Thunderbird - feature request - nest in toolbar

Bug #376715 reported by David Robert Lewis on 2009-05-14
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Thunderbird
Won't Fix
thunderbird (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Jaunty by daenas

Bug Description

Binary package hint: mozilla-thunderbird

Thunderbird should nest in the toolbar. Instead I keep quitting and having to restart the application. So the email reporting feature doesn't work etc. This feature is common in Amarok and Transmission Bit-Torrent. I am using Hardy 8.04

Good idea, but thunderbird is not yet posting bugs in Bugzilla. Please report on
the forums at

Anyone know if an when there will be thunderbird in bugzilla?

I would hope so... perhaps then open the bug up again.

My mistake... sorry.

1 comments hidden view all 148 comments

*** Bug 214240 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Confirming. I like this idea.

*** Bug 214648 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Created an attachment (id=129111)
Proposition 1 of possible implementation

This is my first concept drawing of possible implementation. Note there isn't
even an icon (I just used AIM).

To exmplain Functionality...

Send & Recieve Mail does just as the button does. Sends and Recieves all mail.
 Possibly put an arrow to specify the specific account.

Compose a Message - self explanatory ;-)

Go To Inbox - goes to the first inbox in your profile. Arrow allows you to
choose which inbox to go to.

Notifications - Still to file a bug for this. But it should give you the
option of turning notifications on/off. Good for gamers. Often the Mozilla
notifications cause game slowdowns if I forget to shutdown Mozilla. Disabling
notification would be good. Easy access makes it simple to do.

Address Book - Easy access to the good old Address Book

Switch Profiles - Says it all

Settings - Need I say more?

Exit - I wonder what this could do ;-D

Anyway... just to give an idea of what I was thinking. Would be nice if it
also give Mozilla style notifications of Messages ("You have 1 new message").

And of course an option to have it remain open and checking email when all
windows are closed. So I don't need to have my email window open all day in
the taskbar. Just keep it in the System Tray. I'll open the window only when
I want to read my email.

I think the Proposition 1 of possible implementation would be perfect. The
reason it'd be nice to have in the system tray is because if you have it
checking for new mail every say 30 minutes then it has to be running which mean
it takes up more space then it would need to.

I hope that this system tray client doesn't use much memory (right now TB is
open and is using around 25 MB of RAM). It should provide minimal mail checking
functionality and ability to launch real TB app. But if it does use more memory
(and there's no way around it) it'd be good if it acted partly like quick launch
on mozilla suite.

This is a great idea; I was just about to suggest this myself when I found this.
 I really hope this makes it in.

*** Bug 225609 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

CC --> mscott

I think there is enough backing in forums, and this bug. Not to mention, the
functionality is pretty useful (especially on windows). Being able to minimize
to the tray, and access popular features with ease is important.

I remember the mozillazine forum having a discussion on using third party
software to allow you to minimize to the tray (for those interested, search there).

Could we possibly target this bug? I think this would prove to be a very useful
feature to many users/potential users. I know I hate always having a window in
my taskbar on windows. Waste of space. Especially since my email is *always* open.

*** Bug 226309 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Sorry for the bug spam but I figure people might be interested in an interim
solution. There is freeware application called trayit that lets you minimize
any application to the taskbar by right-clicking the close button. This gives
you the best of both worlds in that you can choose to minimize to taskbar,
minimize to tray, or close the application.

It only works on windows, it doesn't give any application options while
minimized and it doesn't reduce the memory footprint...but it's a start.

The sole purpose I registered here at bugzilla was to reqeuest this enhancement.
I really would love to see this feature implemented :)

I'd very much like to see this implemented, particularly the 'no appearance on
taskbar' side of thing. Another application I have open all day is Winamp, and
it allows me to set it not to take up any taskbar real-estate.

With regards to the eventual behaviour, I could see it as an extension to the
New Mail Notification icon thing - have one icon in the system tray when there's
no new mail, and a different icon when there is. Left-clicking on the icon
always brings up the TB main window, and right-clicking gives a context menu.

Just wanted to add support for this request. For all the good reasons already
given in its favour.

*** Bug 235890 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 235946 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

thundertray does this trick for now:

bould be nice to have it integrated in feature releases. (with the extra stuff
mentioned above)

I think this is the only feature that is missing in thunderbird project, in
fact it should be obligatory, but not only in microsoft plataforms but in all
plataforms, mainly in linux or every OS that has a graphic enviroment.

I want to add a "me too" to this feature request.
And I'd like to propose an (optional) shortcut key for the minimize to tray
function: Escape.

Wow, what a mind-reader you are! I was just thinking about that as I saw the new
mail icon in my system tray. I think being able to set a global hotkey would be
a nice feature. It should be configurable to whatever you want, and the same
key should either minimize or restore the window, whichever would be the oposite
of its current state. However, this should probably be filed as a seperate bug.

I used Thundertray for a while (see comment 22) to have this functionality, but
it stopped working with one of the recent nightlies and I don't know if it's
just a problem with me or if something became incompatible. Does anyone else know?

Also, any idea when this feature might make it in? It would be a very useful

Thundertray has stopped working for me as well for the creator of Thundertray.
I mailed him about this, but sadly, I have to announce, he won't be updating
Thundertray anymore.
I'll be adding my vote for this bug, hoping someone will find the time for
creating this very handy dandy feature :)

I just wanted to add a vote for this bug. I was sad to see it was not in the 0.7
release, hope it will be added by 1.0

I too would like to vote for this "bug", I think it would be a great feature.
For some reason, I can't seem to vote for it however. What exactly is it that
makes a bug "voteable"?

first *extension* that implements minimizing to systray (no context menu yet).

The current (new mail) icon allows you to open the main window after a double
click. How about opening it after just a single (left) click?
And about closing it if it's open already?

*** Bug 256740 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

With no voting system implemented in this version of bugzilla. At least i dont
see it in here anywhere. I would like to add my name to the list of eager
systrayers. I dont even care if the memory foot print is reduced in the short
time frame. Removing the taskbar clutter alone would be nice.

"Me Too" comment.

I think it would be the best if there is an option like in winamp where the user
can set which way he/she prefer.
'Show icon in [] taskbar | [X] tray'
and ability to minimize to tray if it is checked. It can be both as well (not
radio button). It can be also a possiblity if both are checked... it could only
be minimized to taskbar.

Please sign this bug as will fix or won't fix! :) (I hope the first one)

Finally I found this:
It seems to me fine, but this is only another extension. Is it possible that
Thunderbird 1.0 include something similar?

not a 1. stop ship bug.

I'm assuming the tray icon will keep the current "new mail" notification
functionality? Ideally, the icon could have a hover showing a quick overview of
the state of folders (e.g., read/total messages, like "Inbox 3/20") or subjects
and senders of new mail. PARC and MSR have had a number of research prototypes
with this kinds of notification in the last few years, and I think such features
are really useful.

Even just minimizing Thunderbird to the tray (like Notepad2 can do, if you've
ever used it) would be useful. A seperate client that uses less RAM would be
nicer. Something like Gmail notifier.

*** Bug 276788 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Changed in mozilla-thunderbird (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in mozilla-thunderbird (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Changed in thunderbird:
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Micah Gersten (micahg) on 2009-05-24
affects: mozilla-thunderbird (Ubuntu) → thunderbird (Ubuntu)
Changed in thunderbird:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
68 comments hidden view all 148 comments

*** Bug 528858 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 693176 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #90)
> For Windows, as of Win7, Microsoft explicitly recommends *against* doing
> this:

MS is silly :p
I'm using Windows 7 and I'd still like to see a minimize to tray (with Escape as shortcut). I don't want to clutter my taskbar and alt-tab switcher.

*** Bug 802533 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Why has this feature still not been added, we've asked for this useful feature that all other email clients have for 11yrs now.

Windows users can get this with

If you are interested in this functionality but not interested in coding it the proper way to do this in bugzilla is to cc on the bug and/or vote without comment please

1 comments hidden view all 148 comments

*** Bug 854067 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 1312282 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 1317934 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 1344146 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 1350727 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

It's a real nuissance you didn't add this feature in 14 years. I was annoyed by this for many years until coming up now with the idea filing a feature request for this today. Now i am reading there was an add-on for this all the time. Well who would think of an extension for this stupiditly nonsence easy feature. It's a shame you don't care for the users. No wonder firefox i using shares to chrome. You're just getting lamer and lamer. Good thing I signed in here to find this mess in the end and thanks for not just adding the link to the add-on somewhere above, so that I really had to go through all this 14 years of userpain.

For all people bothering you need:

First (for minimizing to system tray at all):

Second (for minimizing to tray on startup):

Third (for starting thundebird with windows):

Under Win 10 use "Windows-Button + R" then type "shell:startup" then create a shotcut (e.g. to desktop) of Thunderbird and copy it in the previously opened startup folder

For other OS google how to add a program to startup.

And fast as this Thunderbird doesn't even need to be on your taskbar at all!

PS.: I know its not a support forum but after 14 years maybe it's nice someone clears it up, as beeing the most easy and intuitve thing a program has to offer (start).

Old bug or not, Bugzilla is our professional working environment as much as it is our issue tracker, and abusive comments will not be tolerated. Thunderbird is an entirely community-driven effort at this point, and abusive comments asking people who are volunteering their already-scarce time to build "this stupiditly nonsence easy feature" are not going to move a new feature forward so much as an inch, much less carry it over the finish line.

I encourage you to read our etiquette and contributor guidelines, linked below the comment boxes in all Bugzilla bugs, and take them to heart. Should you decline to do so, my next step will be suspending your account.

(In reply to Mike Hoye [:mhoye] from comment #111)
> Thunderbird is an entirely community-driven effort at this point, and
> abusive comments asking people who are volunteering their already-scarce
> time to build "this stupiditly nonsence easy feature" are not going to move
> a new feature forward so much as an inch, much less carry it over the finish
> line.

To be fair this missing functionality has been apparent since thunderbird was a funded project by mozilla before it became a volunteer project. Mozilla should have added this badly needed functionality when they were in charge of the project and funding it.

I did not harm the people working for Thunderbird in any way, because "this stupiditly nonsence easy feature" means that it is a not that overwhelming feature to ask for. This is related to the feature only and yes it is in a way criticizing the way issues are resolved. Which I do think is a fair thing in this case. Doing something for free doesn't mean you are protected against critizism. I do think that there is freedome of speech and see it as an abuse of the meaning what the word netiquette stands for in the first place if you put and use it that way.

Also I am a run-of-the-mine user when it comes to Thunderbird and I am not aware of who is in charge of the Development at the moment, so I do understand that the initial report was filed before your time, but it has been renewed numerous times and under numerous bug numbers, so I dont see why that implies.

To come to the "beeing free" and "spare time" point. Well to give you a plain example: If I do offer free lemonade, which people do expect to be sweet, but I make it salty e.g. because I prefer it like this, it is kind of not very fair or even the least arguable if I just answer, but it is free and I did it in my spare time, to all the sour looking faces. I think it is inhonorable to state this argument, especially in a project which is community-driven and with the effort to deliver a product to many people in the end of all things. So technically you are working for this people and not letting them speak freely kind of undermines the whole thing.

Also I am not stupid, so I did not expect you to change your course in any possible way, because you would obviously done so a long time ago. I just wanted to let you know that this thing is still a thing and that often the little things do matter most. I was aroused by the fact that I was affected by this in the past 14 years, even abondened Thunderbird for a long time because of this (don't me-too me because of this sentence, its context-driven).

I am too doing projects and I know it is fairly easy to loose yourself in it, but really, its not kind to surpress users like this. Only because you are fully associated with all the background, I am not, I will not be and should not be, I am just a user and this is not how you handle UX in 2017. In no need and not wanting to help this whole thing further, grabing one more salty lemonade. Nice day and not expecting you to have a lot of humor, one last thing: Nevertheless it is very amazing that a lot of people do Thunderbird without funding, interesting to know, carry on and good luck.

PS.: There is no need to suspend this account, as I will delete it myself. Please leave the instuctions above intact or post it somewhere else.

*** Bug 217185 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

All extension providing this functionality are no longer supported and their development is discontinued. Are there any updates on this feature?

Add-on FireTray allowed not only to see the number of new mails but also informs about bew incoming chat messages. ( Unfortunately this add-on is discontinued too. I really hope that this functionality can become natively supported by Thunderbird when the old add-ons stop working there.

Please add this functionality. Thunderbird 60 drops .xpi support, there are no longer any addons that work with thunderbird 60. The addon "Minimize to tray (revived)" ( is the 12th most popular addon. This very simple functionality needs adding to thunderbird.

> Thunderbird 60 drops .xpi support

Where did you hear this? That's not true, and in fact I have a number of old-style extensions I develop that work just fine in Thunderbird 60+. However, add-ons will likely need some small updates for TB 60, so they've been marked as incompatible by default.

It would be great if somebody could port which works under different OS (Linux and Windows) and is very easy and comfortable in use. Currently, AFAIK there is no solution for TB 60.

*** Bug 1464201 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Just a reminder, as there is currently no working AddOn for Tray-Support anymore (all stopped working as of Thunderbird 60), this bug is still relevant, 15 years later. :)

I've been searching like crazy for a native "minimize to tray" function in TB 60, since the last version of 'MinimizeToTray' is deprecated - but i soon realized that there's no such function added.

So if there's someone that got the time (and the will ofc) and knowledge that could port - i would be very happy, and i guess a lot of other ppl would be too!

I'm sorry for the echo, but i felt the thread needed a "bump".

Best regards, meffe

This is why author of FireTray deprecated the addon:

I looked at the source code and there are far more lines than I expected. I think there is a way to make this feature happen, and the way is to talk with the author if he accepts money for doing it. If yes, we could make a fundraiser. I think it happened many times before in open source. Since this ticket is so popular, we may have actually gather some considerable sum.

Its incredible.
I can not understand this, do people around thunderbird actually use it?
Are they really running it just minimized or run it when they need it instead of in the background?
how can they just not have tray extension ready, or feature already build in?

It seems like tray icons may not be "modern enough" - see the link mkkot recently posted:
"GtkStatusIcon has been deprecated in 3.14. You should consider using notifications or more modern platform-specific APIs instead."
(Which is why raising money probably wouldn't help.)

Is there any official acknowledgement from the TB team that this is a highly requested feature? If so, is there a response? Unfortunately the developers of the third party plugins have stopped supporting their extension. This is an important feature to me.

Yes, the Thunderbird team is aware that many people want this.

Given Microsoft is recommending *against* doing this nowadays (comment 90), and on linux this isn't really a thing - I think reality is this is not going so happen.

Sorry, it's a thing of the past.

Does anyone know of services that sit in the system tray, check IMAP servers for new mail and launch Thunderbird on double click? I'd need that for Windows 7+10 and Cinnamon Desktop.

24 comments hidden view all 148 comments
Robert Pollak (robert-pollak) wrote :

I'd need this for the Cinnamon desktop. However, the upstream issue is now WONTFIX.

25 comments hidden view all 148 comments

Got this from Clemens W:

Possible workaround: If you're using a window manager with workspaces and if you can live with Thunderbird sitting on its own workspace, maybe devilspie is a solution for you!

Example configuration file:
; ~/.devilspie/thunderbird.ds
( if
( is ( application_name ) "Thunderbird" )
( begin
( maximize )
( skip_tasklist )
( set_workspace 2 )

*** Bug 1490360 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 1490368 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

For those who really need this on Windows, with the 'winkey+alt+down arrow' combination works for minimizing Thunderbird to system tray.

This can also be set via GUI (System settings) in KDE desktop, to always open and keep Thunderbird on a specific virtual desktop (workspace), maximized. Then there is a setting to not show apps from other desktops in the taskbar. But TB icon will be present in the systray on all desktops.

On Windows this may be useful (and Outlook supports it at least up to version 2013), I'm not sure how the new "virtual desktops" in Windows 10 work.

Sorry, there would be no systray icon in my scenario.

Changed in thunderbird:
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix

*** Bug 1552417 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 1491585 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Changed in thunderbird:
importance: Wishlist → Medium
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