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Status: New idea

Thunderbird doesn't currently support Gmail Inbox Categories.  This filtration is offered on all Gmail accounts and works in the background without any user input to effectively keep the Primary Inbox free of 'automated' messages. 

The significance of this function can't be overestimated and the lack of support for this is the main reason I can't use Thunderbird.  Sadly, Google doesn't expose this categorisation via MAPI which is probably why this feature isn't available in most third-party email clients, but there must be a way to implement it because it's available in Canary Mail (see screenshot).  

Canary is a proper desktop app, but has none of the power and flexibility of Thunderbird so doesn't offer a workable alternative to Google's browser-based Gmail client, the limitations of which will be immediately obvious to any user coming to Gmail after using Outlook/Exchange.  A desktop app that offers a similar level of functionality and usability is desperately needed by business Gmail users such as myself.  

Thunderbird is currently the only option available that offers a UX comparable to Outlook and is arguably a much better, but the lack of support for Inbox Categories makes it a non-starter for me.  

If Canary can do it why not Thunderbird?  

Status changed to: New idea
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New member

Here's a screenshot showing Gmail Inbox Categories in Canary Mail:

Gmail Inbox Categories in Canary Mail.png




















They're listed in the side bar as opposed to the 'tabs' used in the Gmail browser client, but messages are correctly categorised.

No idea how this is achieved, but it does show it's possible. 

New member

I recently tried out Thunderbird for my Gmail. The lack of categories was a showstopper for me too. I've become very dependent on Google's automated filters for Updates and Promotions. Instead of waiting until I create a new filter for every type of e-mail, it's already lightened the load to where I can quickly get to what's important. 

I used Thunderbird years ago (early 2010's) and was excited to give it another go. If it gains support for categories, I'm back!