I found the new tab system in Thunderbird 3 highly disruptive, because I would generally skim through an email and attempt to close it by clicking on the top right corner – only to find that I had closed the entire Thunderbird application instead.

Worse, when it opened again next time, it now displayed the last email I had read – open and ready in a tab – mockingly.

Unlike in web browsing one rarely has to keep multiple emails open, so this tab idea for Thunderbird may not actually be a good one.

However, there is a way to remove the tabs. Go Tools>Options (on Windows, or Thunderbird > Preferences on Mac) click on ‘Advanced’, then on ‘Reading & Display’ and select ‘A new message window’ as the option for ‘Open message in:’.


After doing this, if the solitary single tab that is left annoys you, you can auto-hide it thus:

Under Options>Advanced, click on ‘Config Editor’ button (which is under the ‘General’ tab, and Search for ‘mail.tabs.autoHide’.
Double-click on it so that it becomes ‘true’. Close the window.



2 thoughts on “Removing tabs in Thunderbird 3

  1. Thanks for the tip about the autoHide. I don’t mind opening new messages in a tab, I just didn’t want the single solitary Inbox tab taking up space.

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