Minimize Thunderbird to the system tray

Possibly you don’t want to have the Thunderbird’s window hanging around your desktop all the time. But on the other hand – you want your mail client running constantly, so that you do not miss your incoming e-mails.

Unfortunately, Thunderbird does not seem to have a “background mode” where it would sit invisible and quietly check your mailboxes. Still, there is a solution. You may install the MinimizeToTray add-on, which will let you, as the name says it, minimize your mail application window to an icon in the system tray on minimize and/or close event.

Do it like this (tested with Thunderbird 17.0.2 on Min 14.1 Mate 1.4.3):

  • Tools
  • Add-ons
  • Get Add-ons
  • Search for “MinimizeToTray”
  • Install

You shall have it installed by now.

If you want to change its behavior, go to

  • Tools
  • Add-ons
  • Extensions
  • Preferences (for MinimizeToTray in the list)

Adjust them to your liking.

For example, I find it more pleasing to have my Thunderbird go to the system tray only when I close the application’s window. And I prefer to bring it back with a single click.


4 Comments on “Minimize Thunderbird to the system tray”

  1. JC says:

    In my version of Thunderbird 17.0.2 here’s no text “Get Addons” in the “Addons” display, it says “Browse All Addons” which is under a box at the bottom right of the screen “More Ways to Customize”.

    • crcok says:

      Interesting… The newest I had used was 16.0.1 from Linux Mint 14.1. So I can’t really comment. Just look around, it should be there somewhere. One shall be able to install addons from the app…

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