Thunderbird 17/Windows XP Title Bar Issues

UPDATE: There was a typo in the preference name published earlier the correct preference name is mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar. This works on all versions of Windows, not just XP

There are some scattered reports that Windows XP users are having issues with the new ‘Draw Tabs in Title Bar’ feature as part of the updated UI aka Australia project. Something got botched with either Bug 771816 or 775793 resulting in a messed up and unusable UI. While Mozilla get this sorted out Windows XP users should be able to disable the ‘Draw Tabs in Title Bar’ feature (and restore the Title Bar) by setting the value of the preference mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar to false.

  • From the Tools Menu go to Option…
  • Click Advanced
  • (If needed) click the General Tab
  • Click the Config Editor… button at the bottom right.
  • (If needed) click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button.
  • From within the editor in the filter field type mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar
  • double-click on the entry to change the value to false.
  • Changes take effect instantly

6 Comments on Thunderbird 17/Windows XP Title Bar Issues

  1. There is no “Config Editor” anywhere under Tools in my version of Thunderbird 17, so I cannot restore the title bar under XP.

    Also, now, every time I start Thunderbird I get two instances. Killing one always kills both.

    What is going one here?

    • Tools > Options… > Advanced — then click the General Tab (if not already there). Config Editor button is at the bottom right of the window. Not certain how you are getting two instances as this is not like Firefox where you can have multiple windows open. May want to try to uninstall Thunderbird 17 (leaving your preferences intact) and reinstall.

  2. There’s an addon that will help with this problem

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from South Africa.

  3. This mucks up in Windows 7 with Classic shell as well, the title bar no longer changes colour to show that the window is active and the window name is missing from the title bar.

  4. Thanks, El Guru! I also had the issue of 2 Thunderbird windows being created in XP. Setting mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar to false fixed this. Also without the solid blue title bar I wasn’t sure where to click when moving the Thunderbird window.

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