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How do I stop having repeated email tabs for the same email?

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  • Last reply by skye

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When I sign in to Thunderbird and go to my Inbox, I may check a few random emails. Then, I usually notice that I end up having many email tabs showing, with some emails having multiple tabs. How do I stop this from happening?

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There is a general expectation you will close tabs when you are done with the email. Right click the tab and select close all other tabs to clean up

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There is a general expectation you will close tabs when you are done with the email. Right click the tab and select close all other tabs to clean up

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Matt said

There is a general expectation you will close tabs when you are done with the email. Right click the tab and select close all other tabs to clean up

Thank you, it worked.

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That "general expectation" didn't matter until recently. One could have multiple tabs open. Now, I can open a new email and when going back to other open tabs, the new email suddenly replaces email in other open tabs. This does not usually happen immediately, but will happen after you have had multiple emails open in tabs for some time. This is 68.6.0

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A previous reply identified how to CLOSE all of the other open tabs. However, how do you PREVENT/BLOCK these other tabs being created in the first place?

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Under Options/Display/Advanced, you can select to open new messages in an existing window. However, I don't know of an option to keep using the same tab.

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The issue is (and I may not have been clear), what happens with a number of emails open, each in its own tab, let's call them Email A, Email B, Email C, Email D, is that at some random time, opening Email E, then clicking on Email A ends up showing Email E where Email A was. Clicking Email B shows Email E, and so forth. The only solution is to close Thunderbird and then reopen it. As there is no option to reopen all previously open tabs (or even select which ones to reopen) like exists with Firefox, you lose all open emails and have to try to remember which ones were open.

I can't see that there is any consistency with when this happens. Thank you.

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For what it's worth, I've never NOTICED my email tabs changing positions or being replaced. Currently, I have a tab open from 7 months ago (there's some procrastination for you!), and one from 3 weeks ago and unless I am very unobservant, they are not moving around or being replaced.

Are you running any extensions?

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Right now I have 10 Tabs showing, 8 of which are for 1 email. I do not want these Tabs to automatically be created, and, why are they being repeated?

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So, just to be clear, are you saying you did not open the email 8 times?

In other words, If you open email A, then switch back to the mail box tab, and double-click on email A again, you will have 2 tabs displaying email A. The UI is designed under the assumption that if you are done with a tab, you will close it. Or if you want to go back to an already open email, you just switch back to the tab that it is open in. If you forget that A is already open (and don't look at the tab titles), then yes, there can be as many tabs with A in them as you create.

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Correct, I did not open it 8 times. In some cases, I have not even opened the email, but, then a Tab for it will appear multiple times.

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Daveh100: As to the question of extensions, I am NOT running any. I am glad to learn that I am not the only one who leaves email tabs open for a long time! I have restarted my computer a few times since this issue began, but no luck. Also, tabs do NOT automatically restore. I thought this feature was somehow lost with newer versions, but I see that it is still supposed to be there. Perhaps if I reinstall Thunderbird, that might help?

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memccask said

Correct, I did not open it 8 times. In some cases, I have not even opened the email, but, then a Tab for it will appear multiple times.

Most probably you have deleted the message from the list, so the "next" message appears in the tab. If you kept one out of 100 you would end up with 100 tabs with the same email. Just close the tabs and you have no issues with they changing based on changes you make in the mail list.

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msprinker said

Also, tabs do NOT automatically restore. I thought this feature was somehow lost with newer versions, but I see that it is still supposed to be there. Perhaps if I reinstall Thunderbird, that might help?

Tabs are stored in the session.json file. If this file is corrupt odd things can happen. As it is only a cache deleting it will reset things to default (and the settings it contains. Like the display of the reading pane.)

Historically products like ccleaner have deleted this file because they though it was the same as the sessions file in Firefox. While that was the only product I know deleted it. I am sure it was not alone. Often also it is badly mangled or "locked" by anti virus programs that are allowed to scan in the Thunderbird profile folder while the program is active. We recommend no active scanning of file on access in the profile folder. Regardless of the AV product used.

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Thank you Matt, You were right about the "next" message situation. Last evening I was very methodical in viewing/deleting emails: it happened just as you mentioned. By deleting an email, the cursor bar drops to the "next" message - if this "next" message was already open (has a tab), the system still creates another tab. I guess this is how it can get repeated several times. However, if the "next" message had not yet been opened, a tab is not created until I do open it.

It still begs the question, is there a way to prevent/block/override the repeating situation?

Thank you for identifying how this occurs - that part is now solved.

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memccask ... you are not crazy. I have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM. So many tabs open at the same time, and many duplicates of the same email. Fortunately, I have better defined and described the problem to make it easier to find a solution. Here goes:

What usually happens in Thunderbird, and what has always happened in the many years I've been using Thunderbird, is when I click in my inbox to open an email message, Thunderbird opens it and creates a tab for it. If I happen to later click on that email again (in my inbox) Thunderbird just takes me to the message that's already open. IT DOES NOT OPEN THAT MESSAGE AGAIN AND CREATE A NEW (DUPLICATE) TAB FOR IT!!!

So, the NEW AND CURRENT PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN CLICKING ON A MESSAGE (IN THE INBOX) THAT'S ALREADY OPEN, INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE MESSAGE THAT'S ALREADY OPEN, THUNDERBIRD IS *INSTEAD* OPENING A SECOND (NEW) COPY OF THAT EMAIL AND CREATING A SECOND TAB. Unfortunately, Thunderbird will keep doing this until email tabs at the top of the mailbox are multiplying like rabbits, spanning three screen widths, and driving us crazy.

This is a new problem for me, and it looks like a new problem for memccask, based on the recent date of this post looking for a fix. So ... seems like something recently happened in Thunderbird to create this problem. Solutions anyone? Thank you to anyone who can help.

Modified by skye

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