Win7 Home Prem 32-bit

I am contemplating installing Thunderbird to have more control over my email capabilities but if i install it will it download the emails so they will no longer be available online?

I want to be able to view them in Thunderbird but also keep the emails online in hotmail, gmail or whatever

Does Thunderbird cater for this?

4 Answers 4


If you have setup the account as POP, then you need to check "leave mails on the server" (maybe different words, I'm using German Thunderbird) in the server configuration section of the account settings.


It depends. If you're using IMAP, they will stay for certain. If you are using POP, it will depend on your account's settings.


I have several gmail accounts linked through IMAP to both Thunderbird and my iPod touch.

By using IMAP the messages are kept on the server, and by moving them about in my email client the changes are mirrored on the server. POP downloads the messages from the server to my client, and there's no feedback to the server.

If I apply several labels through the gmail interface in the browser, then the message will be 'duplicated' in each of those corresponding folders in Thunderbird. (With IMAP).

If I want to apply serveral labels usnig Thunderbird, then I need to hold down the shift button (I think ?) whilst dragging the message to another folder. On gmail this applies two labels (or more) to the message, whilst not duplicating the message. If you do this action with a POP account then your message gets duplicated - but only locally, changes made on the client are not reflected in a POP account on the server.

Hope this helps.


The e-mails certainly stay on the server by default. I don't know if you can download a local copy too (for reading them when you are offline), but there is probably a way to do that. Still, I can assure you that no mails get deleted from the server unless you hit the Del button yourself.

  • 2
    I don't think this is the default behavior. In POP3, emails are deleted on the server after they are downloaded unless you tell the client not to do so.
    – Martin
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 9:20
  • Sorry, that was an oversight. I forgot that I am using IMAP.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 9:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .