Thunderbird 91.0.2: option to disable the Windows Task Bar unread mail badge added

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 23, 2021

Thunderbird 91.0.2 is the latest version of the open source email client. It introduces support for disabling the unread mail badge on the Windows taskbar and includes several fixes.

Thunderbird is available in two different versions currently: Thunderbird 91.x, which is only available as a direct download currently or as an upgrade from a Thunderbird 91.x installation, and Thunderbird 78.x, the previous version of the mail client.

Thunderbird 78.x installations will get options to upgrade to Thunderbird 91.x from within the client in the future, but not at this point.

Thunderbird 91.0.2

Thunderbird 91.0.2 is available as a direct update on systems with a Thunderbird 91.x installation or as a direct download from the official Thunderbird website.

The current version is displayed when you select Help > About  Thunderbird. If the menubar is not displayed, tap on the Alt-key to display it. Note that Thunderbird will run a check for updates when you select the item in the menu.

Thunderbird 91 introduced several new features, such as easier setups for accounts, native support for Apple Silicon, mail redirects, and an unread mail badge on the taskbar.

The badge on Thunderbird's icon on the taskbar displays the number of unread emails. Up until now, Thunderbird users could not turn off the mail badge in the client itself. Windows users on Windows 10 may disable badges in the Settings directly, or by using a small taskbar layout instead of the default one.

The new version introduces an option to turn off the badge. Here is how you do that:

  1. Select Tools > Preferences to open the Thunderbird options.
  2. Scroll all the way down and activate the Config Editor button in the tab that opens.
  3. Search for mail.biff.show_badge.
  4. Double-click on the name to set the preference to False.
    1. A state of False means that the badge is not displayed on the taskbar.
    2. A state of True means the badge is displayed (default option).
  5. Restart Thunderbird.

Thunderbird won't display a badge on the taskbar anymore when the preference is set to False.

The second improvement in Thunderbird 91.0.2 adds colored tags to the mail filter editor.

Here are the remaining changes (mostly fixes) in the new release:

  • OpenPGP and attachments context menus are hidden when not applicable.
  • Fixed account creation issues when setting up accounts manually.
  • Fixed auto-complete for recipients favored the primary email address for contacts.
  • LDAP performance improvements.
  • Recommendation Addons extensions had no clear option to view details in a browser.
  • Status checkmark for View > Calendar > Calendar Pane > Show Calendar Pane was reversed.
  • URLs using mid: in calendar invites did not open linked mail messages.
  • unspecified theme and UX fixes.

Now You: do you use Thunderbird 91 already? What do you think of unread mail badges?

Thunderbird 91.0.2: option to disable the Windows Task Bar unread mail badge added
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Thunderbird 91.0.2: option to disable the Windows Task Bar unread mail badge added
Thunderbird 91.0.2 is a new version of the open source email client that comes with various fixes and an option to turn off unread mail badges.
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  1. Anonymous said on February 14, 2022 at 10:22 am

    I had replaced eM Client with TB 91.6.0 recently and since I missed having the number of unread emails displayed on the Windows Taskbar icon, I sent a question to Thunderbird’s forum. This led to your above address.
    So, I looked under TB > Tools > Preferences > General > Config Editor and found mail.biff.show_badge was set as True!
    However, there is no display of the number of unread in my Taskbar.
    I have Windows 10.
    What can I do?

  2. Bruno said on January 7, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    I updated thunderbird 78 to the version 91.4.1 and my calendar (CALDAV) is always in read-only when I launch the application
    So I need to remove the padlock eachtime I want to use my calendar
    Is it a bug ?

  3. Anonymous said on October 27, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Great, thanks!
    But this should absolutely be an easy-to-use option, ticking something off or on in the preferences.

  4. Ray said on August 24, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Does anyone know how to bring back the mail tray icon like in Thunderbird 78?

    v91 doesn’t show the new mail tray icon anymore.

  5. Franck said on August 24, 2021 at 5:28 am

    Great news!

  6. nathan sokol said on August 24, 2021 at 1:46 am


  7. Carlos said on August 23, 2021 at 11:02 pm
  8. Maelish said on August 23, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Getting rid of that badge is great.

    Now if they can fix the broken Google calendar Read Only issues that everyone is complaining about.

    1. Greg said on August 24, 2021 at 5:16 am

      they’ll never fix that untill they get Proper UX Designers

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