MozillaZine


thunderbird doesn't get all mail

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 2nd, 2020, 12:41 pm

I am using thunderbird to fetch mail from my gmail account using POP.

I have been using Apple Mail, and getting tired of its poor behavior, so I'm trying to switch to thunderbird.

The problem: it won't get all mail. It gets some, but not all. I used the gmail special username prefix recent:username to get all mail, even though it has already been fetched by Apple Mail. I initially had the issue where gmail denied access, the warning said the application was untrusted. I logged into gmail, and told it 'yes, that was me'.

But I still don't get all mail. I would expect it to get none or all, not some. Is there any way to debug what it is going on? The missing mail is not in the junk folder.

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 124773
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted November 2nd, 2020, 5:01 pm

Check the settings page of Gmail's web mail. Click on the gear icon on the Gmail webmail page and then select "Forwarding and POP/IMAP". On that dialogue select the option to "Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded)". See if that resolves your issues.

lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 2nd, 2020, 9:01 pm

gmail has had POP enabled for years - I works fine with Apple Mail. It sort of works with Thunderbird - it gets some of the mail but refuses to download others I would think that if there was a security option somewhere that needs to be set, it would consistently refuse to connect or download all mail, not just some of it.

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 124773
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted November 3rd, 2020, 5:11 am

Have you inspected that option on the Gmail web page? It has nothing to do with security. It's there to let users determine whether to download only newly arrived messages to an email client like Thunderbird or all messages in Gmail's inbox "folder", including those received prior to setting the option.

tanstaafl
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 47618
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted November 3rd, 2020, 7:09 am

If you don't download all of the expected mail during a session its probably not a security issue. See if there is any pattern to what mail gets ignored. Check that it is in the webmail inbox and gmail didn't move it to a different folder/label or change the sort order due to features such as "priority inbox".

You would have less trouble with a IMAP account. One potential problem (which you haven't run into) with a POP account is that Thunderbird may refuse to download some bad messages (because its less tolerant of MIME errors in a message than other email clients) which can cause a logjam (as its not smart enough to display an error and skip over the bad message). If that occurs you need to log into webmail, read and delete the oldest unread message, and try again.

A IMAP account doesn't have that vulnerability because if there is a problem with a new message it will still be listed in the folder listing and you can just open the next one. A POP account doesn't provide a mechanism to skip over a "bad" message.

lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 5th, 2020, 1:51 pm

I did check the gmail page, pop is turned on. I even checked 'Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded) to make sure I got it all.

I couple of the missing emails finally did arrive about a day later, I'm not sure what's up with that.

IMAP is a big NO. I have multiple machines which all check the same pop mailbox. I want my mail on my local machine, not the server. If I delete a message on one machine, I don't want it to disappear from the rest.

With the POP messages - is there any way to shut off all the message parsing and just treat it as plain text? With other email clients, I always have them set to never render html, run scripts, or download external content.

tanstaafl
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 47618
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted November 5th, 2020, 6:39 pm

view -> message body as -> plain text.

lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 5th, 2020, 6:46 pm

will that get around the malformed MIME issue?

tanstaafl
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 47618
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted November 5th, 2020, 7:40 pm

No. It just transparently strips all of the HTML tags so that a HTML message can be displayed as a plain text message. This doesn't effect the stored message, it occurs only in memory.

lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 6th, 2020, 10:15 pm

I just discovered something interesting

I know that thunderbird is missing some mail. I go to Thunderbird and click 'get messages', it gets some but not all.

I go to Apple mail and get my messages, I get them all, including the missing ones.

I go back to Thunderbird, it still won't get the missing messages.

If I click the offline symbol in the lower left corner, it asks If I want to download messages before going offline. I clicked 'Download Now' -- and it got the missing messages. Rather strange behavior.

I've also noticed that the new message indicators aren't consistent. Sometimes it highlights my mailbox in blue and appends (n) where n is the number of new messages. Sometimes it doesn't use the blue, so it is easy to miss the (n).

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 124773
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted November 7th, 2020, 5:30 am

How many messages in the Thunderbird Inbox folder?
What is the size of file "Inbox" with no file name extension in the directory for that POP account? http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird

lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 7th, 2020, 7:11 am

I have several mail accounts, their inbox sizes:

347 MB
126 KB
237 MB
9 MB
14 MB

I also have a bunch of filters that route messages to various local folders.

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 124773
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted November 7th, 2020, 8:40 am

And are all of the accounts having the problem, or just one? If just one, which one?

lazarus long
 
Posts: 14
Joined: November 2nd, 2020, 12:34 pm

Post Posted November 7th, 2020, 10:57 am

The two biggest definitely are having the problem. I don't get much mail in the others, so I'm not sure.

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 124773
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted November 7th, 2020, 11:55 am

I suggest that you (carefully) try the following procedure on the largest of the two accounts. If you see any improvement in function following that you could repeat it for the others, one at a time with evaluation in between.

First, backup your Profile ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup ) Do NOT try to use the MozBackup utility mentioned in that article.

Create a new sub-folder under Local Folders. Move all of the messages currently in your Inbox to that new subfolder.

Confirm that you have made the recommended backup of your Profile.

Close Thunderbird and navigate to the \Mail sub-folder of your Profile folder. Delete both the file Inbox.msf and the file Inbox with no extension.

Restart Thunderbird and you should find a new, empty Inbox folder in place. Copy any messages you MUST have in your Inbox from the sub-folder created above to the Inbox. Compact the Inbox after those messages are copied in.

The "Real Fix" entry in this article -- http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders#Real_fix also describes this process.

Return to Thunderbird Support


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests