Thunderbird stuck on copying message to sent folder – solved (on mac osx)

I have been using thunderbird on mac osx 10.6 .5 but always received this problem of copying message to sent folder.

I need to use thunderbird because it is the only mail client that gives me good experience with hotmail by showing all my mails in original folder format as of hotmail and shows me all my folders too.

However, whenever i send an email or reply to any email using thunderbird, once it’s delivered to the receiver, the popup keeps stucked and waiting at the screen saying “copying message to sent folder“. Quite irritating isn’t it! First cancel this popup then close the mail that I just created and then another click when it asks to save the mail in drafts etc! Arggghhhh!

Well, honestly speaking, just due to this reason, I markedly reduced my email sending, due to the unnecessary irritation!

However, here we will discuss how to fix this issue.

The first solution is the one that I personally use and found it to be working perfectly for me. The other one is the one that I found while searching on Google but it DID NOT solve it for me!

So if you want to solve the issue with thunderbird stuck on message saying “copying message to sent folder” on either mac osx or any other operating system, follow these solutions to solve this error:

1. Uncheck option for saving emails

Best way to solve the issue is to stop thunderbird from saving the sent messages to the sent folder. Wait! but you want to keep a copy of your sent messages to your sent folder… ?? right?? here’s the trick. Once you use your server (checked and confirmed on hotmail in my case) it does copy the message to the sent folder. So even if thunderbird don’t save your message to sent folder itself (which probably is the reason of conflict and causes this error of it being stuck on copying message to sent folder) your message will still be copied in the sent folder.

To disable mozilla thunderbird from trying to copy the message to the sent folder , follow this:

  1. run thunderbird
  2. goto: <top menu> > tools > account settings
  3. in the popup windows, left column, select: copies and folders
  4. disable the option under when sending messages, automatically; saying: Place a copy in
  5. Click ok and then ok again
  6. Quit and restart your mozilla thunderbird and test.

However, once you send the message, thunderbird will not show it in the sent folder, why? because according to thunderbird you didn’t chose to save the message in sent folder, so it doesn’t save or update it. But on next synchronization it will show your message in sent folder.

To confirm this, you can send a test email and then quit thunderbird, launch it again and click on Get mail to synchronize it with your online server and voila! you can now see the last email in your sent mail folder.

2. Change maximum number of server connections to cache to 1

This method didn’t work for me, but as it has been shared on net, here it goes:

  1. launch thunderbird and in top menu goto: tools > account settings
  2. in left column select server settings and then on that page click on advanced button
  3. change the value for maximum number of server connections to cache from 5 (or any number) to 1
  4. click ok and then ok again
  5. close thunderbird and reopon. Test and confirm if it solves the issue or not

This way may work for you (although it didn’t for me). However, if the first method solved the issue for you (including that it saved the messages in your sent folder automatically too) then probably you are done and don’t need any further intervention to solve your thunderbird being stuck on copying message to sent folder popup message while using hotmail or any other service.

6 comments on “Thunderbird stuck on copying message to sent folder – solved (on mac osx)

  1. First suggestion worked like a charm with Gmail. Thank you for solving a small but frequent irritation!

  2. Thanks for your post: I’ve found a 3rd possible resolution:
    Root cause:
    IMAP4 over SSL/TLS had gotten de-sync’d on the IMAP4 subscription for the “Sent” folder. This was made worse by the fact the the “Sent” folder had every message Mike had sent since he opened the account, which was some 1379 messages + attachments.
    I suspect that one of the upgrades for Thunderbird over the last few months had gone through WHILE the folder was Syncing, and that borked Thunderbird’s internal mapping of that Folder contents.

    I noticed that messages, once sent, would go to the recipient, and would correctly be copied into the “Sent” folder ON THE SERVER at Mike’s email hosting provider. We could validate that by signing into the email hosting provider’s web interface and checking the status of the “Sent” folder – sure enough, a sent message would populate there just fine, and the timestamps would match up for when the message went through.
    However, if I then opened Thunderbird and navigated to the “Sent” folder, it would time out looking at the contents: no messages after 5/9/2012 or so would be available. I noticed, however, that Thunderbird would continue to show me the “synchronizing” icon (a spinning circle) at the top of the Thunderbird interface.
    I took a look at the network interface (after closing all other programs that might hit the network), and noticed that, while Thunderbird was attempting to sync the folder, it would hit the network about every 30 seconds. That’s a common timeout value for IMAP4, so that told me that IMAP4 was probably trying, but failing, to sync the folder.

    Well, that suggested a solution. IMAP4 uses a Subscribe/Sync concept: it will only sync a local copy of data down from the authoritative copy on the mail server IF you ask it to “subscribe” to the folder.
    My suspicion here was that the IMAP4 Sync with the “Sent” folder had been in the middle of a sync with the VERY large (1300+ messages) “Sent” folder on the mail server when an upgrade to Thunderbird went through and borked the local copy of the db: server data was fine, but local copy was corrupted.

    So I forced a manual re-creation of the local db copy for the “Sent” folder by un-subscribing to the folder using IMAP4, restarting Thunderbird, and re-starting it.
    Do this by (I’m working from memory, so details may alter):
    In the main window of Thunderbird, right-click on the “inbox” folder.
    On the context menu, choose “Subscribe”
    In the dialog box that pops up, UN-check the “Sent” folder, then click “OK”.
    Exit Thunderbird completely (not minimize, but File>Exit). This will force Thunderbird to write it’s db to disk, and will allow it to drop the “Sent” folder local replica.
    Then re-open Thunderbird.
    In the main window of Thunderbird, right-click on the “inbox” folder.
    On the context menu, choose “Subscribe”
    In the dialog box that pops up, RE-check the “Sent” folder, then click “OK”.
    Exit Thunderbird completely (not minimize, but File>Exit). This will force Thunderbird to write it’s db to disk, and will allow it to drop the “Sent” folder local replica.
    Re-Open Thunderbird. Let it catch up with replication – may take 5 minutes+ , so be patient. Clicking around like a madman now will only slow things down. Go get a cup of coffee, surf a little.
    When you return to Thunderbird, navigate to the “Sent” folder. You should have headers for all the messages in the folder. When you click on a message, there may be a slight delay while Thunderbird fetches the actual message contents: this will be reflected in the status area in the lower left-hand portion of Thunderbird’s main window: pay attention to what you see there: it may give you further hints as to what’s going on if this didn’t resolve your problem.
    NEXT: slim down your “Sent” items folder! Clear out the crud – delete old messages, move them to local folders that don’t replicate, etc. Remember, if you move messages to a purely local folder that doesn’t replicate with the mail server, you MUST be diligent with your own backups, because they’re no longer backed up by the server.

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