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New install - TB redownloads all imported (old) emails !!!

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glnz

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Joined: August 11th, 2007, 10:52 am

Post Posted September 15th, 2018, 8:09 pm

I am using TB for the first time, on an XP SP3 machine where I've used Outlook Express ("OE") for years.

Following many articles, I installed TB version 52.9.1 on my XP machine, and I successfully Imported all my accounts and emails from OE. I did this while my XP machine was UNplugged from the network so that I could check settings in TB before TB tried to do anything.

Well, it seemed to look good, as I see all my OE folders in the area at the left, and as far as I can tell, the Account settings (for 8 old Accounts and 2 current Accounts) are correct.

So I turned off TB, plugged the ethernet cable back into the XP machine, started up TB, it prompted me for the password for the first of the two current Accounts it should check all the time, I entered the password, and it started to download emails from six years ago, all of which are in the Imported folders!! So I turned it off.

-- I thought the Import of settings and emails from OE would be smart enough NOT to do that. --

How do I get TB to check ONLY for emails that are new on my two current accounts AFTER the imported emails?

Details:

All my Accounts (old and current) are POP3.

Before I plugged in the ethernet cable, in TB Account Settings, in the 8 old Accounts, I UNchecked "Check for messages every 1 minute". The other settings "Check for messages at startup" and "Automatically download new messages" were already UNchecked.

In the 2 current accounts, "Check for messages every 1 minute" was already checked, and I ALSO checked "Check for messages at startup" and "Automatically download new messages".

In all the Accounts, "Leave messages on server ... Until I delete them" was ALREADY checked, which is good and what I had on OE.

By the way, in the area at left, under "Local Folders", there is no "Sent" or "Drafts". There is only "Inbox", "Trash", "Outbox" and "Outlook Express Import". Of course, "Outlook Express Import" has MANY subfolders.

SO - How do I get TB to check ONLY for emails that are new on my two current accounts AFTER the imported emails?

Thanks.
glnz

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 15th, 2018, 8:55 pm

A POP account will download all messages from your mailbox (inbox folder) on the POP server unless the popstate.dat file has a record of it already downloading those messages. It does not care whether you imported those messages elsewhere. While its possible to edit the popstate.dat file to tell it about messages its not practical to do that for lots of messages. A useful utility would be a program that creates (or updates) a popstate.dat file based on scanning the contents of imported folders. But I'm not aware of one.

You could log into webmail using a browser and move those messages from the inbox to another folder. That would make Thunderbird ignore them, and they would still be available from webmail. POP accounts only know about the existence of the inbox folder on the mail server.

If you had created a IMAP account you could have prevented it downloading any messages to the hard disk by unchecking "keep messages in all folders in this account on the computer" in synchronization&storage. That disables it creating the optional offline folders that are a mirror copy of the corresponding remote folders on the mail server. IMAP accounts store messages in remote folders on the mail server. So your importing the messages into other folders (whether in that account or in "Local Folders") doesn't effect it. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP for more information about IMAP accounts. They are VERY different from POP accounts.

I doubt Thunderbird will ever drop support for POP accounts. But they are a legacy feature nowadays. The only advantage they have is its easier to create a global inbox for them (a way to store all messages for multiple accounts in one account). See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Global_Inbox for more information.

"Local Folders" is a special type of account. Its not supposed to know how to communicate with a mail server. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Local_Folders for more information about it, and why it exists.

You might find http://kb.mozillazine.org/Getting_start ... hunderbird useful since you're a new user.

glnz

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Joined: August 11th, 2007, 10:52 am

Post Posted September 15th, 2018, 9:54 pm

tabstaafl - understood.

Just to confirm - might there be some kind of "filter" that would cause TB to download only emails after X date (yesterday)?
glnz

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 15th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Yes, but you might be out of luck. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Download_only ... P_messages

The basic idea is configure the POP account to only fetch headers, and then use a message filter that overrides that (downloads the message) just for messages that meet a certain criteria, such as older than X days. Unfortunately, I don't think you can check if its older than a specific date. The Filtaquilla add-on adds lots of new features to message filters, such as the ability to execute javascript. So it has the potential for letting you check against a hard-coded date if you write some javascript. But it supposedly doesn't work with version 60. I've also heard of some of its features not working with version 52. So even if you got it working with your current version it would break when you upgraded to 60.*.

https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-us/th ... ltaquilla/
http://www.mesquilla.com/extensions/filtaquilla/

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