Thunderbird's Quick Filter toolbar displays options to filter all messages of the current email folder in certain ways.
It allows you to only display unread emails for instance, which can be very useful if the client shows unread mails but you cannot locate them in the folder which happens sometimes when senders use incorrect dates.
There is more to it than that though. You may only show emails that you have starred, emails from people in your address book, or emails that have been tagged or include attachments.
While you can achieve some of it in other ways as well, for instance by clicking on the attachment column to sort by attachments, it is usually faster and convenient to use the Quick Filter toolbar instead.
You find a message filter embedded in the toolbar as well which gets confused with the email client's global search sometimes which is displayed just above it in the interface.
The message filter will filter messages of the folder that you are viewing in the client while the global search will search for matching mails across all folders and accounts.
Tip: If the Quick Filter toolbar is not displayed in Thunderbird, enable it by selecting View > Toolbars > Quick Filter Bar. If the menu at the top is not displayed by default, tap on the Alt-key to make it visible.
If you use a filter you may have noticed that the setting does not stick by default. If you switch to another folder, all filters that you selected previously are reset (you can select multiple filters, for instance to display emails by contacts that include attachments).
That's where the pin icon comes into play. If you click on the pin icon in the Quick Filter bar, all changes that you make become permanent.
This means that you can change folders without losing filters that you have activated before. Permanent means that they stick until you click on the pin icon again or change filters directly without clicking on the pin icon.
This works even across sessions. When you close Thunderbird and re-open it, filters are still set provided that you have enabled the pin functionality.
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