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Tip for Thunderbird Users

Thunderbird is an email client that many people use as an alternative to using Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Mail. With Windows 7 not coming with an email client at all, there may be more people who start switching to use Thunderbird.

Here's something to be aware of when using Thunderbird. When you delete an email in Thunderbird, you don't really delete it. Even when you empty out the Trash folder, you haven't really deleted the email. You may be asking yourself, "How is this possible and how do I really delete email then??"

Well what Thunderbird does when you delete an email is it hides the email and marks them as being ready to be deleted. To actually remove these deleted emails completely, you need to do what is called "compacting the folders". You can kind of think about compacting folders like this. If you have a plastic bag filled with air, you can't see anything in it, but the air is still there. It's not until you squeeze on the plastic bag to force the air out that the space that bag takes up is reduced. In effect you "compact" the plastic bag. So compacting the folders in Thunderbird is like squeezing out all of the emails that have been marked for deletion.

If you never compact the folders in Thunderbird, they will grow very large, taking up space on your hard drive, and slowing your Thunderbird down. It may also eventually start giving errors about the folder being full.

You can set Thunderbird to automatically compact folders by going to Tools / Options / Advanced / Network & Disk Space / Disk Space and checking the box that says "Compact folders when it will save over 100 KB".

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