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Jonathan Protzenko edited this page Jun 19, 2015 · 43 revisions

There are currently two painful issues in Thunderbird Conversations.

  • After upgrading to Thunderbird 38, your addon is not automatically updated -- you're left with Conversations 2.8.1 which does not work with Thunderbird 38. Please hit Tools > Add-ons, make sure Conversations is up to date, and restart Thunderbird for good measure.
  • When displaying a sent message, it is grouped with another unrelated conversation. This is an underlying issue in Thunderbird


  • The stable version of Conversations on is compatible with the stable version of Thunderbird.
  • The dev version of Conversations at is compatible with the nightly version (a.k.a. "Daily") of Thunderbird.
  • There is no version of Conversations guaranteed to work the "beta" and "earlybird" channels of Thunderbird. I can't afford to maintain more than two branches in case that there should be breaking changes in Thunderbird.

Message display

  • Font inconsistencies / small fonts / font issues
    See Fonts
  • Attachments are not displayed.
    Close Thunderbird, delete the file global-messages-db.sqlite in your Profile folder, and restart Thunderbird. It can take some minutes for the global search to do the indexing. If the indexing is done, the attachments get displayed. If you still can't get to the attachments use the classic view. There is still an open issue:
  • Recipients all share the same name
    Thunderbird Conversations considers that, in a given conversation, all contacts who use the same email address should share the same name. This is also the Gmail behavior. The automated system that's sending threaded emails using the same email address should use a unique hash in the email address to prevent this behavior. Edit as of Conversations 2.2, this is only true for contacts that are in one of your address books.
  • There is some delay when unfolding a message / the message takes forever to display / the message seems to resize very fast when I first open it.
    If bug 80713 was fixed, this would probably be handled much better, but as for now, I have to resort to ugly workarounds. Not much I can do here either.
  • I want the most recent message on top
    The conversation view doesn't have support for reversing the order of the messages. There used to be such a feature, but it added a tremendous amount of complexity in the code, so the big 2011 summer rewrite removed the feature.

Quick reply

  • Quick reply (HTML)
    The quick reply feature only works for the latest message in the conversation.
  • I want the reply to be above/below quoted text
    See the SuMo page on account preferences
  • How can I disable the quick reply?
    See Tips-and-tricks:-Disabling-the-"Quick-Reply"-feature
  • Autocompletion doesn't work as expected
    Autocompletion pokes into the Gloda autocompleter, rather than the legacy Address Book autocompletion engine. This means that it indexes all people found in the to/cc fields of your emails, and suggests the most frequently contacted people. The legacy autocompletion is notoriously difficult to work with, and there are no plans to use it in the next future.

Interaction with other addons

  • Sometimes (when switching folders) the conversation view is stuck on the previous conversation
    Upgrade Compact Header to v2.0.1
  • Enigmail, S/MIME
    • Only Thunderbird 11 (see above) has good support for Enigmail and S/MIME
  • Extension XXX does not work with Thunderbird Conversations.
    As conversations is replacing the message reader, extensions that interact with the message reader won't work with Conversations. The good news is, I've taken this case into account and other addons can write "plugins" to interact with conversations if it's installed. I blogged about it. Please send an email to your favorite addon author, and point them to this blog post. Some cool addon authors have written plugins for Conversations: Lightning and Enigmail are compatible with Conversations!

Message list (thread pane)

  • Unified Folder message list is empty
    First of all make sure folder properties are set correctly. Right-click on unified folder and select 'Properties'. You should check these two:
    • click 'Choose' and make sure appropriate inboxes are checked.
    • Make sure criteria for search in saved folder set either to 'Match all messages' or you have proper criteria set.
  • Your add-on doesn't thread my messages correctly! / Unrelated messages in the same conversation
    See What is threading + maybe bug 646225.
  • Emails are not grouped together
    Make sure you hit (in the menus) View > Sort By > Threaded then View > Threads > Collapse all threads
  • Email are grouped together!
    Make sure you hit (in the menus) View > Sort By > Unthreaded
  • Some messages came back in my inbox / too many messages in my unified inbox / messages I archived are back in the unified inbox
    Thunderbird Conversations changes the behavior of the Unified Inbox so that it also displays messages from all of your sent folders. This makes it more consistent with a conversation-oriented Thunderbird. This means if you archived threads, only the messages you received have been archived, and after the customization, those threads (i.e. the messages you sent) are back. The good news is it's easily customizable: right-click on the unified inbox, then Properties > Choose, and uncheck the sent folders.
  • I don't like the unified inbox / the folder structure is different / missing folders
    In the menu bar (not available via menu button), View > Folders > All. This entry also covers symptoms usually described as "do a backup before you try this piece of $*§$%#", or "Really sucks!!!!".


  • Your addon is not compatible with Thunderbird [N-1]! How come?
    I went great lengths to modify Thunderbird so that it offers better support for my extension. Most of the modifications I did were not enabled in Thunderbird [N-1] because it is the policy not to land new features on a stable branch, so the only Thunderbird versions that have the right features for my extension are Thunderbird [N] and up. You can download a compatible Thunderbird version from the official Mozilla Messaging website.
  • Feature X from Thunderbird doesn't work in Thunderbird Conversations
    Usually, if a feature doesn't work, it's just that Thunderbird has no provisions to interact with the Conversation view, which means I have to fix both Thunderbird and Thunderbird Conversations. Frequently mentioned features:
    • autoscroll doesn't work issue 291
    • return receipts are not sent issue 129
    • quoting only selected text doesn't work issue 174
    • Ctrl-F is not implemented issue 241, it would need significant hacking on the gecko side to work properly
    • back/forward is broken by the addon issue #393
    • open message in a new window doesn't work, and I don't plan on implementing it.
  • Your add-on doesn't work with newsgroups. Why?
    That's bug 478167. Basically, Thunderbird doesn't have a suitable representation of newsgroups messages. So until the bug is fixed, there's really nothing I can do.
  • Your add-on doesn't work with RSS feed items. Why?
    Same answer.
  • I uninstalled the addon but it keeps working.
    If you're seeing something that looks like below:
    Thread summary
    Then this is normal, this is standard Thunderbird code, not my extension. This feature was introduced in Thunderbird 3.x, my extension works on top of it and enhances this thread summary by allowing you to do much more. You might want to hit View > Sort By > Unthreaded to get rid of this.
  • Customizing the appearance of the Conversation View
    It is recommended you use the Stylish addon (see Tips-and-tricks:-Disabling-the-"Quick-Reply"-feature for an example). Alternatively, if you insist on using the userChrome.css file, you need to enclose all your modifications within a @moz-document directive. See the Sample userChrome.css page for an example.
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