Note: This Q is specific to gmail, Thunderbird and IMAP. (It is similar to, but more specific than, this older, and more general question, about gmail access, but with an unspecified email tool and protocol. Also it appears it might be related to this Q.)

Why does all incoming email into Thunderbird, via IMAP from my gmail account, now, suddenly no longer show up in that account's Inbox for my gmail account, but rather, only gets put into the All Mail folder there?

To be clear, the email is being delivered, just not to the inbox.

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I've been successfully using Thunderbird to access gmail with IMAP for many years. Suddenly it broke without me changing anything. Note: I have seen some Thunderbird security updates recently, so I'm not pointing any fingers, just trying to find a solution to this.

If I login to Google's gmail web page, the very same test message is in their Inbox. In fact, the test message is showing up in both their Inbox and All Mail folders.

Settings there, i.e. click the gear, then click 'See all settings', shows that I don't have any filters, nor any forwarding.

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(BTW, by default they don't show the All Mail folder, but you can turn it on with Gear | Settings | See all Settings | Labels | All Mail | Show.)

I'm running: Thunderbird v68.10.0 and FireFox 78.0.2, on GNU/Linux Debian Buster 10.4.

  • do you actually see 'Inbox' in the Folder pane in Thunderbird? That is, you can select this folder and see an empty pane on the right?
    – Andra
    Jul 17, 2020 at 16:08
  • @Andra, Yes, in the left pane, under the gmail account name in question, is 'Inbox' with a green down arrow in an envelope icon. Then below that is it's sibbling '[Gmail]' grayed out, with a folder icon. Then inside '[Gmail]' the children are 'Drafts', 'Sent Mail', 'All Mail', 'Spam', 'Trash', and three folders: Important, Pending, and Starred. Selecting 'Inbox' shows me only older emails that were in it before it stopped working. New test messages don't go into Inbox, but instead show up in 'All Mail'. I've added an image to my Q above. Jul 18, 2020 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


Today it magically began working correctly, without any changes to my system or Thunderbird. In other words, it's now putting the test email first in All Mail, then a brief, but noticeable moment later in Inbox.

By deduction, if you take away the idea of magic, which I don't believe in, then I think only Google could have affected this change, and also have fixed it.

Thank you for fixing it Google. :-)

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