I have an account at Hotmail and I have lots of mails there. (more than 10000) I don't want Thunderbird to download them all, also because I have really slow connection.

Is there a way to make Thunderbird download only mails more recent than, for example, 10days ago?


In the "Tools -> Account Settings", there's a setting in "Synchronization and Storage" to only synchronize the newest mail by days, weeks, months, size... This might be what you are looking for.

  • Where is this option in the current build, v. 38? – Adam_G Aug 1 '15 at 15:16
  • this applies only to IMAP accounts not POP :-( – CeDeROM Feb 7 at 20:43

The setting is:

Tools > Account Settings

Then click on the account that you want to change, and then on Synchronization & Storage.

In the 3rd section, delete all but the most recent or delete messages more than _____ days old.

  • 3
    Note that if you choose to delete the messages, the remote copies on the server will be permanently deleted as well! So make sure this is really what you want to do. I think the OP's question only concerns local storage. – xji Feb 4 '17 at 11:39

No, it seems that Tbird has a BIG shortcoming in that it does not let you download "only messages newer than x days". We have the option to not download "messages larger than", so why no option to not download "mesages older than" ?

It is a big problem that developers ought to address.

So many people take their email on several different devices. Thunderbird makes everyone download ALL their email onto EACH device, which is ludicrous. I use PCs in different offices, and never need to download more than my currently active threads, so would really like to be able just to download emails "not older than 14 days".

I have emails going back over 10 years. All need to be stored on the webmail computer, but in no way do they all need to be downloaded by Tbird each time I use a new computer

  • Thunderbird > Tools > Account Settings > Synchronization and Storage > Disk Space > Synchronize the most recent ____ lets you stop downloading messages older than a specified time span. – devon Aug 24 '20 at 1:01
  • only for IMAP not for POP. how is that even possible in 2021? :-( – CeDeROM Feb 7 at 20:42
  • @CeDeROM this is a restriction of the POP3 protocol - it does not allow filtering of messages, but instead provides an ordered list of emails. Thunderbird has no way of knowing which email is from which date, until it downloads it. – DreamWave Feb 18 at 13:50

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