I just installed a new Thunderbird 3 on a few computers and immediately saw that I could not find the "Leave messages on server" option... can anyone point that out to me?

On my personal PC I upgraded Thunderbird 2 to 3 and there appears the option, but when I create a new account... I can not find the option. Where is it?

  • 2
    Which protocol are you using: IMAP or POP? Dec 12, 2009 at 9:29

3 Answers 3


Go to menu ToolsAccount Settings...Server Settings.

Check the box Leave messages on server. Now you can choose a number of days and until you delete them.

  • 1
    This option is only available for POP accounts. Dec 13, 2009 at 7:01
  • 3
    This option is not available for IMAP, because the entire principle of IMAP is that your messages remain on the server. Jan 21, 2010 at 10:53

I had the same problem. I found that I created an IMAP account by mistake when I first created the account in Thunderbird.

To create a new POP account: Click the "Stop" button when Thunderbird tries to "help" you by automatically set things up. Then change "IMAP" to "POP".


I was having the same issue and found it under Gmail settings.

There's an option, "When messages are accessed with POP". The default is delete Gmails copy. Change this to keep Gmails copy.


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