Environment: Thunderbird 31.4.0 on Ubuntu 14.04/14.10

Symptoms: Emails from Yahoo Mail are received, but do not appear in the preview and do not appear when double-clicked upon to open up a fresh tab.

Example: An email arrives. It shows up in the Inbox with a bold entry in the table, indicating that it is unread. Clicking on that line does not change the read state; it remains marked as unread. The preview pane looks like:

Broken Thunderbird preview pane

Double-clicking on the line also does not change the read state, and the Conversation Reader tab that opens up looks like:

Broken Thunderbird email tab

Right-clicking on the line and choosing Mark > As Read will mark it as read, though this does not affect my ability to read the messages.

What Is Unaffected:

  • My RSS feeds behave normally
  • Calendar behaves normally
  • Print Preview of an email message works, so the email bodies are definitely being downloaded.

When This Happened: It started about two weeks ago. I seem to recall getting an Thunderbird update, which would have been to 31.4.0, right before this started.

Attempts at Mitigation:

  • I have upgraded Ubuntu to 14.10, with no effect
  • I have moved my ~/.thunderbird directory to a temporary location, uninstalled Thunderbird, reinstalled Thunderbird, and moved my original ~/.thunderbird directory back to its original location, with no effect
  • I followed the "Rebuilding the Global Database" instructions, with no effect.

Any suggestions on how I can get Thunderbird to allow me to read my emails again?

  • 1
    Have you tried running Thunderbird without any extensions?
    – Jos
    Feb 4, 2015 at 14:25
  • @jos: While trying to figure out how to perhaps do that on a temporary basis, I stumbled upon the solution. Thanks for the push in the right direction! Feb 4, 2015 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


Solution: Look at Tools > Add-Ons and see if you have upgrades that are needed. In my case, Thunderbird Conversations had an upgrade that, for whatever reason, was not automatically applied when the main Thunderbird was updated (I thought they fixed that...). Upgrading the extensions cleared up the problem.

  • I am still facing issue My inbox .msf file has 1.4 GB but not able to see any emails. please advise . Aug 13, 2016 at 11:13

Be sure that you are not filtering messages. See the upper left of the inBox screen. Same thing happened to me. I disabled all add-ons. Didn't help. Saw the filters were on. Clicked them off and now I see all my messages.

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