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In situations like this, my bet is almost always on the anti-malware tools that you have installed... They're attempting to integrate just a little too tightly into the email process.

I've set up Thunderbird on my computer. I can send email and receive emails, but the incoming emails only stay in the inbox for a second and then they disappear and can no longer be found. Please help!

In this excerpt from Answercast #61, I look at a possible case of spam software going rogue!

Disappearing emails

I actually have an article on this topic. It's called "Why is downloaded email disappearing immediately?"

The most common cause for email to disappear immediately (and this is true regardless of what email program you use) is anti-malware software that is running rogue - that is being overly aggressive. It's being overly assertive and actually filtering all of your email thinking that your email is spam, or malicious, or something.

So the very first thing that I would do is to go into your anti-malware program and turn off any options that relate to "real-time email scanning" - email scanning as the email is downloaded into your email program.

Nine times out of ten that will solve the problem right there.

Thunderbird junk mail

In Thunderbird specifically, what I would also try doing is to go into the junk mail settings which are in Options somewhere (I don't have it in front of me, so I can't tell you exactly where it is), but in Options are the settings to control whether or not Thunderbird should be attempting to mark email coming in as spam based on its own understanding of what spam is.

Much like anti-malware software, occasionally email programs themselves can run amok and can start marking everything as spam.

One way to check quickly of course is to take a look in the Junk folder/ the Spam folder and see if the email that's arriving is in fact landing there. That's a pretty good sign that Thunderbird's junk mail filtering has gone a little nuts and is something that you want to turn off.

But turn it off anyway and see if that makes a difference to the email coming down, and see if that doesn't solve the problem for you.

Like I said, my money in situations like this is almost always on whatever anti-malware tools you have installed. They're attempting to integrate just a little too tightly into the email process.

End of Answercast #61 Back to - Audio Segment

Article C5922 - October 15, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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2 Comments
Dan
October 16, 2012 10:27 AM

Also check your user defined email rules. Some people set up rules to move mail to some other mail folder if it has something in the subject or from so-and-so, etc..., Sometimes we can get a rule set up incorrectly and find out it is moving all emails. I have emails stay in my inbox just for an instant all the time because I have a lot of rules set up. Everything comes into the inbox but then jumps to another folder right away. Once I accidently moved a mail folder as a subfolder to another - and didn't notice I did that. All mail still went to that subfolder, but I couldn't see it was getting mail since it was a level down - until I expanded the parent folder. The more complex we make things, the more chance there is for problems, and the harder it is to figure out the fix!

snert
October 16, 2012 11:57 AM

I've had programs go rogue a few time. "What the...?" I just uninstall and reinstall the danged thing and that clears the pipes. If it happens 3 times with the same one I find something else to use.

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