When new messages arrive…

When new mail arrives, you can Thunderbird do several things to let you know. First, is to show an alert. The second is the animate the dock icon. The third is to play a certain sound. However, to set up one of these options, you must go to the program preferences: (Mac) Thunderbird > Preferences, (Windows) Tools > Options.

On the General tab, you can setup your new messages alerts under the heading “When New Messages Arrive…”. Here is what each options does:

Show an Alert – a message that says, “You have new messages”. It will force you to click OK for the notification to go away.
Animate the dock icon – this bounces the dock icon (on the Mac) until you click on the program. This option can be pretty annoying, but like the Show Alert, it can be good if you need to know right away when new messages arrive.

Play a sound – this does just that; it plays a sound. You can have it play any system sound you want, or you can have it play any .wav you have on your hard drive. To set this up, follow this tutorial.

4 Responses to When new messages arrive…

  1. This doesn’t work on OS X, or at least it is not the observed behaviour with version 1.5.0.8 (20061025). Even with Show an Alert checked no such alert appears. There is also strange behaviour with the dock icon showing the incorrect number of unread messages which I have documented here. Strangely there is no option here to control this feature.

  2. Marta Hofacre says:

    Yes, following your instructions and even trying some intuitive adjustments, nothing works. You CAN add a new mail alert .wav file to the new mail sound list as per your instructions, you CAN select it as the sound you want to hear when mail arrives but, the sound will NOT play when you try to preview it or when your mail arrives. It simply defaults to the system sound you chose prior to it. Too bad, I really wanted the Adams Family “mail’s here” alert sound! 🙂

  3. Gabe Andorf says:

    In Thunderbird 3 this doesn’t work properly.

    “bounces the dock icon (on the Mac) until you click on the program” is now “this bounces the dock icon (on the Mac) twice”

    If you blink you’ll miss the notification.

  4. Tom says:

    Yes- The icon “bounce” to notify new messages does NOT work with version 3.0.2 of T-Bird and MAC OS X 10.5.8. Also, can you change the color of background new messages number back to green or let the user select the color?

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