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I’m anxious

Why is my inbox listed as full (when it's not) and preventing me from getting emails?

I can't send or receive emails because I get a message saying my folder inbox is full. Even when I delete hundreds of emails, my current situation continues.
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  • right click on the inbox entry in the folder pane and select compact. This has worked for many other with the inbox is full problem
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  • I have the same problem, which started yesterday (1-13-10). I only had 8 messages in my inbox, none with attachments. No items in trash, only 176 messages in the sent file. I tried to compact the 8 messages - no luck. Then I deleted two of the messages but I'm still getting the "inbox full" message. I have also tried to transfer emails from, for example "sent" to the inbox but again, I get the inbox full message. Finally, I have downloaded Thunderbird 3, hoping this would help. It did not.

    Hope someone knows how to fix this. Thanks in advance.............................g
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  • I've been having this same problem for some time. I am running the latest version of Thunderbird on Windows XP. When I receive the message that the inbox is full, I check the file size for the inbox in explorer and somehow the file ballooned to 4,194,304 KB and can no longer hold messages. I've been getting around the problem by renaming this inbox. When I reopen Thunderbird a new inbox is created and I am able to receive new messages. I do not know what is causing the inbox to grow like that - any attachments I receive are not that large.
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  • I’m anxious
    can anyone tell me how to get my emails to download even after I've deleted thousands of emails from my inbox and it still tells me the inbox is too full?
    • Hi Susie. Please read Matt's reply above. Apparently in Thunderbird, "delete" is a bit of a misnomer. The messages don't actually exit your T-bird account until you "compact." You have to think of the compact icon in the tool bar above your email screen like a trash compactor - not something that compresses a file. However, if you've gotten to the point where T-bird no longer works, you need to follow the instructions in the link's you'll find in Matt's note because simply compacting will no longer work. I also had to stop using my local (or personal) folder because it was corrupted - but using the T-bird account works fine. I now compact early and often. Hope this helps.............................g.
    • George, corruption in Thunderbird is usually in the index, not the actual data store. Locate the file with the extension msf that matches your corrupt folder and delete it. When you reopen Thunderbird it will be forced to re create the index from scratch and it usually fixes things.
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  • Thank's Matt. I first searched the Thunderbird file folder and then my entire program files for a .msf extension but received no applicable results. Perhaps my description of the folder being corrupted was inaccurate? Actually, I just couldn't access it. When I clicked on my local inbox, the system would just "grind" (see, another technical term;>). So, I just redirected my email to the main T-bird account's inbox folder. More recently, by telling the system to delete all messages in the local folder on exit, and repeatedly compacting the folder, I no longer have that problem - but I'm happy using my current arrangement so I've left things alone. Thanks again for the good advice.................g
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  • George, Most probably Windows is hiding them from you. The files are stored on a default windows folder Application Data which windows 'hides' for your convenience.

    On my XP system in my computer you go to the tools menu and select Folder options and then the View tab click the radio button that says show hidden files or something very similar. Thunderbird keeps it's files on a folder named similarly to the following
    C:\Documents and Settings\Matt\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\it39zzz2.default\Mail
    • Hi Matt,
      Its Suzee, responding to your most recent message to me and to George. I've tried to get into the Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles ... etc but I get a dialog box telling me that access is denied. I cannot get into the files to change the name of the file with the extension msf. There are many folders in my computer that tell me that "access is denied" even folders like "C:\Documents and Settings" or "Default User", even C:\Users\Cookies", many folders I always used to be able to open when I was using Windows XP Pro, but now since I've had Vista since my new computer was built in Feb 09, so many files in this Vista do not allow me to access. So I'm stuck.
      But I did find a folder via another entry, and I did see some Thunderbird files with the msf extension, one called inbox without the msf extension which was 4GB, it contained all the folders I've created to hold various named emails in alphabetical order. The file called inbox with the msf extension had nothing much in it, the file size was quite tiny. Now I can't find that path since I started this message? The original Inbox is still there when I open Thunderbird program in the normal way, but nothing new will download since the last one received, 10pm on Tuesday 23rd March 2010. I'v e tried compacting all the folders, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. So I'm going to wait until after the Easter weekend holidays, and take my computer box into my computer repairer, sales shop, (this is where they built my computer and I have another year of warranty) they will be closed from 5pm Thursday 1st April until Tuesday 6th April. In the meantime I've created a new email set up using my Windows Mail program, to at least be able to download all my current emails and keep up to date. I have another major problem which is causing my computer to crash and restart all the time without any warning. I spoke to one of the technicians this afternoon at the same computer shop, and he says that maybe the fan inside the box stops working, why it keeps crashing, he's calling it a power spike. But I think that is an entirely different problem apart from Thunderbird not downloading because it keeps telling me the inbox is full, and telling me to delete inbox emails to make room to download new emails. As I said in my first message for help, I've deleted thousands already, even put some into the Archives.
      Hopefully my computer shop will find a way to fix both major problems for me. Plus fix the problem where I keep getting "Access is denied" on many folders.
      I prefer using Thunderbird as it has many more features I like using such as coloured "tags" to identify emails to attend to every day. WIndows Mail doesn't have those features, only a red flag. Maybe I should "bite the bullet" and ask them to change the System over to Windows 7 ? If they can save all my data, the inbox and all its folders as well of course.
      I just need to suffer through another week. Then to be without any computer for at least 3 days, which will be much dreaded, as I'm so attached to it as an everyday task for work and as part of my life. My addiction.
      Happy Easter
      Cheers
      Suzee, from Brookvale 2100, Sydney NSW Australia.
      PS: If you have any helpful ideas email me direct at suzee3@optusnet.com.au
    • See your email Suzee
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  • Suzie
    It sounds like you needed to be logged in as an administrator. There are two files "inbox" and "inbox.msf ". The former does not appear to have an extension - I don't know why. This is the one - for me - causes all the problems. I rename it to inboxOLD and reopen Thunderbird. A new inbox is automatically created. Clicking on inboxOLD will rebuild the file. After this process is over, I simply copy all of these emails to the new inbox folder and delete inboxOLD. Kind of a roundabout way of doing things, but it works for me.
    Gooday!
    DJ
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  • I’m frustrated
    Have the same problem using mac 10.4. tb 3.1
    Do not want to lose all my messages.
    Any other options?
    Thanks,
    Nava
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  • Nava, if you copy mails to a local folder you will loose nothing. What I can assure you is that Thunderbird will not work and get you mails until the inbox file is deleted.

    Suzee,
    Did you ever get windows to search for a file called inbox?
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  • I’m thankful
    That's what I did I copy them to local and deleted the inbox from outside t.b.
    It's working fine now.
    In fact I think I would leave it in the local folder.
    Thanks,
    Nava
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  • I started with this problem a week ago, and have tried everything that's been suggested above, including deleting the INBOX and INBOX.msf from TB mail files. I noticed there were over 1 million bytes in the inbox, but it's now empty. Nothing has changed. I've repeated the process 3 times, but all I get is " writing summary files for inbox" going on and on and on, and still the message "inbox is full". I even updated to the latest version of TB, but that hasn't solved the problem either. Ive deleted all old emails and compacted all the folders, so don't know what else to try. I've also been getting an alert that my recycle bin is corrupted, but ignored it for some time, as I'm hopeless with computers. Could this have something to do with it? I've reinstated Outlook Express that I used before and it's working fine, so would happily give up TB altogether, except I've got so many stored emails on it, and I don't know how to export them to OS.

    From all the mails I've been reading on this forum, it seems this is a very common problem.

    Judy
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  • Judy: Make sure the "Inbox" you're deleting (and the one from which you're deleting/moving files) is the one to which TB can't deliver mail. Check the server settings for the account; specifically the "Advanced" button on the "Server Settings" page, to make sure you're not delivering the mail for the affected account to either the "Global Inbox" (in "Local Folders"), or the inbox for another account.

    When you say you "compacted all the folders", how did you do that ? It is not obvious, but the "File->Compact Folders" menu selection only compacts the folders for the currently-selected account. To compact ALL the folders, select an account, then "File->Compact Folders", then select another account, then "File->Compact Folders", etc. Repeat for each account, including the "Local Folders" psuedo-account.
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    • Judy: In the main TB window, with the view set to "All Folders" (View->Folders->All), you should see an entry with your account name and folders beneath it (Inbox, Sent, Trash, etc.), and a "Local Folders" entry with folders beneath it (Inbox, Outbox, Trash, etc.). "Local Folders" is, in many respects, treated by Thunderbird just like any other account with regards to handling of folders, but there are no servers associated with the "account". If you go to "Tools-Account Settings" and select (highlight) "Local Folders", at the top of the right-hand side you'll see the text "The following is a special account. There are no identities associated with it". I call it a "psuedo-account" because it's not a _real_ account (like yourname@somedomain.com).

      It is not clear to me whether the "Inbox" under local folders -- which would be where your mail would be delivered if you'd selected the "Global Inbox" setting in "Advanced", will be compacted if you select "Local Folders" and then "File->Compact Folders"; "Compact Folders" works on the "currently-selected" account, but for many other cases TB doesn't consider the selection of "Local Folders" to be the "currently-selected account" and will use the "default account" as the "currently-selected account".

      To ensure the "Local Folders" inbox is being compacted, right-click (or control-click on a Mac) on the "Inbox" under the "Local Folders", and select "Compact" from the contextual menu.

      Lastly, there may not be an "Inbox" under "Local Folders" if your "Advanced" settings are NOT delivering the mail for your account to the "Global Inbox".
    • Hi Michael. I went to the advanced settings, and as you said found that mail was being delivered to Global Inbox,rather than inbox for this account. I changed it, and hey presto, had an avalanche come into the main inbox. Should I leave it like this, or compact the local folders inbox and switch back, and try again? Judy
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  • Judy:
    > Should I leave it like this, or compact the local folders
    > inbox and switch back, and try again?

    That's up to you, really. It just depends on where you want your mail delivered (and whether or not you have any Message Filters that operate on the "Local Folders" inbox). If you DO want your messages to go back to being delivered to the "Global Inbox", then yes -- compact the "Local Folders" inbox first. I'd suggest finding the file in your profile and noting its size before the "compact" operation, and checking it afterwards to ensure the size is reduced.
    If you don't know where to find the file, see:
    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_fol...
    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Files_and_f...
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