How do I fix blank subjects and incorrect dates in Mozilla Thunderbird?

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We've occasionally heard of problems with the Mozilla Thunderbird mail program where the “message list pane” or the “preview pane” can show blank message subjects, incorrect dates, or other glitches, even though everything looks fine when you actually view an individual message.

If this happens to you, try repairing the folder:

  • Right-click the folder name (control-click on a Mac)
  • Choose Properties from the menu
  • Click the Repair Folder button
  • Click OK to close the properties window

If this doesn't fix it, the IMAP message “cache” on the server may contain incorrect information. You can contact us to fix this, or, if you’re comfortable with the SSH shell, login and type imap-cache-reset

This will completely delete all IMAP caches and indexes on the server, too. Then you can try the instructions above again.

(Doing this does not delete any useful data. It merely makes the next IMAP connection somewhat slower as the individual messages are inspected to rebuild the cache files.)