Mozilla Thunderbird ‐ Everything You Need to Know

What is Mozilla Thunderbird? - Thunderbird is a free and open-source cross-platform application for managing email accounts and chat developed by Mozilla Foundation. This email application is powerful and easy to use.

Is Mozilla Thunderbird free? - Yes, it is absolutely free of cost. There are no hidden charges. Since Mozilla dropped Thunderbird, it became an open source email client run by open source source community and exists solely through donations. So, if you want to make a donation to support Thunderbird, then you can go ahead. But it is not mandatory, and you can use Thunderbird for free with all its features and regular updates without any consequence.

What is the purpose of Thunderbird?

The purpose of Thunderbird is to provide a centralized interface to manage all your email accounts at the same place. This includes your email accounts like Gmail, Yahoo,, your own ISP account and others.

Keep in mind that there is no “Thunderbird website” for email. That is to say, you do not access your emails via a website like Gmail. This is usually called “Webmail”.

Mozilla Thunderbird is actually “an email client”. Instead of accessing your Gmail, Yahoo, and other webmail accounts individually in different websites tab, Thunderbird helps you to manage them all in a single place.

What is my Thunderbird Address?

Thunderbird is an email application, it does not provide email addresses. Thunderbird works with your existing email address. Email clients are not email providers. So, if you want a new email address, then you have to apply it to an email service provider like Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

Mozilla Thunderbird is an email management application and helps to manage all the email accounts, associated contacts, calendars in it.

Why Would You Use Thunderbird?

Once the purpose of Thunderbird is clear, it is easy to understand its use and advantages. If you want an application to manage multiple email account at the same time then, Thunderbird comes out as the first choice.

Thunderbird has many different features. Thunderbird gives you full control and ownership over your email. Thunderbird is free and open-source software. So, anyone can download and use the program for free. Thunderbird is available in 56 different languages.

Key Features of Mozilla Thunderbird

Message Management:- Thunderbird can manage multiple newsgroups, emails, and news feed accounts. Features like quick search, and find messages.

Junk filtering:- Thunderbird can also understand classification by a server-based filter.

Extensions and themes:- Extension allow the addition of features. Thunderbird supports a variety of themes for changing its overlook and user’s feel.

File formats supported:- Thunderbird also provides mailbox format supports, but the feature is not yet enabled due to work in progress.

Big file linking:- Thunderbird has a support system for automatic linking of large files instead of attaching them directly to the mail messages.

HTML formatting and code insertion:- Thunderbird provides an editor for composing messages formatted with HTML. There is basic support for HTML template messages.

Limitations and Known Issues

As with any Software, there are some limitations to the number and sizes of files. Such as maximum file sizes on a file system that do not have large file support, as well as possible limitations of long filenames.

By default the menu bar is hidden in Thunderbird. To unhide it, hit the Alt key on your keyboard.

Setting up Thunderbird

  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. From the File menu, select option New and then Existing Account
  3. Enter the following settings:
    • Your name: Enter name of the user you’re setting up. This shows in the messages ‘From’ details.
    • Password: Enter the user’s password here.
    • Remember password: You can check this box so that the program doesn’t prompt you to enter the password each time you open it up.
  4. Once you enter the all information, click Continue on the bottom right.
  5. The correct settings for your mail server should appear. Check the ‘Mail server names’ article to confirm. The outgoing server is always SMTP.
  6. Click Done to complete the setup.


Thunderbird gives you security features such as TLS/SSL connections to IMAP and SMTP servers. It also provides support for secure email and messages. These features can take advantage of the smartcards with the installation of additional extensions.

Security features may be added through extension.

Mozilla Thunderbird Interface

By default, Mozilla Thunderbird interface has 3 panes: Folders pane, Message pane and the emails list panel. How they appear on your screen depends on what view is selected. You can change the View by going to View menu >> Layout, and selecting the preferred view between Classic, Wide and Vertical.

Toolbar Icons

Get Messages – This icon when clicked checks for new messages from the selected email account. It also has dropdown options to check for new emails for all accounts at once or selected account.

Write – This icon is to create a new email message.

Chat – It allows you to set up a chat service and use instant messaging with your contacts.

Address Book – It will open Thunderbird address book where all the contacts are kept.

Tag – This dropdown icon creates and applies tag(s) on the selected email messages like Important, Work, and other custom tags.

Quick Filter – This icon toggles the Quick filter toolbar. The toolbar consists of filters to display messages as per the chosen action. For example, choosing to show only unread emails.

Search – The search bar in Mozilla Thunderbird searches the particular terms in all Thunderbird section and display the results accordingly.

Display the Thunderbird Menu (3 rows icon) - This is another way to access the Thunderbird menu options. Since, Thunderbird has hidden menu, it provides this option to users to easily access all the Thunderbird options in one place.

Where can I get help with using Thunderbird?

All support is web-based. Check Thunderbird’s supports where you can ask a question, or search for your issues.

Thunderbird does not provide direct support services. We can also say that Thunderbird does not offer support via email, fax, chat, phone, remote, nor paid support.


Thunderbird development team release in three stages, called Beta, Earlybird, and Daily. The release dates and versions are exactly the same as Mozilla Firefox.

For example, Thunderbird 7 and Firefox 7 were both released on September 27, 2011.

Migration Possibilities

Thunderbird is reliable and easy to configure utility, which comes for free with a variety of features. It stores the email data in MBOX file (a no-extension file).

When the user, for whatever reason, wants to move from Thunderbird to another email client, he/she needs to convert the MBOX file. That’s where RecoveryTools Thunderbird Migrator comes into play. As the best ranked software in email conversion, it is 100% safe and secure tool.

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