I'm running Thunderbird 24.2.0 on Kubuntu 13.10. When I first start the app, everything works OK: I can delete individual email items (Delete key, "Delete" button, or right-click context menu option) or move them from the Inbox to various folders.

After some period of time, all that functionality just stops working: no error messages, just cannot move/delete individual emails. It still gets new mail and I can still read email. To resolve the problem,I have to stop/restart Thunderbird.

Any suggestions on what to look for? A google search turned up a number of similar issues, but they were all dated back in 2009 for a much earlier version of T'Bird.

I've removed and re-installed T//bird; I've chown'ed all the files in the ~/.thunderbird folder to my id:group; I've run it with sudo -- nothing solves the problem: it starts out working just fine and then eventually is unable to delete or move messages... or even save into the Sent folder. I'm about ready to look for another email program.

Update And now, thunderbird has forgotten all my settings, accounts, etc. My default directory is still there but not recognized. My postings to bugzilla ticket #784267 along with a number of other folks continue unanswered. What a mess.


Problems associated with deleting or moving email usually stem from failure to compact mail folders, especially inboxes. This is because deleted email is not removed from the application until you compact (expunge is the technical term). This can be done automatically by a setting in your email account. Manually is simple enough. On any mail folder do this: right click/compact (or File/Compact Folders). This is especially important on inboxes but also, any folder from which you regularly delete/move email.

If you are experiencing problems you probably have a lot of uncompacted mail so be patient the first time and watch the activity bar for its status (at the bottom of the application).

Find more useful info here



Posts: 951
Joined: May 25th, 2011, 8:57 pm

Post Posted January 7th, 2013, 6:47 pm two things just for starters:

Archive all the mail currently in the Inbox

enable AutoCompact
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_fo ... omatically

Last edited by rais on January 8th, 2013, 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

  • FYI, this may well work, but I long ago moved away from Thunderbird and cannot test it, so unfortunately cannot mark it as the answer. – JESii Jul 28 '17 at 21:37

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