Empty folder pane

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

This article was written for Thunderbird but also applies to Mozilla Suite / SeaMonkey (though some menu sequences may differ).

The folder pane is the pane at the left. It normally lists your accounts and folders. The thread pane on the right normally lists the contents of the folder. If the folder pane is empty the thread pane will probably have a collection of links such as "Read messages" and "Write a new message".

If you can't see the folder pane, see Folder pane not shown. Otherwise:

Thread pane

1. Select Help -> Troubleshooting Information. Depending upon what version you are running you will see either a "Open Containing Folder" or a "Show Folder" button. Press it. That will launch windows explorer (or whatever file manager your operating system uses). It will display the contents of your profile.

If you don't recognize what you are looking at, check that it has a abook.mab and prefs.js file and a Mail directory. If you don't see any files in that directory, see Show hidden files and folders.

2. Exit Thunderbird.

3. Delete the session.json and foldertree.json files. They will be re-created when you start Thunderbird again, using default values.

4. Start Thunderbird.

If that doesn't work:

  • Using a version of the MailTweak add-on intended for Thunderbird 2 with Thunderbird 3 or later can also cause this. [1]
  • It might be due to a conflict between several add-ons. Try "Help -> Restart with Add-ons Disabled".
  • Try installing the Maximize Message Pane add-on and see if it restores the folder pane as a side effect.
  • It might be due to some anti-malware software you are running that is very intrusive. For example, when one user updated a video codec program it silently also installed Bytefence. Uninstalling ByteFence fixed the problem. [2]

See also

External Links