Thunderbird Won’t Download Messages & Emails? Try These Fixes

Thunderbird Won’t Download Messages & Emails? Try These Fixes

Thunderbird facilitates people to manage chats, emails, and news feeds seamlessly. Through this email client, people can get full control over their email messages. Moreover, it also provides numerous add-ons that improve the overall email experience of users. However, as with every email client, there are also some problems that people regularly face with it. They often find that Thunderbird won’t download messages. But there’s certainly a way to tackle this problem. In this article, you’ll discover stepwise instructions on what to do when this problem occurs. 

Also Check:- How to Sync Google Calendar with Thunderbird


Reasons Why Your Thunderbird Won’t Download Messages

Thunderbird is a client application that is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. In it, attachments, emails, and similar mail components are stored as MBOX documents on the close-by workstation by the open-supply email user. Sometimes, you might find that you cannot download any emails that you have previously downloaded but have removed. 

Here are some important reasons why this application is not downloading all your messages.

  1. Occurrence of issues with a corrupt database. 
  2. Thunderbird downloads only the recent mails.
  3. Problem with the fragmentation in its global database.
  4. The Mozilla Thunderbird application is fragmented, corrupt, or has a similar problem. 

Also Check, Why:- Thunderbird email not working


Measures to Take When Thunderbird Won’t Download Messages

Now you know various reasons that prevent Thunderbird from downloading your emails. You can proceed to the part of fixing this problem effectively. Irrespective of the protocol you are using, this issue can arise. So, here are some measures you can take according to your account type. 


1. Steps for POP3 Thunderbird Account

In the POP3 method, the incoming messages are present in the inbox or mailbox in the server. Thunderbird downloads the messages to store on your system. Thunderbird also instantly removes them from the server until you decide otherwise by accessing the Server Settings panel from your account. 

Global searching is the global database that employs global-messages-db.sqlite as the search index. It has a copy of all emails of your Thunderbird account. It duplicates the emails from the inbox files that are produced by synchronization. When this file gets corrupt, you’ll find that Thunderbird won’t download emails. The application becomes unable to download them. But you can take the following actions to fix this issue.

  1. Exit the Thunderbird application.
  2. On your Thunderbird profile, locate the ‘global-messages-db.sqlite’ file.
  3. Now delete or remove this file from the local machine. It will force the Thunderbird application to download all emails or messages POP3.
  4. After that, restart the application. The process of re-indexing will commence automatically. 
  5. Keep in mind that the amount of time that the Thunderbird application takes for re-indexing will be based on the number of emails. At times, it can take a couple of minutes to finish the whole indexing process.
  6. When the process of indexing is continuing, you can use your Thunderbird. But note that it may become slow and respond very slowly to the commands. 
  7. You can monitor the indexing status. To do it, go to ‘Tools’ and from there to ‘Activity Manager.’

After this process, the Mozilla Thunderbird will download all your messages. It will also sync them with your MBOX files. So those who have a POP3 account can resolve the issue of Thunderbird not downloading messages by using the process described above.


2. Steps for IMAP Thunderbird Account

In the IMAP method of accessing mail, folders and messages are stored on the server. Any changes or modifications in Thunderbird get reflected on the server. Likewise, any modifications on the server get reflected on Thunderbird.

If you are finding that Thunderbird is unable to download messages in your Thunderbird account, which has an IMAP configuration, you can follow the steps mentioned below. 

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird and tap on ‘Tools.’
  2. Choose the option of ‘Account Settings’ followed by ‘Synchronization & Storage category for IMAP account.’
  3. Enable the option of ‘Keep messages for this account on this computer.’
  4. Next, tap the ‘Advanced’ button to force the email client for downloading every IMAP message. 
  5. Now check the option of ‘Download’ for the inbox folder. 
  6. Note that you can also select extra folders that you wish to be available offline.
  7. As the last step, tap ‘OK’ followed by ‘OK’ again.


Other Steps to Fix Thunderbird Application Not Downloading Messages Issue

Apart from the methods outlined above, you can also implement some other solutions when you find that Thunderbird won’t download new messages. These solutions are given below.

  1. Corrupted .msf files, also called index files that are employed to cache the folder listing, can be behind you experiencing this problem with the Thunderbird application. For rebuilding a folder listing, right-tap on the specific folder and choose ‘Properties.’ You can then choose the option of ‘Rebuild Folder’ from the ‘General Information’ menu. You can also close Thunderbird and delete them from the folder of profile manually. They will be rebuilt after you open Thunderbird.
  2. It may be possible that while downloading a malformed or bad message, Thunderbird has encountered a problem. It may be what is leading Thunderbird not to download any new email message. The problem can also arise because of some technical bug. You can use the webmail to go through and then remove the malformed email message. 


Final Thoughts

The Mozilla Thunderbird application is quite an effective one, which consistently inspects for new email messages that the user receives. It then downloads them for the user to view and take further action. But when Thunderbird won’t download messages, it’s mainly because of an interruption in settings and server. It results in the downloading process slowing down. You can implement the various measures given in this article and start downloading the messages quickly. But if the techniques don’t work, connect with Thunderbird email support experts. The expert support personnel will resolve all Thunderbird-related issues for you.



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