Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My ISP uses Gmail for their email handling - but, sorry Gmail lovers, I don't like it. I much prefer a desktop mail client; Thunderbird specifically at present.

However, I've had a computer failure and really need - if at all possible - to be able to download the entirety of my Gmail folder via POP from my ISP's mail servers. I know about IMAP, I know about the webmail interface, but they won't do what I need unfortunately - which I accept is an odd requirement!

The mail is, as far as I can tell, still on the server but Thunderbird won't download it because it's not marked as new. Is there any way around this?

share|improve this question
    
You can download all messages over IMAP; just drag and drop them to a local folder. You can even upload them to another IMAP server. Also, OfflineIMAP, getmail, fetchmail for making automated local backups. –  grawity Nov 3 '11 at 14:08
    
IMAP is also cached locally, or at least can be in Thunderbird. I do it. –  horatio Nov 3 '11 at 16:27
add comment

4 Answers

This is how I fixed it. Be careful: You'll need to reset your account parameters!

  • Transfer your present inbox to a local folder
  • Then delete the email account corresponding to this inbox (Tools » Account parameter)
  • Then re-open this same account, brand new.

Thunderbird will download all messages to the new setup account.

share|improve this answer
add comment

To "force" a re-download of all IMAP messages in Thunderbird; try renaming / deleting popstate.dat per this wiki I just used this method on TB v17 to download several years of emails. I first moved my current inbox for that account to a temp folder and then after the emails downloaded I copied them all back in and ran a duplicate check.

share|improve this answer
add comment
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Thanks to Grawity for pointing me in the right direction, but I've now found the even better option - 'Backing up your mail with POP'. http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=34030&topic=1668962

(Which seems to keep locking on individual messages and so requires rather more hand-holding than is ideal, but never mind... It's progress.)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Prefix the username with recent: to activate the "recent" mode, which will download all mail from the last 30 days.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 Did not know about recent mode. Exactly what I needed. Thanks! –  Lynda Dec 27 '12 at 18:56
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.