Thunderbird does not delete messages from the POP server.

I am a Yahoo Plus user and I can download messages from the inbox in Thunderbird from the Yahoo POP3 server.

However, I want to delete read messages directly on the email client rather than go to Yahoo Mail. When I do this, emails are still on the server

In accounts setting, I have the following options ticked:

-Automatically download new messages -Leave messages on server, Until I delete them

Update: Thanks for the replies so far. Some clarification: I do want to keep some messages on Yahoo for filling them in my online folders, hence the reason I do not download ALL my messages to Tbird and delete server message automatically


4 Answers 4

  1. Go to Options -> Advanced -> Config Editor.

  2. Find the Name mail . pop3 . deleteFromServerOnMove

  3. Set it to True.

True: Delete the copy of the message on the POP3 server if you move or delete the message.

False(default): Only delete the copy of the message on the POP3 server if you delete the message.

That's it, restart Thunderbird. You need to press 'Get Mail' everytime you want to sync with the email server, in order for you to make sure messages in the application is in sync with the email server.

The following should be emphasized to realize the sync with the server. You will not see your server message disappear upon the initial Get Mail download (new messages downloaded). After you process your Inbox in Thunderbird by deleting/moving a new message, then do another Get Mail which will delete the new messages previously downloaded on the server (put in sync).

Note: If you have older messages in your Thunderbird Inbox, they will not be deleted from Server. Delete them manually from server. From then on, any new messages you download, then process (delete/move), and then do the sync by doing Get Mail again WILL be deleted.

  • This has been taken from the question into a community wiki answer. Feb 11, 2012 at 20:54

Did you just delete it in Thunderbird, or do you already empty your trash can?

In my Thunderbird, the Mails are deleted from the GMX server as soon as the mail is deleted from the trash, not while it is still in the trash can.

  • 2
    And for those in the US: bin = trash ;-)
    – Arjan
    Sep 30, 2009 at 12:01
  • Oh, okay, i edited that.
    – Martin
    Sep 30, 2009 at 12:10
  • Martin, thanks. I did clean the trash in Tbird. Restarted Tbird: no change, my messages are still in Yahoo server
    – Max888
    Sep 30, 2009 at 12:19
  • 1
    Were the emails you deleted in Thunderbird already filed in folders from within the web interface on yahoo before?
    – Martin
    Sep 30, 2009 at 13:50

Thunderbird does not delete messages from the POP server... I have the following options ticked: Leave messages on server until I delete them

Your messages will be removed from the POP server when you delete them from Thunderbird and empty the Trash folder.

Better setting for you -- if I've understood your question, which I'm not sure I have -- would be to turn that off; also untick "Leave a copy on the server" too.


The user who posted this (Max888) and the solution didn't work for me as others commented as well. I found this page:


which says

"Is it <tt>account settings -> server settings -> leave messages on server</tt> you're after?"

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