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Yesterday I set up Thunderbird: created a new IMAP profile, got messages from the server (no big deal, about 400 messages), archived some of them and moved to Junk some of them, leaving only 3 in Inbox.

Today, I open Thunderbird, press Get Messages, then a dialog asks me if I want to have folders compacted, I press Yes, then I press Get Messages again. I get no new messages, but all seems fine. A few seconds later, as I was actually reading one of the 3 messages in Inbox, most of messages are gone: all 3 in Inbox, all in Junk and most in Archives. In archives, remain a few, and, curiously, these seem to be the first messages I archived.

I checked the server (webmail), the situation is the same there. Synchronization is on.

I am afraid, as it seems, Thunderbird mistakenly deleted my mail.

I am clueless. What could have happened? What can I do to try to recover my messages that are gone? How can I do prevent this problem from happening again?

  • I've just checked my Thunderbird, attempted to archive some files, noticed it wasn't putting in year-named folders. Opened archive, all archived mails (100s across several years) have been deleted but the most recently archived mails are in some. Attempted removal of MSF files to clean; no dice. Files are removed from server too. Bad thunderbird! – pbhj Dec 1 '18 at 12:33
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    @pbhj Sorry for that. Ever since it happened to me, every time I open up Thunderbird, it asks me if I want to compact folders while it is still fetching new mail... That doesn't seem to be good... So every time I cancel the compact operation... I naturally don't trust it anymore. :-( – MHB Dec 3 '18 at 14:36
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I checked the server (webmail), the situation is the same there. Synchronization is on.

The most likely cause would indeed be if they were somehow deleted in Thunderbird then they would also be deleted on the server.

Do you have something like ccleaner or mailwasher installed?

You are using version 52? And what operating system?

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    Version 52 on Linux Mint 19. No ccleaner or mailwasher. No addon. – MHB Aug 29 '18 at 11:28

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