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IMAP and keeping mail saved/stored on PC

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
tgwarrior
 
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Post Posted March 5th, 2011, 9:15 am

I've read through many of the knowledge-base articles on IMAP and I'm still unclear. (I've been POPing email forever.) I'm fairly new to thunderbird (switched from Eudora).

It looks like when using IMAP emails are *not* saved/stored on your computer. Is that correct?

I'd like to be able to synchronize email that is downloaded to my computer with what is on the server -- keeping mail on the server so I can sync/download with 2 other computers. It's *really* important to me that email is SAVED to my computer (and not rely totally on the server to save/store emails).

Is there an article that shows (step by step) how IMAP works? How I can make sure I have securely saved emails on my PC (not just on the server)?

Thanks for any help/direction.

michael munson

DanRaisch
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Post Posted March 5th, 2011, 11:49 am

What version of Thunderbird? If you are using a 3.1.x version messages from the IMAP account ARE downloaded to files on the local computer if Thunderbird is set to do that under Tools->Account Settings->Synchronization & Storage. Note though that deleting messages from the Inbox (or other folder) will result in that message being deleted from the locally stored synchronization file.

To do what you describe, you can set up filters in Thunderbird to copy all messages from the folders of your choice to folders under the Local Folders "account" in Thunderbird. Message folders in that structure are independent of actions on the messages in the IMAP folders.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP

tgwarrior
 
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Post Posted March 5th, 2011, 12:36 pm

Thanks. I realized that I could set up a filter that COPIED the IMAP emails into a particular Local Folders folder - which I know creates duplicates, but at least I wouldn't have to worry about accidentally deleting one in the IMAP (which would delete from the server, too).

In my work, it's required that all emails are saved (aside from spam) - so it's vital that I have local/on-pc stored emails.

Thanks for your suggestion.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted March 5th, 2011, 1:30 pm

You're welcome.

tgwarrior
 
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2012, 6:55 am

Dan (or others),

It has been a year since i originally posted this question.

I've run into another problem with copying emails from IMAP to local folders. The person's email is through AOL (gack). It seems like every time she opens email in the IMAP account, it creates multiple copies in the local folders. (The filter must be seeing the emails as new when she opens the IMAP emails each time or something.)

I have the filter set up to run when checking mail and is set to Subject does not contain &BLA@*VV_ The action to perform is to COPY the message into a folder under Local Folders.

What has ended up happening is that the Local Folders folder exceeded 4GB because of all the duplicates and has frozen all of THunderbird.

Is there a way to have the filter ONLY filter the IMAP email once and only put ONE copy in the local folder?

DanRaisch
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2012, 7:23 pm

Is the user regularly compacting the IMAP message folders? Are all messages in the Inbox folder properly marked as Read and Unread?

tgwarrior
 
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2012, 8:57 pm

Yes, regularly compacting. "Properly" marked as read and Unread? She reads them and they are marked as read. I don't think she re-selects/ remarks them as unread at any point.

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Post Posted April 4th, 2012, 10:27 am

Try deleting that filter and recreating it.

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted April 4th, 2012, 2:03 pm

howdy y'all,

the OP didn't mention if the msgs were being merely read or composed. if they are being replied/forwarded or otherwise composed, then i suppose it's _possible_ that autosaves to the IMAP drafts folder are the source of the glitch.

you can test if autosave is part of the problem really quickly by temporarily disabling the function here ...
- tools/options/composition/general
- [] auto save every [##] minutes

simply uncheck the autosave item and see what happens. i don't think a restart of tbird is needed, but it won't hurt.

if it turns out that autosave is the culprit, you can configure that account to use a folder in your local folders account instead of the one in your IMAP account. i did that some time ago for a different reason having to do with odd timeouts on my inet connection causing tbird to leave a bazillion saves in the draft folder.

take care,
lee

tgwarrior
 
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Post Posted April 4th, 2012, 3:15 pm

@Lee -- some message have simply been read-only, some have remained unread, and some are replied to or forwarded. In each case, multiple copies are being moved into the filtered folder AND slowing down everything. (I've turned off indexing, but it still seems to be indexing anyway.)

I'll test out the autosave piece and see if that makes a difference. I may set up the autosave to go to local folders anyway, since that may help eliviate some of the sluggishness with sync'ing.

Thanks.

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted April 4th, 2012, 3:27 pm

howdy tgwarrior,

you are very welcome! hope it helps ... [*grin*]

take care,
lee

meditek
 
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Post Posted Yesterday, 4:55 am

Thunderbird 38.1.0
Following a message from my ISP indicating my mailbox was nearly full, I logged into my webmail on their server and deleted everything thinking as I had Thunderbird set to download my IMAP emails for offline viewing that I had copies of them all on my computer. Incredibly, I discovered that ALL the emails on my computer had vanished. It seems TB does not do what it is asked or I did something wrong. I see this as a major bug if I didn't

Please would someone explain, preferably with a screenshot, exactly what settings will ensure that messages are downloaded for offline viewing so I can compare them with mine.

Many thanks

PS I think the culprit is the download message option doesn't mention Sync which is obviously what happened.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted Yesterday, 8:12 am

meditek wrote:Following a message from my ISP indicating my mailbox was nearly full, I logged into my webmail on their server and deleted everything thinking as I had Thunderbird set to download my IMAP emails for offline viewing that I had copies of them all on my computer. Incredibly, I discovered that ALL the emails on my computer had vanished. It seems TB does not do what it is asked or I did something wrong.

The problem is what does offline viewing imply. If you use file -> offline -> work offline it will display the contents of the offline folders (created by "keep messages for this account on the computer") instead of the contents of the remote folders, and disable all network activity. However, your offline folders are not a reliable backup. if you delete the remote folders Thunderbird will delete the corresponding offline folders when it synchs them. One way to avoid that problem is to not enable offline folders, and use a message filter to copy messages to a folder in Local Folders instead. Those copied messages will be unaffected by whatever you do with the IMAP account.

If your ISP mailbox is small rather than automatically copying new messages, it might be better to have the message filter test the age of the message, and move it to a folder in Local Folders if its over 30 days old. Then periodically manually run that message filter (or do that when you get a warning message about running out of space), and compact your folders . The advantage of doing it this way is you can still read recent old mail using webmail.

meditek
 
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Post Posted Today, 12:02 am

Many thanks Tanstaall for your very helpful advice.

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