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How to Delete Old Messages in Thunderbird Without Facing Any Difficulty

Published By Raj
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 25th, 2024
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading
Category Error

“Are you looking for a solution to delete old messages in Thunderbird? If yes, then, you are landed at the exact place as we have come up with a feasible approach for removing mails from Mozilla Thunderbird.”

In the modern world, email plays a significant role in exchange of information. However, there are various email services available on internet but one of them is Thunderbird. It is the most popular email program that provides lots of features to all users. When users sent same email again and again it leads to duplicacy and takes unnecessary space in Thunderbird. Although, there is no need to keep previous emails in Thunderbird so, it becomes necessary to delete them. Hence, in this article, we have discussed all possible solutions to delete all emails in Mozilla Thunderbird. Let’s consider the following scenario:

“I am using Mozilla Thunderbird from past 5 years and I have thousands of emails in my Thunderbird account. Now, it becomes quite difficult for me to manage and search messages in it. Moreover, it also takes some extra space. Is there any way to delete old messages in Thunderbird.”

Manual Ways to Delete Old Messages In Thunderbird

There are multiple methods by which users can remove old emails from Mozilla Thunderbird. Some of them are mentioned below:

There are many cases where users archive Thunderbird data before deleting them. You can extract Thunderbird emails using the ImportExportTools NG Add-on. However, to extract only attachments, you will need Thunderbird Attachment Extractor wizard on your machine.

I. Delete Old Mail From a Folder in Thunderbird

Follow the steps to make Thunderbird, delete old messages in a folder automatically:

  1. Open Thunderbird and choose the desired folder
  2. Go to Properties option from the menu
  3. Now, click on the Retention Policy tab
  4. Uncheck the Use my account settings checkbox
  5. Next, you can go for either Delete all but the most recent [ ] messages or Delete messages more than [ ] days old
  6. Be sure to check Always keep starred messages; this will help to preserve important emails
  7. Enter the relevant time or message count as per the option selected
    1. Keeping about the 30 days or 900 emails in a Trash folder usually that works fine
    2. For the default inbox, 182 days (approximately 6 months) can work.
  8. At last, press OK button

II. Delete Old Messages in Thunderbird Account Entirely

By default, to set a policy for account which will remove all old emails across folders in that account, follow the given procedure:

  1. Select Preferences and click on Account Settings from menu in Mozilla Thunderbird
  2. Navigate to Tools option, select Account Settings >> Account Settings
  3. Go to Disk Space category for a particular account (or Local Folders).
  4. Click on Synchronization & Storage category for specific account under the Account Settings window
  5. Make sure Delete all but the most recent [] messages or Delete messages more than [] days old is checked
  6. Then, press OK in the Confirm permanent, automatic deletion of the messages box.
    1. Keeping in mind all messages you want to protect can be accidentally deleted with this setting; maybe don’t rely on starring messages to retain them.
    2. There will be permanent deletion of all messages as per the options checked without any exceptions
    3. You can change the default settings for a single folder to either keep one or more mail or to turn off auto delete it altogether
  7. Eventually, click OK button

Advantage of Removing Old Emails From Thunderbird

Users can have various benefits of deleting all messages from Thunderbird and all of them are mentioned below:

  1. Deleting old emails will free up some storage space on Thunderbird account.
  2. It becomes easy for a user to manage Thunderbird mailbox in a better way.
  3. After removing old Thunderbird emails, the performance will get better.

Time to Conclude

Keeping old emails in Thunderbird is a very complex problem for all users. Further, it makes it difficult for everyone to work with Thunderbird and also affects the continuity of workflow. Thus, it becomes important to remove old mails from Thunderbird. To help out, all the Thunderbird users, we have covered a manual solution on how to delete old messages in Thunderbird in the above section. Make sure to follow each and every instruction very carefully.


By Raj

A technical analyst and a writer with innovative ideas when it comes to technology. Provides solutions, tips and tricks to get things done using technology.