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Resolve Thunderbird Not Displaying Message Content Issue

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On December 20th, 2021
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

Have you ever came across a situation where Thunderbird is not displaying message content? Well, there can be various issues that are going in the back end, which affects the showing of email messages. One such reason can be some concern with the MSF file, as this file holds the index of each folder. This indexing system enables Thunderbird application to search and manage the messages. Other reason could be large MBOX file, which needs to be compacted to a smaller size for better and improved performance.

User Queries

“Please help! My Thunderbird seems to be working fine as I can preview the emails. But unfortunately, as soon as I try to view the entire email, Thunderbird is not displaying message content. I am quite worried about data loss and quite irritated with this problem. Please guide and suggest the accurate method to sort this.”

“I am using Thunderbird email application for a long time. As a result, it has thousands of email messages stored within it which I cannot delete due to personal reasons. Yesterday, while accessing the emails, Thunderbird is not displaying message content. It only allows me to preview the email. I am not sure why is this happening. Please get me out from this trouble, as I need to access my emails urgently.”

As you can see, there are various such instances faced by the users when Thunderbird suddenly stops showing email messages content. As a result, users get panic and anxious as they are longer able to access the data at any cost. This issue can be fixed by repairing and rebuilding the folder index so that the messages with the entire contents can be accessed without any hassle.

Manual Techniques to Fix Thunderbird Is Not Showing Message Content Issue

These approaches will help in rebuilding the Thunderbird application where the present email messages just disappear or deleted emails are still shown. Most of the Thunderbird errors can be fixed by reindexing and rebuilding the folders.

I. Repair Folders in Thunderbird Email Application

Following are the steps to resolve Thunderbird from displaying message content:

    • Initially, turn-off the automatic mail checking. It is not a mandatory step but this will prevent any potential conflicts
    • Now, right-click the folder, which must be repaired in Mozilla Thunderbird
    • After this, select Properties from the given list of options


    • Now, choose the General Information tab and click on Repair Folder button and click OK

thunderbird not displaying message content

  • It will take a couple of minutes to complete the rebuilding process

II. Rebuild Multiple Folders in Mozilla Thunderbird

  • Ensure that the Thunderbird application is not running
  • Then, open the Thunderbird profile directory on your system
  • Now, go to the desired account’s data folder i.e., IMAP or POP account
  • Navigate the MSF file corresponding to the folder that needs to be rebuild
  • Then, migrate the MSF file to the trash. Make sure that you do not delete the corresponding file without MSF extension
  • Now, launch the Thunderbird application after which Thunderbird will rebuild the removed MSF Index file

These steps should be more than enough to resolve the “Thunderbird not displaying message content” issue. However just in case if it does not work, then its better to take a backup of the emails to prevent any potential data loss issues in future.

Let us look at another query:

“Recently when I launched Thunderbird on my computer, my Inbox folder stopped showing all the email message contents. Even after various attempts and restarts, Thunderbird is not displaying message contents. I am tired of all these irritating issues and switching to Outlook. Is there some approach to switch to the Outlook without losing any of my data? Kindly suggest!”

If you have also decided to switch to a better platform that is MS Outlook for any possible reason. Then in absence of any direct manual methods, we have here, the best possible tool to convert MBOX files to Outlook PST. MBOX Converter is a remarkable software, which offers impeccable features to convert Thunderbird data into different formats like PST, EML, MSG, etc.

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Also, you can view all your email messages content with proper formatting, and attachments before conversion. No data loss is guaranteed. So, taking backup of your Thunderbird data in multiple formats or moving to a different platform, the tool will help you accomplish both the tasks easily.

Let’s Wrap Up

Most of the Thunderbird users must have experienced a scenario where Thunderbird is not displaying message content. In order to resolve this, we have discussed the manual solution i.e., repair and rebuild process. However, if any of these methods fail, then convert the MBOX file using MBOX Converter tool. It is designed with the advanced algorithms that allow to smoothly move the MBOX file to the desired file format.

Some Related Queries:

Thunderbird is not displaying Message contents. How do I resolve this?

There are two methods to do this. Either Rebuild the folders or repair them. The steps to do so is explained in the article.

My Inbox used to show all the messages in the top section. Now all accounts display individual messages. How to resolve this?

You were viewing them in Unified view. Go to View, select Folders Unified.
If Unified View is already selected, go to top main Inbox and right-click on it to select Properties. Click on Choose tick all the boxes corresponding to the folders you want in Inbox. (recommended option is to select Inbox folder of all email accounts)