect on a schedule. Mail is not a chat session or an SMS.

Item 3. IMAP mail has an idle command which you are apparently oblivious of. The idle command allows the server to notify mail clients when it gets new mail. Google supports it, and it is the correct way for a mail client to become aware of new mail in near real time.

I have spent years on these forums trying to solve download issues created by people who think email is Instant messaging. It is not and never will be. While there is a setting to allow you to retrieve mail once a minute, no one says it will actually work. It rarely does!

Your using windows 8.1, so would be aware the native mail app only supports IMAP. Why, because people like you expect mail notifications immediately and only IMAP with Idle and push can deliver on that expectation. The issue is server side support, not anything to do with your choice of mail client.

Ok, Item 1. Turn the check for new mail into something that has a chance of working. Every minute would probably mean each download is failing to complete before your initiating it again. Something like 5 minutes for on premised and every 15 minutes for internet mail servers. Item 2. Mail clients do not maintain a constant connection to a mail server, they connect on a schedule. Mail is not a chat session or an SMS. Item 3. IMAP mail has an idle command which you are apparently oblivious of. The idle command allows the server to notify mail clients when it gets new mail. Google supports it, and it is the correct way for a mail client to become aware of new mail in near real time. I have spent years on these forums trying to solve download issues created by people who think email is Instant messaging. It is not and never will be. While there is a setting to allow you to retrieve mail once a minute, no one says it will actually work. It rarely does! Your using windows 8.1, so would be aware the native mail app only supports IMAP. Why, because people like you expect mail notifications immediately and only IMAP with Idle and push can deliver on that expectation. The issue is server side support, not anything to do with your choice of mail client.

Umnikazi wombuzo

Hey Matt,

Thank you for your reply. I have a couple follow-up items if that's ok.

(1) I set the "check for new mail" out to 10 minutes. I had no idea that it could actually interrupt itself if it was set to check too frequently. Thank you for explaining that.

(2) I do understand that email is not IM, and I don't want it to be IM. My problem is that Tbird was been completely failing to download new email. I guess I didn't make this clear in my OP. It just seems to grind to a halt at some point and not download anything. I don't care if it only downloads new email every 10 minutes, as long as it's actually working.

(3) I still don't understand what you mean in regards to the "idle command". Is this a setting I need to fix somehow?

(4) "The issue is server side support" - I'm not clear what you mean by this. Is there something I need to ask our IT people for help fixing? They are telling me my IMAP/POP settings are all correct.

Thank you again for your time. Again, I don't need Tbird to work faster; I just need it to download emails properly and not get "stuck", which is what it seems to be doing. I would be very grateful for any further suggestions.

BGW

Hey Matt, Thank you for your reply. I have a couple follow-up items if that's ok. (1) I set the "check for new mail" out to 10 minutes. I had no idea that it could actually interrupt itself if it was set to check too frequently. Thank you for explaining that. (2) '''I do understand that email is not IM, and I don't want it to be IM.''' My problem is that Tbird was been completely failing to download new email. I guess I didn't make this clear in my OP. It just seems to grind to a halt at some point and not download anything. I don't care if it only downloads new email every 10 minutes, as long as it's actually working. (3) I still don't understand what you mean in regards to the "idle command". Is this a setting I need to fix somehow? (4) "The issue is server side support" - I'm not clear what you mean by this. Is there something I need to ask our IT people for help fixing? They are telling me my IMAP/POP settings are all correct. Thank you again for your time. Again, I don't need Tbird to work faster; I just need it to download emails properly and not get "stuck", which is what it seems to be doing. I would be very grateful for any further suggestions. BGW

Umnikazi wombuzo

Really the main problem is that Tbird will often leave emails on the server - and not download them at all - for hours at a time.

For example, it is currently 7:20AM my time. I have had Tbird open for two hours. An email just appeared in my inbox, sent from another user on our server, time-stamped 5:45AM.

Again, I don't need Tbird to download new emails every second. I don't need it to be IM. But it's not even downloading emails every ten minutes, as per the settings. Sometimes it downloads them hours after they are sent; sometimes it does not download them at all.

I would really appreciate any suggestions about how I might go about fixing this.

Really the main problem is that Tbird will often leave emails on the server - and not download them at all - for hours at a time. For example, it is currently 7:20AM my time. I have had Tbird open for two hours. An email just appeared in my inbox, sent from another user on our server, time-stamped 5:45AM. Again, I don't need Tbird to download new emails every second. I don't need it to be IM. But it's not even downloading emails every ten minutes, as per the settings. Sometimes it downloads them hours after they are sent; sometimes it does not download them at all. I would really appreciate any suggestions about how I might go about fixing this.

Umnikazi wombuzo

Really the main problem is that Tbird will often leave emails on the server - and not download them at all - for hours at a time.

For example, it is currently 7:20AM my time. I have had Tbird open for two hours. An email just appeared in my inbox, sent from another user on our server, time-stamped 5:45AM.

Again, I don't need Tbird to download new emails every second. I don't need it to be IM. But it's not even downloading emails every ten minutes, as per the settings. Sometimes it downloads them hours after they are sent; sometimes it does not download them at all.

I would really appreciate any suggestions about how I might go about fixing this.

Really the main problem is that Tbird will often leave emails on the server - and not download them at all - for hours at a time. For example, it is currently 7:20AM my time. I have had Tbird open for two hours. An email just appeared in my inbox, sent from another user on our server, time-stamped 5:45AM. Again, I don't need Tbird to download new emails every second. I don't need it to be IM. But it's not even downloading emails every ten minutes, as per the settings. Sometimes it downloads them hours after they are sent; sometimes it does not download them at all. I would really appreciate any suggestions about how I might go about fixing this.
Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3251 izisombululo 22401 izimpendulo
Kuphostiwe

Could I see the headers of that email please!

Could I see the headers of that email please!

Umnikazi wombuzo

I don't have THAT email any more, but I have others that are very similar. What do you mean by the "headers"? I have to be careful about what I share - confidential work stuff.

I don't have THAT email any more, but I have others that are very similar. What do you mean by the "headers"? I have to be careful about what I share - confidential work stuff.
Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3251 izisombululo 22401 izimpendulo
Kuphostiwe

Press Ctrl + U when the mail is in front of you

that opens the mail source. The headers are stuff before the body of the email... transmission information to and from subject etc, but not the actual mail content. (If I was being mean I would call it metadata) but unlike governments the world over I will not say it does not contain any private information as all information is private. It should be our choice who we share what with.

To make things easier, email me at unicorn. dot consulting at gmail dot com then even the headers will not be public.

Press Ctrl + U when the mail is in front of you that opens the mail source. The headers are stuff before the body of the email... transmission information to and from subject etc, but not the actual mail content. (If I was being mean I would call it metadata) but unlike governments the world over I will not say it does not contain any private information as all information is private. It should be our choice who we share what with. To make things easier, email me at unicorn. dot consulting at gmail dot com then even the headers will not be public.

Umnikazi wombuzo

Actually I may have a breakthrough on this - new information that might help sort this out.

My employer has been using Windows and Office 365 since earlier this year. This.

I was trying again to get help from IT yesterday, and they told me "you should just log in to the Office portal and check your email there." I have never logged in to the portal before. Ever.

When I did, I found an Outlook client there. I opened the client. Again, mind you, I have never logged in to this portal. And yet, the Outlook client exactly mirrored how I have Thunderbird set up: same range of subfolders, same Draft emails, same emails marked Important or whatever.

I discussed this with IT, and they proposed a hypothesis: My Thunderbird is not simply downloading email from the server. It is actually downloading email, and then somehow corresponding with the Outlook client on the 365 portal, so that Outlook "synchs up" with Thunderbird. Because the two clients are constantly talking back and forth to each other, Thunderbird is slowed to a crawl.

I asked IT if there was a way to just have the server cut Outlook out of the loop, but they don't know. So I am going to explore Thunderbird to see if there is a way to tell it not to talk back to the server. If our hypothesis is correct, that would at least alleviate the problem.

I'm no expert. Does any of this make any sense?

Actually I may have a breakthrough on this - '''new information''' that might help sort this out. My employer has been using Windows and Office 365 since earlier this year. [http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/what-is-office-365-for-business-FX102997580.aspx This.] I was trying again to get help from IT yesterday, and they told me "you should just log in to the Office portal and check your email there." '''I have never logged in to the portal before'''. Ever. When I did, I found an Outlook client there. I opened the client. Again, mind you, I have never logged in to this portal. And yet, '''the Outlook client exactly mirrored how I have Thunderbird set up''': same range of subfolders, same Draft emails, same emails marked Important or whatever. '''I discussed this with IT, and they proposed a hypothesis: ''' My Thunderbird is not simply downloading email from the server. It is actually downloading email, and then somehow corresponding with the Outlook client on the 365 portal, so that Outlook "synchs up" with Thunderbird. Because the two clients are constantly talking back and forth to each other, Thunderbird is slowed to a crawl. I asked IT if there was a way to just have the server cut Outlook out of the loop, but they don't know. So I am going to explore Thunderbird to see if there is a way to tell it not to talk back to the server. If our hypothesis is correct, that would at least alleviate the problem. '''I'm no expert. Does any of this make any sense?'''
Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3251 izisombululo 22401 izimpendulo
Kuphostiwe

I think what you will find is you have an IMAP mail account set up in Thunderbird. Oddly, most people think email is email and it is not. There are multiple mail protocols open and proprietary. IT also sounds to me like your IT department is Microsoft trained and really know very little about IT and a lot about Microsoft products. Or they would bew telling you what I am now going to try to.

IMAP synchronizes folders and mail between mail client and the server. This is what the IMAP protocol is all about, so the view of your mail you get on your phone, web browser tablet and desktop all show the same things and more importantly have the same read and unread status, or as you have succinctly pointed out your important stuff is highlighted.

So to back this all way up. Have you turned on the Idle command as I suggested way back? Exchange supports it and it will see mail notification pushed out to your when mail arrives instead of waiting for the periodic checks.

I would still like to see the header of one of these delayed mails. I actually think that delivery to your mail box may well be actually delayed. The headers will show that and give indicators of where. I am assuming they all end up in your inbox, but it may be that they are spending time in one of exchanges incoming drop points as spam or unauthorized domains or something or even delayed in some third party spam filtering system. Many businesses outsource this stuff and the result can be mail or some mail taking an inordinate time to be delivered.

I think what you will find is you have an IMAP mail account set up in Thunderbird. Oddly, most people think email is email and it is not. There are multiple mail protocols open and proprietary. IT also sounds to me like your IT department is Microsoft trained and really know very little about IT and a lot about Microsoft products. Or they would bew telling you what I am now going to try to. IMAP synchronizes folders and mail between mail client and the server. This is what the IMAP protocol is all about, so the view of your mail you get on your phone, web browser tablet and desktop all show the same things and more importantly have the same read and unread status, or as you have succinctly pointed out your important stuff is highlighted. So to back this all way up. Have you turned on the Idle command as I suggested way back? Exchange supports it and it will see mail notification pushed out to your when mail arrives instead of waiting for the periodic checks. I would still like to see the header of one of these delayed mails. I actually think that delivery to your mail box may well be actually delayed. The headers will show that and give indicators of where. I am assuming they all end up in your inbox, but it may be that they are spending time in one of exchanges incoming drop points as spam or unauthorized domains or something or even delayed in some third party spam filtering system. Many businesses outsource this stuff and the result can be mail or some mail taking an inordinate time to be delivered.