After Thunderbird upgrade from version 17 to 24, the "folder pane" no longer has my theme color, but instead has some kind of light-grey grainy image-gradient. My thunderbird theme is dark, and this is extremely annoying.

enter image description here

I have found several links where people complain about this, but no solutions works for me.

Most of these (non-working) solutions involve putting some code into userContent.css. What I should put into my userContent.css so that I get my old colors back?

I am using Debian Wheezy and my Thunderbird (Icedove) version is 24.4.0

at the moment, my userContent.css contains only:

span[_moz_quote=true] {
color: rgb(129, 212, 255) ! important;


This seems to be a Thunderbird issue, not related to a theme:

bugzilla.mozilla.org: Bug 845819

Folder Pane should have the "sandstone" image overlaid on the background color

  • Can you please update your Q w/ specific versions of your distro? Also include what theme you're using. It's difficult to debug this further than I did since I have it working fine on several Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora systems and do not see he effect you're referring to. Also can you characterize the issue you're having further? Is it the lightened gray in the folder pane that you're talking about as being the issue?
    – slm
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 23:16
  • @slm - my theme is called Clearlooks. But again, even if I change to another theme, the "folder pane" in Thunderbird still has this gray-sandy-image as background. And yes, the issue is, that I don't like this grey background. I would like to have my dark color back. Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


I do not believe this is an actual Thunderbird issue but an issue with Thunderbird and your windowing/desktop environment. I use Thunderbird 24.4 on Fedora 19 with GNOME 3.8.4 and it works correctly.

   ss of tb

Other things to try

  1. Plugins

    I would also suggest disabling all you plugins to confirm that it isn't an issue being caused by your plugins. You might want to include those in your question too.

  2. Re-install

    I'd also try completely un-installing Thunderbird, deleting your profile directory: $HOME/.thunderbird and re-installing + recreating your profile to confirm there isn't some residual settings there that are causing this issue.

  3. Workaround it using ChromEdit Plus

    You can install the plugin ChromEdit Plus and override the pane's colors in the UI.

    So after you've installed it, open it up from "Tools" -> "ChromEdit Plus" -> "ChromEdit" and in the "userchrome.css" tab, paste in the following code:

    #folderTree, #listPaneBox {
    background-image: none !important;

    NOTE: This extension allows you to override parts of the UI with CSS.

  4. Overriding the background colors

    Using either the plugin ChromeEdit Plus mentioned above or by editing the file located here directly: $HOME/.thunderbird/<profile>.default/chrome/userChrome.css:

     * * Fix screwed up folderpane in tbird
     * */
    #folderTree, #listPaneBox {
      background-image: none !important;
    /*  Folderpane & Messagepane */
    treechildren {
      background-color: white !important;

    NOTE: You'll want to change the value white to whatever's appropriate for your situation.

       ss #2


  • you can see here, that this is Thunderbird issue: bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=845819 Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 18:55
  • and here, point 6.: "Folder Pane should have the "sandstone" image overlaid on the background color": infinite-josiah.blogspot.ch/2013/02/thunderbird-ui-concept.html Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 18:56
  • @MartinVegter - that bug is for an older version (22, and was apparently fixed), what makes you think this is the same issue other than they sound similar in description? Also have you tried the suggestions I've provided?
    – slm
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 23:00
  • I have tried installing ChromEdit Plus Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 6:20
  • I have installed ChromEdit Plus. There is no "userchrome.css" tab. There is "Open the chrome Folder" which browses the files that are in my .icedove/xxxxxx.default/chrome (i..e userContent.css). When I add your code into userContent.css there is no effect. Is this addon doing something beyond opening the userContent.css file ? Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 6:31

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