can't receive messages on 2nd computer

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 1050
Joined: January 21st, 2005, 7:34 am

Post Posted September 9th, 2018, 3:36 pm

hi there

running wiin 10 and latest ver of TB

I have a desktop as main computer with off course TB for my emails

I have a laptop as my emergency for backups just in case

when I do a backup of the profile and then restore to the laptop, and send , for example, a message to my email address, it only
shows up on the computer I sent it from, that is, either the desktop or the laptop

May I kindly ask firstly, why it does not show up on both computers, and secondly, is there a way to make it show up on both

kindest thanks, cheers


User avatar
Posts: 45664
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted September 9th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Use a IMAP account. Most email providers support both POP and IMAP accounts. If Server Type is set to POP Mail Server in the Server settings you have a POP account. Another way to tell is only POP accounts have a "Leave messages on server" section in the Server settings. See and ... AP_account

If you use a POP account you (normally) can't share your folders with the same account on another PC. Each instance of Thunderbird literally only knows of the existence of the inbox folder on the mail server. This is not a limitation of Thunderbird, its the way the POP3 protocol works. All of the folders a POP account stores mail in are local, in your profile on your hard disk. A IMAP account lets you use all of the webmail folders. So if you have a desktop and laptop with the same IMAP account they share the same Sent folder, which is stored on the mail server. Its also shared with webmail (browser based email)

To make it more confusing, by default for IMAP accounts Thunderbird keeps a mirror copy of the remote folders in your profile. That is controlled by the "synchronization & storage" settings. Since they are kept in sync with the original on the mail server they're not safe to use as a backup. However, they can be useful if you want to read your mail when working offline or if you want to backup your your mail by saving those folders somewhere safe. ... _a_profile

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