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Phantom folders

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-Thunderbird can list a empty non-existent folder in the folder pane. If this occurs exit Thunderbird, backup your profile and:+Thunderbird can list a empty non-existent folder in the folder pane. If this occurs exit Thunderbird, [[profile backup|back up]] your profile and:
-:* Delete the panacea.dat file in your profile. Its a mail folder cache.+:* Delete the "panacea.dat" file in your [[profile folder]]. It's a mail folder cache.
-:* Delete the .msf (mail summary file) file for that folder in the accounts directory in your profile. Thunderbird believes a folder exists as long as it sees a file with the folders name and a .msf file extension. If its easier you could delete all .msf files. The only damage you could do is lose a saved search folder.+:* Delete the ".msf" (mail summary file) file for that folder in the account's directory in your profile. Thunderbird believes a folder exists as long as it sees a file with the folder's name and an .msf file extension. If it's easier you simply delete all .msf files. The only damage you could do is lose a [[Saved Search]] folder.
-:* Delete Xul.mfl. Its a cache of user interface data.+:* Delete "XUL.mfl". It's a cache of user interface data.
-:*If you're using a IMAP account enable IMAP logging and look in the log file to see whether the IMAP server returns that folder name. That helps identify whether the phantom folder is due to the client or the server. If its a UNIX IMAP server you might also check whether a .mailboxlist and/or .mlbxlsttmp file in your root directory mentions the phantom folder.+:*If you're using an [[IMAP]] account, [[Session logging for mail/news | enable IMAP logging]] and look in the log file to see whether the IMAP server returns that folder name. That helps identify whether the phantom folder is due to the client or the server. If its a UNIX IMAP server you might also check whether a ".mailboxlist" and/or ".mlbxlsttmp" file in your root directory mentions the phantom folder.
-Thunderbird will create a new panacea.dat, xul.mfl, and *.msf file(s) if they're missing the next time you run it. +Thunderbird will create a new panacea.dat, XUL.mfl, and *.msf file(s) if they're missing the next time you run it.
-If none of this helps create a new profile and migrate your folders, address books and settings to it. Don't just copy all of the files from your old profile to it or you'll migrate the phantom folder too.+If none of this helps, use the [[Profile Manager]] to create a new profile and then [[Migrating settings to a new profile | migrate your folders, address books and settings to it]]. Don't just copy all of the files from your old profile to it or you'll migrate the phantom folder too.
- +
-==See also==+
-*[[Profile_backup | Backing up a profile]]+
-*[[Session_logging_for_mail/news | IMAP logging]]+
-*[[Saved_Search | Saved searches]]+
-*[[Profile_folder | Profile directory]]+
-*[[Profile_Manager | Profile manager]]+
[[Category:Issues (Thunderbird)]] [[Category:Issues (Thunderbird)]]

Revision as of 06:52, 21 January 2006

This article was written for Thunderbird but also applies to Mozilla Suite / SeaMonkey (though some menu sequences may differ).


Thunderbird can list a empty non-existent folder in the folder pane. If this occurs exit Thunderbird, back up your profile and:

  • Delete the "panacea.dat" file in your profile folder. It's a mail folder cache.
  • Delete the ".msf" (mail summary file) file for that folder in the account's directory in your profile. Thunderbird believes a folder exists as long as it sees a file with the folder's name and an .msf file extension. If it's easier you simply delete all .msf files. The only damage you could do is lose a Saved Search folder.
  • Delete "XUL.mfl". It's a cache of user interface data.
  • If you're using an IMAP account, enable IMAP logging and look in the log file to see whether the IMAP server returns that folder name. That helps identify whether the phantom folder is due to the client or the server. If its a UNIX IMAP server you might also check whether a ".mailboxlist" and/or ".mlbxlsttmp" file in your root directory mentions the phantom folder.

Thunderbird will create a new panacea.dat, XUL.mfl, and *.msf file(s) if they're missing the next time you run it.

If none of this helps, use the Profile Manager to create a new profile and then migrate your folders, address books and settings to it. Don't just copy all of the files from your old profile to it or you'll migrate the phantom folder too.