How to Read Emails in a Unified Inbox With Mozilla Thunderbird

Unified folders are a viewing option in Thunderbird

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Reading Emails in a Unified Inbox. JGI/Tom Grill / Getty Images

Because most of us have more than one email address at more than one email provider, it makes sense to use an email program that can access them all on the same screen. Mozilla Thunderbird can easily be configured to do this. Cross-platform Thunderbird is free, open-source email software for desktop and laptop computers.

Thunderbird's Unified Inbox

No matter the other email account types—IMAP or POP—and number, Mozilla Thunderbird can be set to collect inbox messages from them all in a single view.

However, the messages are kept in separate folders and are available for use separately as well.

Since most email accounts also have trash, junk mail, draft, sent mail, and archive folders, unified folders are available for these common folders as well.

How to Read Emails in a Unified Inbox With Mozilla Thunderbird

To add unified views for all your email accounts' Inboxes, Drafts, Trash, Junk, Archives and Sent folders:

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Click on View in the menu bar at the top of the screen. If you don't see a menu bar, press Alt-V to display it.
  3. Select Folders from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Unified to direct Thunderbird to display all your email in unified folders.

Mozilla Thunderbird shows the account's individual folders as subfolders to the top-level unified folders. The messages from each email account are accessible in these individual folders.

When you decide to remove the unified folders and return to seeing all folders separated by accounts:

  • Select View | Folders | All from the menu bar in Mozilla Thunderbird. Press Alt-V to reveal a hidden menu bar.

You can also pick another selection from the Folders menu to concentrate on such as folders with unread messages.