My Thunderbird inbox has an extra inbox.

Thunderbird Inbox Inbox

I’m a big fan of Mozilla’s Thunderbird, and have been for quite some time. It has enabled me to, among other things, retain email dating all the way back to 1996 — it helps that they were originally sent and received with Netscape Communicator back in the day.

But there’s a tiny little hiccup in Thunderbird’s latest and greatest (v3.07 in the official Ubuntu repositories) that I’m hoping you can help me with…

In two separate installations of TBird I’ve got two IMAP accounts set-up, and in both of them I’ve an extra, empty inbox for my default address.

I thought this might be related to Thunderbird’s new Smart Folders view, as discussed in this mozillaZine thread. But as you can see from the screen grab to the right, this mystery inbox persists even with Smart Folders turned off.

Upon checking my actual mail directories — Linux distributions store them within “.thunderbird”, hidden by default within your home folder — I did indeed find some extra stuff in my primary account. Check out the comparisons of the folder “INBOX.sbd” for my two accounts in the grab below:

Thunderbird IMAP Inboxes

But here’s the kooky thing… If I simply remove them they are recreated the next time Thunderbird is launched. I don’t get it.

It’s by no means a deal-breaker or anything, just a surprising oddity where the rest of Thunderbird is so straightforward. Do you think it’s a bug? A faulty installation (or rather two of them)? Or should I just shut up and be grateful that I’m not forced to use Outlook?


  1. This is just a thought…….you may be pulling info from two profiles. Reset your profile and delete any others (backup first, of course). This is sort of unrelated but I set my profile in Dropbox so I can move between a Windows dual boot. When I get back to Linux I always have to clear out any conflicted copies or I end up with multiple mailboxes. It only takes a couple seconds (I should set up a cron job but I’m lazy). Anyway, your problem reminds me of multiple / conflicted profile(s).

    1. This sounds like a distinct possibility, given that on at least one of my installs I’ve migrated email from a previous profile.

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll Google how to reset my profile — unless someone cares to beat me to it and share a link. : )

  2. I’ve found a solution! At least one that has worked for me, anyway…

    In prefs.js, I changed

    user_pref("mail.server.server2.trash_folder_name", "INBOX/Deleted");


    user_pref("mail.server.server2.trash_folder_name", "Trash");

  3. I had the same problem after changing an account from POP to IMAP. The solution worked for me. I changed the trash_folder_name preference via: Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Config Editor

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