Thunderbird "What's new" tab reopening after properly closing and restarting Tb.



8 years ago
8 years ago


(Reporter: thomasbosma, Unassigned)


Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




8 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:2.0b9pre) Gecko/20101215 Firefox-4.0/4.0b9pre
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101208 Thunderbird/3.1.7

The "what's new" tab should not reappear after being closed. After a proper shutdown it's there again when restarting Thunderbird.
This would be normal when it's unexpectedly closed but it keeps happening even after standard Ubuntu shutdown (10.10, maverick).
Running through Terminal shows nothing special.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1.close "What's new in Thunderbird 3.0" tab
2.shutdown Ubuntu
3.reboot Thunderbird
Actual Results:  
Tab shows up, even though it's closed in the previous session.

Expected Results:  
Tab should not reappear after restarting Thunderbird.

This solution fixed the problem. It is however not a very elegant solution and has to be repeated after every major Thunderbird update.


8 years ago
Component: General → Mail Window Front End
QA Contact: general → front-end

Comment 1

8 years ago
I have had this issue on OSX after every update since Thunderbird 3.0, as I recall.  In other words, a long-ass time.

I work around this bug by deleting the mailnews.start_page_override.mstone preference in my prefs.js file.  This bug returns after every update to Thunderbird, and I have to delete this pref every time to fix it.

Comment 3

8 years ago
Hi Mark,

No I hadn't seen those instructions, but thanks for posting them.  The first possibility, running two instances of Thunderbird, does not apply.  I only have one installation to my knowledge.

As for extensions, I have none.

The fix described in the "A preference is being overridden" section is similar to the fix that I'm using.  The difference is that I'm deleting the "mailnews.start_page..." line from "prefs.js", not "user.js".  I have no "user.js" file that I can find (Spotlight was useless, I used sudo find /).

However, this fix is not permanent.  Every time I update Thunderbird, I have to manually edit prefs.js.

Comment 4

8 years ago
Hi Mark,

Hadn't seen those either. Still no luck there, no duplicate instances, no user.js found.

Still, a tab that keeps popping up and needs a workaround by changing a few lines in an obscure config file is still a bug. As I said, yes, there seem to be a few workarounds to temporarily fix this problem but it's still not very user friendly to have to do so after every update.

Comment 5

8 years ago
Hello all,

Still having this problem.  It's happened for the last 2 or 3 updates, and the work-around has been the same (delete user_pref mailnews.start_page_override.mstone).

This time, I noticed that the "mailnews.start_page_override.mstone" pref was set to the previous version of Thunderbird, not the current.  That is to say, after updating to 3.1.10, I found that the pref was set to 3.1.9.

I deleted the line, saved prefs.js, and restarted Thunderbird.  The line then reappeared in prefs.js, but was set to 3.1.10.  With this new setting, the problem has not returned.

Hope this helps narrow things down.


Comment 6

8 years ago
And again with the update to 3.1.11.  Same symptom, same fix.
I can't see how this could happen from the code, there isn't an obvious failure mode here.

Maybe you could try setting the "mailnews.start_page_override.mstone" pref back to 3.1.10 (as you're now on 3.1.11), and restart twice. The first time you should get the page, the second time you shouldn't.

If you get it twice, then check Tools -> Error Console to see if any error messages appear there as they may be relevant.

Comment 8

8 years ago
Thanks for helping me with this Mark,

So first things first:  When I opened prefs.js to edit it, I did not see the "mailnews.start_page_override.mstone" pref this time.  So unlike 3.1.10, this version of Thunderbird did not replace the pref after I had deleted it.

I re-created the pref as you suggested, and the "What's New" page came back.  I closed the page, quit Thunderbird, restarted, and the page reappeared.  I again closed the page, quit, restarted, and the page was back again.  No amount of repetition changes this behavior

The pages persist - that is to say, if I don't close the page, upon restarting I get two "What's New" pages.  Then three, then four...

The Error Console is blank.

Instead of deleting the pref this time I've changed the value to 3.1.11, which apparently also works to fix this issue.

I'd be happy to experiment more if you have any ideas.

Thanks again.

Comment 9

8 years ago
Just upgraded to Thunderbird 5, and this issue has disappeared!  If anyone made an effort to fix it, thank you.  If it was just serendipitous, then cheers to serendipity!
Thomas, is the issue also gone for  you in version 5?

note, the support article has moved to

Comment 11

8 years ago
Not running version 5 yet, but the problem seems to have gone for a while now.


8 years ago
Last Resolved: 8 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME
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