Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory? - Mozilla

This is a discussion on Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory? - Mozilla ; It appears that there are a number of massive files corresponding to folders that don't contain *any* e-mails. I'm wondering what is going on. For example, in my Local Folders, there are folders called Server Alerts, Spam, etc., that I ...

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Thread: Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory?

  1. Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory?

    It appears that there are a number of massive files corresponding to
    folders that don't contain *any* e-mails. I'm wondering what is going
    on.

    For example, in my Local Folders, there are folders called Server
    Alerts, Spam, etc., that I clean regularly. I deleted all the e-mails
    in these folders recently, yet in

    $HOME/Thunderbird/Profiles/blahblahblah.default/Mail/Local Folders

    I see the following files (file sizes in bytes):

    2940949 Server Alerts
    9083 Server Alerts.msf
    63500960 Spam
    18479 Spam.msf

    Editing the files seems to indicate that they actually contain e-mail
    messages. But I've deleted all the messages in these folders. And
    emptied the trash. What gives?

    Thanks in advance for any information you could provide.


  2. Re: Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory?

    Starky wrote:
    > It appears that there are a number of massive files corresponding to
    > folders that don't contain *any* e-mails. I'm wondering what is going
    > on.
    >
    > For example, in my Local Folders, there are folders called Server
    > Alerts, Spam, etc., that I clean regularly. I deleted all the e-mails
    > in these folders recently, yet in
    >
    > $HOME/Thunderbird/Profiles/blahblahblah.default/Mail/Local Folders
    >
    > I see the following files (file sizes in bytes):
    >
    > 2940949 Server Alerts
    > 9083 Server Alerts.msf
    > 63500960 Spam
    > 18479 Spam.msf
    >
    > Editing the files seems to indicate that they actually contain e-mail
    > messages. But I've deleted all the messages in these folders. And
    > emptied the trash. What gives?
    >
    > Thanks in advance for any information you could provide.
    >


    Try compacting your folders. Deleting an email simply marks it as deleted but
    does not reclaim the space it takes up on the disk.


    Best regards,
    Tony.
    --
    The Pig, if I am not mistaken,
    Gives us ham and pork and Bacon.
    Let others think his heart is big,
    I think it stupid of the Pig.
    -- Ogden Nash

  3. Re: Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory?

    Starky wrote:
    > It appears that there are a number of massive files corresponding to
    > folders that don't contain *any* e-mails. I'm wondering what is going
    > on.
    >
    > For example, in my Local Folders, there are folders called Server
    > Alerts, Spam, etc., that I clean regularly. I deleted all the e-mails
    > in these folders recently, yet in
    >
    > $HOME/Thunderbird/Profiles/blahblahblah.default/Mail/Local Folders
    >
    > I see the following files (file sizes in bytes):
    >
    > 2940949 Server Alerts
    > 9083 Server Alerts.msf
    > 63500960 Spam
    > 18479 Spam.msf
    >
    > Editing the files seems to indicate that they actually contain e-mail
    > messages. But I've deleted all the messages in these folders. And
    > emptied the trash. What gives?
    >
    > Thanks in advance for any information you could provide.
    >


    first the *.msf files are index files. They tell the
    program which way that folder is sorted, whats been tagged,
    and other things. They do not contain any messages and they
    can safely be deleted, with the program closed, without any
    problems whatsoever.

    The files that don't contain an extension are the ones that
    contain the messages. When you delete a message in TB, the
    message is removed from the folder, yet it remains within
    the file. When you compact the folders [under file] then it
    gets rid of this excess baggage. The reason for this is
    just incase you deleted a message and you want it back, you
    have a way to do it.

    --
    Please do not email me for help. Reply to the newsgroup
    only. And only click on the Reply button, not the Reply All
    one. Thanks!

    Peter Potamus & His Magic Flying Balloon:
    http://www.toonopedia.com/potamus.htm

  4. Re: Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory?

    On 7/26/2007 12:09 AM, Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo wrote:
    > Starky wrote:
    >> It appears that there are a number of massive files corresponding to
    >> folders that don't contain *any* e-mails. I'm wondering what is going
    >> on.
    >>
    >> For example, in my Local Folders, there are folders called Server
    >> Alerts, Spam, etc., that I clean regularly. I deleted all the e-mails
    >> in these folders recently, yet in
    >>
    >> $HOME/Thunderbird/Profiles/blahblahblah.default/Mail/Local Folders
    >>
    >> I see the following files (file sizes in bytes):
    >>
    >> 2940949 Server Alerts
    >> 9083 Server Alerts.msf
    >> 63500960 Spam
    >> 18479 Spam.msf
    >>
    >> Editing the files seems to indicate that they actually contain e-mail
    >> messages. But I've deleted all the messages in these folders. And
    >> emptied the trash. What gives?
    >>
    >> Thanks in advance for any information you could provide.
    >>

    >
    > first the *.msf files are index files. They tell the program which way
    > that folder is sorted, whats been tagged, and other things. They do not
    > contain any messages and they can safely be deleted, with the program
    > closed, without any problems whatsoever.
    >
    > The files that don't contain an extension are the ones that contain the
    > messages. When you delete a message in TB, the message is removed from
    > the folder, yet it remains within the file. When you compact the
    > folders [under file] then it gets rid of this excess baggage. The
    > reason for this is just incase you deleted a message and you want it
    > back, you have a way to do it.
    >


    This leaves me wondering whether there is a simple way to
    reclaim the deleted messages. As I understand it, if you
    delete a message then empty your trash but have not
    compacted folders, the only way to get the email back is to
    find it in the messages file using a text editor or similar
    program. Is there an extension or built-in function I'm
    missing to enable me to view and undelete messages that have
    been flagged for purging? Otherwise, as this thread
    demonstrates, the average user may be unaware that the
    message still exists and will not benefit from the practice.

  5. Re: Why so many large files in my Thunderbird directory?

    On Jul 29, 9:30 am, Dan Howard wrote:

    > This leaves me wondering whether there is a simple way to
    > reclaim the deleted messages.


    Not-yet-compacted mailboxes in TB and Eudora (and others?) do preserve
    deleted but not-yet-purged messages. While this allows geeks to
    revert, I don't think it's done primarily for that purpose - my
    understanding is that compacting after every delete would noticeably
    slow performance for largish mailboxes, so flags are set instead.

    Still, the process of undeleting such messages is not too hard in TB;
    you don't have to manually find each message. With TB closed, delete
    the associated .msf. Then open the mailbox in a text editor and
    change "X-Mozilla-Status: 0009" to "X-Mozilla-Status: 0001" -- save
    the changed mailbox with its original name (or a new name, in case of
    messup), and restart TB. Voila! I don't guarantee this method in all
    cases, but it has worked for me.

    Charlie








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