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Is it possible to extend thunderbird mail box size. My thunderbird mailbox size has touched the maximum and it is not able to receive new mails. I just want to know if it is possible to extend or we have to create a new mail box? What would be the best solution? Pls share your suggestions and fix as well.


  • Am using Thunderbird 14.0
  • Inbox size is of 4.1 GB only.

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The max size is 2TB, can you archive or arrange them in different folders? Not in your inbox?… "Ubuntu file size limitations are dependent on the file system being used, but generally start at 2 terabytes." – Nate Sep 20 '12 at 14:22
Karthick sir, Compacting seems to be the only solution. – devav2 Sep 20 '12 at 14:40
@devav2 Compacting doesn't help always. Looking for a permanent fix. I used to do compacting everyday.. – karthick87 Sep 20 '12 at 14:48
@Nate my inbox size is of 4.1 GB only it haven't reached 2 TB yet. – karthick87 Sep 20 '12 at 14:50
What version/bit of ubuntu are you running? Can you move mail to different folders? – Nate Sep 20 '12 at 14:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Grabbed from here

Real fix

If the folder is severely corrupted, deleting the .msf file won't help much, and compacting the folder may just make things worse because Thunderbird can't reliably figure out where a message ends anymore. You'll typically run into this only with the Inbox folder. It's much more vulnerable to corruption because it frequently has both lots of messages and a high percentage of deleted (but not visible) messages. That's why it's recommended that you move messages you want to keep to other folders/child folders rather than keep storing them in the Inbox. You can fix the problem by replacing the corrupt folder with a new known good folder. These instructions assume the Inbox folder is corrupt but you can adapt them for any folder.

  1. Exit Thunderbird and backup your profile folder using something like MozBackup.
  2. Start Thunderbird.
  3. Move all of the messages in the Inbox to other folders/child folders. You can select all of the messages using Control-A. If you have problems moving all of the messages, do it in multiple steps, where you select only a few messages each time.
  4. Verify that all of the messages have been moved.
  5. Exit Thunderbird and delete BOTH the "inbox." and "inbox.msf" files for that account. Leave "Inbox.sbd" alone. You can find where the Inbox folder is stored by looking at Tools -> Account Settings -> Server Settings -> Local Directory, or Tools -> Account Settings -> Local Folders -> Local Directory if you are using a Global Inbox. Its at the bottom of that pane, next to a Browse button.
  6. Start Thunderbird. It will automatically create a new Inbox folder. While its possible to move the messages back to the (new) Inbox, its recommended you don't do that.
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Thank you :D, if you know the manual way of taking profile backup. Please add it.. – karthick87 Sep 21 '12 at 9:05

Making my answer more formal:

"Ubuntu file size limitations are dependent on the file system being used, but generally start at 2 terabytes."

If you are actually using that, you could try compressing it. Also you could move your mail to other folders, organize it, and then run the compaction on it again.

Should help you.

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They should update their documentation then. Makes sense. – Nate Sep 20 '12 at 15:00
Thank you @NAte.. And by the way thunderbird doesn't support upto 2 TB i hope, it supports upto 4 GB only..Pls correct me if i am wrong.. – karthick87 Sep 21 '12 at 9:06
I only was going off of their help document which stated that it could support up to 2Tb, so not sure why it said that. – Nate Sep 21 '12 at 14:27

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