Thunderbird: IMAP Mailbox isn’t selectable

There was a problem with Thunderbird that was bugging me for a long while. If I did a search across all my folders, I would always get a pop-up window with the message “not a selectable mailbox” or something like that.

Finally today I decided to investigate how to solve this and I found this blog entry. I tried it, and it worked! This is what I did:

  • I located the .mailboxlist file that lists all the folders of the offending IMAP account. In my case the file was in my home directory. Easy!
  • In .mailboxlist I deleted the entries to the offending folders.  Apparently they should haven’t been listed there. These folders are meant to be carriers of other folders and therefore they have no messages. Why the file .mailboxlist lists them, I don’t know and I would love to hear if someone knows.
  • In my Thunderbird profile folder I went to the directory ImapMail/my.offending.imap.account. In my case the Thunderbird folder is .thunderbird. This folder has a directory with a strange name and the suffix .default; this is the default profile. In this default profile I found ImapMail.
  • Inside that my.offending.imap.account directory there is a list of files with suffix .msf. I simply deleted the files that corresponded with the offending folders.
  • I restarted Thunderbird… and voilà, now the offending folders are greyed out and in italics. And there were no more errors of this type.

What a relief.

(Shamelessly stolen from http://diegosmusings.blogspot.com/2008/06/thunderbird-imap-mailbox-isnt.html – Thanks Diego )

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