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7 Great New Features Coming To Thunderbird 102

Welcome back to the Thunderbird blog! We’re really energized about our major 2022 release and cannot wait to put it in your hands. Thunderbird 102 includes several major new features for our global community of users, and we’re confident you’ll love them. So grab your favorite beverage, and let’s highlight seven features from Thunderbird 102 we’re most excited about.

Before we jump in, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve been rapidly expanding our team in order to power up your productivity and improve your favorite email client. From major milestones like a completely modernized UI/UX in next year’s Thunderbird 114 (codenamed “Supernova”) to smaller touches like new iconography, elegant new address book functionality, and an Import/Export wizard, all of it happens for you and because of you. Thunderbird not only survives but thrives thanks to your generous donations. Every amount, large or small, makes a difference. Please consider donating what you can, and know that we sincerely appreciate your support!

OK! Here's an overview of the new features in Thunderbird 102. Stay tuned to our blog for in-depth updates and deeper dives leading up to the late June release.

#1: The New Address Book In Thunderbird 102

We’ve teased a new address book in the past, and it’s finally coming in Thunderbird 102. Not only does the refreshed design make it easier to navigate and interact with your contacts, but it also boasts new features to help you better understand who you’re communicating with.

Complete address book entry in Thunderbird 102
Address Book gets a new look and enhanced functionality in Thunderbird 102

The new Address Book has compatibility with vCard specs, the defacto standard for saving contacts. If your app (like Google Contacts) or device (iPhone, Android) can export existing contacts into vCard format, Thunderbird can import them. And as you can see from the above screenshot, each contact card acts as a launchpad for messaging, email, or event creation involving that contact.

We’re also adding several more fields to each contact entry, and they’re displayed in a much better, clearer way than before.

Your contacts are getting a serious upgrade in Thunderbird 102! There’s so much more to share on this front, so please watch this blog for a standalone deep-dive on the new Address Book in the near future.

#2: The Spaces Toolbar

One of the underlying themes of Thunderbird 102 is making the software easier to use, with smarter visual cues that can enhance your productivity. The new Spaces Toolbar is an easy, convenient way to move between all the different activities in the application. Such as managing your email, working with contacts via that awesome new address book, using the calendar and tasks functionality, chat, and even add-ons!

The Spaces Toolbar, on the left-hand side of Thunderbird
The Spaces Toolbar, on the left-hand side of Thunderbird

If you want to save screen real estate, the Spaces Toolbar can be dismissed, and you can instead navigate the different activities Thunderbird offers with the new pinned Spaces tab. (Pictured to the left of the tabs at the top)

Pinned spaces tab showing the different activities, to the left of the tabs.
Pinned Spaces Tab

#3: Link Preview Cards

Want to share a link with your friends or your colleagues, but do it with a bit more elegance? Our new Link Preview Cards do exactly that. When you paste a link into the compose window, we’ll ask you (via a tooltip you can turn off) if you’d like to display a rich preview of the link. It’s a great way for your recipient to see at a glance what they’re clicking out to, and a nice way for your emails to have a bit more polish if desired!

Embedded Link Previews in Thunderbird 102
Embedded Link Previews in Thunderbird 102

#4: Account Setup Hub In Thunderbird 102

In past releases, we have improved first-time account setup. When setting up an email, autodiscovery of calendars and address books works really well! But managing accounts and setting up additional accounts beyond your initial setup has lagged behind. We are updating that experience in Thunderbird 102.

Want to use Thunderbird without an email account? We know you exist, and we’re making this much easier for you! After installing the software, from now on you’ll be taken to the below account hub instead of being forced to set up a new mail account. You’re free to configure Thunderbird in the order you choose, and only the elements you choose.

New Account Setup Hub in Thunderbird 102
New Account Setup Hub in Thunderbird 102

#5: Import/Export Wizard

And that’s a perfect segue into the brand new Import and Export tool. Moving accounts and data in and out of Thunderbird should be a breeze! Until now, you’ve had to use add-ons for this, but we’re excited to share that this is now core functionality with Thunderbird 102.

A step-by-step wizard will provide a guided experience for importing all that data that’s important to you. Moving from Outlook, SeaMonkey, or another Thunderbird installation will be easier than ever.

A screenshot from the new Import/Export wizard
A screenshot from the new Import/Export wizard

We’ve also taken extra precautions to ensure that no data is accidentally duplicated in your profile after an import. To that end, none of the actions you choose are executed until the very last step in the process. As with the new Address Book, watch for a deeper dive into the new Import/Export tool in a future blog post.

#6: Matrix Chat Support

We obviously love open source, which is one of the reasons why we’ve added support for the popular, decentralized chat protocol Matrix into Thunderbird 102. Those of you enjoying the Beta version know it’s been an option since version 91, but it will finally be usable out-of-the-box in this new release. We’re going to continuously develop updates to the Matrix experience, and we welcome your feedback.

#7: Message Header Redesign

Another UX/Visual update can be seen in the redesign of the all-important message header. The refreshed design better highlights important info, making it more responsive and easier for you to navigate.

Redesigned message header in Thunderbird 102
Redesigned message header in Thunderbird 102

All of these improvements are gradual but confident steps toward the major release of Thunderbird 114 “Supernova” in 2023, which is set to deliver a completely modernized overhaul to the Thunderbird interface.

Thunderbird 102 Availability?

We think you’re going to love this release and can’t wait for you to try it!

Interested in experiencing Thunderbird 102 early? It should be available in our Beta channel by the end of May 2022. We encourage you to try it! We’ve entered “feature freeze” for version 102, and are focusing on polishing it up now. That means your Beta experience should be quite stable.

For everyone who’s enjoying the Stable version, you can expect it by the end of June 2022.

Thunderbird is the leading open-source, cross-platform email and calendaring client, free for business and personal use. We want it to stay secure and become even better. A donation will allow us to hire developers, pay for infrastructure, expand our userbase, and continue to improve.

Click here to make a donation

49 responses

Andrew Kantor wrote on

I’m looking forward to these and all the improvements you folks will undoubtedly come up with to make a great product greater. I hope, though, that you keep in mind how important customization is — not just to the theme, but via addons and about:config.

I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that being able to tweak Thunderbird to my liking is my favorite feature. So much software these days tries to tell me what’s important … and is usually wrong. (Looking at you, Microsoft Office.) Never forget the geekier users who love Thunderbird!

Ryan Sipes wrote on

Hey Andrew,

We just completed a few conversations about our core values and “customization” is among them. I know that our team very much wants to ensure a high degree of customization, and in our discussions about the message header and Spaces Toolbar, the ability to customize has been a constant topic.

TL;DR: There are people on the team who think customization is very important and want to maintain it as a core part of Thunderbird.

Miguel Useche wrote on

Nice features! I love them all.

I like the support to matrix, now I don’t need to have an extra tab in my browser to be connected to matrix sites.

Larry Archer wrote on

What I’ve read about the new Thunderbird is exciting, it’s hard to make a “screw” up with these new features….. well done.. When will I get mine?

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Larry, if you’re on the Beta version, you should see these features start appearing near the end of May.
Stable users will get version 102 at the end of June. Not long now!

john wrote on


Great news!!!

And thinking that Thunderbird was an almost dead project (what a shame)!!!

Glad to see it back and kicking!!!

Just one question: is there a place where we can follow the Thunderbird 114 Supernova UI/UX modernization progress???


Jason Evangelho wrote on

We’re very active now on both Twitter ( and Mastodon (>). And we intend to post regular reports here on the blog!

Dare wrote on

Trying to set the Beta 102
There’s no possibility to import settings, accounts, message filters, etc. from Thunderbird Portable (91.9.0)

Any suggestion?

Ingjerd Thorsen wrote on

I just need an easy way to update Moziila Thunderbird. Yes, I have given an onetime donation. Thunderbird has been with me from was then already installed on my browser, my computer. So I kept it. But for a longtime now as mentioned yesterday Mozilla Thunderbird is a fine mess. So I still hope for an easy way to make this clear update.

Thunderbird 102 to include an improved Import Tool - gHacks Tech News wrote on

[…] least for some data imports. The team highlighted the new import feature in a new blog post on the official site. The new feature was revealed in late March on Twitter by a development team member, but the blog […]

John wrote on

Awesome. Will keep an eye on them (blog and Mastodon)

just an idea: It would be great to have a non-beta rapid-release channel (like in FF) instead of having just this LTS channel. I love new features, but i’m not very fan of installing beta versions

Ryan Sipes wrote on

Hey John,

I actually agree with your sentiment. The team is actively discussing a monthly release channel, like FF has, but we still have a lot to figure out. Fortunately, our Beta is pretty darn sacred – so there shouldn’t be too many dragons there. But I understand the desire to keep your communication on a stable piece of software.

Maybe I’ll have more to say on this front, once we have concluded looking into what it takes to release more frequently.


Keith plunske wrote on

I used Thunderbird for years and I’m getting older and I needed the font size to be increased to see my mail in the inbox and I found it very difficult and had to give up switch back to Gmail. What we need is an easy way to increase the font size wherever we need it to be again especially to see our mail in the inbox.

Ryan Sipes wrote on

We are working on this. Hope to include an update in 102 that makes font modification of the whole application better.

Ryan Sipes wrote on

Actually, I have an update right after I posted this. This improvement just landed on Thunderbird Daily today, so expect to see this in the 102 release.

SHIRLEY wrote on

I use TB email for my work that was set up over 10 yrs ago. And still hoping and waiting if there’s going to have an OUT-OF-THE-OFFICE reply. So is that something to be looking forward to any time soon/future?

Please do not say I have to set up under the templates because it kinda screw up my email at all.


Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Shirley! It’s probably best to set up an Out of Office response via your webmail account. Having this one and active 24/7 during your absence would require the client to remain loaded and active — which could represent a security risk for you.

Tim wrote on

Looking forward to all these awesome improvements, which I look forward to using!

On another note, I TRULY want to get off of the Beta version and onto the stable version of TB, which I have found difficult/impossible to accomplish. Currently, I’m “stuck” on 95.0 beta and am hanging with that version.

My plan is to wait until a stable version is released that’s higher than 95, and “leapfrog” up to that stable version (102). I really hope that works because I like TB, but don’t want to be on the beta version any longer.

Here’s my vote that you guys make changing from the beta version/channel to the stable version of TB much easier in the near future. I haven’t been able to figure out how to do it (other than “wait for the stable version to be a higher number than the beta version.”)

Thank you for all the awesome work!

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hey Tim, I know this is a pretty limited set of conditions, but does this help at all?

Kubulai (John Nash) wrote on

It’s great that some UI changes are coming. Is anyone updating the authentication protocols to work naturally with Microsoft “ModernAuth”, since they are turning off “Basic Auth” used in ThunderBird beginning Oct 1 this year? The OWL snap-in Outlook (OWA) protocol works for one domain (insufficient granularity in cookies?), but multiple addresses on the same domain overwrite each other. EWS format works, for now, but it too is scheduled for elimination. It would be nice if we had a future proof authentication upgrade. We’re running out of time.

Tim wrote on

Thanks for this suggestion Jason, but unfortunately I don’t meet those criteria.

Can you confirm that I can simply install 102 when it comes out and my beta profile will work in 102?

Bill Minor wrote on

I’m hoping that version 102 will not disable any of the current add-ons, as some updates have in the past. I’m especially thinking of “Edit Email Subject MX”, which for me is possibly the most important feature of Thunderbird.

Istvan Tetenyi wrote on


These might be novice questions.

But before that I congratulate you that the Thunderbird team got so far in development over the years.

Wish no 1:
I wish threads can be much more similar to Gmail’s.
Meaning: thread’s date is the latest message in the thread. And the thread is linked from newest to oldest.

Wish no 2:
Could we have a permanent comment field to messages/threads

Wish no 3:
Could Thunderbird learn contacts from mail archive? I have mails over seven years from an outlook/exchange server. When I reach the outlook server and download (IMAP) the messages, thunderbird does not automatically learn the e-mail addresses.

You can reach me on my e-maill address.

Thanks and congratulations.

Ryan Sipes wrote on

Hey Istvan!

Thanks for the comment!

In regards to wish no 1, we have planned updates to the thread behavior for 114 that I think will improve this for you! The behavior may not turn out to be exactly the same, but we are looking hard at how to improve threads to make them the most useful they can be.

In regards to wish no 2 – you want an ability to take notes on messages and threads that are visible only to you? If that’s the case, I also want this and we are currently discussing how to do it.

Finally, wish no 3 – that is a feature that would be really great, even if it is optional. I’ll write that one down and talk about it with the team!

Tony Susac wrote on

Hey Guys at TB,
I have been IncrediMail user for more that 20 years. As it is well known by now Incredimail is now dead and support for it stopped about two years ago. Since I have tried many eMail clients and the latest being TB v101 beta Portable. Even though it is a beta version I find it brilliant and reliable. Undoubtedly TB is shaping up to be one of the best… In many ways it feels very much like IncrediMail and I just love it. You have done an excellent job… can’t wait for the new stable v102 and the new features mentioned above.
Thank you for the awesome work guys.

Glen wrote on

Would love the Thunderbird function to easily relocate data files (Profile) onto my D: drive instead of being located in C:/usr/username/Appdata. Alternatively to be able to decide on the Thunderbird Profile location.
This would allow my QNAP NAS to backup/synchronise my Thunderbird data.

jon wrote on

Hello, I’m hoping that the Maildir function is fully implemented in version 102. Although I already use this function without major problems nowadays. This function allows the incremental backup that I do daily. Thanks for this great email client that I’ve been using for over 10 years.

Julian wrote on

Good news. Like many I was afraid of TB losing internal support and stagnating, but that obviously isn’t the case, so congratulations on achievements to date and thank you all for your dedication and hard work.

Angel Ruiz wrote on

Hi. Opened Thunderbird now, not having usedit for over 2 months.
Opening now, It started with the software up-dates. Then, simply the Pin on Start doesn´t work any more.

I wonder wether due to not having used it for over 2 months, thus having some up-dates missing may have allowed removing the old while prevented installing the new.

Rodrigo wrote on

Hi Thunderbird Team,

As user of screenreader software for blind (JAWS) I appreciated very much that up to TB 91 I could navigate to my contacts in the address book by pressing the first letter. In the current beta version 101 that does not seeam to be possible any more. I would be happ if this navigation feature would be possible in the final version.
By the way, please do also describe the use of all new features without mouse (key strokes of the normal keyboard only)!

I am looking forward being able to use the new version efficiently.


István Tétényi wrote on

Many thanks! 🙂

Matt wrote on

Will the font size option also affect the account tree / folder list in addition to the message list? I’ve updated the font size, but does not seem to be applying to those areas.

Don wrote on

I heard from Google that changes are coming to their authentication procedures making many 3rd party email clients unable to retrieve messages. Will the new TB be able to handle the changes and continue to work? They said that all versions of Outlook for the desktop prior to Office 2019 is cease to function.

Quoting from the email they sent me: “On May 30, you may lose access to apps that are using less secure sign-in technology. To help keep your account secure, Google will no longer support the use of third-party apps or devices which ask you to sign in to your Google Account using only your username and password. Instead, you’ll need to sign in using Sign in with Google or other more secure technologies, like OAuth 2.0.”

Keith Wales wrote on

I admit to being a real novice at setting up email. I presently use Outlook and have an ATTUverse email account.
Can I move that account to TB without having to change my address with 100s of account?

David wrote on


I agree that having your “out of office” message working on your webmail account(s) is probably best, BUT being able to set it (up/on/off) “seamlessly” (on a per account basis) through the Thunderbird client would be a neat bit of user experience.

What would be involved in either providing that functionality for the major webmail systems – or even allowing us to configure for whichever webmail system we happen to use?

Ana wrote on

Nice pics!! I love Thunderbird, the best e-mail client made with free software.

Julian wrote on

But one thing does not seem to be working now and that is adding signatures to outgoing messages. However you configure things, it just does not do it. I wonder if I have missed something or has something broken? I am sure that this problem did not occur on earlier releases. I will try using an external file and see what happens with that. Otherwise everything seems to be working fine.

Julian wrote on

Encore, using an external file works, but neither work when replying to a received message. This could surely be made more intuitive to set up and use.

Robin Monroe wrote on

Is this new version going to comply with the new Google Gmail Security requirements? Or will those of us with Gmail accounts need to switch to a different email client? Thank you.

Robby wrote on

Thanks to the Thunderbird team for continued improvements over the years. Thunderbird has always been my goto email client no matter the platform (my profile now has about 18 years and 40GB of email). The features indicated here are important and much welcomed. And we as a community of users hope that you get the necessary resources to continue improving and innovating. Donation coming up.


1. replacement for now defunct gcontactsync – hopefully while looking into and updating the address book, you will have some time to look at syncing from other systems like google contacts. As an Android user, it’s critical to me to keep my Thunderbird and phone contacts in sync

2. I’m using the tbird conversations add-on – this removes (part of) the header pane from the message (you can open a message using classic reader to get it back but that’s a kludge) – is there any chance of having a similar design as ‘conversations’ for threads in Tbird or is the existing threaded view the only method going forward (outside of an add-on)

3. the current threaded view does not include replies from me (only emails from the sender) – will this be changed or allowed at some point? (I know my replies will be in the body of each sender email in the thread but it would be nice to see a distinct thread entry for each reply ala gmail)

4. is there any way to sync labels/tags from gmail to TBird?

5. the UI is looking a little dated so can’t wait for the 114 release

Thanks once again and looking forward to new releases.

Thunderbird By The Numbers: Our 2021 Financial Report wrote on

[…] 7 Great New Features Coming To Thunderbird 102 […]

Jay wrote on

Please add support for Labels (as used b Gmail and Fastmail). Specifically, at a minimum, I want a way to visually see on each email the labels that are applied to it. What I would really like is a way to apply/remove labels easily. I’d also like an option to have a Trash button to move the email to trash as opposed to the current Delete functionality that just removes the label associated with the folder in which you’re being the email.

Bonus features would be the ability to customize the colors of each label to be able to configure them to match Gmail.

Without this, Thunderbird is only minimally useful to me.

Ascelin Gordon wrote on

I’m a long time user of Thunderbird and love it. My request (plea!) is that work is done on the way Thunderbird handles attachments. It would be great if it was easy be able to delete or detach large attachments from emails. It would also be amazing if this could across multiple emails at a time. I’ve never been able to get the detach function to work reliably and deleting attachments has often been buggy.

I know there have been addons in the past that have allowed you delete attachments from multiple emails, but all the ones I’ve used have stopped working at some point as Thunderbird development progresses.

Thanks for the great work!

Thunderbird for my phone wrote on

I look for Thunderbird for my phone

Jason Evangelho wrote on

We’re working on something, and will have news to share in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Please watch this blog for the details.

Frances Heaton wrote on

Thanks very much for the update. Have been using Thunderbird for many years, and it works perfectly. Glad to read about all the new features being created, along with improving software.

Wondering whether it might be possible to enable users to send an email without needing to add a subject? You always get the warning message saying no subject stated, which is frustrating. Many users woud appreciate this flexibity.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Frances! Thanks for the feature suggestion. I agree with you that maybe Thunderbird could display the warning once, and then offer a “Do not display this warning again” checkbox to disable further warnings. I’ll run it by the team.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

I went ahead and filed an enhancement request for this on Bugzilla:

Johnson Lam wrote on

As a donator, I’m glad to see improvements keep coming. Please consider:

1) Pick up really handy add-on and convert them to internal function, such as “Owl for Exchange” that direct connect to O365 without using IMAP

2) Consider some current or outdated add-on that really useful, such as “Mailbox format import/export”

3) Built-in template system

4) Delay or schedule sending system

Comments are closed.