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Question: Cannot download mail to Thunderbird

I am suddenly unable to download the body of emails in Thunderbird via IMAP. I recieve an error "invalid UID Fetch attribute XSENDER" I can connect and download the headers, but no email body. The system was working fine a few hours ago (for many years) but not now. How do I fix this?

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Aug 8, 2017 11:05 AM in response to snowyandginger In response to snowyandginger

I'm having the same issue. Has been working fine in the past.


I tried deleting all app generated passwords and creating a new one

I also tried creating a new profile in thunderbird and setting up the .mac account with the new password.

I also tried running the latest thunderbird beta.


User uploaded file


User uploaded file


I turned on IMAP logging for thunderbird and got this additional information.

2017-08-08 17:59:07.193000 UTC - [Main Thread]: D/IMAP proposed url = INBOX folder for connection INBOX has To Wait = TRUE can run = FALSE

2017-08-08 17:59:07.193000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP queuing url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44752

2017-08-08 17:59:07.193000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP considering playing queued url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44749

2017-08-08 17:59:07.193000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP creating protocol instance to play queued url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44749

2017-08-08 17:59:07.193000 UTC - [Main Thread]: D/IMAP proposed url = INBOX folder for connection INBOX has To Wait = TRUE can run = FALSE

2017-08-08 17:59:07.193000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP failed creating protocol instance to play queued url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44749

2017-08-08 17:59:07.208000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP considering playing queued url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44749

2017-08-08 17:59:07.208000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP creating protocol instance to play queued url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44749

2017-08-08 17:59:07.208000 UTC - [Main Thread]: D/IMAP proposed url = INBOX folder for connection INBOX has To Wait = FALSE can run = TRUE

2017-08-08 17:59:07.208000 UTC - [Main Thread]: I/IMAP playing queued url:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch>UID>/INBOX>44749

2017-08-08 17:59:07.209000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: I/IMAP 1D03D800:imap.mail.me.com:S-INBOX:ProcessCurrentURL: entering

2017-08-08 17:59:07.209000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: I/IMAP 1D03D800:imap.mail.me.com:S-INBOX:ProcessCurrentURL:imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch%3EUID%3E/INBOX%3E44749: = currentUrl

2017-08-08 17:59:07.213000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: D/IMAP SHELL: URL imap://jbascom@imap.mail.me.com:993/fetch%3EUID%3E/INBOX%3E44749, OKToFetchByParts 0, allowedToBreakApart 1, ShouldFetchAllParts 0

2017-08-08 17:59:07.213000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: D/IMAP FetchTryChunking: curFetchSize 24541

2017-08-08 17:59:07.213000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: D/IMAP FetchMessage everything: curFetchSize 24541 numBytes 0

2017-08-08 17:59:07.213000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: I/IMAP 1D03D800:imap.mail.me.com:S-INBOX:SendData: 13 UID fetch 44749 (XSENDER UID RFC822.SIZE BODY[])


2017-08-08 17:59:07.226000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: D/IMAP ReadNextLine [stream=1DFB4150 nb=44 needmore=0]

2017-08-08 17:59:07.226000 UTC - [Unnamed thread 1CAE64B0]: I/IMAP 1D03D800:imap.mail.me.com:S-INBOX:CreateNewLineFromSocket: 13 BAD Invalid UID Fetch attribute XSENDER

Aug 8, 2017 11:05 AM

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Aug 8, 2017 11:21 AM in response to null In response to null

Hi Jeremy,

You probably have seen it but there is a thread on this at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=3032257&p=14759100 People seem to have started seeing this issue from 4th August.

I am on an up to date Win7 Ultimate 64 using Thunderbird 52.2.1 (32-bit)


Apple if you are listening, please can you help.

Scott

Aug 8, 2017 11:21 AM

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Aug 8, 2017 12:03 PM in response to null In response to null

I was just on a support call with apple and it started working in thunderbird.


Are you seeing that the issue is resolved?


Update: Nevermind it's still an issue.

It's like Thunderbird is able to download the bodies of some messages but not others. Doesn't seem to be specific to attachments.

Aug 8, 2017 12:03 PM

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Aug 8, 2017 1:16 PM in response to snowyandginger In response to snowyandginger

Ok, some interesting things:


  • If I let thunderbird download and index the information, force quitting and trying again and again, i could eventually get a specific message, that was previously causing the error, to display
  • Furthermore, if I kept repeating the process, all the historical messages would open without error
  • This makes me think that some of the background download and store processes are working correctly and when it finally gets to the point that it's accessing all the information from the local datastore (instead of any part from imap), it works fine
  • I had a lengthy talk with apple support and I sent them this thread, the mozillazine thread and a log file with the errors


Steps I used to create error and gather logs:

  1. Started thunderbird with -P and set it to display profile selection screen on startup
  2. Followed the steps here to create a batch file which starts an imap log on thunderbird startup MailNews:Logging - MozillaWiki
  3. I created a new profile
  4. Added the email account
  5. Turned off all message synchronization for that account so that email bodies would be downloaded on first click
  6. Clicked inbox
  7. Waited for activity manager to be empty (all message headers downloaded)
  8. Clicked a single message
  9. This produced the error, so I closed Thunderbird and forwarded on the log file.

Aug 8, 2017 1:16 PM

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Aug 8, 2017 1:33 PM in response to null In response to null

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for the detailed reply. Unfortunately I have literally tens of thousands of mails stored in cache on this machine but sourced via IMAP at ICloud. Before I take the steps you recommend I have to back up these messages securely. I still have access to all the messages prior to about 8 hours ago (and everything since then on the ICloud App) but I guess if TBird tries to refresh any of the old messages they won't be displayed.

I have as yet been unable to get any of the latest messages working even by force quitting. Unfortunately it is very late where I am so I will have another go tomorrow.

Thanks for the clear tips!

Cheers,

Scott

Aug 8, 2017 1:33 PM

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Aug 9, 2017 12:56 PM in response to snowyandginger In response to snowyandginger

In the thread over att Mozillazine we seemingly has found a way to get it working, the question remains why this showed up in the first place and whether the fix is just temporary or not. This far it has worked for me, i did as marklark did in the thread and changed the security settings back and forth for the iCloud account, after changing it back it started working... Worth a try I... http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=3032257&start=30

Aug 9, 2017 12:56 PM

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Aug 9, 2017 5:53 PM in response to snowyandginger In response to snowyandginger

I was having the same issue in SeaMonkey on two separate computers: a Mac Pro running Yosemite 10.10.5, and a MacBook Pro running Sierra 10.12.6.


Like other folks, I was able to download my message headers, but upon opening any message with a timestamp after 09:30 today, SeaMonkey displayed a drop-down alert saying, “Invalid UID Fetch attribute XSENDER”.


I sent a message to an account on a different mail server to test the SMTP server, and it worked fine. It seemed pretty clear that it was an IMAP server problem on Apple’s end. So, I contacted Apple Support...in this case, an exercise in futility. (More on that below.)


Like others, I found an apparent workaround on Mozillazine. After toggling my server security settings from SSL/TLS to STARTTLS and then back to SSL/TLS again, I was able to fetch my message content. But that only worked for a while on my Mac Pro in Yosemite, and then it stopped working, and then it worked again. It never worked on my MacBook Pro in Sierra.


All of that happened a few hours ago. Right now the problem has disappeared completely on my Mac Pro. I haven’t checked the MacBook Pro, but I suspect it’s working now. Perhaps Apple fixed the problem.


For the record, my AppleCare Support person was completely unaware of this issue, so he escalated the case up to a supervisor. After realizing that she didn't know what to do, she insisted it must be "a SeaMonkey issue" and therefore not Apple’s problem. The fact that SeaMonkey has worked with Apple’s IMAP server for over a decade, and the fact that it worked right up until this morning made no impression.


I’ll say this much for the supervisor; eventually she admitted, “I haven’t been trained to solve a problem like this.” No argument there; at least it was an honest answer. I asked her to report it as an IMAP server problem. She said she would do so. Maybe that helped get Apple to take a look at it...I dunno. In any case, it's working for me now. Hopefully it will stay fixed.

Aug 9, 2017 5:53 PM

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Aug 10, 2017 7:55 AM in response to freevito In response to freevito

UPDATE: As of 2017-08-10-0710, I'm still getting the "Invalid UID..." alert...

User uploaded file

...but it's not consistent. The alert displays whenever I switch from another mail folder (like "Sent" or "Drafts") back to the Inbox. Also, I'm able to view the content in any message with a time stamp of 6:02 a.m. or earlier today. The next message has a timestamp of 7:08 a.m. today; that and all subsequent messages display the alert when I open them, and their content is blank (empty).


Other IMAP server operations (for example, creating, viewing, and saving Drafts and Templates) work fine, and the alert does not display for those operations.


The content of all of the messages that were blank (empty) yesterday can now be viewed. Apparently, once the content has been fetched from the server, it sticks. But sometime between 6:02 and 7:08 a.m., the Inbox folder on the IMAP server lost its mind again.


I tried the "fix" of toggling my connection security from SSL/TLS to STARTTLS and back to SSL/TLS (which seemed to work yesterday), but this time it didn't work. I'm still getting the alert when I switch to my Inbox, and when I try to open any message whose timestamp is later than 6:02 a.m. today.


I intend to call AppleCare Support again and report the problem. This time, I will simply report that they have a problem with their IMAP server. This is not a SeaMonkey issue. Apple needs to fix this problem on their end.

Aug 10, 2017 7:55 AM

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Aug 10, 2017 8:11 AM in response to freevito In response to freevito

Yeah, the problem persists for me as well.


Let us know if apple support requests any additional information or logging from you.


Sidenote: The first apple support rep I got wasn't very helpful. The second time I called I got a very knowledgeable and helpful person (previously a qa tester). She forwarded me onto her supervisor who had the ability to involve engineering. I was able to get log files uploaded/attached to the case and told that it would be sent on to engineering for a fix. She also included this thread and the mozillazine thread in the case info.


I'm hopeful this will be resolved soon and am glad their are workarounds, albeit annoying ones.

Aug 10, 2017 8:11 AM

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Aug 11, 2017 5:27 AM in response to snowyandginger In response to snowyandginger

I suddenly now see this problem too. Was working fine for years. Other IMAP servers (e.g., gmail) work fine, just having this problem lately accessing me.com. If I restart my MUA then I can usually access the message but then I soon have the problem with another.

Aug 11, 2017 5:27 AM

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Aug 11, 2017 6:01 AM in response to mtbcarroll In response to mtbcarroll

It seems to be really intermittent, or I have found it like that. TBird didn't work 2 days ago, worked yesterday, didn't work this morning, then when I opened iCloud in Firefox and logged into my mail, Thunderbird started working. I restarted my computer a number of times after that and Thunderbird worked out of the box. Lets see what tomorrow brings...

Aug 11, 2017 6:01 AM

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Aug 11, 2017 7:59 AM in response to null In response to null

In my second call to Apple Support I spoke to a Senior Advisor. I let her view my screen and demonstrated the problem for her. I showed her how I was able to fetch mail from Gmail's IMAP server and Roadrunner's POP server with no problem. I demonstrated that sending mail from Apple's SMTP server was no problem. And she saw very clearly the Invalid UID... alert and empty content when I tried to open the most recent messages in my mac.com Inbox.


I showed her this message thread, and also the three pages of posts on this issue in the Mozillazine thread. So, she got to see very clearly that this is a widespread problem, affecting a broad cross-section of users on multiple platforms. I pointed out to her that every post—even those by folks who were using various versions of Windows and different builds of Linux—every post was made by an Apple customer, because every one of them has an iCloud mail account. That seemed to make an impression.


I showed her my IMAP server port and connection security settings, and she watched as various new messages arrived in my Inbox. So she saw that I was receiving the message headers, demonstrating clearly that it wasn't a login issue or a failure to connect to the server. She acknowledged that the app-specific password I had generated for SeaMonkey must clearly be working.


Then, while she was still viewing the screen, she saw the intermittent nature of the problem, as suddenly the alert stopped appearing and messages that previously showed no content displayed normally. She said, "Ahah! Problem solved!", and I replied, "Yeah...that's exactly what I thought yesterday, but the problem came back today, as you just saw. And I'm not sure it won't come back again." And it did come back again, yesterday afternoon.


The only info she asked me to send was a screen shot of the Invalid UID... alert, which I did. She took detailed notes on everything, and said she would make sure the information got to engineering. I emphasized that I didn't expect her to be able to solve the problem; the purpose of my call was simply to report the problem and confirm that it was intermittent.


She couldn't explain why it was happening, but she said she suspected that engineering had recently updated the server software, and that the problem was likely related to the update.


I was pleased that, unlike the supervisor I spoke to on the previous day, she didn't just try to brush the problem off as "a SeaMonkey issue". She could see that something had changed, and since I hadn't changed anything in SeaMonkey (and so many others were having the same problem), it seemed clear to her that there must be a problem on the server side.


Just as a reference point, the problem cleared itself, reappeared, and then cleared itself again at least one more time (that I know of) yesterday. As of this writing, the problem is absent. By now, Apple surely knows about it.

Aug 11, 2017 7:59 AM

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Question: Cannot download mail to Thunderbird