Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Thunderbird: draft message "lost", or saved in or sent from a different email account ("from" address)? - possible fix

If you use the free Thunderbird email software, you may have found that a previously-saved draft email gets saved into a different account when you edit it, ie under the wrong "From" email address (so you can't find the saved draft at first, because it's in the wrong place).

Worse still, a draft email may even get sent to recipients "from" the wrong email address.

This annoyance (and possibly embarrassment, if work email gets sent from your personal email address) happens because:

  • you've set up several different email accounts on Thunderbird, eg one for personal email, one for work email
  • you open a draft email you'd previously saved into one of your accounts
  • meanwhile you selected a different account on the left, eg clicked on the Inbox for a different account than the one for the draft you just opened, to check emails for that different account
  • later on, you go back to the opened draft email and then you edit it and save it as a draft or else you send it - and it gets saved or sent under the currently selected email address, not the original one you composed the email under!

One fix that has been suggested is to add all your identities to all your email accounts in Thunderbird (here's how, see under "How to add another identity"), but if you have lots of accounts it's a bit tedious.

In my view, the easiest solution to this problem (noted briefly on the same page as the previous link) is the following tip or trick. Below I include a step by step for non-techies.

This fix should hopefully ensure that a draft email you're editing gets re-saved or sent from the original email address you created it under, and not some random email account that happens to have been highlighted on the left when you eventually save or send the draft.

  1. In Thunderbird go to the menu Tools, select Options, then click the Advanced button (with the cogwheel) at the top.

  2. Under Advanced click the General sub-tab if it's not already on that page, then click the Config Editor button

  3. In the about:config box that comes up, type or paste (without the quotes) in the Filter box "mailnews.reply_to_self_check_all_ident".

  4. It should now look like this - it will say "false" under "Value" in the "mailnews.reply_to_self_check_all_ident" preference (if it was set to "true", you shouldn't be having this issue!)

  5. What you need to do is to set it to "true". The easiest way to do that is just to doubleclick on the * line, and check that it now reads "true":

You can now close out of that box. Hit OK if you want in the Options window, but from what I can see it seems to save even if you hit Cancel.

From now on, Thunderbird should check when you save an edited draft email or send a draft email, and hopefully save or send it under the original email address! If it still glitches, raise it with Mozilla

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