[ubuntu] Thunderbird not fetching all inbox messages

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I have configured thunderbird (version 17) in Ubuntu 12.04 to use with my gmail account but the inbox folder only shows messages up to November 2011. Every time i click "get mail" it fetches about 5 days worth of email messages, so if I want to get thunderbird up to speed I have to repeat this process numerous times. Why doesn't just retrieve all messages in my gmail inbox at once and is there a way to correct this? (Hardware)