Thunderbird 52.2.0 update: issues with IMAP folders

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 15, 2017
Updated • Jun 26, 2017
Email, Thunderbird

The Thunderbird team has released Thunderbird 52.2.0 today, a new stable version of the popular cross-platform email client.

The new version of Thunderbird is already available through the email client's automatic update system. Most users who have it installed will have their Thunderbird client updated to version 52.2.0 automatically.

Update: The Thunderbird 52.2.1 update resolves the Gmail issue.

Problems with Gmail (folders not showing, repeated email download, etc.) introduced in version 52.2.0.

I ran into an issue with the new version, and would like to talk about it for a moment before I look at other things that are new.

The problem that I ran into was that some mailboxes, one regular Gmail account and one Google Apps Gmail account, would not list any folders whatsoever.

Update: A temporary fix for the issue is the following:

  1. Select Tools > Options. If you don't see Tools, tap on the Alt-key first.
  2. Go to Advanced, and click on Config Editor.
  3. Search for check_
  4. Set any of the following to false:
    1. mail.check_all_imap_folders_for_new
    2. mail.check_all_pop_folders_for_new
    3. mail.server.default.check_all_folders_for_new
  5. Restart Thunderbird.

While the account is still listed in the Thunderbird sidebar that lists all accounts and folders, it does not list information about emails, an inbox, spam folder or anything else. To make matters worse, a click on the account title lists a generic page that does not function at all.

Even stranger is the fact that this seems to affect one or two of the accounts randomly. I restarted several times to see if it would resolve the issue, but one or both of the accounts showed the same symptoms most of the time.

Related to that, it seems at the least, is that entire mailboxes or headers of emails are downloaded anew when Thunderbird starts.

I was not able to fix the issue. What I did was roll back the client to version 52.1.1. You can download that version from the Thunderbird download website, and install it over the current version to go back to the older version of the client.

Not ideal, as Thunderbird 52.2.0 includes security fixes, but better than working with a client that won't display some accounts properly in its interface.

This did fix the issue on my end however. I tried upgrading to Thunderbird 52.2.0 twice, and I ran into the display issue both times.

To download an older version of Thunderbird, head to the download page, and copy one of the download links to the clipboard by right-clicking on the link and selecting the "copy link address" or comparable option from the context menu.

The US English link for Windows looks like this for instance:

To download an earlier version, replace the version part with the earlier version. For the link above, that would be

What is new in Thunderbird 52.2.0

Thunderbird 52.2.0 ships with the following changes:

  • Clicking on links with references/anchors where target doesn't exist in the message not opening in external browser
  • Mailing list (group) not accessible from macOS or Outlook address book
  • Calendar: Invitations can't be printed
  • Messages sent via the Simple MAPI interface are forced to HTML
  • Large number of blank pages being printed under certain circumstances when invalid preferences were present
  • Multiple requests for master password when GMail OAuth2 is enabled
  • Attachment not forwarded correctly under certain circumstances
  • Detection of non-ASCII font names in font selector
  • Embedded images not shown in email received from Hotmail/Outlook webmailer

There are also two unresolved issues, none of which describes the issue that I'm facing:

  • On Windows, "Send to > Mail recipient" does not work. Workaround: Install the Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 redistributable runtime library or the Universal C Runtime for Windows Server.
  • Links in news messages including "remove all expired articles" not working

Now You: Which email client do you use currently?

Thunderbird 52.2.0 update: issues with IMAP folders
Article Name
Thunderbird 52.2.0 update: issues with IMAP folders
Thunderbird 52.2.0 has been released, and the new version seems to have display issues with some IMAP folders on Windows.
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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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