Folder being processed

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When attempting to download your mail or access a folder, you may receive an error message that says "This folder is being processed. Please wait until processing is complete to get messages." There seems to be a variety of causes. Some are listed below.

Please note, items below are suggestions for diagnosis. You are not being asked to permanently change or turn anything off. The goal is to find out what works, and what doesn't work, so it can be reported as an aid to finding a solution for the user. If you find one of these things helps, please report it as feedback.

  • Anti-virus software. Try disabling antivirus. Also see using Thunderbird with anti-virus software. AVG is commonly cited as a cause, eg. bug 543913. ref: thread 1, thread 2.
  • Firewall software. Try disabling firewall software. See also Firewall software. Zonealarm is commonly cited as a cause.
  • Doing "Get New Mail" or auto checking mail while compacting folders for the account(s) is running. Substantially reducing the number of messages in folder may help.
  • Low value in account settings for "Check for new mail every N minutes" (say less than 5 minutes), or combination of lowish value with many/multiple accounts. Try change to 5 minutes or 10 minutes.
  • Checking multiple accounts while filtering mail between accounts.
  • Double clicking "Get Mail", accidentally clicking "Get Mail" while trying to select an account from the adjacent drop down list, or the PC resuming from sleep mode can cause this. There are many variations, the common issue being they are timing dependent.
  • Lightning / Calendar in Thunderbird v2.
  • You don't have permissions to read/write to your inbox. This can happen when sharing mail between linux and windows and the partition containing your inbox has been mounted with permissions higher than the user running thunderbird.
  • Messages with bad headers or header fields left blank. (older releases)
  • For older (pre-1.0) versions of Thunderbird: simultaneously getting mail for two or more accounts that use the Global Inbox. In Thunderbird 0.8, it may be possible to avoid this problem by clicking the "Get Mail" icon in the toolbar rather than using the keyboard shortcut (not yet confirmed). Related information: see Bug 260447.

To find more Mozillazine forum threads on this subject, do a search for "folder processed" (both terms).Forum search | Google search

Main topic in Getsatisfaction

Selected bug reports

  • Bugzilla queries: "folder is being processed" is in bug summary, "folder is being processed" not in bug summary
  • bug 392680 Clicking Get Mail twice (while first round not finished) returns "This Folder is being processed" modal dialog / error message
  • bug 466933 Error with "Get Mail" or "Get all Messages" after resuming from computer's sleep mode - "This folder is being processed. Please wait until processing is complete to get messages
  • bug 436939 "Get all Messages" while "Get Mail" reports error "This folder is being processed. Please wait until processing is complete to get messages."
  • bug 520788 autoconfig with bogus username/password alerts about "this folder is being processed" (should be fixed in Thunderbird 3.0)