Allow msg deletion from IMAP server but not from local clien

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 248
Joined: July 29th, 2005, 3:25 am

Post Posted January 7th, 2017, 7:04 am

When I go to account settings---->Synchronisation & Storage for an IMAP account with local copies enabled then there is an option

"Don't delete any messages"

What does that exactly mean?

Does that mean:

a) The user is NOT allowed to delete a message through the local email client (Thunderbird) but he can delete a message through browser directly on the remote IMAP mail server (e.g. GMAIL or hotmail). If he deletes a message directly on the remote server then with the next synchronization the local copy will be deleted as well.

b) Same as a) but this time the remotely deleted message will NOT be deleted locally in the local email client. That means all messages which are created will NEVER deleted locally and persist forever.

I want to achieve a)



User avatar
Posts: 43859
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted January 7th, 2017, 7:36 am

It's just specifying what compacting should do. You can still delete messages manually from Thunderbird.

The only way I know of to achieve a) is to use a email provider such as Gmail which has webmail settings to control whether deleted messages can be physically removed by the email client or only by webmail. I don't think hotmail/outlook has similar settings. What are you trying to accomplish by preventing somebody from using a email client to delete messages?

Posts: 657
Joined: February 12th, 2005, 8:33 pm

Post Posted January 9th, 2017, 10:36 pm

There are a few reasons why you might want to delete messages from the IMAP server (only), but they may not be real problems. Anyway, there are a few tricks to do what you want.

1. If you find that Thunderbird (or your phone) is too slow and you hope it would be faster if you had less messages around, then the solution is simple: create other folders and move old mail in them.
For instance, you could have the following:
– INBOX (for messages dated 2016 and more recent)
– INBOX OLDER (for older messages)
– SENT (for messages dated 2016 and more recent)
– SENT OLDER (for older messages).

That way, active synchronization will be made only with the lighter Inbox and Sent, so it will be faster. Then move older messages from Inbox

2. If you simply want to avoid having too many messages on your email server, then it's probably not an issue.
If you still want to keep messages locally only, then your best bet is to use the local folder hierarchy.
Create folders INBOX OLDER and SENT OLDER in "Local Folders".
Then move old messages from INBOX to INBOX OLDER and from SENT to SENT OLDER.
Because these folders are in the "Local Folder" hierarchy, their content will not be linked anymore to the content on your IMAP server.

P.S. Don't copy a ton of messages at once and don't be in a hurry. Because of the traffic involved with the server, it could be long if you have too many messages with heavy attachments. I tend to move things overnight.
Michel Gagnon

Return to Thunderbird Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests