Thunderbird Mailbox Alert

Martin Brinkmann
May 3, 2008
Updated • Mar 27, 2014
Email, Thunderbird

Mailbox Alert (via Genbeta) is a add-on for the popular mail client Thunderbird that adds the option to the program to define alerts for mail folders in Thunderbird.

Alerts can be messages, sounds or commands. The default functionality in Thunderbird allows to define one sound or notification that will be played or displayed when new mail arrives with spam mail excluded from that for obvious reasons.

With the Mailbox Alert extension it is possible to only enable alerts for specific folders that contain important mails and ignore other folders that do not receive high-priority emails.

Even better, you can customize the message or select different sounds for different mail folders so that it is even easier to distinguish between different incoming mail notifications.

Configure alerts in Thunderbird


Mailbox Alert does provide a better customization of sound and notification alerts in the desktop email client. In addition to customizing alerts, it adds a new feature to Thunderbird's alerts feature as well.

The ability to start commands when a new mail arrives in a certain mail folder is excellent. The commands have to point to a file on the system but can contain parameters. I did not test if batch files are supported but I assume they are, why should not they be?

One possible scenario to make use of this new feature would be to run a script that would move attachments to a network drive whenever a mail with attachments arrives in a specific folder.

There are however other options that you have. You can run an external virus scan on certain files, run server commands, write data to a log file, or run a back up software to save them to the local system right away.

Another option would be to run voice and use the extension's variables that it makes available to provide you with details of the message or messages that arrived. It could read out load the folder the mail was filed in, the sender address or name, or the mail subject.

Defining notifications and sound alerts is pretty straightforward and does not really need any explanation. One nice feature are the global preferences that define how and where the Notification alert appears on the screen and how it reacts to a left-click. The available options are to close the popup or open the message.

If you select text notifications, you can use a set of variables such as %sendername in them so that they reveal information about the email directly to you. The Thunderbird extension supports quite a few variables including %folder, %subject or %count among others.

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Mailbox Alert
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