automatic deletion of mail on server

Discussion of features in Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 15
Joined: January 25th, 2005, 12:39 am

Post Posted October 16th, 2005, 5:25 pm


a digression:

i am a new user of thunderbird because i moved to the mac platform and could not find a way to move my outlook express email to the mac. i installed tb beta on the windows pc and then installed 1.0.7 on the mac. the import from OE was no problem and i copied all the data files to the mac and started TB - everything worked fine.

addressbook did not migrate, could not find where it sits in windows. had to export and import it.

request for feature:

what i miss is deleting emails on the server when i either:
- delete a message
- or passage of time
- but NOT move message

the second works (i assume) in TB. however, the first is a problem because its tied to moving messages from the inbox. why? it should be be a separate option since i move messages constantly to arrange them (some automatically with rules/filters) and don't see a reason to delete them then.

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Joined: October 18th, 2005, 8:55 am

Post Posted October 20th, 2005, 8:03 am

I agree,

It is most irritating that you can't delete messages from the server by purely deleting them and not also if they're moved.


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Joined: August 27th, 2004, 6:26 am

Post Posted October 22nd, 2005, 7:56 am

I also agree
In particular, OE allows deletion from the POP server only when the email in question is deleted AND then deleted from the trash can. This allows use of multiple locations, and emails can be deleted at one site while still leaving the email on the server, but if you really want to get rid of it, then empty the trash can.
This would be a particularly helpful option which is currently lacking in TB.

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Post Posted October 22nd, 2005, 6:42 pm

I think it is coming in 1.5.
Gord McFee

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Post Posted October 24th, 2005, 1:43 am

That'll be nice :-)

Do we have a release date? It'll makea nice Christmas Present :P


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Post Posted October 24th, 2005, 6:00 am

Release candidate 1 is scheduled for October 28. Usually, there are two release candidates, so I would expect the final before Christmas. Of course, I am not coding it. :-)
Gord McFee

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Post Posted October 30th, 2005, 11:14 am

when you say "I think it is coming in 1.5" did you see something in the build list?
i could not find anything related to new way of delete options?


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Post Posted October 30th, 2005, 12:33 pm

It's one of the options in filter actions.
Gord McFee

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Joined: January 18th, 2006, 11:09 am

Post Posted January 18th, 2006, 11:13 am

The corresponding bug/ feature request is:

User Frankie recaps the request as:
Recap: there were at least a half dozen different requests for the following UI
change (and accompanying backend work) to Account Settings -> Server Settings

[ ] Leave messages on server
[ ] For at most ___ days
[ ] Until I delete them
[ ] Until I move them from Inbox

I didn't see this functionality in TB 1.5, so I assume that it has not been addressed yet.


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Post Posted January 18th, 2006, 11:20 am

Thanks sualeh. Gord, yes in theory you could set up a manual filter action that deletes a message from the server, but that would be damn annoying compared to:
1: click delete, message goes to trash
2: on next mailcheck, thunderbird deletes it from server
3: there is no step 3. there is no step 3!
Eudora and presumably many other email clients have had this option for a decade now.

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Joined: November 5th, 2004, 2:04 am

Post Posted January 19th, 2006, 2:31 am

Yes, Outlook Express misses many features but has had this for years.

This missing feature is simply a bug in Thunderbird. It just doesn't make any sense to combine those two options to one checkbox ("Leave on Server until i delete them or move them from Inbox"). We need two separate checkboxes - it shouldn't be that difficult to do! The result is, that now both options aren't really useable for normal users who want to read mail with Thunderbird @ work and @ home.

With Thunderbird there is no way to read mail @ home and @ work (of coarse sorting the mail in folders - who doesn't want folders?) and delete mail from the server when deleted in Thunderbird. Would you believe that?

If i check the option "Leave on Server until i delete them or move them from Inbox" then all the mail i recieve @ work and move to subfolders is simply deleted from the server - i don't get it @ home. Not useable. If i don't use the option (which i'm therefore forced to now) i have to download all the spam @home also.

Why doesn't anyone - who is involved in this - think this through? This big has been known for over 2 years. In bugzilla the assigned person hasn't posted a reply to this bug for over a year!


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Post Posted January 31st, 2006, 8:24 am

GordMcFee wrote:It's one of the options in filter actions.

The problem with this is an instance of a "false positive". For those who don't know that term, it means in the case of e-mail a piece of perfectly legit e-mail being incorrectly flagged by a filter condition. Specifically we will look at the case of spam.

By automatically filtering on a spam detection routine, you remove user control to leave somthing alone that should not have been caught. One might argue that the user has a flaw in his/her filters but that misses the point. The mail is there and now must be remailed to the server so that a second computer can access it later.

A classic example is one of work and home, using POP. A user sees some mail at work and wants to reread it at home, however it is flagged as spam along with a bunch of others. With Eudora (for example), it's not a problem. Trash all the real spam and leave that message alone in any folder the user chooses. When the user goes home, the message is downloaded safely, while the spam is removed from the server thanks to the "Delete from server when trashed locally" option.

With Thunderbird's filter action to remove from the server, that last bit of user control is removed.

The filter is a nice idea but it does not really solve the problem.

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Joined: March 10th, 2006, 5:28 am

Post Posted March 10th, 2006, 5:51 am


After trying several ways of finding a topic like thsi one, i was finally referenced to this by bugzilla.
I agree completely with timl006!
Using filters is not an equivalent workaround for a "Delete from server when trashed locally".

in the past few weeks I tried to Contact the Developers in different ways: In this support-forum (as guest in TB-support-thread above) and lately in the Newsgroup. Unfortunately with no satisfying responses.
Now, after searching the Bugzilla i figured out that this "bug" is known for now over 2 years!(according to bugid 226839)
I like using TB, and probably i will continue using it but this is a kind of ignorant developing.

I understand, that rearranging the config menus are hard to do and therfore most of the work. This feature is as mentioned available in most of current mailclients. Surely not without reason. But lacking one of the basic features a mailclient should give taking over 2 years without any effect is not OK.

In hope this Problem gets solved in the near future




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Post Posted March 11th, 2006, 2:51 pm

howdy y'all,

if you are concerned about this feature, then please vote in the bug listed above. please, do NOT comment unless you have new info! why? cuz bugs/rfes with lots of "me too" comments tend to get ignored.

- [RFE] delete mail from pop server when moved to trash (separate preference from moved out of inbox)

as of 2006-03-11, 3.50p US/CST, the vote count for that bug is "Votes: 7".

take care,
Last edited by Lee_Dailey on May 7th, 2006, 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted May 7th, 2006, 11:34 am

Has there been any progress on this issue yet?
It is still assigned to the same (presumably inactive) person so I am guessing not?

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