How to Display Only Unread Messages in Mozilla Thunderbird

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Unread messages are not always unread, but they are always important. You wouldn't be the first person to mark a read message unread because it requires further attention. All the read messages in the same folder only distract from the unread messages. Hide them so all the focus is on the new messages.

Display Only Unread Messages in Thunderbird

To see only unread mail in Mozilla Thunderbird:

  1. Click the Quick Filter toggle button in the toolbar just above your messages. This should make the Quick Filter Toolbar appear just below the button. (You may skip this step if your Quick Filter toolbar is already showing.)
  2. Click the Unread button. This will cause all your read messages to disappear and only your unread messages will be visible.

When you are ready to see all your email again, click the same Unread button to show your read messages again.

Alternate method to show only unread messages

  1. Select View > Toolbars > Customize... from the Thunderbird menu bar.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the list of icons in the window that opens and click the Mail Views icon.
  3. Drag and drop the Mail Views icon on the toolbar to add View: followed by a drop-down menu to the toolbar.
  4. Click Done to close the Customize window.
  5. Using the View drop-down menu, select Unread to display only unread messages.

When you are ready to see all your email again, select All in the View drop-down menu.

Other Available Options in the View Drop-Down Menu

Using the View drop-down menu, you can also select Not Deleted mail and filter for mail that you have tagged Important, Work, Personal, To Do, or Later. The custom views you can select are:

  • People I Know
  • Recent Mail
  • Last 5 Days
  • Not Junk
  • Has Attachments

Select Unread Folders

You can also read unread messages in Thunderbird by clicking View in the menu bar and selecting Folders > Unread. This setting shows you all the folders that contain unread messages, but it shows the entire content of those folders, not just the unread messages.