User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hi, I have about a dozen email accounts that are handled by Thunderbird. I want all of them to be updated automatically, except for one. Currently, for that account I have cleared the boxes "check for new messages on startup" and "check for new messages every X minutes". This works, all accounts are synced and this one account isn't. So far so good.
However, when I select my account (because I want to access a message that I had already downloaded), the account still starts to sync immediately. I don't want that, I want the account to ONLY sync when I press the "get mail" button. Is there a way to force that? This is my work account, and I want to prevent being confronted with new work email when I am not working--so I want to stop the syncing unless I *explicitly* tell Thunderbird to sync. Is there any way to do that?
Is that account set up as an IMAP type account? Find out using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings->Server Type at the top right of the dialogue.
Yes it is. Is that good or bad in this case?
That depends on how you look at it. You can stop Thunderbird from downloading data for that account for off-line access by using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Synchronization & Storage->uncheck "Keep messages for this account on this computer". However, with an IMAP type account when you click on a folder name, Thunderbird has to read data from the server to show you the contents of that folder.
Note that even with a POP type account, clicking on menu path File->Get new messages for->"All Accounts" will download messages for the account you are trying to control, even though you have not set it to automatically check for new messages or get new messages on start up. The assumption being that if the email account is set up in Thunderbird the user wants to be aware of messages that have arrived on the server.
I can live with the fact that all accounts are synced when I click Get new messages --all accounts.
But I would like to be able to at least click on the account itself so I can access the previously downloaded messages (and even prepare some replies) without it downloading the new messages that have arrived since the last time I clicked the account. So, this doesn't even involve clicking "Get new messages". Does this mean it is not possible to read "old" messages without the account starting to sync automatically?
I know I can prevent the syncing by going to offline mode, but that prevents the other accounts from staying synced as well...
With an IMAP account the messages are not downloaded to the local system until you open them for reading. Prior to that you are viewing only header data from the server. So, no, you can't use the IMAP type account and avoid having it display all of the messages currently present in a folder when you click on the name of that folder in Thunderbird.
That is disappointing. Thank you for your clear and helpful response.
I guess it would require an addon that could make single accounts go offline, rather than all or none. That would fix it.
Until that addon is developed, I'll have to go offline for all of my accounts and go online briefly to get them synced again every hour or so.
I doubt that you will ever see an extension to make a single account go offline. I doubt that is even possible. You could recreate that one account as a POP type account. In that protocol the account would not update unless the "Get Mail" function was actually triggered.
Would that work? It is Outlook Web, which thunderbird recognizes as IMAP. Can I set it to POP and it would work?
You need to disable offline folders (uncheck "Keep messages for this account on this computer") for that account, disable global search/indexing, and uncheck check for new messages every X minutes for that IMAP account if you want it to not check for new messages. However, as soon as you open a folder in that IMAP account it will check for new messages if you are working online.
I think a better solution would be to use a custom view (right click on the main toolbar, select customize and drag and drop the view list box to the toolbar) that only shows messages that meet some search criteria that only shows old messages. That way it doesn't matter if Thunderbird discovers new mail for that folder, because they won't be listed in that view. Or create a saved search folder (aka virtual folder) that meets that search criteria. You can set it to offline searching to delay its contents from getting updated, if its too awkward to do it entirely by the search criteria. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Saved_Search
Don't overlook using "view -> sort by -> group by sort" to sort the messages into different groups for today, yesterday, last week, two weeks ago and older. That would make it easier to ignore new messages than just having them sorted by the date.
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