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SOLVED: Thunderbird Stalling When Sending Emails

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Clueless in Seattle

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Post Posted July 4th, 2021, 7:01 am

I'm running Thunderbird 78.11.0 (32-bit) under Windows 10 20H2 on a refurbished Dell Latitude 3330.

Yesterday Thunderbird began stalling; displaying that little rotating blue circle for a long time when I would try to open an email, and taking an inordinate length of time to send an email. This morning emails open quickly, but I just tried sending a test email and it took over twenty seconds.

I'm not sure if the problem is in Thunderbird itself, in my hardware (such as it is), in Windows 10, or my Internet connection. I ran an Ookla speed test and got a download speed of 58.84 and an upload speed of 6.17.

I'd be grateful for some guidance in troubleshooting this problem.
Last edited by Clueless in Seattle on July 5th, 2021, 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 4th, 2021, 2:08 pm

It might be a temporary problem with your email provider's mail servers. Note that webmail doesn't use the mail servers (it normally just uses some shared libraries) so you don't want to read too much into it if you see a performance problem in Thunderbird and not in webmail (browser based email).

If your email provider has a status web page see if they mention any recent problems. For example, my main email provider is Fastmail and I can look at https://www.fastmailstatus.com to see what the server status is. Note that this is quite different from using a service such as http://downrightnow.com which would report a email provider as being available as long as the webmail node was reachable.

I suggest you add a Gmail IMAP account and see if it has similar problems. That will help identify if you're running into a account specific problem. I'm NOT suggesting you switch email providers, this extra account would be just for troubleshooting.

Anti-virus software tends to get updated automatically. Sometimes the update doesn't play nicely with Thunderbird. You could experiment with configuring the AV software to exclude the profile and rely upon your email provider testing for viruses/malware in email. You could also configure Windows Defender to exclude your profile though its a far less likely culprit.

Who is your email provider?

Are you using a Ethernet or WiFi based connection to the Internet?

If you have a smartphone with an email app configured for the same email provider, does it have similar problems?

Clueless in Seattle

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Posts: 453
Joined: March 27th, 2006, 11:58 am
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Post Posted July 5th, 2021, 8:08 am

Thanks for that detailed reply, tanstaafl.

My main email providers are Gmail and Hotmail (now M.S. Outlook or something like that). And I use POP to download my mail to Thunderbird.

I tested the gmail account that was taking so long when I tried to send a messages from Thunderbird, and when I sent a test message from the gmail web interface the message was sent virtually instantaneously.

My connection is Ethernet.

I don't do email on my phone. I'm an old stick-in-the-mud who still does email on a PC (or nowadays on a charity provided refurbished laptop in bed due to worsening chronic illness).

Yesterday a long-time BBS acquaintance (I've been on his BBS since the mid eighties) reminded me that I had often complained that I needed to reset my Comcast modem every 2 or 3 days, when the Wi-Fi connection to my hand-me-down tablet would stall while trying to load web pages. He suggested I unplug the power to the modem before my afternoon nap and then plug it back in when I wake up. I looked at my router log, and the last time I had reset the modem was on June 26 (!). My experience had been that I only had to unplug it about 30 seconds every 2nd or 3rd day to correct the stalling problem. It hadn't occurred to me that it could cause the same problem on my wired network.

So, just now I unplugged the modem for 30 seconds and plugged it back in. Then, from my laptop, I sent a test message from Thunderbird and it went out in 3 seconds instead of the 23 seconds that messages were taking yesterday to get sent by Thunderbird.

So: Problem Solved!

Now all I have to do is figure out how to insert screenshots into my posts, and how to delete messages. But those are questions for another time and another place.

Thanks for being so patient with me. The older I get the slower I get.
_____________
Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

Clueless in Seattle

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Posts: 453
Joined: March 27th, 2006, 11:58 am
Location: duh!

Post Posted July 6th, 2021, 8:09 am

P.S. I finally figured out why I had concluded that Subject lines in posts could not be edited. Here's what I saw when I clicked the "EDIT" button:

Image

I was trying to edit the Subject line displayed in the large blue typeface (see red arrow). I completely missed the much smaller box a couple of lines lower down. Duh!

Thanks again to all of you who with gentle humor and much patience helped me figure this out.
_____________
Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

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