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IMAP Help - 2 PCs, 1 email address...

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Jame584
 
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Joined: January 10th, 2021, 6:03 am

Post Posted January 10th, 2021, 2:01 pm

Hi everyone,

First post here, hopefully I can find some help as even after researching I am still confused on the best way forward.

I currently use Thunderbird as my email client and I am still on POP3 settings for my ISP email address. I have just bought a new PC and want to have TB set up on both my PCs for the same email address, and for the inbox/sent/draft folders etc to be synchronised and match on both PCs.

My research tells me to switch to IMAP settings however I am worried on a few things.

I have a lot of emails, my profile folder is circa 12GB and I see my ISP provides 10GB email allowance (about 2.5GB is currently used). Can I set up TB on both my PCs with IMAP so that both PCs are synchronised and also so that they both save a copy of all emails on their hard drives leaving me able to manually delete emails from the ISP webmail/server when it get's close to the 10GB limit without effecting the PCs? I am worried that deleting emails from the webmail/server will automatically delete the emails from both PCs, which I obviously do not want to happen!

What is the best set up for me to use for my situation?

Thank you for your help.

Kind regards,
James

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 10th, 2021, 2:42 pm

Yes. Copy any messages you want to save locally (due to getting close to the 12GB limit) from the IMAP account to a folder in the special Local Folders account. Whatever you do in webmail or the IMAP account can't effect the contents of Local Folders. That is one reason why it exists.

If you want a local copy on both PCs copy the messages for the first PC, and move them for the second PC. You need to do it in that order as move is equivalent to copy + delete the original. If you want to keep the original messages in webmail use copy, not move, for both PCs.

If you moved or deleted any messages then empty the trash and compact the folders for the IMAP account. When you delete a message and its moved to trash as a side effect there are actually two copies of the message, one hidden from view. Deleting a message typically hides the original message and marks it as deleted but does NOT physically remove it. Compacting physically removes deleted messages.

You may find http://kb.mozillazine.org/Deleting_mess ... P_accounts and http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP_backup useful if you are new to IMAP. Personally I prefer to use "when I delete a message" set to "just mark it as deleted".

Jame584
 
Posts: 8
Joined: January 10th, 2021, 6:03 am

Post Posted January 11th, 2021, 6:42 am

Hi thanks for the reply.

Yes I know about compacting and often do it.

I have done more research and I think I know the way forward, just want to run it by this forum first!...

On Old PC
1. Save a copy of the profile folder
2. Make some new local folders and move emails from my inbox into them, leaving emails from this year only in my inbox.
3. Do the same for the sent emails i.e. move majority to a new local folder
4. Save another copy of the profile folder for this new set up.

Webmail/Server
1. Delete all emails!
(I assume this is the best thing to do to save any problems with syncing?! I will have all emails already downloaded onto the old PC at this stage, and I do not use webmail anyway)

On New PC
1. Install TB on new PC
2a. Copy latest profile folder into new TB so new PC is same as old PC, and then convert from POP to IMAP as per this guide; https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/sw ... ap-account
OR
2b. Set up email address as IMAP and then copy local folders from the saved profile folder, into the new TB.

Which is best 2a or 2b, or should I be doing this migration a different way altogether? :-k I think I have thought this through correctly!
Also do you agree with me deleting all emails on the webmail/server to save syncing problems?

Thanks for your help.
James :-)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 11th, 2021, 11:01 am

Its not clear to me whether you want to archive messages from the IMAP server (also accessible via webmail) or the POP account or both. Please clarify.

Jame584
 
Posts: 8
Joined: January 10th, 2021, 6:03 am

Post Posted January 11th, 2021, 12:10 pm

Hi, sorry for the confusion.

I currently only have a POP account (on the old PC) and I plan to archive, by manually moving emails to new local folders. Once this is done I then plan to set up TB on the new PC for the same email address, but with IMAP settings.

Once I am happy I have TB/all my emails organised on my new PC, I will then convert the old PC TB email account to IMAP because my end goal is to have TB set up on both PCs with them working in sync with each other, in order for me to be able to work from both PCs.

Cheers,
James

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 11th, 2021, 3:34 pm

I suggest you start by making the profile on the old PC look like what you want to keep long term since you are keeping both PCs. That means backup the profile, move messages from the POP account to folders in "Local Folders", empty trash/compact folders in the POP account, delete the POP account and add the IMAP account. If that looks okay create another backup, which you will copy to the new PC.

You should update Thunderbird on the old PC to whatever version you want to use on the new PC before doing that.

I suggest you uncheck "until I delete them" in the POP accounts server settings before you move any messages. That way you keep the originals on the POP server (assuming you had set "leave messages on server") as a precaution in case you made some mistake.

You can uncheck "keep messages in all folders for this account on the computer" in synchronization & storage" in the IMAP account to delay syncing until after you've deleted any old mail in webmail.

I suggest you don't delete the contents of webmail, leave anything there for a week as a precaution. You have plenty of space left, there is no need to rush.

On the new PC I suggest you copy the profile with the IMAP account from the old PC.

Its much easier if you can copy both the profile and the profiles.ini from the old PC to the exact same location on the new PC (this means also using the same boot drive, same windows username, and same version of Thunderbird installed in the same location). You didn't need to do this before version 68 when they added a feature called "dedicated profile per installation". Now it does a version check that compares the hash of the location of the Thunderbird installation with a hash stored for the profile in profiles.ini and if they don't match it insists you're using the wrong version and need to create a new profile. Its a very annoying feature and they have the gall to claim its a benefit for most users (despite most users having only one profile and one version of Thunderbird)

Sometimes you can workaround that by clicking on about:profiles in help-> troubleshooting information and pressing the appropriate "set as default profile" button.

viewtopic.php?p=14881490#p14881490
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/de ... stallation

Jame584
 
Posts: 8
Joined: January 10th, 2021, 6:03 am

Post Posted January 12th, 2021, 5:05 pm

Hi, firstly thanks for your reply and help! I must admit I am somewhat worried now, that this is far more complicated than expected or needs to be. #-o

Do you think I should install an earlier version (such as version 60...) on my new PC to try and avoid any problems relating to the "dedicated profile per installation" feature that you mention? If so where can I safely download an earlier version from? (I cannot see old versions on TB website!)

Also, I was thinking, if I have problems, or maybe I should just approach the installation of TB on the new PC in a slightly different way, by using the wizard to set up TB on the new PC (using IMAP settings) and then create the same local folders that TB will have/has on my old PC, and then simply copy and paste all emails into the relevant local folders on the new PC. I assume I could do this either direct into the TB software or paste the emails into the actual folders with TB software closed.

Does any of the above make sense? #-o :roll: :-k

Thanks for your help!

Cheers,
James

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 12th, 2021, 10:23 pm

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Go_back_to_an ... hunderbird has links to setup programs for older versions.

If you can completely duplicate the paths for the relevant directories and use the same software on both PCs using version 78 shouldn't be an issue. I suggest you try it before considering other alternatives.

Converting your profile on the old PC to use only IMAP directories (before copying the profile to the new PC) makes things simpler because you can delay copying the contents of Local Folders for another day and don't have to worry about migrating new mail. Focus on one problem at a time.

Jame584
 
Posts: 8
Joined: January 10th, 2021, 6:03 am

Post Posted January 13th, 2021, 3:52 am

I didn't want to duplicate the paths, because I thought it sounded complicated and I am getting confused as it is! #-o (is there a step by step guide on how to do this though?)

Would it not be easier to install say this (http://download-origin.cdn.mozilla.net/ ... /win64/uk/) windows 64 bit UK version 67 of TB on the new PC and then just copy the profile folders over to the new PC? If so I assume I can then later update TB to the latest version once it is set up and working?

Re the old PC, apart from creating local folders and moving pre 2021 emails into the new local folders, I thought best to leave changing anything else on the old PC in case I muck everything up! At least this way my old pc is working and I will still have access to my emails/a working TB which I need daily! Once the new PC is set up and working as IMAP I will then go back to the old PC to convert that from POP to IMAP.

That was my plan anyway.

Whilst I am confused now, I want to be happy in my mind with the best/most simple way forward for me, and the correct steps to take before starting this!

Thank you, your help and advise is much appreciated!
James

Jame584
 
Posts: 8
Joined: January 10th, 2021, 6:03 am

Post Posted January 14th, 2021, 12:04 pm

Jame584 wrote:...Would it not be easier to install say this (http://download-origin.cdn.mozilla.net/ ... /win64/uk/) windows 64 bit UK version 67 of TB on the new PC and then just copy the profile folders over to the new PC? If so I assume I can then later update TB to the latest version once it is set up and working?

Re the old PC, apart from creating local folders and moving pre 2021 emails into the new local folders, I thought best to leave changing anything else on the old PC in case I muck everything up! At least this way my old pc is working and I will still have access to my emails/a working TB which I need daily! Once the new PC is set up and working as IMAP I will then go back to the old PC to convert that from POP to IMAP...


Hi tanstaafl, was hoping to attempt this tomorrow if I have time, knowing the answers to above would be very helpful. Thanks :-D

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