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missing emails in Sent folder

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w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 16th, 2019, 5:37 pm

I just noticed today that the only emails in my Sent folder are the ones from the past 2 weeks, all prior emails have disappeared! Where have they gone and how can I retrieve them? Thanks

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 4:40 am

How is the account set up in Thunderbird, as POP or IMAP? Find out using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings->Server Type at the top right of the dialogue.

w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 5:03 am

It's a POP account. When sending messages it's set to place a copy in the "Sent" folder, which it's done with no issue for a long time. I occasionally compact my folders when prompted but have never noticed any loss of recent data.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 5:12 am

Right click on the name of the Sent folder and select "Properties" from the context menu, then click on the "Repair folder" when it is displayed.

w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 7:25 am

I've tried that already and it didn't help. Also tried deleting the sent.msf file file from my profile folder and starting Thunderbird again, still no change.

makaiguy

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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 7:59 am

Right-click the Sent folder and select Properties.
What do you have set up under the Retention Policy tab?
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w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 8:04 am

It was set to "use my account settings" until yesterday, I changed it to "don't delete any messages" to hopefully prevent future losses.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 8:13 am

How many messages are in that Sent folder?

w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 8:22 am

Only 7, oldest one is from Aug 29

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 8:36 am

Well it won't recover the messages now missing but to help prevent future losses, try this procedure.

First, backup your Profile ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup )

Create a new sub-folder under Local Folders. Move all of the messages currently in your Sent folder to that new subfolder.

Confirm that you have made the recommended backup of your Profile.

Close Thunderbird and navigate to your Profile folder. Delete both the file Sent.msf and the file Sent with no extension.

Restart Thunderbird and you should find a new, empty Sent folder in place. Copy any messages you MUST have in your Sent folder from the sub-folder created above to the Sent folder. Compact the Sent folder after those messages are copied in.

The "Real Fix" entry in this article -- http://kb.mozillazine.org/Compacting_folders#Real_fix also describes this process.

w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 2:41 pm

Thanks Dan, I'll set it up that way going forward. I do have one last possibility to retrieve most of my sent folder...my last backup of Thunderbird was on August 30. Is there any way to update just the sent folder or is it more of an "all or none" solution?

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 3:55 pm

That would depend on how the backup was done. How did you do that?

w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 4:20 pm

It was done with MozBackup 1.5.1 and all options were checked off: general settings, emails, address books, bookmarks, history, extensions, cookies, and saved form details.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 7:13 pm

The backup files produced by MozBackup are simply ZIP files with a different file extension. Rename the file (to whatever .ZIP) and use an Unzip utility to open that file, extracting the file Sent (with no extension) and use that to recover the lost messages. Rename the extracted file to something like SentImport and, with Thunderbird closed) place it in the Local Folders directory of the account. Start Thunderbird, there should be a new SentImport folder under Local Folders. Compact that folder to force Thunderbird to generate the .msf file. Then copy or move messages from that new folder to the Sent folder to replace the lost messages.

w00ki
 
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Post Posted September 18th, 2019, 6:49 am

This worked like a charm, I was able to retrieve just about all of my lost emails. Will definitely remember this technique in the future. Thanks for your help Dan, much appreciate it!

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