Folder size inflation

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 11:32 pm

Post Posted October 15th, 2007, 11:58 pm

i came across the fact that the thunderbird file do not resize after deletion of messages from the folder. the folder actual size get bigger and bigger for some reason.

i am using version on an XP pro machine. i have tried to defragment my main hard drive. this attempt resulted in detection of unmovable files (2.3 GB) at the thunderbird mail box folders (C:\Documents and Settings\shaul\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\sfrsfxe2.default\Mail\Local Folders).

i went and checked (via thunderbird) if there are big files in the mentioned folders and found out that there were none. a direct check of the actual size the inbox file was resulted with a 2.3 GB file. i have created a temporary folder moved all messages from the inbox to the temporary folder, closed thunderbird and deleted the mentioned inbox file directly (via windows explorer). after that i have moved back the messages from the temporary folder to the indox.

the same problem appears to take place with folder that appeared to contain a large amount of data (sent items, trash, junk) but were almost empty (checked via thunderbird). my conclusion is that folder files tend to diflate with time. erasing messages from the folder do not decrease its size. the only solution is to back up messages, erase the folder directly and transfer the messages back.

after performing the task several times i have managed to decrease the used amount of data on my main hard drive by 5 GB.

a mechanism for file resize in needed, please advice.



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Post Posted October 16th, 2007, 4:32 am

How recently have you compacted your folders? Compacting is something that needs to be done regularly in any email program. We recommend weekly, but many of us do it daily. When done often enough, it can be an extremely fast process. Not doing so can lead to problems like those you are experiencing. See this about how to and why it's so important:

If you haven't been doing that before, and 'compacting' them now (and leaving a long enough time for the process to complete) doesn't fully resolve the problem then do the following on each account:

Close Thunderbird. Find and delete all of the files with the .msf file extension in your profile folder/Mail including your Local Folders, especially if you are using the global inbox. You must have "View hidden files and folders" on and you need to set "hide extensions for known file types" off (just below View Hidden) if you are using Windows. These are your mail summary files and do not hold any messages themselves. They will be rebuilt the next time you open each folder in Thunderbird. Compact all your folders when you have completed this.

To avoid this happening again, see the tips in these articles: ... derbird%29

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