CrazybirdIt’s hard to find a good e-mail client these days. Despite it’s increasing crappiness, I still use Mozilla Thunderbird, mainly because there just aren’t any good alternatives out there.

I could use webmail, but I really don’t like it. I like to have my e-mail stored on my computer, not on some server somewhere.

But, as I said, Tbird is increasingly crazy. One of the problems I run into a lot is when trying to simply delete a message, Thunderbird hangs with a “Not Responding” message from Windows in the title bar. After about 5-10 seconds, it unhangs and deletes the message. It does this for every e-mail I delete.

This is really annoying, but it’s also very easy to fix!


Okay, here’s what you do:

  1. Right-click the Trash folder in the folder pane and choose Properties
  2. Click the Repair Folder button
  3. Click OK
  4. Your Trash folder now probably has up to several hundred unread e-mails, usually from a long time ago. If not, skip to step #10.
  5. Click the Trash folder
  6. In the “View” pulldown menu at the top of the Tbird window, choose Unread
  7. Click any message in the message list pane
  8. Hold down Ctrl and press the A key. This will select all the displayed Unread messages
  9. Right-click any message in the now-selected group, and choose Mark -> As read
  10. Now, back in the folder pane, right-click the Trash folder again and this time, choose Compact

When it’s done compacting, try deleting any message again.

Sometimes the Trash folder and/or its index file gets corrupted. By repairing the folder and then compacting it, you rebuild the Trash folder’s index file and compact the message file to clean things up.

Note that if you have multiple accounts set up, you may have one Trash folder for each account. Repair the Trash folder as described above for any account that is misbehaving. If the mail for all your accounts is funneled into Local Folders, there is only one Trash folder to repair.

That’s all there is to it!

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