How to Disable Thunderbird Popup Notifications (Quick Tips)

Thunderbird Disable Notification Featured

If you are using Thunderbird as your desktop email client, you know that it always show a popup notification whenever an email arrives. Some of you might like it, but for me, I find it annoying. I am not sure if it is by design that there is no way to easily turn it off from the Preferences section.

If you are, like me, annoyed by the popup notification in Thunderbird, the following instructions show how you can disable it.

1. Open Thunderbird and go to “Preferences.”

2. Go to the “Advanced” tab and click on the “Config Editor” button.

Thunderbird Preferences Config Editor

Click the button “I accept the risk” to proceed.

Thunderbird Preferences I Accept Risk

3. At the search field, type mail.biff.show_alert.

Thunderbird Preferences Show Alert

4. Double-click the mail.biff.show_alert entry to toggle the value to “false.”

5. Close all windows and restart Thunderbird.

That’s it. The annoying popup notifications are now gone.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. You can’t just open TBird and go to Preferences: You have to go to Tools/Options/Advanced, then Config Editor.

    1. Actually, under linux it is Edit | Preferences , then the Advanced Tab and Config Editor .

      This area is in different places in Windows vs Linux / Mac . Windows is the only Tools | Options location.

  2. Extremely helpful – I didn’t mind when TB just showed the emails, but when it shows the full email header details – too much garbage. Thanks!

  3. Its a built in option.
    Hamburger icon > Options >Options > General > When New Messages arrive – Uncheck Show and Alert.

  4. Doesn’t prevent that annoying there’s an update available popup. Thunderbird is going downhill, now featuring “can’t prevent checking for updates” antics and then nagging about it.

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