I have Ubuntu 12.04 and recently started using Thunderbird.

I have GMail account and have configured a lot of Labels in it, all of which appear as folders in Thunderbird. Most of these are just subscriptions to mailing lists and are not that important.

I have a few labels which are very important, for whom I would like immediate notification when a mail arrives.

The problem is that the Mail indicator in the Unity top Panel, lights up for any incoming mail. How do I configure it to indicate incoming mails only in certain folders?

2 Answers 2


In Thunderbird, when we Right Click on Inbox or any of the Folder Entries in the Left Panel, we get a Subscribe Option in the Context Menu.

enter image description here

Using this we can subscribe to a select group of folders among all the available folders in the Mail Account.

By doing so, Thunderbird checks for New Mail, only in those folders, and the indicator responds to new mail only in those folders.

  • 8
    This also means no more reading mail in that folder at all ... this is not a good solution.
    – Peter
    Jul 8, 2014 at 9:52

As discussed in this bug report the current behavior (12.04) of the messaging menu plugin for thunderbird is to turn the envelope blue only for certain types of emails (e.g. depending on priority, mailing lists, etc). Typically mailing lists should not change the icon color.

You can filter your emails in thunderbird (for instance, change priority) so as not to trigger the notification. To do this, setup a new filter from Tools> Message Filters. Provide criteria that match messages you deem of low priority. Among the possible actions to perform, there is Set priority to. Pick it up, then set value to Low or Lowest.

You can check if it works by adding "you as sender" to the criteria and sending yourself a message.

At the moment the user has no way to indicate explicitly which messages should turn the icon blue. Please consider the above as a workaround, as I believe priority should be set only on the sender side.

  • Can you explain as how to change the priority of messages in Thunderbird?
    – Hashken
    Aug 18, 2012 at 5:43
  • 1
    OK, I have update the answer. This should work in 12.04.
    – aroque
    Aug 18, 2012 at 11:33
  • 1
    THANKS!! I didn't know about this, it's an excellent tip!!
    – benjaoming
    May 24, 2013 at 11:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.