Yousuf Khan wrote:
Okay, so after fixing the problem with my News folder, I kept
researching what these millions of little files were, that were
clogging up my News folder. The files had an extension of WDSEML.
Later I found out that these same files are also there in Email
folders, hundreds of thousands of them too.
Initially, I thought that these must be the bodies of the messages
that Thunderbird uses to store emails and newsgroup messages. But
after a bit of research, I found out that Thunderbird itself has no
use for these files. Thunderbird does generate them, but it doesn't
use them itself. Instead it is generated only for the benefit of
Windows' Search and Indexing application. Windows Search uses it to
be able to let you search messages through the Windows Search box. So
once Thunderbird generates these files for Windows Search, it no
longer has any use for them anymore, as it stores its own internal
data in a different set of files. In fact, these WDSEML files are
saved copies of individual messages out of Thunderbird's own
database. So Thunderbird maintains it own database, but it never
cleans up these copies ever in its life. WDSEML means "Windows
Desktop Search Email", in fact. I also think this is only a specific
problem with Thunderbird under Windows, it probably isn't an issue in
Thunderbird under other OS'es like Linux.
You can easily delete all of these messages, but of course
Thunderbird will regenerate them again as they come in. So what you
have to do is tell Thunderbird not to generate these files for
Windows anymore. You go into Thunderbird's options menu and turn it
off (Tools → Options, then select Advanced → General → System
Integration → Allow Windows search to search messages).
You can also delete them more easily by searching for and deleting
just the folders in which they reside, rather than the individual
files. These folders have an extension called *.MOZMSGS.
Interesting find. I don't remember looking at this option when I
previously trialed Thunderbird. Is this option enabled by default? If
so, a very bad choice my Mozilla.
If I had not known about this option (and I was still using
Thunderbird), and after finding the superfluous and unwanted wdseml
files (since I do *not* want Windows search looking into my e-mails to
confuse those hits with those of files where I want to find by name or
content), I probably would've added them to the Include option in
CCleaner which I sometimes run manually but is also a daily scheduled
event in Task Scheduler to run before the daily backup. I have other
programs that leave **** behind that I want purged, so I go into
CCleaner's options, Include section, and define a template of what to
include in CCleaner's cleanup. Some programs, for example, will save
files for a 'resume' function, like a downloader, to continue the
operation when I next load the program. Nope, if I killed/exited the
program then I do not want it wasting time when I next load the program.
I don't even let my web browsers resume a prior session, and configure
them to purge all local data upon their exit.
Back when I used MS Outlook, it was configured by default to allow
Windows Search to look inside my e-mails. No thanks. I disabled that.
If I want to search my e-mails, I'll do that search from inside the
e-mail program. I don't want e-mails mixed in with other file results
in a global search. As I recall, Outlook's search would bitch with an
info insert at the top of the search results that I had Windows Search
disabled for Outlook, but that's exactly how I wanted it to work.
In addition, I used auto-archiving in Outlook not only to move old
e-mails into an archive store, but also to expire and delete very old
e-mails. When they get over 5 years old, I don't need them anymore. I
had auto-archive move messages older than 1 year into the archive, and
had auto-archive delete messages older than 5 years in the archive.
Actually I chained archives together for different expirations: archive
messages older than 1 year into archive1year, archive messages older
than 2 years from archive1year into archive2year, and so on. Eventually
I decided I didn't need that level of granularity for storing old
messages, and just went with a single archive for anything older than a
year but purged anything older than 5 years from the archive. I
certainly would not want those old and deleted e-mails still lingering
in a search database or, in your case with Thunderbird, lingering around
in wdseml files.
To me, having Windows Search dig around inside everything is for those
boobs that are slobs. They haven't a clue how to organize their data,
or are too lazy to do it. They pile thousands of e-mails into the Inbox
folder instead of organize the old e-mails into separate pending or
archive folders, and God forbid they delete old e-mails. They'll pile
thousands of image files into a single folder instead of use folders to
organize them. Foldering is an organizational feature that some users
just seem incapable or unwilling to use. As disorganized is their data
is probably the same for how disorderly is their home.
I'm a bit surprized Mozilla, in developing a cross-platform product,
whould give a gnat's fart about kowtowing to Microsoft's search feature
in Windows. Hell, Mozilla doesn't even use the global certificate store
in Windows (use certmgr.msc to see) within Firefox, and instead uses a
private cert store inside of Firefox (and why some programs have to do a
double cert install: once into the Windows global cert store and again
into Firefox's private cert store). If users are going to search their
old e-mails, why would they not do that from inside of Thunderbird?
They're searching on e-mails, not on some pic they stored from their
camera or a copy of their tax form. Overreaching got even worse in
Windows 10 with Cortana (which I disabled). All this forensic-like
searching to cater to data slobs.