How to Subscribe to IMAP Folders in Thunderbird

Posted on by dpepper | Updated:
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Pre-Flight Check

  • These instructions are intended specifically for setting up an email account in Mozilla Thunderbird 38.3.0 on Mac OS X 10.11.1.
  • While the steps should be similar across platforms and operating systems, they may not necessarily apply to older versions of Thunderbird.
  • For help with general email account settings, see How to Set up Any Email Client.

When connecting to your email server using the IMAP protocol, you have the ability to choose the specific mail folders to which you wish to subscribe.

Step #1: Open IMAP Folder Subscriptions

  1. Right-click on your email account’s Inbox in Thunderbird and then select Subscribe from the menu list.
    Subscribe to IMAP folders in Thunderbird
  2. In the Folder List window, you will see a list of all the email folders in your account on the server. Folders to which you already are subscribed will appear with a check mark.

Step #2: Manage IMAP Folder Subscriptions

  1. You can manage your folder subscriptions by clicking on the folder name in the Folder List window and then using the Subscribe or Unsubscribe buttons on the right.
    Subscribe or unsubscribe from the Thunderbird Folder List
  2. Once you’ve finished making changes, click the OK button. It may take a few moments for the folder list to update in your Mail pane.
Note: When subscribing to filtered mail folders such as Spam or Junk, all the mail coming into those folders on the server also will be downloaded and synced to your selected local mail client as well. If you are using a metered Internet connection or have limited bandwidth, please be aware that the transfer of email does count toward your data usage. If you typically receive a large volume of such filtered mail, subscribing to spam and junk folders is not recommended. Please feel free to contact Heroic Support® if you need assistance filtering unwanted incoming mail.
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