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I deleted about 2000 emails in Thunderbird, which is now nice and clean, but they are all still visible on the web portal client.

I have Thunderbird configured using IMAP settings. I have Thunderbird set to move deleted items to the same folder outlook uses as trash. I emptied the trash also.

I would really like to avoid having to go through and delete them all in outlook as well. Is there a way to set Thunderbird to delete messages on when deleted locally?

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What sort of connection did you configure Thunderbird to use IMAP or POP3? – Ramhound Mar 5 '13 at 21:07
@Ramhound - Check the tags: IMAP – Enigma Mar 5 '13 at 21:08
I don't read the tags to clarify questions that should be written in a question. If a question contains specific details then the tags should reflect those details. Based on the original content I would have assumed you were using POP3. You should ask more detailed question in the future. – Ramhound Mar 6 '13 at 12:23
Because you would delete emails client side and they were not being deleted on the server. – Ramhound Mar 6 '13 at 15:33
@Ramhound - The default function of POP3 is to delete mails on the server when downloading them locally. The opposite is true for IMAP. You can't really assume in either case as they can both be set to work either way. Difference being, there would be no copy left on a POP3 server if set to pull & delete. I also had a Sync tag in there for this reason (IMAP). – Enigma Mar 6 '13 at 15:39
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Thunderbird does not delete messages from the POP server

  1. Go to Options -> Advanced -> Config Editor.

  2. Settings:

    • POP3 Find the Name mail . pop3 . deleteFromServerOnMove
    • IMAP Find the Name mail . imap . expunge_after_delete
  3. Set it to True.

True: Delete the copy of the message on the POP3 server if you move or delete the message.

False(default): Only delete the copy of the message on the POP3 server if you delete the message.

That's it, restart Thunderbird. You need to press 'Get Mail' everytime you want to sync with the email server, in order for you to make sure messages in the application is in sync with the email server.

The following should be emphasized to realize the sync with the server. You will not see your server message disappear upon the initial Get Mail download (new messages downloaded). After you process your Inbox in Thunderbird by deleting/moving a new message, then do another Get Mail which will delete the new messages previously downloaded on the server (put in sync).

Note: If you have older messages in your Thunderbird Inbox, they will not be deleted from Server. Delete them manually from server. From then on, any new messages you download, then process (delete/move), and then do the sync by doing Get Mail again WILL be deleted.

share|improve this answer
It's IMAP, not POP and that item doesn't show up. I found expunge_after_delete though.. is that similar? – Enigma Mar 5 '13 at 21:04
Incorporate that in the answer please for accuracy and I'll consider it solved - it works. – Enigma Mar 5 '13 at 21:13

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