I have an account in Thunderbird which has not been checked for a long time (I've been using Gmail, which doesn't delete any messages from the server). So this means when I click "Get Mail" it starts fetching 2500+ emails!

I'm wondering, how do I stop or pause all those mails coming in? I have it set so it doesn't pull them in automatically on startup. But once I've clicked "Get Mail" there does not seem to be a way to stop it, besides quitting Thunderbird entirely.

My main motivation for wanting to pause fetching is that a lot of the email is spam so I'd like to pause and mark a bunch of emails as spam, then continue fetching with hopefully further email being marked as spam automatically.

  • Luckily BigSn already gave you a nice simple answer. Anything more elaborate will cost you more time than just letting all the mails come in and then handle that. Just sorting them differently is a quick way to detect a large percentage of the spam, then delete it with a selection + Del.
    – Jan Doggen
    Dec 13, 2013 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


You can interrupt the process by clicking the little computer-icon in the lower left corner of the main window of Thunderbird.

A secondary click will re-enable the download process.

  • Thanks. A bit of a kludge, but it works. Dec 13, 2013 at 17:00

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