Thunderbird is Slow

Category: Quickies


I started using Mozilla Thunderbird early this year. About a month ago it started acting up. When I open the program it will take from five to fifteen minutes before it will start to download any messages. Once open, it works fine. I have deleted all sent messages and emptied the trash. I'm using WINXP with SP2 and running Norton AV. I run Spybot S&D and Lavasoft Adaware weekly I also update NAV weekly and run scans. Defrag and scandisc weekly as well. Any ideas?


I'd try removing and re-installing Thunderbird. Anyone else have this problem, or a suggestion?

If you think you know the answer, post your comments below.

This article was posted by on 26 Aug 2005

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Most recent comments on "Thunderbird is Slow"

(See all 29 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

15 Nov 2007

Thanks Jason!! Disabling the TB talkback feature in add-ons solved my problem. I am no longer suffering from slow startups, slow opening emails, ghost windows after sending emails, etc. Seems my problem has been TB's very own talkback feature for reporting bugs was causing the hangs.

Posted by:

27 Dec 2007

when I opens thunerbird at first(after booting into windows)it s getting hang also displaying a message "downloading messages .......please wait"in thunder bird status bar.

When I restarts the thunderbird, it works fine.This problem happening every day. I deleted inbox.msf files, but problem is still there.

Plz tell me the soln for this

Also I have created filters.Some mails which have to go on filtered folders its coming in Inbox also(duplicating).I checked the filter settings(ie,I put 'move to ' insted of 'copy to folder'option.)
plz help me sort out this problems

thank you

Posted by:

26 Feb 2008

There's a simple solution:

Open Thunderbird

Make a new folder

Copy all inbox msgs to the new folder

close thunderbird

Open explorer

Delete both inbox file in the appropriate folder

restart thunderbird

Copy the msgs back to the inbox


Posted by:

Mike Golvach
27 Aug 2008

Hey there,

I had this problem too, and it was making me nuts since none of the convential fixes would help. No matter what I did, when I started up TBird, it would take approximately 790Mb of Memory and spike the cpu at 50% (On a 4GB RAM 2.0GHz dual core system) and then come up after 5 minutes or so.

The solution I found was somewhat simplistic. Once I found it, and took action, my performance went right back to normal. Doing a scan of my TBird directories, I found that my mimeTypes.rdf was almost exactly the same size of the memory used at startup (790Mb). I made sure that the default mimeTypes.rdf existed and deleted the humungous one. And that was that; everything was set :)

Hope this helps someone out who finds themselves in the same boat!

Posted by:

28 Oct 2008

if your thunderbird start and then very long time thinking and after that you have for example empty inbox. this means that some mails in your inbox broken and theris only one solution in this case that i know and that is exactly perfectly work.

you need find file that correspond to your inbox and remove all string

X-Mozilla-Status: xxxx

(xxxx - number)

inside this file

this can be done for example with this script

#perl -pi -e 's/(.*)X-Mozilla-Status:(.*)/X/' Inbox

Posted by:

23 Dec 2008

Hi and thanks alot for your help. I can recommend the solution found by Mike Golvach, cause it's the only one working on that slow starting problem. I have tried all of the posted ideas which didn't help but wasted my time, unless one. Thank you Mike for finding that solution. Clever done!

Posted by:

31 Dec 2008

Mike Golvach's solution worked for me as well. I wonder why that file got so big?

Posted by:

22 May 2010

I don't know if there is a solution. Thunderbird is simply slow as hell. All the time. Just maximizing the Thunderbird window on my machine takes a ridiculous amount of time. I'm not sure the programmers know how to optimize anything for speed.

Posted by:

22 Jun 2010

My TB is also performing very slow, it was working fine but now a days it went dead :(
When i delete mail it takes very long time to delete and return to active mode.
The main problem is when I search for my mails by typing search text in search box TB went to sleep and return after couple of minutes

I have 2 file named as inbox.msf and inbox-1.msf i tried to delete them (after closing my TB) but only inbox-1.msf was able to delete and for the other one windows gives a message that this file is being used by another program.

do any one has the solution?

Posted by:

02 Jul 2010

My TB was not so slow but it took a few seconds to load, I just found how to make it load instantly.
Tools --> Options --> Advanced --> General --> Enable Global Search and Indexer (disable this box)

After disabling that, it loads in about 0.5s, that's what I wanted.

Posted by:

31 Jul 2010

I've done what LoreaTec suggested and it seems better - but it's early days ;)

Posted by:

28 Sep 2010

Another piece of crap you have to keep screwing with just to get it to function properly. Worth just about what I paid for it.

Posted by:

22 Jan 2011

Thunderbird doesn't delete your messages, even if you click on 'Empty trash'. To get rid of your deleted mail once and for all, you need to compact your folders. Just go File -> Compact Folders.

This way, it might be become a little faster.

Posted by:

11 May 2011

I disabled the Google Contacts extension and it improved considerably.

Posted by:

14 Oct 2011

i also had that problem, but after i deleted the file mimeTypes.rdf on thunderbird profile folder, it start very fast. it created another file but this time a small one (5kb), the previous one i deleted was 300Mb. delete file without thunderbird started.

Posted by:

08 Nov 2011

Thunderbird used to be good, but now it's a total waste of time.
Slow, Failing, missing basic functions.
I suspect it has Lotus Notes technology, that's why.
Go to Outlook.

Posted by:

08 Nov 2011

Thunderbird used to be good, but now it's a total waste of time.
Slow, Failing, missing basic functions.
I suspect it has Lotus Notes technology, that's why.
Go to Outlook.

Posted by:

10 Jun 2012

I just uninstalled Panda Cloud (Free) to see whether it would stop TBird from hanging on open. It did. Using now, for instance, Microsoft Essentials and there are no TBird or browser hangs.
Windows 7/64bit
I did see Panda almost acknowledge the problem in one forum posting

Posted by:

Sheboygan Bert
27 Aug 2013

User added "Add-ons" are the likely offenders. Tools/AddOns/Extensions ... then disable all of them. Close and reopen TB. Now reable them one at a time, close and reopen TB, to find out which ones are causing the load problem. I've found that any ADD-ON EXTENSION that SORTS FOLDERS or SEARCHES MESSAGES will make TB slow on startup.

Posted by:

28 May 2014

1- Compact all directories. 2- Use Windows ReadyBoost with a new USB thumbdrive (16Gb), to add memory. 3- Delete all extra emails older than a month or so. 4- Click all unread emails. 5-Organize emails into directories if they are kept.

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