Account Manager falls back to using Inbox as Trash when folder tree is inaccessible



MailNews Core
Account Manager
8 years ago
6 years ago


(Reporter: peter.slizik, Unassigned)


({dataloss, uiwanted, ux-error-prevention})

dataloss, uiwanted, ux-error-prevention

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: [autoconfig?])



8 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100207 Namoroka/3.6
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100120 Shredder/3.0.1

today, Thunderbird managed to delete the whole contents of my Inbox. Here's how that happened: after a few years of using KMail, I decided to install Thunderbird. See bolow for the actual steps I went through.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Install Thunderbird. (It's necessary that you have a fresh installation. It seems to me that if you have already some account(s) defined, Thunderbird copies some settings from them.)
2. Go through the Account creation wizard, create an IMAP account.
3. Launch Account Settings from the Menu.
4. Go to Server Settings
5. Now, if you click the "Advanced..." button, the option "Show only subscribed folders" is on by default. This prevented Thunderbird from seeing by Thrash folder.
6. (Back to Server settings.) As Thunderbird didn't see my Thrash folder, it substituted Inbox in config option "When I delete a message: (x) Move it to this folder: 'Inbox'".
7. I was playing with the settings and hit "(x) Empty Thrash on Exit".
8. Voila, Thunderbird emptied my Inbox on Exit.
Actual Results:  
Empty Inbox.

Expected Results:  
Thunderbird should not substitute the folder "Inbox" if it cannot find the Thrash folder. The field should be left empty instead.

I remember when I first tried to create the IMAP account, the wizard was unable to find the correct settings correctly and I had to resort to manual configuration. This is the point where Thunderbird was not able to read my folder structure from the server, so it substituted the word Inbox as the root of the yet unknown folder tree. That's still wrong however, the field should be left empty.
Wow... this is a most unfortunate series of events. I am sorry.

Marking as a dataloss bug not only because you lost data, but because there are other possible ways this could cause data loss; editing summary to hopefully capture the underlying problem better.
Severity: normal → critical
Keywords: dataloss
Summary: Thunderbird deleted my Inbox - problem with Thrash settings in Account Manager → Account Manager falls back to using Inbox as Trash when folder tree is inaccessible
Whiteboard: [autoconfig?]

Comment 2

6 years ago
Well, this still seems valid on TB13. I tried creating a dummy IMAP account, without ever connecting to the server and have seen this. However at step 6. at the option "When I delete a message move it to the folder:" folder picker was showing "Trash" (but that folder didn't exist yet in the folder pane). When I opened the picker only one item was shown and that was the Inbox (that folder was automatically created in the folder pane so far). If I didn't pick Inbox but closed the picker, Trash would stay. If I picked Inbox and closed the picker, then Inbox was selected. And there was no way to change that selection afterwards (as it was the only item in list).
This could actually happen to the reporter if he played with the settings.

I am not familiar with IMAP. But if there is a way to prevent this in the Account manager I can look at it. I just need help from IMAP people for what I could check here. How to decide the selected target is not good and will shoot the user? Or just do not allow to select "Empty trash" when only 1 folder exists, whatever it is?
Component: Account Manager → Account Manager
Ever confirmed: true
Keywords: uiwanted, ux-error-prevention
Product: Thunderbird → MailNews Core
QA Contact: account-manager → account-manager
Version: unspecified → Trunk
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