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Thunderbird, IMAP, Expunge or How to Really Delete Emails from the Server

When using Mozilla Thunderbird to access your email account using IMAP, you may find that whenever you delete messages in Thunderbird, those messages aren’t really deleted on the server.

For instance, when you check the same email account using Webmail, you might find that those messages appear to be marked for deletion, rather than being actually deleted as you might expect.

To get Mozilla Thunderbird to delete messages from the mail server when you delete them in Thunderbird when using IMAP, perform the following steps:

  1. In Thunderbird, right-click your email account in the left sidebar, then select Settings.
  2. Click Server Settings.
  3. In When I delete a message, select Remove it immediately.
  4. In Message Storage, tick the Clean up (Expunge) Inbox on exit.

Now everytime you restart thunderbird, your deleted emails will be deleted from server as well.

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