Talk:Start Page for mail

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

It would be really nice to be able to work within the Start Page pane as its own browser. Gimme! Steven B. VanSlyck 01:06, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

This web site is not run by or formally associated with Mozilla, we're a independent user community. I suspect the ThunderBrowse extension at is what you're looking for. If it isn't please ask for help in the forums, not here. Tanstaafl 08:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Displaying the Start Page

Under Changing the Start Page, as the last paragraph before Thunderbird's built-in Start Page, I read:

If its a HTML file the Start Page will display any text, but will not display any images unless the Boolean preference network.protocol-handler.expose.file is set to true. Its not one of the default preferences, you need to add it. This [About:config article] explains how to add a preference.

How come then, that the default start page (on Tb en-US, ) which is in HTML (or, more precisely, in XHTML) and contains a prominent image based on the Thunderbird logo, namely, <img src="thunderbird_startpage.png" alt="Welcome to Thunderbird!" height="25" width="340" />, displays OK as the Thunderbird Start Page without any user intervention? Experiment shows that having network.protocol-handler.expose.file set to true, false or undefined makes no difference as to that page's display. -- Tony 08:22, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

See this forum thread. Adding the preference solved the problem with that users HTML file. I saved this web page as "web page, complete" on my system and configured Thunderbird version (20071022) to display it (thats the latest version available via the synaptic package manager using Ubuntu, the differences shouldn't matter). It only displayed text until I added the preference.
I suspect the difference is that the HTML I downloaded is interpreted as potentially containing remote images by the security model, which comes from the browser code it shares with Firefox and SeaMonkey. Are you able to display images from a downloaded HTML web page without adding that preference? Even if I completely misunderstand why images are shown in the default start page I wouldn't consider it a valid use case since the article is about how to change the start page . Tanstaafl 02:52, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
In "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20080107 Thunderbird/" - Build ID: 2008010704, i.e. the latest Tb2 nightly, I see the page you mention above with its images after just entering its URL as "Start Page URL" in Tb's Preferences UI then opening the Preview Pane and clicking "Go -> Mail Start Page"; network.protocol-handler.expose.file is still undefined. FWIW, I'm on openSUSE Linux 10.3 and I download Thunderbird directly from Mozilla. -- Tony 09:59, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I downloaded from Mozilla and configured it to use the same profile as (synaptic package manager). Its behavior is different, if I delete the preference it ignores the file:///home/eric/profiles/html/open-containing-folder-in-firefox-under-linux.html and displays the default start page, rather than just displaying the text. I double checked that mailnews.start_page.url was set to that URL and mailnews.start_page.enabled was true using the config editor. If I add network.protocol-handler.expose.file (and set it true) it displays the downloaded HTML page (with the graphics). knowbodynow and Rod Whiteley appear to be using XP (based on their user agent string), so perhaps there is something unique about your SUSE configuration (some security setting)? Tanstaafl 15:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Something unique? not that I know of; and I download Thunderbird from Mozilla anyway, not from SuSE. One thing which may (or may not) be relevant is that I use an http:// URL (the one at, in your link above) while (IIUC) you're using file:/// -- Tony 16:12, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


I notice that the spelling "labelled" has been replaced by "labeled" twice today under the heading "Turning off the start page display" on this page, with the editing comment "fixed typo". However, "labelled" for the past participle of the verb "to label" is the correct spelling... outside the US. So this is actually not "fixing a typo" but "enforcing US spelling". I couldn't find spelling guidelines for this KB. If an article or a section of one is originally 'spelt' according to British English customs, should it be left the way the original editor wrote it, or must it be re-'spelled' the Usonian way? — Tony 10:33, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Now limited to picklist only?

It seems the mail start page can no longer be changed from the Tools-->Options dialog, at least not in Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100317 Lightning/1.0b1 Thunderbird/3.0.4

Well, in SeaMonkey it still can (from Edit → Preferences → Mail & Newsgroups), even in trunk builds such as the one I'm using now:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.3a5pre) Gecko/20100510 Lightning/1.1a1pre SeaMonkey/2.1a1pre
And of course (but that's not what you're interested in) it still corresponds to mailnews.start_page.url in Thunderbird's "Tools → Options → Advanced → General → Config Editor" or SeaMonkey's about:config, as mentioned on the content page.
Oh, and, have you tried typing a URL into Thunderbird's drop-down widget? — Tony 17:51, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Unlike XP Regional Settings (Time), which looks like a dropdown, in TBird it really is an you cannot type on it. Thanks for the link to the about:config setting. Steven B. VanSlyck