Activate the title bar in Mozilla Thunderbird 17 again

Starting with the Mozilla Thunderbird 17, the classic title bar has been hidden in Thunderbird. To get the classic title bar back, follow these steps:

  1. Start Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Open the config editor by clicking on Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> General -> Config Editor (button)
  3. Navigate to the setting "mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar" in the config editor and set it to "false" by double clicking on the line.
  4. Close the config editor and restart Thunderbird


Click on



32 thoughts on “Activate the title bar in Mozilla Thunderbird 17 again”

  1. Many thanks. Completely pointless change – doesn’t even save any real estate since it has to draw an empty bar to show the min/restore/exit buttons

  2. I shake my head at the stupidity of these arbitrary changes… why? why?

    thanks for getting back my titlebar, now I can find the damn thing again.

  3. Great, thank you.

    I’ve been looking for a solution – at least they provide the Config Editor.
    BTW, a restart wasn’t necessary.

  4. The morons that enacted this giant step backward should be (OK, I’ll be respectful). Thanks very much for the fix. This is the third or fourth computer where I’ve had to fix this.

    An absolutely pointless change. Seriously, what was the logic of this change??

  5. NIce one, thanks !

    Is this a platform problem, or has the title bar disappeared for ALL users ? If the latter is true, this is definitely the dumbest update I have seen since 1980…

  6. No idea why they made this change…it just plain looks ugly/sloppy (especially in Win XP). Thanks for the fix!


    DOUBLE click works for maximalize, but not for restore to previous window size !!!!

    balh ugly windows8 changes or what?

  8. It has long since become obvious that politics has been playing an inordinate role at Mozilla. When shit like this happens you know it’s close to the end. The time is ripe for a new client. I do not need to be spending time to look up how to counteract … no, never mind. Let’s just put this simply; Fuck off Mozilla!

  9. Thanks a lot for this! Worked well. It really makes no sense to me to introduce such gui changes as a default.

  10. Thanks worked, but left a background-colored bar between the title bar and the menus. Presumably some hard/semi-hard coded value about the height of title bars. I second the general sentiment about the value of recent Mozilla work, including the 4 letter descriptions.

  11. “Me too”, on the thanks for this. I hadn’t been affected until the most recent update and was dumbfounded to start this machine and see what looked like Thunderbird had failed in a spectacular way that left it running.

    I will, however, disagree that this is the worst update choice ever. That honor goes to the people at MySQL who, a few years ago, changed the backup behaviour of MySQL Administrator to default to “Complete” schema. More than one person completely over-wrote full databases (schemas) thinking that, as usual, they were backing up and restoring just the tables they selected, not knowing that a checkbox on a hidden tab was activated by default.

    This happened just before Administrator and Query Browser were dropped in favour of the thoroughly useless MySQL Workbench so the cynic in my suspects that someone was sandbagging MySQL Administrator on purpose.

  12. I amglad you all feel the same way I do. Who decides these things anyway? In spite of all this, it is still a wondafull program. And it is free, so am I naive to assume it is made and maintained for us? Then why no-one ever asks us wat we (don’t) want?

    (BTW, commercial developers do the same, but there I always imagine that they have thought of some ineffable way to make more money. With free software that just doesn’t make sense…)

  13. Thank You for the tip.

    Now I can close the window again by clicking to the top left corner. That did not work before.

    This design decision is very strange from mozilla, please stop this!!

  14. Thanks, thanks, thanks. It has taken me so long to find that solution.

    At last I can see the useful information that the title bar is supposed to tell me, like what account I’m in. That’s the whole point of it Mozilla. It didn’t use up any extra space, so what was the bloody point? All it did was screw up my custom skinning and make things less informative and against style guidelines.

    They should stop trying to simplifying everything away from evolved methodology and standards that are there for reasons.

    It doesn’t work to change what works when it already works for those that know how it already works.

    Stop screwing things up Mozilla! Firefox Australis was a nightmare to put right and get everything back to a suitable “customisable” way that was removed in their new “customisable” interface that really doesn’t work for me at all – What gives!!!?

  15. Thanks so much for this fix!
    @Mr T: I totally agree. Mozilla just keeps going from bad to worse with each new “improvement”. Makes you wonder who’s designing and signing off on these changes which ruin functionality, usability, etc. Worst of all, turning off auto updates doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll open your program and it’ll look like it did yesterday. I’ve been “had” several times already. So much wasted time, reinstalling, reconfiguring, etc. This is even more unnerving because the changes ruin so much. No bottom status bar? WTF? Lost half a dozen tool icons used daily right there! Leaving choice to the user was supposed to be built in to Mozilla’s code and mentality, the whole “anti-Microsoft-we-force-you-to-do-it-our-way” philosophy. Seems even Mozilla has taken a stroll down “Evil Lane”. The question is WHY, Mozilla? Why are you doing this? Who’s benefiting from reduced user control? Not the user. That’s for sure. Anyone with half a brain knows that taking control away from the user puts the user at the mercy of whoever made the code….. We thought you were on our side.

  16. THANKYOU!!!!
    Been wondering what the **** had happened for months, as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Thunderbird had all lost their title bars!!! Seems they all thought this was a great idea (f**kwits). Who knows how much time and inconvenience they’ve all cost people with this “improvement”. Firefox and Thunderbird now fixed, thanks, but it seems IE has lost its title bar altogether.

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