Mail notification enabled by folder, not server

Assigned to


MailNews Core
15 years ago
3 years ago


(Reporter: Simon Liddington, Assigned: Kevin Duncklee)


(Blocks: 2 bugs)

Dependency tree / graph

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: [patchlove][gs], URL)


(1 attachment)



15 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-GB; rv:1.3) Gecko/20030312
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-GB; rv:1.3) Gecko/20030312

The basic improvement I would like to see is more control over when I get a mail
notification. There are plenty of such requests on the wishlist mailing list
(search by notification and filter).

The usual situation is that you are subscribed to mailing lists and don't want a
notification every few minutes as you get with high volume lists. You want to be
able to say I want notification for particular folders not for mail incoming on
a particular account. Some people have suggested a further filter on the inbox
so that you say only get mail notification for important messages or from
certain people.

This could be acheived either by being able to enable/disable mail notification
by folder or filter.

I think this is very important because for me the mail notification is pointless
at the moment because I am subscribed to a high volume list. In fact I think
I'll turn it off ... Hmm I can't unless I don't want my mail downloaded
automatically .. but I can turn the very nice alert popup off (thanks for this).
  This is another point the notification and checking for mail on the server
should be separately controlable too, but I could live without that.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:

Comment 1

14 years ago
(In reply to comment #0)
> User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-GB; rv:1.3)
> Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-GB; rv:1.3)

This would also be useful for switching off the alert for mail that arrives and
is filtered into the Junk folder.



14 years ago
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All

Comment 2

14 years ago
*** Bug 224573 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 3

14 years ago
Bug 104809 is the bug about turning off notifications on a per-account basis.

As for per-folder, there are two possibilities:
 - The messages have been filtered into the folders by Mozilla (POP or IMAP).
In which case it would be better to have the notification-suppression handled 
by the filter (bug 11040).
 - The messages have been filtered into the folders by the server (IMAP).
This case is already handled somewhat by the per-folder configuration Check This 
Folder for New Messages, but as noted in bug 224573, with that option turned 
off, the message count on the folder does not increase either.
Product: Browser → Seamonkey

Comment 4

11 years ago
Created attachment 288859 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch to add a folder flag for notification

I originally posted this to bug 11040, but it fits this bug better.

I've attached a patch and tested it on my local build, both debug and optimized
release. Please test and review it.

mail/locales/en-US/chrome/messenger/folderProps.dtd appears to be the dtd that
is used, but I added the ENTITY tags to
mailnews/base/resources/locale/en-US/folderProps.dtd as well.

Please also assign the bug to me.
Attachment #288859 - Flags: superreview?(mscott)
Attachment #288859 - Flags: review?(bienvenu)


11 years ago
Assignee: mscott → nobody
Component: MailNews: Notification → MailNews: Backend
Product: Mozilla Application Suite → Core
QA Contact: stephend → backend


11 years ago
Assignee: nobody → bugzilla.mozilla.kevin

Comment 5

10 years ago
cc'ing Clark, since this adds some ui to the folder properties dialog.

If I'm reading this correctly, it only adds UI for imap folders - is that right?

I'm partial to the filter action solution, because it gives you finer grain control, and it's less in the face of non-power users, but it doesn't deal with the server-side imap filters problem.
Product: Core → MailNews Core

Comment 6

10 years ago
cc: for comment, rkent, who's been working on biff


10 years ago
Attachment #288859 - Flags: superreview?(mscott)

Comment 7

10 years ago
Comment on attachment 288859 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch to add a folder flag for notification

mscott's no longer doing sr
I think the notifications being a part of the filters will help out a lot more users.  Though we need a lot of improvements to the filter creation and management.

David, assuming we can get IMAP checking all folders, via bug 436615 and possibly bug 428266, is the server side filtering still going to be a problem?

Comment 9

10 years ago
Yes, it's still an issue that a patch like this would address. Well, assuming that automatic checking would still tell the user about new messages in non-inbox folders - the reporter wants to turn off such notifications on a per-folder basis, and server side filters means, potentially, there are no client side filters that get run.

Comment 10

10 years ago
(In reply to comment #8)
> I think the notifications being a part of the filters will help out a lot more
> users.

I did quite a bit of thinking about that issue a few months ago. The proposed direction I've promoted was to move new message management into per-message flags (or per message metadata) that could be easily controlled by filters and scripts with access to an nsIMsgDBHdr object. It is also necessary to separate the concept of "NEW" (which leads to folder decorations and counts) from "Needs notification". Some thoughts are shown for example in bug 441932, at, and from my m.d.a.thunderbird posting "New and BIFF Management for TB3" from 2008-08-22. 

When the custom filter actions land from bug 419356, it would be nice if BIFF notification was something that could then be controlled as a custom filter action. Unfortunately, the current management of BIFF and NEW is done through a complex scheme of per-server, per-folder, and per-message data that is difficult to process reliably. I doubt if the per-folder notification management could be added with the custom action interface proposed there.

I also came to the conclusion that there really wasn't a consensus to move forward with the refactoring that, IMHO, is necessary to allow more precise control of BIFF notification and NEW. With a little encouragement I would be happy to keep working on some of these concepts, but as things stand now I am leaning toward abandoning those efforts, and working on something where there is more interest and consensus.

Concerning the current bug, I fully support adding a folder property to add or suppress notification for emails coming into that folder. But I don't think that the current patch goes far enough. To be robust you really need three states: 1) add notification for messages entering this folder, 2) remove notification, 3) change nothing (or use server defaults). So a user could enable notification for all messages, and remove them at the folder level, or suppress notification for all messages and add them at the folder level.

At the same time, as someone who promotes use of tags/saved searches over folders for email management, I hate to see a capability added to a real folder that is not also available to a virtual folder.

Comment 11

8 years ago
Comment on attachment 288859 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch to add a folder flag for notification

we should use a folder property, not a flag, for this.

I'm not sure if Bryan wants a UI for this or not...
Attachment #288859 - Flags: ui-review?(clarkbw)
Attachment #288859 - Flags: review?(bienvenu)
Attachment #288859 - Flags: review-
Comment on attachment 288859 [details] [diff] [review]
Proposed patch to add a folder flag for notification

I'm not sure about this vs. the filter system but I'll just give this a quick review anyway.

The pref needs to be inverted, we usually only do 'positive' actions.  So instead of:

[ ] Do not notify for new mail in this folder

We should have (directly translated): 

[x] Notify for new mail in this folder

And that 'positive' text I would finally change to something more like this:

"Notify of new mail in this folder"

Though I'm not sure that's clear enough.  Any ideas?
Attachment #288859 - Flags: ui-review?(clarkbw) → ui-review-


4 years ago
Whiteboard: [patchlove][gs]

Comment 13

3 years ago
This is necessary. I've been using this feature in KMail for a long time, now I'm using Thunderbird (which it's a much better program in my opinion) and I can't disable the notifications for the Spam folder (Spam managed by the server, I'm using IMAP) and I get notified each time I received spam. It's really annoying, a quality mail client like Thunderbird should have this feature.


3 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 928203


3 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 224573


3 years ago
Blocks: 988504
Summary: Mail notification enabled by folder not server → Mail notification enabled by folder, not server


3 years ago
Blocks: 373182

Comment 16

3 years ago
I solved this problem for "me" some time ago by using an extension called
mailbox-alert(oldname) or mailboxalert(newer name).

The latest version, which isn't listed as compatible with my 
Tbird-version (, 

I see at  last released in 2011.

I turned off global alert for email, then the options in folder alerts
allow setting notifications and other properties/folder.  Then I have
to make sure that each 'active' (ones Tbird checks for
email every minute) folder (~90 active) has the has the 
    "Check this folder for new messages" check box on
the folders property page, checked, so Tbird knows to query
my IMAP server for that folder's status.

You don't have to have the folder 'downloaded' to check it's
status with IMAP -- so only 3 of my folders are actually
"downloaded" locally (which is the big reason why I don't
move up from 2.x, is that 3.x tries to download all my 
IMAP mail (into my Windows roaming profile) -- so on 
login and logout, all the email that Tbird stored locally
is recopied from or to the server.  

Besides the impact to login/logout, I have at least
2 accounts on the windows machine that use Tbird -- and
both would try to download the entire IMAP-store --
as different accounts (one local, one in a domain) can't
share the same local mail-store (But can share the same 
IMAP store).

I was told I could turn off the "all-email download" --
but also found that one of my favorite extensions 
(Threadvis), changed to use Tbird's local cache *only*.

So only 3 folders that I actually download contents
of would be usable with the new Threadvis.  Of
course the version I have installed is as old as
the it still works.

I did try the newer versions -- but they kept hanging
if I left the client up for long periods of time,

Since this version of mailboxalert is 3.x compat it might
just work with whatever the latest is....

hope this helps ...

The version he last released showed compat with 3.0 through 17.*
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.