Thunderbird: weird behaviour with gmx-account

Hi all, :wave:

As of late I´ve been experiencing some weird behaviour as far as thunderbird is concerned. :slightly_frowning_face:

I have 4 e-mail accounts which thunderbird used to take care of without fail:

a yahoo-account, a gmx-account, a freenet account and an outlook-account.

Thunderbird is configured that way:

When starting thunderbird it automatically looks for new e-mails in all accounts and after that every ten minutes.

That worked well until recently. Alas that behaviour has changed all of a sudden all by itself.
The only thing which might have triggered a change (on my behalf) is that I of course updated my system, also kernel-wise. :thinking:

The kernel I´m using right now is 5.4.0-97-generic and thunderbird makes use of the version 91.5.0.

Now to the issue itself:

All e-mail accounts are checked for new e-mails upon start … except the gmx-account! :no_mouth:

That one is simply ignored. However when I check for e-mails manually all available new e-mails are found and downloaded. :confused:

And: new e-mails are also downloaded every ten minutes automatically. It´s just the initial looking for new ones and only with the gmx-account. That seems pretty weird.

Has anyone of you encountered this kind of behaviour as well :question:

Many thanks for your help and many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

I have two gmx accounts and I use Thunderbird. For me, they work just fine.

1 question: Do you use IMAP or POP to access your mail boxes?

I use IMAP.

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Hi @Mina, :wave:

how good to see you again.
Thanks so much for your reply.

It´s POP. To be more exact: “”.
… with port 995.

However: that shouldn´t have any impact on its functionality because:

  • I didn´t change the settings. I´ve always used POP with gmx and it worked well (until now).
  • the other accounts I mentioned make use of the same settings. Here POP also.
    They have no difficulties fetching e-mails on start…

Thanks a lot, Mina.
Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

I know. I’ve become a rather occasional guest, lately. Good to see that you haven’t forgotten my existence in the mean time, my dear.

Then, I’d guess that GMX did some server side changes regarding the authentication.

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Hi @Mina, :wave:

thanks for your kind words. :heart:

I see. Well, that makes sense.

I think I won´t change the settings right now as I think using IMAP wouldn´t let the e-mails stay on the server once they´re downloaded…
Of course I may be wrong here… :anguished:

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s actually the other way round: IMAP lets the emails stay on the server. It synchronizes your local folder(s) with the ones on the server. They only get deleted from the server if you decide to delete them.

This makes IMAP the better protocol if you access your emails from different devices.

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Maybe change to IMAP for that particular email?


Hi again, :wave:


Hmm, funny.

I´ve been using POP for years in all my accounts and have to periodically log-in via the web-browser into the respective accounts to make room for new e-mails.
They´re never (automatically) deleted there…

Yet i have to say i have “let e-mails stay on the server” checked in thunderbird settings.


Hi Mark,

O.k. That would be a solution of course.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Thank you all for your help and many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Actually, I believe, IMAP is the superior protocol.

You also won’t have to log into the website to delete emails. If you delete them locally, they get deleted remotely.

As it is also an ancient protocol (though not as ancient as POP), it doesn’t support nested subfolders. That’s the major downside.

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Hi Rosika, I have the same configuration with 4 different accounts and Thunderbird is looking for new e-mails in all accounts. It all worked fine for a long time but since some recent updates ago it started to behave in a funny way. It looks after the different accounts well, that is not an issue here, but building up the start page is sometimes strange. Part of the page remains white for some time and after opening and closing an e-mail the page is correct again. I cannot find what is wrong with it and I guess there will be a new update some day to correct this. Sorry I cannot help you with your problem!! Regards, HHarry18

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Hi Rosika,
What works for me is IMAP with

  1. dont check the above setting
  2. only store local folders on one computer, but read from anywhere
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Hi all, :wave:

thanks a lot to all of you for your latest input. :heart:


Good to know, thanks.

Oh. Do you mean I cannot create nested sub-folders in thunderbird itself?
That might be a problem then…
But thanks for the interesting info. :+1:


Hmm, sorry. I fear I cannot be of any help there. :slightly_frowning_face:
The phenomenon you described seems new to me.
I also hope a new update will take care of that. I´ll keep my fingers crossed. :slightly_smiling_face:


Hello Neville,

thanks so much for your suggestion. I might try that.

Many greetings to you all
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:



As @Mina suggested:

I guess that would be the most logical explanation. And it seems she´s very right here. :+1: :smiley:

So I decided to post the problem in the thunderbird forums (yet in German) here:

I received an answer very quickly :slightly_smiling_face: and it turns out:
that problem is already known.

It´s discussed here: Sammelthread: E-Mails (POP3 - GMX, IONOS, 1&1, etc.) werden nicht mehr bei Start abgerufen - Allgemeines Arbeiten / Konten einrichten / Installation & Update - Thunderbird Mail DE .

It seems :

e-Mails (POP3 - GMX, IONOS, 1&1, etc.) download is no longer triggered at start

After the problems with POP3 accounts are increasing every hour, which are either no longer called up at the start or probably no longer manually in some cases, I open a collection thread that also presents attempted solutions.

E-mails have not been retrieved from some providers for two days. Here it helps to google for the current POP3 and SMTP settings of the provider and to switch from STARTTLS to TLS and, if necessary, to select the correct port.

This seems to solve the problem that mail can no longer be called up with TB.
Providers like GMX, IONOS and 1&1 seem to have screwed up the server, which caused this problem.

Some people have a certificate issue that is triggered by their AV software.
If a new certificate is stored, it should work again.

(translated from German)

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So glad, you could solve your problem @Rosika!

This is one of the attitudes I really appreciate from you: You never leave open questions dangling, unlike many others who come with questions, receive answers and never tell whether they could solve the problem or not.

In IMAP, you have the standard folders Inbox, Outbox, Sent, Drafts, Deleted, Spam

You can create as many subfolders in Inbox, like Work, Family, Friends, Shops, Newsletters etc. in Thunderbird as you like, and they will be replicated on the server. However, if you create subfolders in, say, Inbox > Newsletters in Thunderbird, in a standard IMAP setup, they won’t be replicated on the server. They will exist only in your local Thunderbird.

So, if you access your mailbox from another device or with a different email client, all the different Newsletters subfolders will not exist. You’ll find all newsletters mingled together under Inbox > Newsletters.


Hi again dear Mina, :wave:

It is very kind of you to say so, Mina. I feel very honoured by your praise. Thanks a lot. :heart:
As I receive so much help here in the forum (by you and all the others) I think the least I can do is letting you know how things proceed or turn out.

Many thanks for the detailed explanation of how things work in thunderbird. :+1: :heart:

Yes. And indeed I have the exact same folders available in TB as well, even with POP.

Ah, I get it now. Thanks a lot.
Well, as my main PC is the only device from which I access my e-mails (at least at present) I hope this wouldn´t become an issue with me.
So the IMAP setting seems to be worth a shot.

It turns out some people are waiting for an official fix (initiated by gmx or by thunderbird - that remains to be seen). So perhaps things will work in future as they used to… :blush:).

Many thanks again for your help, Mina, and many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi all, :wave:

for anyone interested in the topic we´ve been discussing here:

just want to let you know that the gmx-account seems to have reverted to its normal behaviour :smiley:.
I just started thunderbird and can confirm it was looking for (and downloading) new e-mails from the gmx-account again.

As I haven´t initiated any changes on the system (especially not on thunderbird) this should definitively validate @Mina ´s theory

It appears the folks at gmx have set it right now.

So thanks again to all of you for your kind help. :heart:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face: