MozillaZine

Fast Thunderbird IMAP Search?

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Rich Barger
Guest
 

Post Posted August 29th, 2008, 6:57 pm

Is there such a thing as a fast search for Thunderbird IMAP folders?

I have a huge storehouse of email messages on an IMAP server. If I need to do a quick search of those messages, or even of large email folders, Thunderbird is moss-growing slow.

To complete large searches, I have to load Outlook Express -- ugh! But it really is fast.

Is there a similar product or add-on or methodology simply using Thunderbird? I've done some due diligence in the Knowledge Base, searching the support forums, the help files, and Google, without success.

rsx11m
Moderator
 
Posts: 14430
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 7:40 am
Location: US

Post Posted August 29th, 2008, 7:53 pm

As far as I know, searches on IMAP folders are performed by the server itself. Thus, it depends mainly on the speed of the server to look up messages matching the search criteria submitted with the query. Why would another client be faster then with the same IMAP server? The only reasons crossing my mind are either that OE is using a different protocol (not IMAP at all or some MS-proprietary extensions to it), or it's using "smarter" queries, either of which allowing a more efficient search. Without knowing the details, probably only comparing time-stamped IMAP logs between the two clients would be conclusive.

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted August 30th, 2008, 8:06 am

Thank you. Comparing logs sounds simple enough, but I'm not sure how to do it, nor what I would know after learning the information. At any rate, the Outlook Express search is quite fast -- and, apparently, accurate -- on huge directories, while the Thunderbird search is interminable.

Using Outlook Express to search involves several extra steps, and, anyway, I'm eager to move away from anything Microsoft-related; if an MS product can do this, I'd think knowledgeable Thunderbird developers would be able to come up with an add-on.

Thanks again or your help.

rsx11m
Moderator
 
Posts: 14430
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 7:40 am
Location: US

Post Posted August 30th, 2008, 8:27 am

You are welcome. The log files would show which queries were issued by Outlook Express versus Thunderbird for a similar search, thus could open up some suggestions how to improve any shortcomings. However, you would have to have access to your IMAP server and be able to interpret those logs, which I agree may be tricky, but maybe somebody can come up with such a test setup to see what is different.
Using Outlook Express to search involves several extra steps
There are two ways how to search in Thunderbird: The quick-search box (single line, on top in the toolbar), and then by right-clicking on a folder and selecting "Search" from the context menu. The latter offers substantially more options to fine-tune your search, thus maybe speeding it up in this way.

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted August 30th, 2008, 1:20 pm

Thank you again. I'll try to locate a guru to help with your first suggestion, but, based on dozens of trials, I don't believe search "fine-tuning" is the issue. I have used the T-Bird "Search Messages" function, and, while it is more comprehensive, it is no faster on large mailboxes of IMAP msgs. There still is an enormous difference in speed with T-Bird and Outlook Express.

I certainly appreciate your follow-up.

Rich Barger

acastles
 
Posts: 2
Joined: October 2nd, 2008, 2:49 am

Post Posted October 2nd, 2008, 3:02 am

As far as I am aware, Outlook Express is quicker because it only searches in messages that are already cached on the client. So if you have a folder which has been updated with new messages on the IMAP server but OE hasn't yet downloaded those message then they won't appear as part of the search results.

In my experience, OE is much quicker because of this but you need to get it to sync all of the folders with the server before searching and this can be very time-consuming and hard on the server. Once done however, as searches are just within files local to OE the results come through very quickly.

Hope that helps,

Andy Castles

acastles
 
Posts: 2
Joined: October 2nd, 2008, 2:49 am

Post Posted October 2nd, 2008, 3:35 am

Further to my previous reply about why OE is faster, if you put Thunderbird into offline mode, aparently it will search only locally cached messages and therefore is much quicker. When going offline you can ask it to sync messages and if the settings are right I think you can have it download message bodies from all folders. Does that help?

Andy

tanstaafl
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 46695
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted October 2nd, 2008, 11:32 am

If you're searching online folders unless Outlook Express has cached the folder I would expect searches to have similar performance since the searching is performed by the mail server, not the email client.

Outlook Express caches remote folders but its a temporary cache, and it decides which folders to cache/keep. Apple's mail.app caches all remote folders by default. Thunderbird doesn't support a cache, but gives you full control over which folders you want a local copy of that you can access while working offline (offline folders). It also lets you control how much of a message is fetched when you open a message in a remote folder. For example, if you have a 2kb message with a 100MB attachment and use the default "MIME Parts On Demand" settings Thunderbird will only fetch the headers and the 2kb message body unless you explicitly open the attachment .

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Offline_folders
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Entire_messag ... AP_message

jeff1234
 
Posts: 1
Joined: August 21st, 2010, 8:52 am

Post Posted August 21st, 2010, 8:58 am

I'm convinced that the imap search speed problem is a problem with Thunderbird, not the imap server. Here is why:

do a search in the little search window in the upper right corner of the window (in thunderbird 2.0.0.24). You will find that the results pull up almost instantly.

no go to edit->find->search messages and perform the exact same search on the exact same folder and yo will find that the search takes a very, very,very long time.

wsmwk
 
Posts: 2624
Joined: December 7th, 2004, 6:52 am

Post Posted August 22nd, 2010, 3:21 am

jeff1234 wrote:I'm convinced that the imap search speed problem is a problem with Thunderbird, not the imap server. Here is why:

do a search in the little search window in the upper right corner of the window (in thunderbird 2.0.0.24). You will find that the results pull up almost instantly.

now go to edit->find->search messages and perform the exact same search on the exact same folder and yo will find that the search takes a very, very,very long time.


In both version 2 and version 3, the first search is a local search and does not involve imap unless you do a body search (and then in version 3 it may or it may not hit the imap server).

megadelux
Guest
 

Post Posted December 19th, 2010, 10:58 am

wsm wrote:
jeff1234 wrote:I'm convinced that the imap search speed problem is a problem with Thunderbird, not the imap server. Here is why:

do a search in the little search window in the upper right corner of the window (in thunderbird 2.0.0.24). You will find that the results pull up almost instantly.

now go to edit->find->search messages and perform the exact same search on the exact same folder and yo will find that the search takes a very, very,very long time.


In both version 2 and version 3, the first search is a local search and does not involve imap unless you do a body search (and then in version 3 it may or it may not hit the imap server).


Is there any way to disable thunderbird to do the search locally? It just hangs when I search my folders.

wsmwk
 
Posts: 2624
Joined: December 7th, 2004, 6:52 am

Post Posted December 19th, 2010, 1:19 pm

megadelux wrote:Is there any way to disable thunderbird to do the search locally? It just hangs when I search my folders.


Are you searching an entire account?
Does it hang such that you need to restart thunderbird? (if so it could be a bad index)
Or, does it hang only until the search is done?

Return to Thunderbird Support


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests