I’m confused

How do i disable archiving in thunderbird 3.0? - Will come in Thunderbird 3.3

How do i disable archiving in thunderbird 3.0? I don't want to utilize archiving at all but I can't find any options for disabling it. Does anyone know the answer?
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  • I’m wasting too much time!
    I keep typing "a" and archiving messages by mistake. I don't want to archive messages every time I accidentally type "a". Can I disable this (and any other keyboard shortcut that conflicts with my typing idiosyncrasies)?

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    How do I disable Thunderbird's keyboard shortcuts?.
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  • I also want the archive menu pick removed from the right-click menu. Since I will NEVER use the feature intentionally, and I do use the "forward as attachments" multiple times every day, the presence of a never-desired menu pick only leads to anger and frustration.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I use Vmware together with Windows and usually have to switch back and forth to check for emails. I often forgot that I'm still in the Windows side (Using multiple monitors) and start type things in Vmware (but in fact I'm still in Thunderbird), which leads to the letter A being accidentally typed more than a few times a day and this bug is annoying the heck out of me. A whole year and no fix for such a simple problem? The most desirable solution is to allow the user the option of enable/disable it. And why does it have to be only at the first time? If such a solution is "so hard" to implement, why not allow the user to change the shortcut to something else (something that is a lot harder to accidentally typed, e.g., Shift-Control-A?)
    Meanwhile I've downloaded the extension mentioned above. It's a bit sad that I have to download an extension to do such a simple thing.
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  • I've reverted the status of this topic from "In Progress" to "Acknowledged" as there is no action in either of the related bugs beyond the basic idea. I'd assume that for an "In Progress" status a bug at least should have a design/mockup or patch up for review.

    As for vtqanh's post, your best bet for the time being is the Message Archive Options add-on, which doesn't allow you to disable archiving but at least to add modifiers to the keyboard shortcut (that's essentially what bug 476590 was trying to accomplish, but adding a second button to the shortcut was denied by the developers by argumentation that a single-key shortcut was a design decision). Thus, you can pick Shift-Control-A instead to mitigate the issue.

    The other option is to hack the application by a post-install patch after each update. That's what I'm doing with each release to get rid of the shortcut, but needs some knowledge of how to unpack/repack the JAR files and how apply patches, so it's not for everybody.
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  • This reply was removed on 2011-01-12.
    see the change log
  • I’m extremely frustrated
    It's been a year. I lose email at least a couple of times a week by the fact that the "A" key happens to move things to the archive folder. There is an additional problem that moving messages back seems to trash them, but the basic problem is that an inadvertent keystroke does an "archive".

    *HOW HARD CAN THIS BE TO TURN OFF???*

    I don't want archiving. I do my own email saving. I don't want to inadvertently move messages out of my mailboxes, even if they didn't get trashed in the process. I have a particularly severe problem because the "copy" key on my Sun keyboard is interpreted under some OSes as a, so when trying to copy text I can end up accidentally archiving the message.

    Again, how hard can it be to provide the ability to *NOT* map "a" to archive?
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  • I’m frustrated
    This seems to be an add-on to *add* functionality to "archive", which is why I initially discarded the idea of installing it. I want it _disabled_ not enhanced.
    After your comment, I looked at it more closely - Installing it and changing to be control-shift-meta-a does make it harder to hit accidentally, which is most of what I needed. But it still costs me at least one obnoxious line in the mailbox list.

    I shouldn't have to be tracking down and installing unsupported add-ons to disable functionality that shouldn't be default in the first place, let alone default in a form that is trivial to accidentally hit, and happens to hit some other bug that causes the content of the message to be destroyed when trying to move the message back to the mailbox it belongs in.

    I won't be indefinitely tracking down updates to this add-on every time thunderbird is updated to keep from trashing my mailbox. Perhaps it is indeed time to ditch Thunderbird and move to some other mail client which doesn't have the problem of bogus functionality being dropped in like this.
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  • "4. There will be a hidden preference to allow users to turn the archive keyboard shortcut on and off (accessible via the config editor is what I mean by hidden!)"

    Does this exist yet?
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  • I’m frustrated
    "4. There will be a hidden preference to allow users to turn the archive keyboard shortcut on and off (accessible via the config editor is what I mean by hidden!)"

    I wait too
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  • I’m very frustrated!
    It's a month later and I am STILL at work on restoring from backups going back about a year and a half. I can't just copy the emails into their corect folders and hit "Delete Duplicates" because many of my emails are intentionally filed in more than one place. I can't just restore from a recent back up because there's no rhyme or reason to what's gone missing or when it went missing, so I have had to restore from each backup, delete duplicates from each folder and subfolder, then move forward to the next backup in date order and go through the whole process again. And to make matters worse, emails I've restored are being re "archived" into some invisible void. This mess feels like an eternal loop of restoring and re-restoring after the restored messages are re-archived....

    A way to totally disable archiving really must be developed, and the sooner the better.
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  • This topic is now back on "in progress" after the backend patch has checked into the code and is available in the nightly development builds (thanks Jim!). Missing pieces are still the user interface, work is ongoing there as well.

    So, while this doesn't help current 3.0 or 3.1 users, it will be a feature in the upcoming 3.3 major release (no hard schedule yet).
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  • I’m disgusted with the editors
    totally bogus removal:

    This reply has been removed by Mozilla Messaging:

    this will not even help me in the slightest. I want it gone from the right-click context menu

    Replies can be removed by community moderators if they contain inappropriate content or private information. This was the reason given in this case:

    Mozilla Messaging: "removed duplicate post"
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  • I’m disgusted with getsatisfaction.com
    thanks. I'm perfectly willing to change the emoticon message to something that has in fact always been the case for me personally
    • I'm very happy to see progress on this design bug. Aside from removing the annoyance, it shows me that, eventually, these issues are addressed. I still find it troubling that something like this could find its way past the wizards and into the distributed code, but I think this is something one always finds on cooperative projects. Anyway, I'm looking forward to, finally, pasting a smiley smiley up here.
    • I'm very happy to see progress on this design bug. Aside from removing the annoyance, it shows me that, eventually, these issues are addressed. I still find it troubling that something like this could find its way past the wizards and into the distributed code, but I think this is something one always finds on cooperative projects. Anyway, I'm looking forward to, finally, pasting a smiley smiley up here.
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  • Thanks, folks for addressing this. Looking forward to the fix in 3.3.
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    • As far as I can tell from the bug report, the review process is making good progress and is missing just a single review (for which the reviewer has already voiced that it's the way to go). So, this has good chances to be completed for the next major release. :-)
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  • I’m frustrated
    Is there a fix for this? I don't really see the point of archiving when all the emails I receive go into my archive folder...

    This is coming from someone who just spent hours configuring TB settings.............................. (another problem is that I have double folders for gmail e.g. 2 draft folders per gmail account!)
    • Will come with Thunderbird 3.3, see the posts above. For 3.1.x:
      ... your best bet for the time being is the Message Archive Options add-on, which doesn't allow you to disable archiving but at least to add modifiers to the keyboard shortcut (that's essentially what bug 476590 was trying to accomplish, but adding a second button to the shortcut was denied by the developers by argumentation that a single-key shortcut was a design decision). Thus, you can pick Shift-Control-A instead to mitigate the issue.

      The other option is to hack the application by a post-install patch after each update. That's what I'm doing with each release to get rid of the shortcut, but needs some knowledge of how to unpack/repack the JAR files and how apply patches, so it's not for everybody.
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  • I’m Sad. TB was an excellent email client before the archiving debacle.
    The "archive options" is not a workable solution to getting rid of the design flaw which is sending 100s of my messages into some netherland. I deleted the "Archives" folder because I never, ever, want to archive any email - I either delete email or file it in the appropriate file/subfile/sub, sub file (or sometimes, four or five subfile layers down). Why can't Thunderbird just get rid of this abominable design flaw? It is not, in any way, an "enhancement". It is a design flaw. Perhaps, if the "archive" function maintained emails in the same file & subfile structure the user put the emails into, it might, under someone's stretch of imagination, be marginally usefull. But what does it add? My Profile is over 15 GB. So what.

    I discovered TB was "archiving" many of my emails (without notifying me, asking me for, or obtaining, permission to do so) over four months ago and am still trying to reconstruct all of the "lost" emails back into their proper folders from backups. Alll the while, TB continues to archive more recent emails. It is a nightmare and almost makes me think about going back nearly a decade to Microsoft's sorry excuse for an email client.

    This thread, taking issue with the archiving design flaw, goes back over a year and we are all still waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for an updated version of TB which does not include the archiving design flaw.

    When can we reasonably expect a revised version of TB which does not have this design flaw?
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    • I appreciate your frustration but if you're thinking of switching to another program, why wouldn't you just go back to an earlier version of TB when they didn't include archiving?

      Also, have you installed the extension (https://addons.mozilla.org/af/thunder...) to change the keystroke (so that accidentally hitting 'a' doesn't archive messages)? Archiving doesn't happen automatically (to the best of my knowledge). It certainly isn't happening to me (or anyone else I know who uses TB).

      They are working on allowing the folder structure to be saved within the archive--it sounds like that will come out with the next release. A mock-up of the UI can be found at https://bug607295.bugzilla.mozilla.or...

      I totally agree that archiving is not something that should be turned on by default, especially with a one-key activation, but it is certainly more than possible to work around it.
    • That folder hierarchy preserving version is very interesting. The whole concept of migrating stuff elsewhere is still problematic though. The best place for a referent, or link, to stored messages would be in their original locations in the main tree, imho, not off somewhere else.

      Anyway, thanks for the update in end user language.

      Oh, ah, I do hope they nuke that single letter trigger though. That is terrible. The letter A is very common. Accidental strikes are guaranteed.
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  • > Why can't Thunderbird just get rid of this abominable design flaw? It is not,
    > in any way, an "enhancement". It is a design flaw.

    I imagine it is an attempt to emulate some aspects of MS Outlook which has archive functions. I have noticed that, coincidentally, Firefox 4 has copied several GUI aspects from IE. In general, I believe it is a mistake for a project like this to copy the appearance or functionality of a program offered by a company like MS. The strength of the Mozilla offerings was originally, and IMHO still should be, that it is not similar to MS and in many ways is superior to MS.

    As to who initiated this "a" archive idea, I don't know who it was or why it was pushed through. Scanning forum messages shows no requests for this before its implementation. Also, a new function like this often does not come with a shortcut already installed and turned on; plugins usually provide this kind of thing. In this case, the developer felt the need for all of this rather aggressive implementation. Hope there's a little more review the next time.
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  • Good news: The user-interface pieces for the archive-related settings have been checked in this morning and will become visible in today's nightly test builds. I don't see a schedule yet for Thunderbird 3.3 beta 1, but that's where you should be able to test it in a regular pre-release unless any serious issue show up.
    • IAFT! Please allow me to say, yay and thanks.

      I do hope that someone learned a lesson of some sort out of this. A good human factors lesson, I mean. We love new features, and we appreciate the work that's gone into this great coms app - but I hope the devs realize that there is a huge world of data now relying upon it. No more tripwire land mines, please, I'm beggin' ya. New features: Yay. Data grabbing tripwires: No. Thanks.
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  • I’m still disappointed by this behavior.
    The top of this page say "solved". What's the solution?? I'm on version 6.0.2 and I am still constantly archiving messages inadvertently by typing "a" (a regularly typed character) when I think another window is active. How do I disable archiving? Thunderbird help shows zero relevant help topics for "archive".

    EDITED: For some reason the Thunderbird help search page is returning zero results for other words too: "keyboard" "shortcut". I stopped trying. Help please!
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  • 1
    Looking at the status of Mozilla bug 511741 ( https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug... ) there is the ability to turn off archiving entirely via:

    Tools (or Edit on Linux) -> Account Settings -> (account) -> Copies & Folders -> uncheck "Keep message archives"

    That will turn off all archiving, including the "a" key, but there's no way to just turn off the "a" key.

    But since this topic is just about disabling archiving, "solved" is accurate.

    I've opened a new mozilla message "topic" about disabling just the "a" key at http://gsfn.us/t/2fw4f
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  • I’m patting you on the back...
    Thanks for the directions. You have solved my problem!
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  • I’m astonished
    Has the problem been really solved? using TB 15 (fifteen!!!) but still cannot remove the Archives folder. I am still looking for a way to:
    a) disable archiving
    b) remove the archives folder

    At the moment I just removed all the included emails and subfolders, but not the main archiving folder per each account.

    Any suggestion, please?
    Thanks.
    Regards
    • UPDATE: aftrer removing the emails and subfolder from the main archiving folder... I noted that the emails have been erased both from any other TB folder (such as the main account folder and subfolders) and from the server...

      Archives should just be a copy, I mean operations (especially accideltal ones) made on the main account folder should not affect the archive folders as well as the operations on the archive folder should not affect the main account folder!!! Otherwise, that's not archiving... it is just hard drive space wasting with useless duplicates!
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