When it comes to email conversations with multiple participants, it sometimes happens that the discussion takes a turn that is no longer of interest to individual users.
This can be a discussion on a mailing list for instance, where other members of the list discuss specific topics.
Being part of the mailing list however means that those emails arrive in every user's inbox. It also means that all users have to deal with the messages, which often means marking them read or deleting them entirely.
Mute Thread is a new experimental add-on for the Thunderbird email client that gives the user the ability to mute individual email threads. In theory, this means that muted threads do not appear anymore in the email client's inbox.
The emails are not deleted, just hidden from view, and Thunderbird users can display them again by clicking on View > Threads > Ignored Threads in Thunderbird. It is necessary to switch to another mail folder temporarily to display the hidden messages again in the active folder.
Threads in Thunderbird can be muted by clicking on Message > Ignore Thread or using the shortcut K for the same effect.
Mute Thread in its current stage is what the developers call an experimental add-on. This means that the devs have plans to integrate it into the email client eventually, but do not have an idea how and when this is going to happen.
Currently the devs are looking for one or two developers who would like to take over the project. The Mozilla Labs post offers additional details about Mute Thread and contact information for developers who would like to participate in the development of the add-on.
The add-on is available for download at the official Mozilla add-ons website. It is compatible with Thunderbird 3.1 to 3.3a only.
Update: Mute Thread functionality has been integrated into the Thunderbird client. You can right-click on any message in the program now to ignore the thread or sub-thread.
It is no longer necessary to install the add-on for the functionality.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.