I have a mail message that is corrupted in Thunderbird, but correct on the IMAP server (which is Gmail). Is it possible for me to tell Thunderbird to discard its copy and re-download it from the server?

  • I assume that you have local copies of the email messages on the computer, is this correct?
    – lupincho
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 19:33
  • 1
    I have the same problem, I am on a very bad mobile connection, and half of the attachments are just missing. I have searched for how to make thunderbird resync a single broken mail.
    – erik
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:21

3 Answers 3


In Thunderbird, right-click on the IMAP folder in question and select "Properties". Under "General Information", click the "Repair Folder" button. This may repair the issue with the corrupted message, though I don't have corrupted messages to try it with. YMMV.

  • 1
    Fixed it for me.
    – Umang
    Commented Aug 7, 2012 at 12:18
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    Yes but this re-downloads all messages which is problematic when you have 100s of MBs of messages in that folder.
    – divB
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 21:55
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    @divB Solution is to move the broken message to another empty folder, then do the repair to that folder (only this single message is repaired), then move the repaired message back! Worked for me.
    – erik
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:28

Justin Pearce's solution did not work for me. However, I found out that moving the e-mail from one IMAP folder to another and back worked and let me download/use the corrupted attachment.

  • Cool, that was my idea, but I was afraid of trying that and losing the correct mail completely. I tried it, and it happened as I feared!! But then I found the solution: Do the repair in the new folder, then just this broken message gets redownloaded! :-)
    – erik
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:26

Another option is to download the original message from Gmail, open it in Thunderbird, and then copy the message within Thunderbird back in to the original folder.

  1. Go to the menu for the message in Gmail (three dots in the top right) and select "show original"
  2. Select "download original"
  3. Select "Open with Thunderbird"
  4. Message -> copy to -> find your account and then the folder you would like the message added to.

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