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Config Editor

The Config Editor is accessed via Preferences→Preferences→Advanced→General→Config Editor.

Default web browser

Thunderbird defaults to using the desktop's default web browser.  To override this setting, use the config editor (below) to ensure and https exist with the path to the desired browser program.  For example, for firefox ((warning) this did not work on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise):, string, /usr/bin/firefox, string, /usr/bin/firefox

Gmail client

There's a Mozilla KB page on configuring Thunderbird as a Gmail client, listed in the Reference section below.

IMAP settings

Server Settings ->  Advanced -> Show Only Subscribed Folders

In Config Editor (above):

  • mail.imap.auto_unsubscribe_from_noselect_folders  Default and desired value: true
  • mail.server.default.check_all_folders_for_new  Default false.  Setting it true avoids the user having to wait for mails to be downloaded on opening folders other than the Inbox – but it may degrade overall performance, especially when Thunderbird is started.  When the IMAP server is local it should be OK.  In case of several IMAP servers, the setting can be made for specific servers using mail.server.server<n>.check_all_folders_for_new

Show Only Subscribed Folders

Account Settings→Server Settings→Advanced→Show Only Subscribed Folders


Depending on the setting of "Show Only Subscribed Folders", folders on the server that Thunderbird is not subscribed to are invisible or shown greyed out.

To subscribe to folders, right click any folder and choose Subscribe.  Expand the list until the folders you want to subscribe are visible, toggle (\?) the checkbox and click Subscribe.

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