I use Thunderbird with imap email and a gmail account on both a laptop and desktop. My desktop system, though, has severely limited SSD boot HD space, now with 100mb free. [Large pictures, videos, music and documents have been removed locally].

That limited desktop system is: intel NUC system with a 21GB ssd boot drive and 16GB RAM, and Kubuntu 16.04, plus several USB hard drives for extra storage. The really huge .thunderbird folder that I want to reduce is in the home folder which is on the culprit 21gb boot drive.

The .thunderbird folder is taking up 4.1GB. I just changed my Thunderbird settings for the imap account, but I haven't experienced a gain in free space. I'd like to free up 1 or 2 GB. Here's what I've done so far.

A>> On my Laptop I used message filters to create a local archive copy of All Emails > 90 days old. It's huge, but okay since that's on my Laptop. Then I tweaked the desktop to lighten the local storage...

B>> Under [ACCOUNT SETTINGS]>[Synchronization & Storage]>[Disk Space] I turned off all local messages (6 years worth) and elected [x]18 months locally. and I elected [x]don't download messages>128KB. That should have reduced well over half of the 4.1GB of space, but it didn't make a dent. something must of gone wrong.

C>> Do I need to delete the old files from the server permanently? (I'd rather not)

I don't want to permanently delete my emails from the server, but will if I have too. I'd rather just reduce the local folder size somehow.

How can I free up 1 or 2 GB of space in that .thunderbird folder on my desktop with the tiny SSD boot drive?


I tinkered some more and was able to free up space locally after doing the following in Thunderbird on my imap account:

[account settings] >> [local folders] >> [disk space]

uncheck [ ] Don't delete any messages check [x] Delete messages more than [500] days old

I know have 3.7GB free on the Intel NUC Boot Drive, which is enough (along with the 16GB RAM)

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