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Q: Moving mail to local folders in Thunderbird

  • How do I move mail to local folders in Thunderbird?
  • I'm getting close to quota, and want to store my mail locally in Thunderbird


You can store messages offline by moving them to local folders in Thunderbird. You can find instructions on how to create a local folder at:

To move messages off the mail server, you'll need to take two steps.

  1. First, you'll need to drag the message to the local folder. This will copy it to the local folder, but also leave a copy marked for deletion on the mail server, and that copy will continue to count towards your mail quota.
  2. To completely remove it from the mail server (so it will no longer count towards your quota), you'll have to purge the marked messages. There are two methods for doing this, depending on how Thunderbird is configured. To find out, go to Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings.
    • If the "when I delete a message" option is set to "mark as deleted", you can purge deleted messages by going to File > Compact Folders.
    • If the "when I delete a message" option is set to "move it to the trash folder", you can purge deleted messages by going to File > Empty Trash.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 04, 2012

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