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Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0: I have set Thunderbird never to delete a message that is on disk...Thus, after four short years, I have a 4GB Inbox file. Thunderbird needs about 10 minutes to read it, and even then I can't compact it. Anyone have some suggestions?

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3 Answers 3

This may not be something you can or want to do, but Thunderbird 3.1 works well with large databases. My inbox is 7GB and it's plenty speedy.

The other thing I do is every couple of years, I search and find all bulk e-mail and delete them. 5000 e-mails from e.newegg.com can take up a bit of space. But I never delete any other type of message.

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When you say you can't compact the file, what are you actually doing? By this, I mean that "compacting" in Thunderbird is not like running your inbox through a compression algorithm like you would to create a .zip file.

The "compact" option in Thunderbird is there because deleting a message does not remove the message from your disk, it is just hidden - therefore, you use "compact" to remove these "deleted" messages from the data file.

You will need to clean out your mailbox by saving and deleting messages that are no longer needed and then running the "compact" option.

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By "Compact", I mean either highlighting the "Inbox" node and right-clicking the "Compact Folder" menuitem, or alternatively running the menu item File -> Compact Folders. It compacts other folders, but skips Inbox. When I view the Inbox on disk, I see messages in it that aren't displayed in the UI. It looks like I've run into a variant of bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=538610 –  Eric Oct 12 '10 at 22:17
    
So what would happen if you: made a new folder, put all your inbox messages in the new folder, closed Thunderbird, deleted the inbox foler, reopened Thunderbird, let it make you a new inbox folder, move the messages back from the new folder to the new inbox? –  Nick Oct 13 '10 at 4:01

There is definitely a 4GB limit on Windows due to Windows limitations which means you will have problem with individual Thunderbird mail folders that are larger than 4GB.

And I thought the 4GB limit existed on Mac and Linux as well (so I am curious as to how emgee can have a Thunderbird folder that's 7GB! emgee: perhaps you are referring to a Unified Folder being 7GB but your individual folders are < 4GB?)

Nick's suggestion (i.e. move to new, multiple Thunderbird folders each of which is <4GB. please clarify emgee) should work. More info with a complete procedure (change "Sent" to "Inbox"): http://getsatisfaction.com/mozilla_messaging/topics/version_3_1_2_still_has_the_missing_sent_message_bug#reply_3235232

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It's not 7GB in a single mailbox file, it's spread across 3 different mail accounts. I wasn't aware of a 4GB limit per file, but you are correct in stating there is one. –  emgee Oct 15 '10 at 21:04
    
Lack of disk space to do the compacting could have been an issue as well. I freed up 30 GB or so, tbird was able to compact the inbox again, and the other family members have learned not to create subfolders under the Inbox folder. –  Eric Oct 16 '10 at 17:51

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