Do you wish to compact all local and offline folders to save disk space?

This post defines just how Thunderbird stores messages on the local disk drive and also why it is necessary to compact messages periodically.

You watching: Do you wish to compact all local and offline folders to save disk space?


Note: This does not use to accounts making use of the Maildir storage format. Unlike MBOX, Maildir stores each message in a separate file, and also actually clears them as soon as deleting messeras.
How does Thunderbird store messages?

Thunderbird stores messages making use of the MBOX file format. With this file format, all the messperiods in each of Thunderbird"s folders are concatenated and also stored as ordinary message in a solitary file on the local tough drive (situated right into the Mail and also ImapMail directories of your Prorecords folder).

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Why is compactivity required?

As messperiods are included to a folder, the file containing the folder grows bigger on the disk. However before, once you delete a message or move it from one folder to one more, the file on the disk does not immediately obtain smaller sized. This is bereason the original message is ssuggest marked for deletion and hidden from view. It is not physically removed until you "compact" the folder. This temporarily improves performance in huge folders however, in time, the huge file is less efficient to work through. Therefore, in order to reclaim disk room and boost Thunderbird"s performance, folders must be "compacted" periodically.


If a folder goes over a 4 GB dimension, you will certainly check out a warning that "The folder xxx is complete, and also can not organize any type of more messages". You need to delete some messages or move some messages to an additional folder to reduce the folder dimension. (A target folder dimension of 1-3 GB might be correct, relying on your computer"s performance capabilities.)
How does compaction work?

To compact a folder, Thunderbird opens the existing MBOX file on the disk (for instance, the Inbox). Based on the rules for the MBOX mail format it reads the file one message at a time.

If the message is still current, it is duplicated to a brand-new momentary MBOX file, referred to as Nstmp.If the message is noted as deleted or moved, Thunderbird skips that message and also moves on to the following message.

This procedure is repetitive one message at a time till the end of the file is reached. After that the original message storage file is deleted and also the new one relocations it. This is adhered to by the generation of a brand-new index for this message file (for example, referred to as Inbox.msf).

When does compaction occur?

The compaction process is done immediately in Thunderbird (because variation 5) as soon as it saves even more than 20 MB of space on the disk.

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You can likewise launch a hands-on compactivity repursuit if needed:

To compact a single folder, right-click on the folder and select Compact. To compact all folders, pick Data > Compact Folders.

Throughout a compaction procedure, development is presented in the Status Bar:

How deserve to I configure compaction?

In the Thunderbird | PreferencesTools | OptionsEdit | Preferences | State-of-the-art | Netjob-related & Disk Gap menu, you can:

disable automatic compaction (which is not recommended because your folders won"t be routinely cleaned of deleted messages) readjust the compaction threshold (for circumstances if you resolve a huge volume of messperiods, you may use a bigger threshold)

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