How to handle deleting trash in Thunderbird when using IMAP Gmail

The Google team about a year ago added IMAP services to gmail. This is a great way to be able to manage your mail from several different places (e.g. client software at work, and web based gmail page on the road) and have everything automatically be in sync.

I’m also a big fan of the open source Thunderbird email client. But there is one annoying thing using these two together: when you have a message selected and press ‘delete’, normally this sends the message to Thunderbird’s trash (which completely removes it from Gmail), but in this case, you want to send it to Gmail’s trash.

There was a configuration setting you could try, to send the message to [Gmail]/Trash, but Google doesn’t recommend it (see ‘UPDATE 2, Nov 8th’ here). Instead you are supposed to move (e.g. drag-and-drop) the message to the [Gmail]/Trash folder manually.  Well, that’s not too convenient when you have a lot of folders. So, what I’ve found is an add-on QuickFolders which will easily make a shortcut to that folder (and others) so that you can more easily drag-n-drop to send that message to gmail’s ‘Trash’.

5 thoughts on “How to handle deleting trash in Thunderbird when using IMAP Gmail

  1. yea im finally getting a email client setup to organize my 7000 inbox messages. so i have to do a lot of deleting and drop and dropping won’t be fast enough. there’s also gotta be a way to create a keyboard shortcut that will automatically move it to a folder, in the same way the delete button would. thanks for the tip, i’ll try it

  2. ok. actually this is a great solution to organize your inbox. just drag and drop your folders to the toolbar and move your messages. fast! just gotta let the imap server catch up. forget that config tweak, u know whats going on with the add-on

  3. is there a way to just add a button that will move your selected message(s) to a folder, like the gmail trash? thanks

    • Since I’m now using Thunderbird v.3.0b1, I can’t use QuickFolders (but Nostalgy works). Both of them allow you to set keystrokes to move to specific folders (e.g. Trash). In Nostalgy, I set it to Shift-T for move selected message to gmail Trash. I think that’s quicker than moving the mouse over to a button anyway. If you really are looking for a button, I looked briefly but didn’t find anything. Good Luck!

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