How to run Thunderbird in the background

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Joined: October 11th, 2017, 11:57 am

Post Posted October 11th, 2017, 12:29 pm

I have Thunderbird 52.3 running under Windows 10. In Win 10 I have set Thunderbird as the default email and I have set Notifications for mail to On.

How do I get Notifications in the Task bar when new mail arrives? If I've got Thunderbird running an alert appears in the program itself and if Thunderbird is minimized an alert appears in the task bar, but remembering to keep minimizing Thunderbird is not really on. I did come across a reference to an add on that automatically minimizes Thunderbird on closing it down, but this was nearly ten years old.

Presumably what I need to do is run Thunderbird in the background, but some fairly extensive googling has failed to find out how to do this. Obviously I'm missing something, but what is this?


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Post Posted October 11th, 2017, 12:50 pm

Add-ons such as ... ed/?src=ss let you minimize Thunderbird to the system tray, rather than the task bar. But AFAIK Thunderbird doesn't support notifying you of new mail in the task bar, instead it supports its own notification window that normally popups in the lower right corner.

Running Thunderbird in the background shouldn't change that, but if you want to try it you could run it in the background as a windows service. See ... s-service/ for how to do that.

"but remembering to keep minimizing Thunderbird is not really on."
Under Windows 10 if its minimized to the task bar it stays that way despite displaying a new mail notification window. The new mail notification window is optional, and goes away after a few seconds. Its managed in tools -> options -> general.

I don't fully understand why you want to get notification in the task bar. Is this because that is what you are used to from other email clients? Or do you think that is a Windows standard that Mozilla doesn't follow? Or ....?

If you just want more control over new mail notifications you could run a program such as PopPeeper or PopTray. They co-exist with Thunderbird and support more customization, plus have plug-ins to support other ways of notifying you, support for IMAP etc. PopPeeper even supports OAuth2.

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Joined: October 11th, 2017, 11:57 am

Post Posted October 12th, 2017, 5:51 am

Thanks for the reply. A few points.

1) Unfortunately the add-on you suggest, MinimizeToTray revived was marked as not compaible with my version of Thunderbird - 52.3.0 (32Bit)

2) Re 'notification in the task bar'. I really shoudn't have been so precise. All I want is something, anything, on the screen telling me that new mail has arrived.

3) Re my dislike of using a manual minimizing to keep Thunderbird running. This is purely a personal taste. I'm afraid that I'm almost certain to frequently go onto autopilot and switch Thunderbird off rather than minimize it. I'd really prefer something automatic.

4) Re PopPeeper. Yes, a possibility. I used to use it successfully on Win 7. However, when I tried it in Win 10 recently it wouldn't work. However, as both you and the PopPeeper forum say that it works in Win 10, I'd better give it another try.

5) I'll have a look athe How-To Geek site.


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Post Posted October 12th, 2017, 6:34 am

Hi Tom,
Ever heard of Mail Washer? It's a spam filter.
There's a free version as well as the Pro, (which I've used for many years) & may be a way to assist you with new mail notification,
if you don't find another solution.

Free version >

NB: You can leave Thunderbird closed, as MW will open it upon "washing."

(NB: I do not have any affiliation to either MWP or Firetrust. I just use it.)
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