How to “unjunk” messages

You’re in a panic.  A whole batch of new messages just showed up, then disappeared from your Inbox.  You check the trash, they’re not there.  You check some of your saved messages folders, they’re not there.  You know one of them was important, but you don’t know where it is!  Calm down, everything’s going to be fine.  You’ve just experienced the magic of the Junk Mail Filter.  Until you’ve trained it to know what you think is or is not junk, it will continue to think lots of things are junk and do what you just described.  Here’s how to help the filter learn and retrieve your messages.

  1. Go to your Junk folder.  Inside this folder, you will find a list of messages.  Some are probably “keepers” and others are ones you’d like to throw away.
  2. Click on one of the “good” messages.  When you do this, it will show you the message, but at the top, there is a green section that says “Thunderbird thinks this message is junk” and a button labeled “This is Not Junk”.
  3. Hit that button.  Unfortunately, hitting this button doesn’t magically put this message into your Inbox, so…
  4. Drag the message back to your Inbox.
  5. Repeat this process for the messages in the Junk folder that you would like to keep.

Junk Mail Folder

This is a small hassle, but it’s worth it to not have to read through a thousand ads for “male enhancement” or other solicitations for who knows what.  Keep training that filter and it will, eventually, start getting it right more often than it gets it wrong.

4 Responses to How to “unjunk” messages

  1. junk removal says:

    junk removal…

    […]How to “unjunk” messages « The unofficial how-to blog for Thunderbird[…]…

  2. tr house says:

    Thunderbird went through and classified a few thousand of my messages as junk, despite those messages being from ones I sent email to and despite my filters which should have caught them. Worse it pushed that junkifying process through to my gmail account. OK. I need to get rid of thunderbird but before I do that I need a faster way to undo the damage.. I NEED those emails to be archived….

  3. tr house says:

    BTW deleting uninstalling Thunderbird through its own uninstall utility DOES NOT remove everything Thunderbird created during its tenure. At least, (but I’m sure there’s more) the considerable amount of data under AppData–>Roaming–>Thunderbird is not removed.

    Thunderbird gets that it’s extremely rude not to clean up after itself when it’s asked to uninstall, right? I think all programmers know by now that uninstall should do just that- uninstall what it is you wrote on the user’s machine, including things the user is not normally aware of.

    In fact, it’s considered extremely unprofessional to leave behind a quarter of a gig or more of information that only serves to clog up the user’s machine.

    I won’t be trying Thunderbird again.

  4. Tim Turner says:

    I’ve been using Thunderbird for years and marking junk as junk and some nonjunk as nonjunk, but it has done absolutely nothing toward deleting or moving junk mail. It’s worthless.

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