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How-To Remove Correspondents Header Column

New to Thunderbird 45 is the addition of Correspondents column combining Sender and Recipient with an arrow on the left side of the email address. This ‘feature’ was request about 16-years ago (read all about it in Bug 36489).  As I mentioned in the previous post, it is not the name change that bothers me, rather it is the arrow that was added. After some reading the later comments I found out the ‘From’ column was not removed, simply hidden and replaced by Correspondents.
The fix to this is very easy and it does not involve add-ons or even custom CSS coding:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the column headers row
  2. Uncheck the box next to Correspondents
  3. Again, right-click anywhere on the column headers row
  4. Check the box next to From


Congratulations, you have your ‘From’ column header back again. Note: You will need to do this for every folder and this change does not carry across folder views (All Folders, Favorite Folders, Unread Folders, etc) so you will need to make this change if you use different folder views as well.

13 Comments on How-To Remove Correspondents Header Column

  1. Thanks. That Correspondents addition is overkill and highly annoying.

  2. Thank you.

  3. “You will need to do this for every folder and this change does not carry across folder views” is not acceptable to me. I have hundreds of folders and don’t want to spend hours doing this. There must be a way to restore “From” (and get rid of “Correspondents”) in all of my folders at once.

    • Right click on the column header, select “Apply columns to…”->”Folder and its children…” and then choose the account name (which is the top-level mailbox).

  4. Thanks for that stupid, now I have to edit 100 folder to get rid of that Correspondents.

  5. Close Thunderbird

    Edit prefs.js, add
    user_pref(“mailnews.ui.upgrade.correspondents”, false);

    Open Thunderbird

    • Brad wrote:

      Close Thunderbird
      Edit prefs.js, add
      user_pref(“mailnews.ui.upgrade.correspondents”, false);
      Open Thunderbird

      Two problems here:
      (1) Those must be regular ASCII quotation marks, not the slanty ones Brad showed.
      (2) Even so, this only prevents folders you haven’t yet opened from being “upgraded”. Mail folders which you already opened and were “upgraded” to correspondents are not changed back, and will still need to be handled manually.

  6. Thanks for the super-easy fix!

  7. Kalle Metsik | April 27, 2016 at 7:08 AM |

    Idea on Correspondents looked fine until .. I got e-mail which was from person A to person B (I was in CC). Old behaviour: From is A. New behaviour: Correspondent is B. And arrow shows like I was writing it. Confusing.

  8. What’s the point of the aggravating “Correspondents” column, and why have they changed the layout that I had chosen to something that some arbitrary person decided 16 years ago that they liked? Cripes… it’s getting harder and harder to justify why I’m using Thunderbird. It’s honestly been due to inertia, but it looks like they seem driven to get rid of me.

  9. That arrow was distracting, and I’m glad to be rid of it. Thank you!

  10. To prevent this from happening in the future (apparently)

    Go to:
    Tools > Options > Advanced > General > Config Editor

    Type In:

    Right-click > Toggle to set it to FALSE.


  11. Mark Walker | May 9, 2016 at 8:38 AM |

    Once a folder has been “upgraded” to Correspondents, the change seems to stick. This
    is especially true of the Search window.
    I’ve also noticed Tb45 doesn’t respond to rt-click on the headers. I have to use the icon at the far end of the headers.

Comments are closed.