I've setup Thunderbird (default in 12.04) with five mail accounts. Unfortunatly, every mail address is shown only with its own inbox, sent...

How can I get a combined inbox for all addresses? I've searched for extensions, but did not find any that add this feature.

  • Have you tried just keeping your separate accounts, but have received at one in-box. This preserves your ability to send as the various identities. – david6 May 7 '12 at 9:14
  • @david6 Sorry, but I don't understand what you mean. Using the solution provided in the accepted answer, I'm still able to send an e-mail using any identity. – user24668 May 7 '12 at 9:18
  • I have 8+ external (ISP) mailboxes. I have only three in-boxes, for: business, personal, and other. Under Account Settings > Server Settings > Advanced, I can have other emails accounts downloaded to an existing mailbox (shared in-box). – david6 May 7 '12 at 9:53
  • @david6 Ah, ok! I understand now. :) No, I have not tried that because I'm using different email clients on different platforms (iOS, OSX, Ubuntu). I basically keep the default IMAP configurations and use one combined inbox for all accounts. – user24668 May 7 '12 at 10:07

I believe the feature you are looking for is called 'Unified Folders' which works on both IMAP and POP3 protocols.

The official site location: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Global_Inbox#Unified_Folders

Quote from the site:

Unified Folders (originally named Smart Folders when it was added in 3.0) is a folder pane view which looks like a global inbox account by merging the contents of all inbox folders (both POP, IMAP and local folders) from all accounts. It also shows the inbox of each account as a child folder of the unified Inbox account. Any messages in an inbox shows up in both the root of the unified Inbox, plus the child folder of the unified Inbox for that account.

To use this functionality:

View >> Folders >> Unified

I have verified that this does work on Thunderbird 12.0.1 using Ubuntu 12.04. The KB article I found above it a bit old but still holds correct information about the functionality of the 'Unified Folders'.

If you are just trying to combine the Inbox only and leave the rest as is, it does not look like it can be done but extensions can be made in the future to have this feature in Thunderbird.

Hope this is helpful.

  • Indeed! Thanks it. Thank you very much for your help. – user24668 May 7 '12 at 5:35
  • Glad this is what you were thinking of. Happy to help. – ruffEdgz May 7 '12 at 13:44
  • Yes, there is a way to mix "Combined inbox" folders and the standard account view (using a saved search folder), please see my new answer. – SpamBot Aug 18 '16 at 10:14

Click view, folders then "unified"

This should sort it for you.

Hope it helps.

  • 5
    Ah, okay, Thunderbird 17 the "Folders" menu is no longer under View but is by itself in the second column of menu items. – Chinasaur Jun 10 '13 at 0:22

I prefer a solution where you have both combined Inbox and Sent folders and the regular folders of each account in your side pane. This is different from the Unified Folders option, where you may end up switching between two different folder views.

Here is how to set up a combined Inbox folder in addition to the standard view, using a saved search folder:

  1. File -> New -> Saved Search

  2. Set Name "All Inboxes" or "Combined Inbox" as you wish

  3. Create as a subfolder of: "Local Folders"

  4. Click "Choose..." and mark each Inbox folder from all your different accounts.

  5. Select "Match all messages"

  6. Create the saved search. You can now find the (saved search) folder "All Inboxes" in your Local Folders.

  7. Repeat the process for "All Sent" if you wish or other types of folders. Of course, you can also set up a saved search folder for all starred messages over all accounts or other useful configurations.

If you add more email accounts later, right-click on the "All inboxes" folder and edit its properties to add the respective folder of a new email account.

Here is more detailed information on saved search folders: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/using-saved-searches

So I would like to correct ruffEdgz's answer:

If you are just trying to combine the Inbox only and leave the rest as is, it does not look like it can be done

Yes, you can combine your Inboxes using a standard feature of Thunderbird, saved searches, you only need to choose the folders manually and add them when you add new accounts.

I have been using this since on Ubuntu since 11.10 on various Thunderbird versions and also on other OSes. The only thing I haven't tested is POP email accounts, I always use IMAP.

  • This is ALMOST what I'd want. What I want is a search folder that shows all emails within each thread, where at least one of those emails is located in the Inbox folder. – user92979 Nov 15 '18 at 2:58

Ok, this is the method I believe the OP may have wanted:

Tools --> Account Settings. Then select the mail account you want to download into Global Inbox. Then select "Server Settings" menu branch, then at the very bottom in the "Message storage" area, opposite "empty trash on exit" is an "Advanced" tab, and hey presto!

  • Please be more elaborate with your answer. Expanding the "hey presto" would be a start... – Sri Jan 6 '15 at 5:19

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