Morzilla Thunderbird will not download all folders

  Electronic_Eric 19:52 26 Jul 2013


I've recently switched my email client from "Windows Live Mail" to "Morzilla Thunderbird". In Thunderbird, i can not download all of my emails and folders. It will only download the "Inbox". The email account is Hotmail. Some might say its because it's a POP3 account but in "Windows Live Mail", i'm able to download all emails and folders which makes me believe that this can be done. The Windows 8 mail app is able to this too.

So my question is how can all of my emails and folders be downloaded in Thunderbird? I'm using version 17 of the email client.

Thanks for any help in advance.

  Batch 21:20 26 Jul 2013

You need to set the inbound server type as IMAP instead of POP3.

With IMAP the master copy is held on Hotmail's servers and your PC is synchronised with that when you are online.

With POP3 your PC is the master copy and any new emails are downloaded to your Inbox. It's then up to you where (i.e. which folders) you put them on your PC.

It's nothing to do with (i.e. not unique to) Thunderbird, - it's how most email clients work.

  Electronic_Eric 02:40 27 Jul 2013

rdave13 - Because i want to set up mail rules, which, Windows Live Mail doesn't allow me to do.

Batch - Hotmail is pop3 only.

I've recently found that a way round to do this is to set it up via Exchange Active. I'm not sure of the details to configure it though.

  Electronic_Eric 02:40 27 Jul 2013


  alanrwood 09:36 27 Jul 2013

Yes it can be done. I use T/B and used to download hotmail emails using T/B.

Do a Google search with subject "Thunderbird Hotmail settings" it will probably give you the info you want.

You may be able to download all your previous messages by marking them unread and transferring them to the Hotmail inbox.

Not sure if Thunderbird can import all messages from Hotmail but have a look under Tools\Import.

  Graphicool1 16:21 27 Jul 2013


I have a POP3 account and I use Thunderbird, without any problems. Open Account Settings, on the left, click 'Server Settings'. Near the bottom on the right hand side, click on the button marked 'Advanced'.

The windows that now opens is called 'Advanced Account Settings', it says...

For account "Your email address"

When downloading POP3 mail from this server, use the following folder for new mail:

(It then gives you three options)

(1) Inbox for this server's account (I have this box ticked)

(2) Global Inbox (Local Folders Account)

(3) Inbox for different account

(here you can open a drop down box for the different account)

I hope this helps.

  Electronic_Eric 10:56 29 Jul 2013

alanrwood - I've already done that before posting the topic.

Woolwell - I've read on the internet stating that even though that Windows Live Mail won't allow message rules on a Hotmail account, other mail clients will.

Graphicool1 - The setting that you state is done by default.

It looks like after all of these years, i might be moving on to a big and better email provider because i definitely want message rules.

  Graphicool1 12:30 29 Jul 2013

Well all I can add to your decision to move on, is take a tip from me and DON'T move on to 'Incredimail'. They have far too many other problems and issues. Once they've caught you, believe me when I tell you it isn't easy to break away. As there are no direct ways to move your saved emails from Incredimail to any other email client.

  Batch 14:04 30 Jul 2013

In your original post you say: " In Thunderbird, i can not download all of my emails and folders. It will only download the "Inbox". The email account is Hotmail. Some might say its because it's a POP3 account but in "Windows Live Mail", i'm able to download all emails and folders which makes me believe that this can be done." And later you confirm that Hotmail is only POP3.

Well, as I understand it:

  • With POP3 you can only download the contents of your inbox folder from the server (to your PC's mail local 'database'). In doing so you can either leave copies of the inbox emails on the server or have them removed from the server (email clients provide for this choice). If you then want them in other folders in your local database you manually move them (or move them based on rules as they are downloaded).

  • In using Windows Live Mail (WLM), have you actually been downloading the folder contents or are you accessing the servers copies all along (and adding folders on the server, niot your PC)? I'm not familiar with WLM so I don't know whether it is capable of this (as a sort of webmail, but through a dedicated app rather than through a general purpose browser).

If my thinking is right, it might be that you are trying to move from a webmail type environment to POP3 local storage type environment. To get all the contents of the folders on to your local PC, you would need to move them into your server side inbox, then check your mail using TBird (which should download all the mails into your local inbox) and then you can move them to whatever folders you desire.

Of course it might be that WLM has some unique capability that I'm not familiar with.

  Electronic_Eric 23:27 02 Aug 2013

Batch - Windows Live Mail is just a general purpose email program. I check 5 email accounts with the same program which are Hotmail, Googlemail and a Microsoft exchange account. So it's not a dedicated program just for Hotmail accounts.

When i started using Windows Live Mail, i just added the accounts to the program and it sync'd with all of the accounts where it downloaded all folders and all emails. Something which i just assumed all email clients did. Bearing in mind, that i only just started to use email accounts about a year or two ago.

I've actually given up on this. Since my last reply, i've found that you can create message rules within the webmail enviroment in a browser. So i've now set up the messages rules that i wanted in within the webmail environment and just sync with it like normal using the program. It's not exactly the solution i was looking for but is a good work around.

  alanrwood 08:27 03 Aug 2013

Hi Electronic_Eric

I think you misunderstand the difference between Webmail and pop3. If I am wrong accept my apologies for misunderstanding your reply above.

Webmail does not download all your messages to your computer. They are stored online and are accessed through your browser. They just download the message you are wanting to view.

POP3 system is different in that whatever emails arrive on the pop3 server of your email supplier are stored on their pop3 servers until you download them to your computer where they are stored until you delete them (or not as the case may be). Pop3 requires an email client program on your PC such as Thunderbird which can be set to leave them on the server(with the danger of exceeding your storage space), delete them after download, or delete them when you delete them from your computer. Once deleted they are no longer available.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

How to watch the Huawei Mate 30 launch live: Munich, September 19

Pantone has invented 294 new colours

iOS 13 release date, time & new features

Google Pixel 4 : date de sortie, prix et autres rumeurs