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I understand that by connecting via imap to my gmail account with thunderbird, whatever i do in thunderbird would be reflected in gmail.

Yet, if i delete emails in thunderbird, those emails are still present in gmail, even after a while. I set my account preferences in thunderbird under the option "leave messages on the server?" to: "until i delete them".

Did i understood imap wrong, or did i set up something wrong? I would really like to be able to clean up my gmail account via a desktop client, such as thunderbird, as it is much more responsive, and i have 4gb of messages to clean up.

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There's a weird interplay between Tbird and Gmail with labels. If any of those messages have additional labels on them, they will persist in Gmail unless you remove those labels.

There's some more info here, check the bottom for details on what functions in Tbird do in Gmail.

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My mistake: in fact i thought i was connecting via imap, but i wasn't. Make sure it says "IMAP server" under "Server settings > Server type".

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