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Create New filter does not see any mail folders

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  • 2 have this problem
  • 18 views
  • Last reply by FFoxSync

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I am no longer able to create new mail filters. If I have an email and use "Message | Create filter from message" I can set up the filter parameters, but the "Perform filter options" section, if I select "Move message to" or "Copy message to" the destination is greyed out with "no available folders". I have the same situation if I select "Tools | Message Filters" and try to create a new filter.

I've already deleted all my .msf files and let TB recreate them, but that didn't fix it.

I am no longer able to create new mail filters. If I have an email and use "Message | Create filter from message" I can set up the filter parameters, but the "Perform filter options" section, if I select "Move message to" or "Copy message to" the destination is greyed out with "no available folders". I have the same situation if I select "Tools | Message Filters" and try to create a new filter. I've already deleted all my .msf files and let TB recreate them, but that didn't fix it.
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is the main tab showing in Thunderbird behind the filter dialog a "mail" tab?

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Yes, I'm trying to create a filter for an email I'm looking at (to automatically move their email to a folder).

I noticed just now that my *existing* filters aren't working now. I have a couple particular senders I automatically delete, and those aren't being deleted anymore.

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This has been reported before but in those cases a simple restart of Thunderbird resolved the problem.

Q: Is this a gmail account ? In the Account Settings > Server Settings for the gmail account. Q: Are you using Server Name : "imap.gmail.com" OR "imap.googlemail.com" ?

Regardless if gmail or not - please do the following and report on the specific line I'm asking about.

  • In Menu icon > Help > More Troubleshooting Information
  • Under 'Application Basics' section - half way - Profile Folders - click on 'Open Folder'

A new window opens showing the contents of your profile folder.

  • If POP click on 'Mail' folder
  • If imap, click on 'ImapMail' folder
  • Click on the account name folder
  • Look for 'msgfilterRules.dat' file
  • Open 'msgfilterRules.dat' file using a simple text editor like Notepad

You will see the message filters listed. Q: Do you see something like this for the 'action value':

OR this:

Please post what you find. Just remember to edit the 'name' as I've done above.

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This and your other question leave me wondering is you are using an outlook or office mail account, I seem to recall seeing something about nested folders on Microsoft servers not showing.

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Nope, this account is a GMail account (created 2008 or earlier).

I'm presuming you meant "Profile Directory" and "Open Directory" above.

In the existing mail filters, I have multiple filters already defined. An example from the msgfilterRules.dat file:


name="Subject contains: SonsofSpanishAmericanWarVeterans" enabled="yes" type="17" action="Move to folder" actionValue="imap://[*my gmail username here*]@imap.gmail.com/SSAWV" condition="AND (subject,contains,SonsofSpanishAmericanWarVeterans)"


Haven't seen messages from this list in quite a while, so I don't know if it's still working.

I have another filter that is automatically deleting against a particular sender, and that one is still dropping messages into the Trash folder.

But still can't create a new filter because I can't select the destination folder.

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Additionally, I just tried creating a filter in my ISP's email, and had the same problem where I can't select a folder to move emails to (presuming Comcast isn't just using GMail on the back-end).

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This issue seems to effecting everything in general - I suspect the filter problem 'unable to select folders' may be the same cause as to why you cannot 'search' as per question https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1393450

I notice you say "I'm presuming you meant "Profile Directory" and "Open Directory" ", so presume you have a Linux OS.. It really would be helpful to mention what OS you are using as it does effect instructions otherwise it is assumed you are using a Windows OS.

Is your Thunderbird profile stored in the default location?

It should be here:

  • ~/.thunderbird/<Profile name>/

However, if you're using a third party build from Debian or Ubuntu, those builds store your profile folder here:

  • ~/.mozilla-thunderbird/<Profile name>

Exit Thunderbird In Profile name folder : delete this file: global-messages-db.sqlite

then restart Thunderbird

Post results.

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I must have missed the OS information when I was editing my response. Currently on TBird 102.5.0 on Fedora 37

Had tried deleting the global-messages-db.sqlite file previously, didn't change anything then or this time either. Global Search and Indexer is still checked/enabled, and the folders have indexing enabled in the folder properties (and are set to sync locally).

I also tried the "Repair Folder" option. I checked that all the files and directors are readable/writable by me (all check OK).

(this is one of those places where I've thought a tool that exports just settings would be useful. Then I'd just re-create a new profile and carry in just the bits I still need) I'm looking at my prefs.js file to see if there's any obsolete settings (I've probably carried over settings/profiles for nearly 20 years, don't even remember when I last started from scratch). Maybe there's something left over from years of usage that finally became incompatible.

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I went through the entire ImapMail directory and deleted all the *.msf files for all my IMAP accounts, and then left it long enough to re-sync and re-index all the emails. Didn't change anything.

I also notice the "Get new messages" dropdown now *only* shows "Get all new messages" (which would check email for all accounts). It used to show the individual accounts under it so I could select just one account to sync. So not only doesn't the application see the directories for creating/editing mail filters, it's also not showing accounts as selectable. I can go down the sidebar and select accounts and account folders as usual, so I know the main and accounts are still there and defined, and I get incoming mail and can send email.

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Thunderbird 102.6.0, Fedora 37 re-checked this, creating a message filter still cannot see any of my email folders when setting filter parameters.

I definitely have ownership on all my files/directories, all readable/writable by me.

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