How can I AUTOMATICALLY move a deleted IMAP message to my LOCAL Trash instead of IMAP Trash?

Thunderbird 17.0.3.

[ Message Filters only work on incoming mail. Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings > "When I delete a message" only shows IMAP folders. ]

  • I found a workaround by adding a message rule to copy all incoming messages to my LOCAL Inbox, and only reading mail from the Local Inbox. You can collapse the IMAP account to partially hide it. When deleted from the Local Inbox, it goes to the Local Trash. There is no option to set the Trash folder for Local Folders, but it goes where I want it. (Also, change Copies&Folders to put Sent, Drafts, Templates into Local Folders.) – Chloe Mar 14 '13 at 20:26

This is unfortunately a known bug. Looks like it's been known for almost 10 years!! Here's the link to bugzilla: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=277854

  • This used to work, in fact it worked and didn't work at the same time, i.e. one account of mine worked and another did not (same opened copy of Tunderbird with several IMAP accounts). But then one by one my accounts stopped working and forced me to only select trash on the server. I can only suppose this is a deliberate feature change and they just don't want to admit that. – Elliptical view Nov 14 '17 at 3:38

In the Tools/Account Settings/Server Settings set "When I delete a message" to "Move it to this folder" and select the local "Trash" folder. If the Local Trash does not show up - check if you have "Trash" under Local Folders. If it's there - right-click on it and do Properties/Repair Folder. If not - create it.

  • 1
    I tried Right Click > Properties > Repair and it still won't appear under "Move it to this folder." – Chloe Mar 6 '13 at 3:57

I have been looking for this all day and as yet I cannot find it.

To summarise Alex's answer, it is correct so far as you get a trash folder to choose, however the trash folder is the servers trash folder not the local one. I cannot yet find a way to do this to a local directory at all only to the servers trash.

In In order that you don't have to worry about the trash however there is an option for you to manage it and ensure the mail on the server is deleted.

Other than that there is the option to check the option above to just delete, you would have to be absolutely certain every time, but its there if you want it.

Right-click Account name > settings > server settings > check the box for empty trash on exit.

Good luck.

  • I like to keep my trash forever. It is very useful when looking up old information. – Chloe Mar 14 '13 at 20:21

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