After a computer upgrade, I moved my Thunderbird mail profile to the new computer. While everything else seems to work ok, none of the "Unified Folders" are working.

When I check the folder proberties of a unified folder (e.g. Inbox) the Name -field is empty, and URI is mailbox://nobody@smart%20mailboxes/Inbox. In the "Select folders to search" Choose-dialog no folders are selected for searching. I'd figure I just need to select some folders to search, but when I try that and try to close the dialog, I can't press the "OK" button of the properties dialog - it just doesn't do anything, so I have to cancel out of the dialog.

How do I fix this?

Using Thunderbird 3.1.10 on Ubuntu 11.04


In the end, the problem was fixed by deleting panacea.dat from the profile folder and and all .msf files from its subfolders. These are only cache files, and after deleting them Thunderbird will rebuild them automatically (might take some time, especially with IMAP folders as the message header data needs to be downloaded).

This solution even retained the special folder selection I had on my Unified Inbox.

I found the instructions from this article: Phantom folders


I found a few possible fixes among these threads in the Mozillazine forums:

Moving a profile as-is doesn't always seem to work as expected in Thunderbird (or Firefox), because there can pieces in the profile that internally reference the old folder location. Rather than move the profile, you will have more success rebuilding it, by moving it piece by piece into a new profile or using a different migration method:

  • Well your links did lead me to the correct solution, which was to delete panacea.dat and all .msf files from the profile folder. That even retained the folder selection I had on my Unified Inbox. Source: "Phantom folders" mozillaZine article – Ilari Kajaste Jul 11 '11 at 10:43

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