Folder Pane View Switcher

May be I am one of the few people who use the Folder Pane View Switcher feature in Thunderbird.The switcher appears on top of the folder list allows you to choose via left/right arrows: All Folder, Favorite Folders, Unread Folders, Recent Folders and Unified Folders). It is going away in the upcoming (November 8th) Thunderbird 8 as it was deemed to be “heavy and ugly” (Bug 667245). You can still switch your Folder Pane View via View > Folders and then choose the option you want, but having this at the top of the folder pane is more handy.

Since I have four different IMAP accounts coming into Thunderbird, it easier just to have the Inbox for each one as a favorite folder. When I do need to view the other folders, I just switch the view to all folders. Good news is, I am not the only one who misses this feature. There is an add-on, Folder Pane View Switcher that will restore the switcher back to Thunderbird 8 (also works on Thunderbird 9 Earlybird and Thunderbird 10 Daily). For those who rather edit their userChrome.css (in lieu of installing the add-on), add these lines to your userChrome.css and restart Thunderbird:

/* Restore folderpane headers removed by Bug 667245 */
#folderPaneHeader, #abDirTreeHeader {
display: -moz-box !important;

19 Comments on Folder Pane View Switcher

  1. We have plans to add a keyboard shortcut to switch between the last two folder views you used, which sounds like it would be an even better solution for you, since you wouldn’t have to flip through the “Recent” view.

    Our main problem is finding an unused keyboard shortcut, so if you could propose one, that would help quite a lot!


  2. Jeff Johnson | October 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM |

    I’m surprised that they would remove that. I use that feature a lot.

  3. I’m surprised as well! I use it *a lot*!!!

  4. Using POP with a lot of filters, that feature was really useful as I don’t monitor all folders every day (only the very important ones)

  5. Thanks El Guru! I was very annoyed at the removal of this feature. I could see making it limited in the number of steps, but to remove the arrows for those of us that make use of it many times a day is saddening.

    Hard to believe they didn’t realize this feature was needed!

  6. Note that the add-on doesn’t just put back the switcher. It also adds a very useful new feature. If you’re in some view other than “All Folders”, and you want to drag-and-drop a message into a folder that isn’t shown in your current view, you can start the drag and hold your mouse over the folder pane title bar for a second, and the add-on will automatically switch you to the “All Folders” view for the duration of the drag-and-drop and then switch back to the view you were in before automatically.

  7. Frank Tremmel | November 9, 2011 at 2:42 PM |

    I also used the folder pane view switcher heavily. The loss of this feature was the first thing I noticed after I updated a few minutes ago, causing me to look to see if I did a bad update.

    I have 11 IMAP accounts and can’t possible manage my in boxes by having all my address pull downs showing. I would need a 36in monitor.

    Thanks for you info, I will try the add on.

    Frank Tremmel

    • Frank Tremmel | November 9, 2011 at 4:23 PM |

      I am using the Folder Pane View Switcher add on now and it is working great.

      This is the first time I donated to an add on and it is well worth it.

      I appreciate your post or I would have spent more time than I wish to think about to finding a solution to the removal of this feature in Thunderbird 8.

      Frank Tremmel

      • I know the first time I loaded up my profile when this Thunderbird 8 was in Beta, kept thinking ‘something missing here’, it wasn’t until I went to switch to all folders to check something in a non-favorite folder that it dawned on me what was missing.

  8. hello,

    When I upgrade to TB 8, this was the first feature I missed. I was really surprise it was abandoned. I do like to have a unified and favourite folder list. I have a lot of news folder, but only a subset I set a favourites for a daily check up. So now you need an add-on to achieve what was first a build-in feature.



  9. Thanks for posting all of this: (0) indication that it’s really gone (and it’s not my imagination); (1) temp fix through view/folders; (2) add-on to bring it back; and (3) CSS to really fix it. Thankfully, I found your info quickly so I can get back to my proper state.

    I think if they had (a facility through which they could have) asked most users, they would have had plenty of support to keep it in. But you’re provided a fix for three tiers of users (which has to cover pretty much everybody). 🙂

    — mdeck

  10. Hello

    Thanks a lot for the information.
    I was so surprise this very good feature disappeared. I don’t really understand as it was so useful for whose who have a minimum of organisation in the mail management.
    I installed the add-on and it works perfectly again.


  11. You’re not the only one, since the update to TB8 I’ve been looking for the view switcher, I thought I had removed it accidentally. Not sure why they removed this, it should at least still be an option.

  12. Thank you sooo much. I thought I was becoming crazy after upgrading from TB 3.0 to 9.0 and having these missing. I even tried to create a new profile to no effect until I found your post and that extension. Again, thank you so much.

  13. Thank you so much! Can’t live without this feature…

  14. great addon, but don’t working in TB 16.0.1

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