I am using Thunderbird 68.2.2 in Debian Buster.

Normally, the menu bar can be fully customized, by clicking right mouse button.

But, tragically, for some reason, the quick filter has elements that cannot be customized / removed. Here is a screenshot:

enter image description here

The quick filter bar has these icons:

Unread  Starred  Contact  Tags  Attachement

Only Attachement is actually a useful search filter. I am not using any of the other categories, and the icons bother me. I would like to remove those.

But why can't I customize the quick filter bar, as any other component in Thunderbird ? It seems like it has been deliberately disabled.

It almost seems to me like somebody at mozilla is pushing on users their concepts of how email should be organized.

I find especially the categories Starred, Contact silly, and I don't want to submit to somebody others idea how I should work with email.

Customizability has always been the one distinguishing feature of Thunderbird / Firefox.

I searched for Addons that can remove / customize the quick filter bar, but those that I found "are not compatible" with Thunderbird 68.2.2. That is another story. I think in earlier versions of Thunderbird, I could override the compatibility check. But now it is impossible.

Please help: how can I remove nonsense buttons from the quick filter bar

  • I would recommend to give the other quick filters a try. If you e.g. create some Message Filters to tag incoming messages automatically, the Tags filter will become a very handy and powerful tool. Just my 2 cents. – dirdi Dec 2 '19 at 5:03

There is a long-standing, open bug report at Thunderbird's bug-tracker that asks for precisely the same thing you are trying to achieve. So it seems without either modifying Thunderbird or an add-on this is impossible.


Have you looked at: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-customize-thunderbird-with-customizemybird/

It lets you dig through a lot of settings. I am not sure precisely what you want to do; but it seems you are focused on removing clutter and controlling the look and feel, and so I suggest you take a look.

[Personally the thing I like the most about Thunderbird is the Unread tab - this is the fastest way for me to get to email zero!]

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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