How to Make Mozilla Thunderbird Actually Delete Messages from Gmail

You may have noticed that when you use Mozilla Thunderbird to delete items in your Gmail, that they actually are just archived.  To solve that issue, do this:
  1. In Thunderbird, go to Tools and then Account Settings.
  2. In Account Settings, click on Server Settings in the left pane.
  3. Under Server Settings, go to "When I Delete a Message" and change from "Just mark it as deleted" to "Move it to this Folder" and then in the adjacent dropdown box navigate to GMail and then the Trash folder under Gmail.
If you use another client in addition to Thunderbird to access your Gmail (say Outlook at work and Thunderbird at home) and you notice the other client doesn't see the deletions occur until you exit Thunderbird.  If that's your issue, then do this:
  1. Go to Preferences then Advanced and then click the Config Editor button.
  2. Search for and enable the “mail.imap.expunge_after_delete” option by double-clicking it, so that it reads True rather than the default value of False.
  3. Restart Thunderbird after applying this setting.
Changing this setting tells Thunderbird to automatically tell the IMAP server to permanently delete any messages that have been deleted within Thunderbird. With the default setting, Thunderbird marks the message with a deletion flag that many other mail clients ignore.

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