[ubuntu-za] Thunderbird and Gmail problem

Tom Bamford tom at aims.ac.za
Wed May 9 14:10:40 UTC 2012

On 9 May 2012 12:26, Wikus <wikus at cheetah-microsystems.com> wrote:
> Lo All ,
> I have an issue with Thunderbird and gmail. I have set up an gmail account
> in thunderbird using defaults.
> Didn't change anything to the settings. Then I notice an "all mail" folder
> under gmail in thunderbird.
> This folder keeps getting bigger and bigger with all mail that comes in. And
> no matter what I do , that mail
> stays there. I delete inbox and all other folders (including all mail) ,
> empty the trash. But the mail just comes
> back there. I force delete (shift-delete) everything , but the mail just
> comes back automatically again.
> I check on my gmail in the web interface online and there is no such folder
> there. So it must be on the pc.
> I then see an option in TB's preferences to "Archive mail" in a folder
> called "all mail". So I think yay I found
> the problem. I dsiabled that setting completely. Restart thunderbird. But
> still it happens. It is getting bigger and bigger
> with all mail and it is gonna start wasting space. How do I get rid of that
> "all mail" thing ?
> Screenshot:
> http://www.mediafire.com/i/?tehq1j4f2afr86h
> Ubuntu 12.04 , all updates
> Thunderbird 12.0.1
> Thanx
> - Wikus

Hi Wikus

Due to disparities between the behaviour of Gmail and the expected
behaviour of IMAP, you will find that deleting messages from a Gmail
"folder" over IMAP does not actually delete them. Gmail will keep your
messages forever in the All Mail pseudo-folder, which you will find on
the Gmail web interface if you click on the "More" link underneath
your label list.

You can probably configure Thunderbird not to cache messages in that
folder, or messages older than a certain age, but to actually delete
the messages you will need to get to grips with Gmail's IMAP
implementation. More information at these articles:


Frankly I would not worry about it, unless you are very low on disk
space, as it probably doesn't consume all that much space.


System Administrator
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)21 787 9328
Fax: +27 (0)21 787 9321
Jabber: tom at aims.ac.za
Web: www.aims.ac.za

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