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Hidden Folders

While IMAP allows multiple email clients (see EmailDetails#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.

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: 24 Sep 2008, ArthurProkosch

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