9 Ways To Make Thunderbird Load Your Email Faster

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9 Ways To Make Thunderbird Load Your Email Faster

If you asked someone what words spring to mind when they think of me, they’d probably say laid back. I don’t get too worked up until something really, truly irritates me. There has been a recent occurrence with my desktop Thunderbird client that has done just that. It loads messages slowly than a turtle on marijuana, and once loaded, it won’t let me remove them since some background process is evidently still operating.

At MUO, we rely heavily on Thunderbird. Tina and I explored great Thunderbird add-ons and extensions, and Saikat explained how to utilize it to send bulk emails. After some web research and trawling through the Thunderbird settings pages, I’ve discovered the items that may truly slow down this email program. Thunderbird looks to be fairly quick, even when you have a lot of email in your distant accounts, like I have, as long as you set Thunderbird to manage that massive load.

Optimizing Thunderbird Settings

Thunderbird is what I use for four email accounts that have grown to huge dimensions. To make things worse, I almost always leave emails on the servers. I’m aware that these are harmful behaviors. Email communications, like physical mail, should be handled just once. However, I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who are in the same scenario as me and need Thunderbird to be able to handle those massive email accounts.

So, here’s the current state of my Thunderbird configuration. I have four Gmail accounts that I use often, and Thunderbird is configured to download fresh messages from each every ten minutes.

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This may seem to be a lot, particularly given that those accounts have hundreds of messages on the server, but Thunderbird is really extremely excellent at this. What it isn’t particularly good at is handling the massive folders that build on the local side of the equation – your PC’s folders.

Automatic Compacting Of Folders to Make Thunderbird Faster

The first technique to enhance performance is to condense folders automatically.

We’ll be fiddling with Tools -> Options for the next few settings. To enable auto-compact and specify the size, go to the Advanced menu and then to the Network & Disk Space tab.

As you can see, Thunderbird is configured to only condense folders if they save me more than 20MB of space. This is really a good thing; I could even reduce it to allow for more regular compacting. This will keep your folder sizes small while maintaining good performance. The only issue is that this automated compacting, particularly when you have many accounts set up, might interfere with your usual usage of the client, particularly when it initially loads.

To resolve this, open the Config Editor and enter “mail.purge.ask” in the “Filter” column.

Set this variable to true. Thunderbird will still automatically condense folders, but it will not interfere with your efforts while you are reading or responding to fresh email messages. This was my greatest irritation, and this one adjustment made all the difference.

Three Other General Settings

To improve performance even more, try making the following adjustments to the windows I showed you above.

  • Uncheck the option next to “Enable Global Search and Indexer.” The bottom truth is that you may deactivate this option unless you often scan your emails using keywords.
  • Click View ->Layout in the main Thunderbird window and uncheck “Message Pane.” Thunderbird may get clogged when evaluating messages with a lot of images and HTML links.
  • You should also try increasing the amount of your cache space under the Network & Disk Space settings box, where I described compacting folders. This improves page loading speed for subsequent viewings of the same email messages.
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Settings For Each Account

The following options are available under Tools -> Account settings. Each email account you’ve created has its own area with several menu options. Why did I wind up with so large files that required to be compressed? Because, until recently, Thunderbird did not remove deleted files.

I realize it’s strange. However, you can now have Thunderbird clear the trash when you quit the client by going to “Server Settings.”

Enable archiving of your mails under “Copies & Folder.” This will not immediately enhance speed, but it will allow you to remove messages from your server without fear of their being lost.

Choose to save to Archives under each account folder, and then click Archive Options to choose how you want those saved messages to be sorted.

You may now use the “Disk Space” menu option to instruct Thunderbird to erase all messages older than a year (365 days).

You could remove messages sooner if you’re courageous, but I assume if I haven’t dealt with the message after a year, I never will. You’ve also enabled local archiving, so your local copies are secure.

The third option that may improve Thunderbird speed is to merely get message headers rather than the complete message.

This one adjustment may significantly cut your Thunderbird startup time.

So, did any or all of these changes have an effect on you? When a program begins to bog down, such as Thunderbird, it might be tempting to trash it, but if you start investigating, you’ll soon learn that it’s merely a setup problem.

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Please let us know how the above-mentioned tweaks to your Thunderbird settings helped you boost its performance. Do you have any other suggestions? Please share your opinions in the space below.

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