Why Thunderbird Rocks!

Ever done something so many times, you do it just out of habit? Don't know where my mind was, but somehow I accidentally deleted a handful of emails. No sweat right? Just go into the trash bin and restore them. Well usually, except that I immediately clicked into the trash folder and compulsively clicked, deleting a handful of important emails before I realized something wasn't right.

Aside from it's clean, usable interface, and good security, the biggest reason to love Mozilla's Thunderbird email application is the programmer's ability to understand and react to their users' needs. I just started deleting away as always, since it's always just a bunch of confirmation emails for the day's cron jobs.

Lost, But Never Gone

Turns out, Thunderbird never really deletes emails...ever! As excited as I was that they had foreseen my clumsiness, I'm considering how to scrub the old emails. But anyways, here's how you can restore lost emails.

Restoring Lost Emails

First, from Thunderbird, right-click the folder in the left panel where you just deleted the message you want to restore. Click "Properties...". Now click "Server Settings". Go to the bottom, select and copy the folder listed in the "Local directory" field. Close Thunderbird.

Now open your start menu either by the taskbar or by hitting the Windows key on your keyboard. Open the "Run..." utility, and paste the directory into the field. This will open up the local folder where Thunderbird stores your directory system and emails for that account. Double-click the file named "Inbox"; we want the file without an extension. Use Notepad to open the file, and scroll through all the messages until you find the one(s) you accidentally deleted. And for the magic, simply change the "X-Mozilla-Status" to "0000", without quotes. Once you've updated the status for all of the accidentally deleted messages, save the file and reopen Thunderbird.

You're files will be restored, once it starts back up. All that's left is to breath a sigh of relief, and get back to work, or play.

About Me

Hi, I'm Stephen Parker, and I am a web developer and application programmer in Jacksonville, Florida.

If you'd like to discuss your project or get a quote, contact me.

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