What is Global Database in Thunderbird (‘Gloda’ for short) and how to rebuild it?
Global Database In Thunderbird
Global Database, or as Thunderbird calls it ‘Gloda’ for short, is an indexing system that helps users search email messages quickly and more efficiently. It is basically a file with the name ‘global-messages-db.sqlite’ and can be found inside the Thunderbird profile folders.
This file contains the copies of all your email messages. This makes the search faster as Thunderbird doesn’t parse or fetch your emails when you make a search.
One drawback of having this index file for global search is that it can make your database very large since it contains all the copies of your messages just for searching purposes. Thunderbird allows you to disable indexing feature by going to ‘Tools’ –> Options –> Advanced –> General –> Enable Global Search and Indexer, and turning it off. You can still search for messages, but only withing the current folder.
Therefore, the name “Global Database” makes sense, since it is ‘Global’ and not limited to any particular folder, account, or even profile. It contains messages from all folders, accounts, and profiles indexed, making your search surprisingly quicker.
You may want to rebuild the Global Database for variety of reasons, most commonly the corruption of the files. Or for some reason, the search index is running slow or not performing as expected. That can be disappointing since the whole purpose of allowing a large index file is to make search smoother and quicker.
Re-building the index file can also help reduce it’s size, but only if you deleted some emails since last time the file was updated automatically.
It can also be possible that the Global Database file (global-messages-db.sqlite) becomes heavily fragmented, reducing the index performance, yet again, negating the whole purpose of ‘Gloda’.
Also Read: How to open Thunderbird in safe mode
Re-Building Global Database in Thunderbird
Re-building this file can help solve these problems, and it’s actually quiet easy.
- First, you have to close Thunderbird if it’s open.
- Go to your Thunderbird Profile location and locate the file ‘global-messages-db.sqlite.’ Your Profile location varies depending on your operating system and whether or not you changed the default location manually. In Mac, it is generally at: ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/
IMPORTANT: Make sure to backup your entire Thunderbird Profile folder in case things go south.
- Simply delete the global-messages-db.sqlite file. That will force Thunderbird to automatically start re-indexing your messages.
- Start Thunderbird.
The re-indexing can take some time, depending on the number of emails in your database. You can continue using Thunderbird during that time but have to accept slow performance. Also, you cannot search for emails until the re-indexing is over.
You can check the progress of rebuilding the Global Database in Thunderbird by going to ‘Tools’ –> Activity Manager Menu.