How to Make Thunderbird Automatically Delete Marked Junk Mail

If your Thunderbird inbox seems to be full of spam, why not start marking emails as junk. You can skip an extra step by sending them straight to the trash as well.

Thunderbird is equipped with a junk email folder that spam and garbage mail goes to by default. The problem is, emails in the junk folder just sit around and take up space until you manually go in and delete them. If you’re careful about what you mark as junk, you won’t need to worry about this folder. Here’s how to send emails that you mark as junk directly to the trash.

Open Thunderbird and select Tools >> Options.

thunderbird tools > options

In the options window click the Security >> Junk tab. Then check both When I Mark Messages as Junk and Delete Them. Click OK to save changes.

options security junk when i mark messages as junk delete them

Now emails that you mark as junk or spam will go straight to the trash and no longer take up space on your local disks.

marked as junk = go straight to trash



  1. LD80061  

    Thank you for this post. More useful information is always welcome!

  2. aar  

    Great stuff! Thanks for this tip.

    Now, how can Thunderbird delete this junk automatically, before they even get sent to me?

    If that’s not possible, can Thunderbird delete them without any action on my part?

    • Hugo  

      @aar, go to ‘Preferences >> Account Settings’, for each account you have a ‘Junk Settings’ tab, here you can check the ‘Move new junk messages to:’ box, and choose if you want them moved to a specific ‘Junk’ folder or elsewhere, like ‘Trash’.

      • Hugo  

        do not forget to check from time to time that the junk automtic detector is doing a good job, in particular that it does not delete important messages. Therefore I recommand using the sepcific ‘Junk’ forlder, and screen it manually once a month or so.

  3. KLL  

    For the trash to be deleted automatically (no special effort on your part) you will need to put a check next to Empty Trash on Exit in the Server Settings for the specific account to do this.

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