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thunderbird imap tray notification crapola

This is another one of my nerdy-extreme email bloggos.

Okay, so I use Mozilla Thunderbird. It's an older version 3.1.20, but it works really well. However the issue I'm going to mention here happens anywhere from version 3.1 all the way up to the latest version 17. And fortunately I learned how to fix it.

I use Thunderbird because it's the mail client that sucks the least. All mail clients suck and that's a known fact, but TB 3.1 for me gets the job done because I send and receive a lot of email.

The best part about TB is the way it handles multiple email accounts, save for one very annoying problem - with a certain setup you will not receive tray notifications for anything other than the primary account.

I'm talking about this:


That itty-bitty "new mail" icon in the system tray next to the clock, as insignificant as it may be, is actually a really big deal because it's the only way I know I have new mail when working on other stuff. Whenever I get a new email, that icon shows up. However the problem was that it only showed up for the primary account, and I have three in my TB, meaning if the other two accounts received any mail, the icon would not appear. And that frickin' sucked.

I did a lot of research to figure out what the problem was, and believe me I researched everything. But then I found out what the problem was, the extra steps needed to fix it, and now I'm a happy TB user again.

The problem is this add-on, MinimizeToTray Plus, and its successor, MinimizeToTray revived. Both of these add-ons are 100% EVIL if you have multiple IMAP accounts connected, because it will TOTALLY break notifications for accounts other than the primary.

This is what I had to do to get all my notifications working again, and this works anywhere from TB 3 to 17:

  1. UNINSTALL that crappy add-on.
  2. Tools > Options > General and uncheck "Show an Alert" and "Play a sound"
  3. Exit Thunderbird.
  4. Restart Thunderbird.
  5. Tools > Options > General, re-check "Show an Alert" and "Play a sound"
  6. Exit Thunderbird.
  7. Restart Thunderbird.


The minimize add-on I use now is Minimize on Start and Close, and that add-on does NOT screw with IMAP new-mail notifications. It all works.

This is how my taskbar looks when running TB now:


Yeah, TB is stuck in the tray now when running, but screw it. Better than nothing. I can click the close button like I'm used to and the client goes to the taskbar.

I'm just happy to have my notifications working again. 🙂


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