The folder Inbox is full and can’t hold any more messages

All of sudden I got following error in Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail client.

The folder Inbox is full and can’t hold any more messages. To make room for more messages, delete any old or unwanted mail and compact the folder.

I’ve to go back in the time and recall what I did to blow up thunderbird again. It didn’t take me long to realize that I’ve received few e-mails with large attachment which has caused the problem.

As the message says the inbox is full. So I decided to compact the inbox folder. Compacting folders solves most of the Mozilla Thunderbird problems. However compacting didn’t work for me. There are over 10k messages in the inbox and it is by any means a large number. I’m also lazy and don’t do compacting regularly.

Mozilla Thunderbird - The Folder Inbox Is Full
Mozilla Thunderbird – The Folder Inbox Is Full

So I did some cleanup and moved the large e-mails into local folders and compacted again. But still didn’t work.

Meanwhile I got low space alert in Windows and have to clean up C drive. I freed up a lot of space on C drive and compacted the inbox again and it solved the problem.

So the solution for this problem is to compact the inbox folder.


4 responses to “The folder Inbox is full and can’t hold any more messages”

  1. Monica Avatar

    I got the same message tonight, did a google search, and found your website. I have seven email accounts in Thunderbird. One of the accounts has more than 14,000 messages in the inbox, so I compacted all accounts.

    It seemed to me that Thunderbird compacted the inbox in some of them, but all of the folders in others.

    What is not clear to me, though, is that you say that you initially compacted your inbox, then went through other steps, and the end result per your post is “So the solution for this problem is to compact the inbox folder.”

    Can you please explain if what you did was to compact the inbox twice? Thanks!

    1. Hi Monica,
      I’m not sure why it fails first time in my case. When I compacted second time it worked. You will have to select the Inbox for the account which you wish to compact and then start compact.

      It might be too slow so better close all other applications on your computer before starting compact.

  2. Problem-error Avatar

    I have try to compact more time but I have the same error

  3. Jerry G Avatar

    Having same problem here. I tried compacting, but that didn’t work. Mozilla forums had a thread that said to delete all of thunderbird’s msf files. I did that and recompacted. Still have the same problem.

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