Deleted email shows up again



14 years ago
13 years ago


(Reporter: enlightenment, Assigned: mscott)


Windows XP
Bug Flags:
blocking-aviary1.5 -

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; FreeBSD i386; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041111 Firefox/1.0
Build Identifier: Thunderbird 0.8 milestone on windows

I've had one experience where i deleted a bunch of email (about 200 messages),
emptied trash and after a week the trashed email was in my inbox again, with
status unread.

I heard in the thread on MozillaZine ( ) that trahsed mail does
not get physically deleted. This makes it possible for trashed mail to show up
again in the Inbox, due to a bug. But the primary issue IMO is that Thunderbird
should physically delete trashed mail.

Reproducible: Didn't try
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Delete a bunch of email messages
2. Empty trash

Actual Results:  
After a week the mail messages return in the inbox (may be very hard to reproduce!)

Expected Results:  
If mail messages are trashed, they should be PHYSICALLY deleted! The user trusts
that gone = gone. May be a security issue!

Version 0.8, no extensions.

I think this is a security issue. Users may have email messages which are very
confidential. If they delete and then trash those messages, they expect the
messages to be GONE. That means that when messages are trashed, they should be
physically deleted and maybe with an option to "nullwrite" the space so recovery
is not possible. But the last thing is more of a feature. But in no
circumstances should trashed email be allowed to return to the inbox! That's a
security issue IMO.

Comment 1

14 years ago
I have noticed a similar bug to this, I am importing my email to gmail at the
moment and thunderbird says the mbox is empty, yet the filesize is, in an
example I have, 32MB, so an empty email box is 32MB in size? quickly dropping
that mbox onto wordpad (in win32) this reveals ALL MY PREVIOUSLY DELETED EMAIL!

this should really NOT happen, if I delete something, it goes to the trash and
the only copy is in the trash, it is a security bug to allow the mail to exist
in the inbox, but thunderbird not to display it.  Since someone could obtain
this mbox and read previously deleted and trashed email.


14 years ago
Flags: blocking-aviary1.1?

Comment 2

14 years ago
mscott will you please look into this one? I'm having this bug for a really long
time now on several systems. I would like deleted mail ("empty trash") to be
DELETED, which means: unretrievable. Right now deleted emails are only "hidden",
which is IMO a security issue.

It would be nice if a fix or at least workaround could be done in time for 1.1
final. Thanks!


13 years ago
Flags: blocking-aviary1.5? → blocking-aviary1.5-

Comment 3

13 years ago
Compact your folders after deletion to really delete the messages.

Comment 4

13 years ago
Correct. Trashed mail can't be physically deleted immediately, since all mails are stored in a single file. That's why you need to 'compact' your mailfolder, in order to remove them. It can be doen automatically after a certain number of bytes have been deleted. Note that this can be very slow process when a mailbox is very large (espceially a 32MB one !), that's why it's not done immediately.

If you mail re-appears in your inbox, and you're using IMAP, make sure that 'Expunge' (clean up inbox on Exit) is set in the server settings of this account. And don't leave your mail application open for days.
Last Resolved: 13 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME
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