Thunderbird Polling of All Folders

Oh happy day! In a random search I came up with this page and then this one, which tell how to get the Thunderbird E-Mail client to poll all folders for new mail, not just the current. This was my one hang up about using it full time as an email client instead of mutt (which is what I generally use for my personal mail). Since I do all my mail filtering on the server via procmail, having a client that doesn’t look (and therefor never sees) new mail going into your folders really sucks!

To fix this however….

In windows, go to


… mac os/x…


…. and linux:


Edit the user.js or prefs.js and add the following line:

// Check for new mail in ALL imap folders

user_pref(“mail.check_all_imap_folders_for_new”, true);

The next time you hit Get Mail, your folders will be queried for new mail properly. Oh happy day!

5 Comments on “Thunderbird Polling of All Folders”

  1. Do you find this better then telling Thunderbird to check individual folders?
    I’ve quite a few folders (274) on IMAP… polling them all would make Thunderbird/UW-IMAPD unhappy.
    I’ve started using Sieve — so much nicer then Procmail.

  2. I’ll have to check out sieve. I also like the idea of spambayes (or whatever it is) which uses baysien filtering to filter all mail, not just spam. IE: if 99% of messages with ‘foo-list’ in the headers go into the lists/foo directory, move it there. For get the program that does it though.
    As for checking all folders I have about 100 or so and I’m not going to click on each one to see if there is new mail in it. I like in mutt when you hit ‘c’ you go to the next folder that has new mail in it. If you’re in a gui you can’t do that really. Also I hate missing mail because I don’t see that some random folder I never look at (but have mail filtered to) got a new message. I wish there was a better solution though 🙂

  3. Cool, never noticed that, thanks. Course, the majority of folders I have are filtered, only 5 or so aren’t. We’ll see how it goes. I still end up coming back to good ‘ol mutt it seems 🙂

  4. Heh, didn’t realize you had that many filters… I just started adding some to my procmail setup 😛
    I never really got mutt to properly deal with IMAP the way I wanted….

  5. In Thunderbird, you can select individual folders to poll for new mail (just right click the folder to get at it’s properties)
    Then, every time you Get Mail it’ll only poll those 15 folders your actually filtering stuff into, not all 100+. But if it’s fast enough polling everything, then great 🙂