Recover Deleted Emails From Thunderbird – The Manual Guide

  •   Written By
  • Published on
    April 11th, 2018
  • Updated on
    March 6, 2021
  • Read Time
    6 minutes
Rate this post

Have you deleted an email from Thunderbird and emptied the trash and want the email back! In Thunderbird, you can undelete your emails if you have not compact Thunderbird emails. Because if you have accidentally or un-accidentally deleted any file, it is just marked as deleted until you compact and remove the marked folders.  Here the manual guide that will guide you how to recover deleted emails from Thunderbird.

win download download

This problem is very complex for users if the emails contain essential data. Corruption of data means an error in data during writing, sending, transmitting or communicating data. Generally, people are unable to restore corrupt Thunderbird email, which they usually consider as a corruption of data in emails. Both the manual and the software solution is available for Thunderbird Email Recovery to recover MBOX emails from Thunderbird.

What generally users ask if they face this problem to recover deleted emails from Thunderbird?

User Query 1
“I have deleted some of my important Thunderbird emails from the local folder and in an attempt to retrieve from the trash folder, the mail got deleted. Now, I have no idea how to restore the files from the local mail folder. Although the manual solution is available, But also suggest me with any free software that assists me to retrieve Thunderbird emails”

User Query 2
“I stored a backup for my old mail which is stored in a .mbox format but I tried to open it in Thunderbird unable to do so(unable to access mailbox data). Now, how can I restore my old mail in Thunderbird emails as a backup for later use.”

You may also like to read: How to import emails in Thunderbird

Reasons for Thunderbird File Corruption

There are more than a few unheard-of cases, which can lead to corruption in the folder of Mozilla Thunderbird. Few of them are mentioned below :

  1. Corrupt emails in Thunderbird means corrupted MBOX files. These files get corrupted due to malicious attacks and hence, makes them inaccessible when somebody tries to open it.
  2. Accidental deletion of an email, contact item, etc., also causes reason behind the recovery.
  3. Deleted mail is still visible in the folder. This occupies space which oversize the overall MBOX folder.
  4. Creation of duplicate emails in Mozilla Thunderbird leads to an increase in waste file size.

Various Methods/Tips to recover deleted emails from Thunderbird

If you are working with IMAP email service then it is easy to recover Thunderbird email. As the IMAP connection provides the online backup up through which email recovery is possible. But if you have a POP connection, it becomes difficult to restore emails especially Thunderbird local folders.

There are different choices which you can opt to handle Thunderbird Email Recovery; options be either the manual solution or the third party solution.  This blog will guide you to the best suited and tested solution that you can opt for.

Tip 1: Troubleshooting for Permanently deleted email

Recover permanently deleted thunderbird emails

If you have emptied your trash folder or permanently deleted Thunderbird emails from your PC. You will still have a chance to recover permanently deleted emails after emptying Thunderbird trash, follow the tip  to recover deleted email messages from Thunderbird:

Step1: On Mozilla Thunderbird client, select Help -> Troubleshooting Information option from the Menu bar

Troubleshooting Information

Step2: On the opened troubleshooting page, select the Show Folder button; that will open your profile folder on the local system.

Troubleshooting page

Step3: Open the subfolder mail and select your related profile from which you can recover the deleted emails. Here I am selecting “ImapMail

Select your Mail folder

Step4: Inside the folder, right in the Inbox and edit with notepad or notepad++ (recommended).

Recover Thunderbird emails

Step5: Now you can find all the email message deleted or not deleted in the large text form. The messages starting with “From” so you can find and go to one message to another one. The deleted messages have X-Mozilla-Status: 0009 change it to 0000 to recover the message. You can do the same thing for all the message by replacing the number.

Tip 2: Recover Emails from Mozilla Thunderbird Trash

Recover Deleted Emails From Thunderbird

To know how to recover deleted emails from Thunderbird by repairing Trash folder. You can take help of following steps to do the same :

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird and log in your account.
  2. Open the Trash folder and search for the email that you want to regain.
  3. Right-click on the deleted email and click on “Move To” option from the Menu.
    Recover emails from Trash
    You can give the location where you want to restore corrupted Thunderbird email. Or you can directly restore file in Inbox folder.

Tip 3: Recover Email Messages in Thunderbird by Repairing Inbox Folder

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird to fix the corrupted file.
  2. Right-click on the INBOX folder where damaged emails are stored.
  3. Click on the ‘Properties‘ option from the drop-down menu.
  4. From the Properties Dialog box, select the “General Information” tab and check the folder name to be as “Inbox”.                            
  5. Now, Click on the Repair folder -> OK
  6. You are able to view the repaired data in the “Inbox folder”.

Challenges Faced by the Manual Method

The manual method is always not a reliable solution for Thunderbird Email recovery. The above-mentioned methods do not assure that the users are able to recover deleted files from Thunderbird. The recovery of corrupted emails using these method work to some extent and also have some file size limitations. To overcome these challenges you are recommended to use Thunderbird MBOX recovery software by SysInfoTools.

The software scans deleted or corrupted emails and exports the emails into different file formats such as PST, EML, MSG, and RTF. The tool can easily run on every Windows 10 and below versions.

You may also like to read: Export Outlook Emails into Thunderbird


The above-recommended tips are the simplest way to retrieve your lost Thunderbird emails. You need not be a technical person to recover deleted emails from Thunderbird. You only have to follow the above steps in the mentioned tip that will quickly help you regain your lost emails within few seconds. And hope you had found this article helpful.

Related Post