The question pretty much says it all. When I do a +tab, the icon for Thunderbird shows me how many unread messages I have in my inbox.

It's pretty distracting if I'm not looking to check my email.

Can I disable it?

  • 1
    I faced the same problem. It's not a direct answer by I find that just by setting the check message interval to 90 minutes does what I wanted. – kizzx2 Aug 14 '14 at 10:15

At the moment, it is not possible to disable displaying the number. However, I filed a feature request to disable entirely the mail count on the badge in the dock and task switcher on Mac OS X. If you want this implemented, vote for this request: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=920413


I had a workaround: I created a new folder and set up a filter that moved all incoming mail to this new folder. Thunderbird checks whether there is anything new in your inbox but since there is nothing, nothing is displayed.

Recently this filtering started to destroy my emails. So I had to disable it again. I am not sure whether this is an IMAP issue of our server or what it is.

In any case the solution may be useful for others.

Adding a configuration switch to thunderbird would be great. I voted for the bug (just two votes ... =:-()


An extension available from Mozilla called Keyconfig can help you out with this problem. I've been able to disable shortcuts completely with this Keyconfig extension:

The Keyconfig extension ... allows you to configure keyboard shortcuts. It works with Firefox, Thunderbird, and (probably) Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey. Shortcuts defined via a key can be changed.

  • How does this answer the question exactly? Vultan is asking how to hide the number of unread messages, not disable the shortcut. – user3463 Sep 12 '12 at 19:47
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    "allows you to configure keyboard shortcuts" Exactly. I'm not so arrogant as to answer for vultan, but I understood his question to ask "how can I disable it" twice. Once in the subject and once in the body. He seems, seems, to be upset with the shortcut. With the extension, just as I have with it, he'll be able to disable the shortcut key or change it completely. I don't know how my suggestion doesn't answer his question. It may be I need a course in reading comprehension. Maybe, lol. Or my suggestion is helpful to him in some way. it's at least something for him to munch on – Art.Vandelay05 Sep 12 '12 at 19:57
  • Thanks, but this isn't what I'm looking for. I use cmd-tab all of the time; my intention is not to disable cmd-tab, but to disable the notification. – Vultan Sep 14 '12 at 8:53
  • Ok. I wasn't sure, so I thought I would just throw it out there. Doesn't hurt right? :) – Art.Vandelay05 Sep 14 '12 at 13:00

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