How to Delete a Message Bypassing the Trash in Mozilla Thunderbird

Make sure it's completely removed from your computer

What to Know

  • Open Thunderbird or Netscape and select the message you want to delete in the message list, without opening it.
  • Hold down the Shift key while pressing Del. In the Confirm Deletion box, press Delete.
  • Your message will be deleted immediately, and no copy will be saved to the Trash.

This article explains how to remove spam or other email messages from your Thunderbird email account without ever using the Trash folder. This is especially important if you suspect the message contains a virus. Instructions cover Thunderbird or Netscape email.

Delete a Message Bypassing the Trash

Normally when you hit the delete button, the email message goes to the Trash folder and sits there until you manually empty the trash, or until it's automatically deleted, depending on your settings. (Look in Account Settings > Server Settings and Message Storage to see how yours is set up.)

To immediately and irrevocably delete a message in Mozilla Thunderbird, Netscape, or Mozilla:

  1. Open the email client.

  2. Select the message you want to delete in the message list (without opening it).

  3. Hold down the Shift key while pressing Del.

    confirm delete in Thunderbird
  4. In the Confirm Deletion box, press Delete. Your message will be deleted immediately, and no copy will be saved to the Trash.

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