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Missing Messages in Inbox

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
MarkThomp
 
Posts: 2
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 8:28 pm

Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 8:33 pm

Hey everyone,

I have an interesting problem with Thunderbird. All of my messages disappeared from my Gmail account. They also do NOT appear in the web based gmail anymore either. It's almost like Thunderbird deleted them. However! If I browse to my IMAP folder directory I do see all the files with the respective folder names. The file called "INBOX" is about 14 megs, and when I open it in a text file, I can see all my messages. I've tried right clicking on the folder from within Thunderbird and repairing it, but that didn't help. Deleting the INBOX.MSF file doesn't work either. As a test, the only way I've found that I can bring the messages back to Thunderbird is to open it in Notepad, and copy and paste the entire source of the message one a time, save is a .eml file, and move it to the Thunderbird folder. That works so it proves the messages are there. But surely there's something else I can do to bring it back?

tanstaafl
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Posts: 43123
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted September 13th, 2017, 9:06 pm

Backup your profile immediately. Do that before you run Thunderbird again. It sounds like you have a Gmail IMAP account that had been configured to create offline folders due to "keep messages for this account on the computer" being checked in tools -> account settings -> gmail -> synchronization & storage, but for some reason it hasn't synch'd the remote and offline folders yet. If it does it will delete the messages in the offline folders (what you opened with Notepad) if they are truly deleted in the corresponding remote folders. Perhaps you unchecked "keep messages for this account on the computer"?

You can import the mbox files (the offline folders you opened using Notepad) into folders within "Local Folders" using the ImportExportTools add-on. Then you can copy the folders and/or messages to your Gmail account. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders

Afterwards see if http://kb.mozillazine.org/Disappearing_mail gives you any idea why you lost the originals.

MarkThomp
 
Posts: 2
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 8:28 pm

Post Posted September 14th, 2017, 8:22 am

Hey tanstaalf,

Thanks for the clear explanation! I followed the steps and was able to point the ImportExport Tools add on to the INBOX file and import into the local folder. It worked! Actually it bought back a ton of messages, including like you said, ones I thought were gone. Once they were there I dragged them back the gmail folder and now they're showing up. Thank you so much!

tanstaafl
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Posts: 43123
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted September 14th, 2017, 10:40 am

You're welcome.

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