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Deleting old emails massively INCREASES file size!

  • 19 uphendule
  • 1 inale nkinga
  • 63 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu sfhowes

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God's morrow, Gentlefolk and folkesses. I'm trying to migrate Thunderbird to a new coputer. Horrified to see that the Thunderbird folder was 26 GB, I deleted thousands of old emails, emptied all deleted item folders, deleted all archives, restarted the computer and then went to check on the size of the new "much slimmer" folder.

After deleting masses of unwanted data, the folder size has INCREASED to 33GB!

What to do?

Blessed be Karma Singh

All Replies (19)

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Did you File/Compact Folders after deleting mail? Is this a gmail account, and if so, is All Mail subscribed?

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no sfhowes, all of the email addresses are on a private mail server. I don't know what File/compact folders means but, whatever it is, I didn't do it.

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Compacting removes deleted messages that are not visible, but still occupy space in a mail folder. Press Alt if the File menu is hidden.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders

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I think that I should clarify that a little more. the email accounts are on a private server. The emails themselves are all on my laptop

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It matters not at all where your email is hosted.... compacting is about things stored on your local computer, it is a housekeeping function.. Just do it.

See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/compacting-folders

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Thank you gentlemen. the folder is now reduced to 19 GB but why it should be so huge, I've no idea. I also work with Evolution on Ubuntu and, although that has many more emails in it, the folder is only 3.8 GB.

Then we come to the transfer to TB on Ubuntu. Using the instructions here: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird or, alternatively here:- https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/moving-thunderbird-data-to-a-new-computer I have two problems:-

1) 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>. unfortunately, there is nothing to tell me what ~/ means so I can't do anything with this.

2) Using the second option, when I go up 2 levels, there are three folders and not just "the folder"; "98", "103" and "current". If I go another level up, I come to a collection of folders, one of which is named "thunderbird" (no . and no capital letter). None of these allow me to paste anything!

It would be REELY nice to finally get my brand new Linux machine fully operational. Please help.

Blessed be Karma Singh

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Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles, will show all the relevant profile folders, indicate which one is Default, and provide buttons to open them in the system file manager.

To move from one computer to another: delete the contents of the target profile folder (not the folder itself), copy the contents (not the folder itself) of the source profile folder into the target profile folder. For moving between Linux/OS X and Windows computers, delete the pkcs11.txt file in the target profile folder. TB must be closed during all profile operation.

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If I could but FIND the profile folder in Ubuntu I would, perhaps, be many steps nearer to success. Unfortunately, this has not yet come to pass.

Blessed be Karma Singh

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As mentioned above, launch TB in Ubuntu and then Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles.

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

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Apologies sfhowes, I didn't appreciate the first time that you were telling me something very different to that which is in the standard migration help: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/moving-thunderbird-data-to-a-new-computer maybe someone could correct that.

I have now found the .thunderbild folder BUT it only has a maximum capacity of 15.4 GB and my TB folder ex Windows has 19 GB. I've no idea why but, for some reason best known to itself, TB has, at some point in time, decided to create several sub-folders in one email account:- yo3nyx19.default-20161004-1729 yo3nyx19.default-20161004-1729(2) yo3nyx19.default-20180206-2048 yo3nyx19.default-20190509-2201 yo3nyx19.default-20161004-1729 yo3nyx19.default-20180206-2048 yo3nyx19.default-20190509-2201 All seven of these (I DO appreciate that some have the same number but all seven are "actually" there) also have sub-folders. I cannot open any of these not does TB allow me to delete them. Could they be the cause of the mystery GB's and how do I get rid of them anyway? What are they?

Thanks for your help.

Blessed be Karma

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The folders you list look like profile folders that were created accidentally. If they are profile folders, they can be opened, renamed or deleted from about:profiles. If the Windows profile won't 'fit' on your Linux computer, delete or archive some of the mail before moving the profile.

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Slow progress but I've found the problem. Now I just need to learn how to get rid of it:-

Under roaming > thunderbird > Profiles > yo3nyx19.default > Mail > d216....(the email account with all those extra profiles in it) we find Trash.sbd with 13.8 GB of "phantom" profiles in it.

Can I just delete the entire content without damaging anything?

Many thanks

Karma

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You can probably delete it, but just to be safe, open TB, right-click Trash, Empty Trash, then right-click Trash, Compact. That should eliminate all items in Trash, including sbd (subdirectory) folders. If that doesn't work, move Trash.sbd out of the profile, then restart TB and confirm it works properly.

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One pig of a job! TB just ignores any instruction to delete or to empty trash. Windows Explorer "said" it was moving all folders to desktop but then re-instated everything except one file so it became a case of moving one file at a time.

Anyway, I've now got the TB folder down to 5.4 GB and have reserved the pleasure of migrating it for this afternoon. I'll let you know how that fares.

Thanks for all your help.

Blessed be Karma Singh

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No joy so far. When I go to help - troubleshooting and click on about:profiles (Screen shot 1), this is what I see - (screen shot 2) Neither root directory nor local directory appears to bring me to where I need to be (screenshots 3 and 4) I did, of curse, experiment a little but achieved nothing useful and so uninstalled and reinstalled TB so that we'd have a clean slate to work with.

Where do I go from here???

Blessed be Karma

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You can ignore the local directory, as it only contains cached data. The root directory is an empty profile with no accounts, as there are no Mail or ImapMail folders. Add an account, and then there will be a Mail/Local Folders directory where you can copy mbox files from the old profile. Or, just delete the contents of the local directory and replace it with the contents of the profile folder from the other computer, as already explained above.

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This just gets daily more confusing:- "You can ignore the local directory..........." ............"Or, just delete the contents of the local directory and .........."

Then, suddenly, out of nowhere a brand new term that we've never heard before appears: What, pray, is an "mbox"????

At what level are the contents of the local directory to be deleted (if at all)? Level zero, called r5s3oy...default, which contains cache2, safebrowsing and startupCache folders plus a .startupincomplete file? Level one, called thunderbird (as is one folder 2 levels higher) which contains solely r5s3oyto.default? Level two, called .cache, which contains five folders, including one called thunderbird plus one .cache file? Somewhere else???

Please give me clear and precise instructions.

Blessed be Karma Singh

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Delete the contents of the root directory, r5s...default on Linux, and copy in the contents of the profile folder (Root Directory) from the Windows computer. Ignore the folders with caches (Local Directory).

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