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Hidden Folders

While IMAP allows multiple email clients (see Email#Mail_Clients?) to share your inbox and mail folders, sometimes folders created in one client won't display on another client (they seem "Hidden".) This can also occur when trying to review folders restored from tape backup. The "Subscribed Folders" feature of IMAP is responsible for this -- here's how to unhide those folders.


  1. File/Subscribe
  2. Click the + next to "INBOX"
  3. Put checkmarks next to the folders you want to "un-hide"
  4. Click OK
  5. Quit and restart Thunderbird for the folders to appear. (Still true as of

Outlook (2007 or 2003)

  1. Tools/IMAP Folders
  2. Click Query
  3. Items without folder icons are unsubscribed. Select each one you wish to "un-hide" and click Subscribe.
  4. Click OK
  5. Changes should be reflected immediately.

Horde Webmail

  1. Click Folders in the top bar
  2. Click "Show Unsubscribed"
  3. Items in italics are unsubscribed. Check off the ones you wish to "un-hide" and click Choose Action, then Subscribe to Folders.
  4. Click your browser's Reload button to make the newly subscribed folders show in the left column folder list.
  5. (Optional) Click "Hide Unsubscribed" to return to the normal Folder editing view.

Apple Mail

Manually manipulating Apple Mail's list shouldn't be necessary because it automatically subscribes to any folders that it hasn't seen before. Also, the UI for manipulating IMAP subscriptions appears broken for standard mail servers like ours - this link suggests it only works against an Exchange server.

Other clients

  • Evolution: Folder/Subscriptions.
  • PINE: N/A - automatically subscribes to all folders
  • ...
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Topic revision: 08 Jul 2009, ArthurProkosch

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