Thunderbird is an e-mail client created by Mozilla. For Thunderbird users with a Windows operating system, there is a way to recover deleted e-mails. The recovery process involves accessing application data and changing a few lines of code.
- Skill level:
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Click on the Windows Start menu and select "Run."
Type "%AppData%" in the space provided. Press "Enter."
Open the "Thunderbird" folder, and then the "Profiles" folder. Select your default profile and open the "Mail" folder within it.
Open the folder with the name of your incoming mail server.
Open the "Inbox" file without a file extension in Windows Notepad. Do not open the "Inbox.msf" file.
Look for the text of the email you're trying to recover. Select "Find" from the "Edit" menu to launch Notepad's text finder.
Locate the line titled "X-Mozilla-Status:" above your target e-mail's text. Change the numbers on this line to "0."
Save the file and close Notepad. Launch Thunderbird to look for your recovered mail.
Tips and warnings
- The "%AppData%" shortcut only works on the Windows Vista, XP and 2000 operating systems. If you have Windows 95, 98 or ME, navigate to "C:\WINDOWS\Application Data." If you use Windows 7, type "%AppData%" in the Start menu search box (i.e., do not select "Run").
- It is recommended you backup your Thunderbird application data folder before manipulating any files. That way, you can undo any undesired changes.
- To figure out which folder holds your incoming mail, look for the name of your e-mail service provider. For example, if you use Gmail in Thunderbird, look for "Google" in the folder titles.
- Deleted e-mails can be recovered even if you empty Thunderbird's trash.
- If you compact your Thunderbird inbox, you can't restore any deleted e-mails.
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