How to disable an email account in Thunderbird

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Post Posted November 15th, 2009, 9:56 pm

yes! thank you guest


Post Posted December 1st, 2009, 12:45 am

This work for me - Tools -> Account settings -> Server settings -> Advanced -> uncheck Include this server when getting new mail.


Post Posted December 22nd, 2009, 12:20 pm

What I really want to do is shut off a single account. It's the Support account, and I don't really need to watch for any email in there (not my job). But occasionally I need to take a look at something in there (when I wrote the broke code :) ). I have it set to not check for mail at start up and not check every 10 minutes. Works fine.

However, when I actually DO look into the account, from then on it will alert me every time new mail arrives in that account. Again, I DON'T want to know! The only way to make it not look any more is to restart Thunderbird. That's annoying.

I've checked the config settings and I don't have a "defer_get_new_mail" setting for the account. I'm currently using Thunderbird version (20090812). I'm not opposed to upgrading to 3, but will this solve my problem?



Post Posted December 22nd, 2009, 12:56 pm

Update: Just updated to Thunderbird 3. Same issue. Also, don't see an option "include this server when getting new mail". I remember using that setting before, but I can't find it now.



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Post Posted December 22nd, 2009, 3:27 pm

Try adding the "mail.server.server#.defer_get_new_mail" config element, substituting the correct number for the # sign.


Post Posted December 23rd, 2009, 9:15 am

@DanRaisch: Didn't work. I wasn't aware of how to add values, but I figured it out and added the defer_get_new_mail element and set it to false. Nothing about the behavior changed.

Steps I took:
1). I restarted Thunderbird
2). Clicked on the Support account (to "activate" it)
3). Clicked to my regular account (as to not be IN the Support one when trying this)
4). Forwarded a message to the Support account
5). The inbox turned blue, said (1), and the Dock icon (Mac) changed showed a 1 on it.

Thus, this test didn't work. I want ZERO notification of new mail in that one account. Which is EXACTLY the behavior UNTIL I select it. What state is it in before I actually look into the box? I want that state to be true all of the time for that account.

Other thoughts?



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Post Posted December 23rd, 2009, 1:10 pm

The only other way I can suggest to freeze that account would be to intentionally "break" the server identity. Put a space between the elements, like "pop. whatever. net".
If you have unselected the settings for checking on start up and checking every NN minutes AND if you do not use the menu path "Get All New Messages" I would not expect that to trigger any errors.


Post Posted December 23rd, 2009, 7:07 pm

Do you know what mail.biff.show_alert and mail.biff.show_tray_icon are? I turned them off, but they don't seem to do anything. Maybe because "tray_icon" is a Windows thing and I'm using a Mac?

Anyway, at this point, I'd rather shut off ALL notification (in the Dock Icon, specifically) of email from Thunderbird, and that doesn't seem possible (maybe Mac is doing something "smart" and by "smart" I mean "dumb"). Especially since now, in Thunderbird 3, it thinks that I always read every email that comes in and so always shows my unread count. That's not helpful to me at all. :( I just simply want my unread count since I last gave the mail folder focus--like it did in TB2--and for only some accounts--like it does so long as I don't ever open them. Why is this so difficult? Sigh. :(

Anyway, thanks.


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Post Posted January 14th, 2010, 7:29 am

Hey guest, this would be a feature which I too would love to see: temporarily deactivate account, without deleting it.

Contact me so we can figure out how to bring this feature to life.

Towards Perfection!

Kind regards, mtness.
There is a chasm
between carbon and silicon
that software can't bridge.


Post Posted March 10th, 2010, 10:22 pm

I have a very similar problem. I want to keep the emails on the account of a university that I used to work at, but my email account is now inactive there. TB gives an error every time I even try to look in that Inbox.

I tried the config edits and changing the server settings as suggested above with no luck. Any new ideas?


Post Posted March 17th, 2010, 2:03 pm

It all depends on the problem. I have the following situation: I have a gmail account and a work account. I prefer to just use one account. I get the emails via pop3 in my gmail, this way all my emails are archived and with me. I also just need one account on my iPhone. I need to be able to send email from thunderbird (I use 3). I had it set up originally as a second account, but since I have no need to check the email, it was getting a bit annoying. So I deleted the account and simply created a identity under my main account with all the information of my work address. This way I can send emails from Thunderbird as if from my work address, without having the work address even configured in Thunderbird.


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Post Posted March 21st, 2010, 12:17 pm

Jolson46 wrote:I tried the config edits and changing the server settings as suggested above with no luck. Any new ideas?

The easiest way I have found is to create an identical email address but add an extra letter on the end. In TB change the User Name to the fake address which should never have mail sent to it. A little clumsy if you have a bunch to do, but once the fake ones are set up they stay there until needed. :)

if you ever need to check that skipped address, just drop the extra letter off that User Name.

I tried the Server Name change but it always stops and asks for an OK. It stops processing the other addresses until you do so to me, the fake email name is easiest. Most ISPs these days offer 10 to a 100 email addresses for free.
Cary G.

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Post Posted July 10th, 2010, 1:24 am

An elegant way to manually disable (thus totally hide) an account is to edit prefs.js (make sure TB had been shut down before editing). Search for "mail.accountmanager.accounts" and edit the line like this, e.g. assuming that "account6" is the one to be disabled:

Before edit (account enabled):
user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts", "account1,account5,account3,account2,account4,account7,account6");

After edit (account disabled):
user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts", "account1,account5,account3,account2,account4,account7");

This will disable the account and completely hide it in the user interface, but preserve all account settings, servers and identities associated with the account. To reactivate it just add the account name back to the list. When you restart TB, the account and all its settings and contents will magically reappear.

Edit: Yes, you can also simply use about:config.


Post Posted November 1st, 2010, 11:00 am


I found a trick to avoid checking email for an account. Just delete the password (give return with no typing in the password field when checking the email). After one error message the next times you check globally the email the account is ignored.


Post Posted November 22nd, 2010, 7:20 am

I'd love to be able to quickly enable/disable individual email accounts as well. I have one email account that I only access when on my intranet, or VPN due to it's non-secure connection. The other 2 email accounts are secure and I can access from anywhere. I'd love a checkbox in the Account Settings to enable the account. I'd like the functionality to be that of working offline when the account is not enabled. This might even make a good plug-in


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