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In Thunderbird 3, is it possible to show the total number of items in a folder, rather than just the number of unread items?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In TB38, this is again standard functionality but hidden in :
View => Layout => Folder Pane Columns.

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Thanks for sharing this updated answer, most of the other answers are now completely out of date, and the Extra Folder Columns add-on is currently not compatible with TB38.2 (and given this in-built functionality might never be updated). – Webel IT Australia Sep 30 '15 at 8:26
I just wanted to let others know that the correct location in TB 38.2 is Options -> Layout -> Folder Pane Columns. I can't reply to @harrymc to correct. – boardtc Oct 15 '15 at 21:48
@boardtc: Tools->Options has nothing to do with it. – harrymc Oct 16 '15 at 5:45
up vote 12 down vote

For Thunderbird 3, it appears that you need an extension, see the mozillaZine article, Expanded columns in folders pane:

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There's a direct link to the add-in here: Note, I had to download the .xpi file, open it in 7zip, edit the install.rdf and change maxVersion to 3.0b5pre. – Charles Roper Oct 29 '09 at 10:25
I can add the "total" and "Unread" columns using this extension, but they display blank (after each email), and I don't get an unread or total number next to the folder. What am I missing? - nevermind, I see that you can add columnns to the folder pane as well as the message list pane. – Brent Aug 2 '10 at 15:08
Thanks for the tip. I do wish there was a way to add it TB3 style in the parens after the folder name, would be cleaner and take less space. – studgeek Jan 24 '12 at 1:05
Still works for current Thunderbird, without tweaking. – krlmlr Apr 20 '13 at 23:29

See the Number of Messages in the Mozilla Thunderbird Folder List

To display the number of emails (both unread and in toto) for each folder in the Mozilla Thunderbird folder list:

  1. Select Tool | Options... (or Thunderbird | Preferences... if you use a Mac) from the menu in Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Go to the Advanced category.

  3. Open the General tab.

  4. Make sure Show expanded columns in the folder pane is checked.

  5. Close the configuration dialog.

  6. Click the table icon in the folder pane (next to the Name header).

  7. Click Unread, Total and Size so that a checkbox appears next to all the columns you want to see.


In a short way ;)

  1. First go to “Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> General Settings”, and check the box for “Show expanded columns in the folder pane.” Click “OK”. This will cause a small drop-down marker to appear in the top-right corner of the folders pane.
  2. By clicking on this drop-down marker, you can then select Unread, Total, and/or Size to be displayed.
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There is no such option in Thunderbird 3 :-( – user26305 Jan 27 '10 at 12:06

I don't know about TB3, but TB2 is showing the total count of e-mails within the selected folder in the statusbar, at the far right side.

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In Thunderbird 3.1.13 under Ubuntu 11.04, it shows the total number of messages in a folder in the very lower right corner (when you have clicked on the folder).

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You can install this extension for thunderbird.

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