I use Linux OS and Thunderbird mail client so that I can access my personal gmail and work/university email, all through the same interface.

I had accidentally put email of a wrong recipient (a university employee) when sending an email using Thunderbird (message origin was from my gmail). As soon as I hit the "send" button on Thunderbird, I realized the email to which I actually wanted to send the email was not correct. And so, to stop the email from being sent, I unplugged the power cable from the electric outlet. And, my laptop has got no battery. I am worried if my email has actually got delivered to the wrong person. I checked the "sent" folder of gmail on Thunderbird. It is not there. Relief! I have also checked after signing-in to the gmail through web browser. Even there I cannot see that mail in the "sent" folder. I guess the email did not went through; Thunderbird takes some time to deliver, right? Am I safe? Could it be possible that the email has actually made it to the wrong person but it is not showing in my sent folder?

  • 1
    Check if it's in Drafts. If it's not there, and you use Local Folders, right-click on the latter and search for the e-mail either by Subject, Date or From, To, Cc or Bcc. – AFH Jun 7 '18 at 17:02
  • I checked drafts, sent, spam, bin folders. Also checked by searching recipients name, subject, and date. Checked both Thunderbird, and gmail after sign-in through web browser. The email is not there. I had unplugged the power cable within first 5-6 seconds after I had hit the "send" button in Thunderbird, I believe. – vikash Jun 7 '18 at 17:13
  • If it's not in your local folders and not in Gmail's folders, then you can safely assume it hasn't gone anywhere. – AFH Jun 7 '18 at 17:45

If the Email does not show up in your Gmail Sent Items, you are probably fine

Note, thunderbird is really more of a relay than you might think. It grabs the email from Gmail and sends it back to Gmail, but does none of the heavy lifting itself. Normally transfer to Gmail would take less than a dozen seconds, after which powering your computer wouldn't matter.

However, it looks like you got lucky.

Caveat: If setup as a POP3 account, sometimes it won't show in Gmail or other mail clients. If your other emails from Thunderbird do show in Sent Items, then you don't have this problem.

  • If the work/university email uses IMAP and SMTP, then it's quite possible that the act of sending (via SMTP) and the act of saving in the Sent folder (via IMAP) are completely separate actions involving two different servers. It's quite possible for sending via the SMTP server to succeed and saving the message in the Sent folder via the IMAP server to fail. – Randy Orrison Aug 7 '18 at 7:21

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