My email account is on my own server (cpanel- shared hosting). I use it as an IMAP account and I can increase the size to more or less whatever I want.

I have lots of old folders containing client emails which I am unlikely to use but I still want to have access to them, preferably within thunderbird if that's possible.

My problem is that I am backing up my thunderbird profile and the backups are becoming a bit large and there is no need for me to have these folders. So I am thinking of archiving them, but there doesn't seem to be a simple way for me to do this.

No menu command in thunderbird or in cpanel ( roundcube ) ... and the closest I can find is IMAP size, but this doesn't keep track of the archived folders, and is not designed for this purpose.

Is there some way for me to cherry pick individual folders and archive them. Because it's IMAP, they would need to be removed from the server too.

2 Answers 2


The solution I came up with, in case it benefits anyone else in the same situation, was ( similar to Lee's suggestion, thanks ) to drag the folder(s) in question into a newly created folder within "Local Folders" called "Archived mails" I think this copied over, rather than moved it ( I don't remember for sure but if it copies it you just have to delete the original once you're sure it's all moved).

This still leaves the messages within the profile though; so the solution to that comes from going to Tools>Account Settings>Local Folders and changing the "Local Directory" field there to somewhere outside your profile.

The mails are now accessible within Thunderbird but are not stored in your profile which means that if you're backing up your profile to Google Drive or something like I am it wont take up unnecessary space. Of course you now have to think about backing up the archived mails but that's not a big deal.


It is true that in ThB, you can only archive single email messages and not whole folders via the menu command.

However, you can easily move whole folders to your ThB Archives by simply drag/dropping the whole folders to the "Archives" folder.

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  • Thanks, does this mean they get moved off the server and out of my profile too. The whole point is to make my profile smaller Jul 24, 2012 at 13:23
  • Hm, I am almost sure that the messages in the Archives continue residing on the server. Jul 27, 2012 at 11:04
  • Thanks but that doesn't work for me at all as I need to reduce the size of my profile for the backup files ... but you've given me an idea though Jul 30, 2012 at 21:29

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