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Whenever I create a new label in my Gmail account, this creates a new IMAP folder. Sadly, that new folder does not show up in Thunderbird unless I restart Thunderbird.

This is not specific to Gmail. When I create a new IMAP folder on my own server, the result is the same.

To clarify. Here is what I'm doing. First, I create a new label in Gmail: enter image description here

But now it won't show up in my Thunderbird folder tree. Even though it knows about the folder and it is subscribed to: enter image description here

When I restart Thunderbird, the folder shows up just fine. I would like it to show up without restarting Thunderbird.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 36 down vote accepted

In version 10.0.2 (current) and most recent versions:

Click on the account line in the folder tree (the line just above the Inbox)

You should get a screen of options, find Manage folder subscriptions and click on it

  1. Click the Refresh button
  2. Close the folder list window
  3. Click the little triangle at the top level of the account in the folder tree to hide the folder list
  4. Click it again to show the folder list

I've just confirmed that this works for me in 10.0.2

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That doesn't do what I want. The new folder appears in the subscription dialog (and is subscribed to). But it won't appear in my folder tree. –  Oliver Salzburg Feb 21 '12 at 14:11
Weird. I have Gmail set up in Thunderbird at home, and will check if its working there when I get home, but this definitely works for me with other IMAP providers. –  Randy Orrison Feb 21 '12 at 16:42
Didn't work when I tried it, but after collapsing and reopening the folder list in Thunderbird it appeared. I've edited the answer to include those steps. Work for you? –  Randy Orrison Feb 23 '12 at 20:31
Every time I tried it, I was already subscribed to the new folder. So that wasn't the problem. What actually made the difference was collapsing and expanding the tree. Thanks ;) –  Oliver Salzburg Feb 23 '12 at 20:43
I had the collapse/expand the parent folder (not the top level folder), not the top level folder for these steps to work. –  justderb Sep 29 '14 at 0:09


I think in that website you can find more useful information about Gmail x Thunderbird. Also, I found out in other forum the following:

Thunderbird refreshes the folder list when it connects to the server, in particular, at startup. You can force a refresh of the folder list any time by collapsing and re-expanding it.

Collapsing and expanding the folder list for the whole account worked for me.

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Yes, that's what I was missing as well. Thanks :) –  Oliver Salzburg Jun 29 '12 at 16:17
+1 I just wanted to use Thunderbird to move mail from a certain label to another account (like magp.ie/2012/11/28/…), and I also had to remove my subscription to the Inbox to get it to actually start. –  jnylen Mar 2 at 18:41
  1. Click on the account line in the folder tree.
  2. In the main window click on the Folders management (Settings section)
  3. Click on the refresh button
  4. Choose folders for synchronization
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If you uncheck Tools » Account Settings » Settings » Advanced » Show only subscribed folders, it will display all folders.

That worked for me.

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