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Thunderbird hanging while downloading messages

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garyfritz
 
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Joined: July 30th, 2007, 9:20 am

Post Posted February 5th, 2019, 3:27 pm

Over a year ago I posted about a problem I was having, where each new message downloaded from my IMAP server caused TB to hang up solid. Initially it was about 3-5 seconds per message, and it worked up to about 8-10 seconds. For EVERY new message. If 5-10 messages came in, it would lock up for several MINUTES.
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=3037714

As you might imagine, this was annoying. We never found a cause or a solution. I tried wiping and re-installing TB, etc, with no improvement. Eventually (December 2018) I got a new laptop, and that finally fixed it. A fresh TB install on a brand-new system worked fine.

But... 2 months later, it's starting up again. So far it's not as bad as it was -- each message locks up for maybe 2 seconds -- but it's still mighty annoying. If it gets worse, it will be more than annoying. The 8-10 sec hangs made TB nearly unusable. Combined with some other frustrations, it may force me to find a new mail client. After over 10 years on TB, it may be time to give up and move on. :(

I'd hate to have to do that. So if anyone has any suggestions to nip this nasty bugger in the bud, I would greatly appreciate it...

Gary
Win10 Pro 64-bit
Tbird 60.5.0 (32-bit? hmm)

kerft
 
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Post Posted February 5th, 2019, 3:47 pm

Roughly how many thousands of messages does your inbox have?

garyfritz
 
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Post Posted February 5th, 2019, 3:58 pm

At this moment, precisely one. :D I currently have 1000 messages in my inbox.

garyfritz
 
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Post Posted February 6th, 2019, 10:20 am

Oh BTW something else I've noticed: sometimes when I download messages, the status line at the bottom will say things like "Downloading message 6 of 4 ..." Which doesn't seem quite right!!

garyfritz
 
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Post Posted February 7th, 2019, 5:00 pm

Nothing? Surely I'm not the only one this happens to?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 7th, 2019, 7:56 pm

If viewtopic.php?p=14803408#p14803408 is still true your problem only occurs with an IMAP account with your rural ISP, not with Gmail or Outlook. That would go a long ways towards explaining why nobody else is reporting the same problem in these forums.

Why don't you just configure Gmail to automatically fetch new email from your ISP account using the POP3 protocol and merge it in the Gmail inbox, so that its accessible via your Thunderbird Gmail IMAP account? That way if there are any delays they are hidden from you, as they would effect the mail fetcher used by Gmail, not Thunderbird. It's also possible the mail fetcher would be unaffected if the problems only occur using IMAP.

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/21289?hl=en (how to configure mail fetcher)
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Replace_sever ... ne_account (overkill, but might be useful reading)

garyfritz
 
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Joined: July 30th, 2007, 9:20 am

Post Posted February 7th, 2019, 11:26 pm

I see. You believe the issue lies with my ISP. (Which is not exactly rural, but I take your point. :))

That makes sense, especially since I've had other IMAP issues with them over the years. I would have switched to a better ISP long ago, but I've had my current email address for over 20 years. I wish there was a way to intercept the email address and redirect it somewhere else, without the ISP being involved... but that has pretty obvious security problems. One of these years I should start migrating to a new address that I control.

Your solution is interesting. I already have a secondary gmail address. It's currently configured to automatically forward any messages to my "rural" ISP address. So I would disable that forwarding, periodically pull mail from my ISP into gmail (via POP), and download the email (via IMAP) from gmail to my laptop. My laptop would never interact directly with the ISP.

With this solution, would I still leave undeleted messages on the IMAP server at the ISP? Just configure POP on gmail to download only new messages, and continue accessing IMAP on the ISP from my phone, ipad, etc?

Or would I have to completely switch over (TBird, phone, etc) to using the Gmail IMAP server?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 8th, 2019, 12:07 am

You have several options. I think the cleanest one is to disable forwarding the second gmail address and configure the first gmail address to fetch mail from the second gmail address (using the POP protocol), merging it into the first gmail addresses inbox.

That would minimize the need to use your ISP as a email provider. If you still need to get some mail from that email address you might be able to configure webmail to forward all new mail to your first gmail address. If not, configure the first gmail address to also fetch mail from the ISP. If the only mail you would get at your ISP is billing notices etc. from them see if they let you register a different contact email address. That would let you totally ignore your ISP's mailbox.

You can configure the mail fetcher to either pull only new mail or to pull both new and old mail. I suggest you tell it to pull all of it (both old and new). If you did that you would access all of your mail from one IMAP account (the first gmail address), using Thunderbird on the laptop, and whatever app you use on your phone, ipad etc.

In Thunderbird you could create multiple identities for the second gmail and the ISP email addresses in the first gmail account so that if you replied it would be appear to be sent from the same address the message was sent to. You could configure a reply-to address of the first gmail address for each multiple identity, to help move people to using your first gmail address.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Multiple_iden ... il_account

garyfritz
 
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Post Posted February 8th, 2019, 11:10 am

You lost me a bit with the first and second gmail. I have only one. I think the "second gmail address" you refer to is my IMAP account on the ISP? But then you referred to first, second, AND ISP in the same sentence, so I'm a bit confused.

I think you're saying I would pull all email from the ISP to the gmail account, and use ONLY the gmail account from all mail clients. Not ideal but I'll think about it.

BTW, a thought: let's assume this is indeed triggered by some IMAP issue at the ISP. Would you say that TBird is responding appropriately by locking up solid for 10s of seconds or longer?? Seems to me that at a minimum, TB is handling the ISP problem very poorly. Ordinarily you can download large messages and TB allows you to keep working (scroll through messages, etc) while it downloads. The long download times wouldn't bother me much if I could continue working while it was downloading.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 8th, 2019, 3:13 pm

I was confused by "I already have a secondary gmail address. It's currently configured to automatically forward any messages to my "rural" ISP address." I'm suggesting you use only the gmail account with all of your email clients, and have the gmail mail fetcher pull mail from your ISP. After you move/save all of your existing ISP mail you could delete that account in Thunderbird, and create a multiple identity for that email address in your Gmail IMAP account in Thunderbird to hide the fact you are fetching it's mail via Gmail.

I agree Thunderbird doesn't seem to be responding appropriately.

garyfritz
 
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Post Posted February 8th, 2019, 3:50 pm

OK, sorry for the confusion. Yes, I currently have 2 addresses of interest: my primary address at the ISP, and a secondary gmail address that forwards to the ISP address. Other than that I think we've converged on a message. :)

Now if I could convince someone on the maintenance team to fix this inappropriate behavior, maybe I wouldn't have to move.........

garyfritz
 
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Post Posted February 18th, 2019, 11:26 am

Ugh. My Gloda search was returning some fishy results so I deleted and rebuilt the database. I thought at first that my download performance had improved, but no such luck. This morning it took almost 3 minutes to download 3 small messages, locked up most of the time.

One thing that seems to exacerbate the problem is incoming rules. I have some rules to re-file new messages in certain folders based on sender, etc. Usually that works fine. Sometimes it doesn't. It's very common for it to take a longer time when it has to re-file the messages, AND frequently it duplicates the message when it's doing that. E.g. I just received 2 "normal" messages and one "to be re-filed" message. By the time it finally finished, there were THREE identical copies of the message in the re-file folder.

That's definitely not my ISP doing that. Maybe something at the ISP triggers the problem in TB, but TB is definitely dropping the ball.


EDIT: It continues to get worse. I just downloaded 2 new messages (no rules applied) and it locked up for over a MINUTE. This is on a brand-new laptop, new Windows, new TB install. Old profile copied from previous system. Major problem is apparently the ISP's IMAP server, but TB is not handling it gracefully. Other email clients (Android, iPad, web) don't have these problems.

jes1974
 
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Joined: March 11th, 2019, 10:08 am

Post Posted March 11th, 2019, 10:14 am

I troubleshot this issue pretty hard today. 20-30 seconds for each message (IMAP using fastmail). A laptop I own is faster (7-10 secs/message)

Tried turning off global indexing. Didn't help.

Turned off Windows 10 Malware Scanning. Immediately accelerated things by a factor of 50 (downloaded 400 messages before I could bring back up the Thunderbird window). Didn't view that as a long-term solution though. Turned it back on.

Shifted from mbox to maildir. Tried to convert which failed at 57% (I have a huge mailfile 900MB+). Deleted account and re-setup using maildir. Works fantastic. Truly fantastic. Like the good old days 10+ years ago. I have been so used to a multi-second delay, I didn't remember what a crisp mail program is like (work email has delay for outlook).

garyfritz
 
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Joined: July 30th, 2007, 9:20 am

Post Posted March 11th, 2019, 9:24 pm

jes1974 wrote:I troubleshot this issue pretty hard today. 20-30 seconds for each message (IMAP using fastmail). A laptop I own is faster (7-10 secs/message)
Turned off Windows 10 Malware Scanning. Immediately accelerated things by a factor of 50

So it's not just me and my backwoods ISP. Thanks for reporting your findings!

Pardon my ignorance, but how did you turn off malware scanning? Is this a built-in Windows feature, or an add-on from MacAfee or whatever? I don't see a built-in scanner like that in Windows Defender or elsewhere.

Shifted from mbox to maildir. Tried to convert which failed at 57% (I have a huge mailfile 900MB+). Deleted account and re-setup using maildir. Works fantastic. Truly fantastic. Like the good old days 10+ years ago. I have been so used to a multi-second delay, I didn't remember what a crisp mail program is like (work email has delay for outlook).

Wow, fantastic! I have several mailfiles that are almost that large. Sounds like I need to try your solution.

How did you do it? Back up the old mailfiles (just copying them somewhere else?), delete the whole IMAP account, and re-create the IMAP account using maildir (as described here? https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/ma ... hunderbird). How do you import the old mbox data into the new maildir mailbox?

I've been carrying my Thunderbird data dir around for years, moving it to multiple computers over time. It's probably full of cruft. I suspect it would be very much to my advantage to do a delete, create, and import pass, so I could start from a clean slate. Just need to figure out how!

jes1974
 
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Post Posted March 19th, 2019, 6:23 am

This is the built-in virus protection/malware in Windows 10. Shows up working hard as a process in Task Manager.

Since I keep a copy of all my mail on the server (except some archives), I just backed up, deleted the profile, redownloaded into maildir. You could copy off folders to a local archive and copy them back.

The info under the link is old. Go to Tools-Options-Advanced-General - Message Store Type for new accounts: change to maildir.

You can set message store type in Account Settings: Server Settings to maildir to attempt an in-place conversion. Didn't work for me, give it a shot.

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