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Team Thunderbird Answers Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

We know the Thunderbird community has LOTS of questions! We get them on Mozilla Support, Mastodon, and (formerly Twitter). They pop up everywhere, from the Thunderbird subreddit to the teeming halls of conferences like FOSDEM and SCaLE. During our March Community Office Hours, we took your most frequently asked questions to Team Thunderbird and got some answers. If you couldn’t watch the full session, or would rather have the answers in abbreviated text clips, this post is for you!

Thunderbird for Android / K-9 Mail

The upcoming release on Android is definitely on everyone’s mind! We received lots of questions about this at our conference booths, so let’s answer them!

Will there be Exchange support for Thunderbird for Android?

Yes! Implementing Exchange in Rust in the Thunderbird Desktop client will enable us to reuse those Rust crates as shared libraries with the Mobile client. Stay up to date on Exchange support progress via our monthly Developer Digests.

Will Thunderbird Add-ons be available on Android?

Right now, no, they will not be available. K-9 Mail uses a different code base than Thunderbird Desktop. Thunderbird add-ons are designed for a desktop experience, not a mobile one. We want to have add-ons in the future, but this will likely not happen within the next two years.

When Thunderbird for Android launches, will it be available on F-Droid?

It absolutely will.

When Thunderbird for Android is ready to be released, what will the upgrade path look like?

We know some in the K-9 Mail community love their adorable robot dog and don’t want to give him up yet. So we will support K-9 Mail (same code, different brand) in parallel for a year or two, until the product is more mature, and we see that more K-9 Mail users are organically switching.

Because of Android security, users will need to manually migrate from K-9 Mail to Thunderbird for Android, versus an automatic migration. We want to make that effortless and unobtrusive, and the Sync feature using Mozilla accounts will be a large part of that. We are exploring one-tap migration tools that will prompt you to switch easily and keep all your data and settings – and your peace of mind.

Will CalDAV and CardDAV be available on Thunderbird for Android?

Probably! We’re still determining this, but we know our users like having their contacts and calendars inside one app for convenience, as well as out of privacy concerns. While it would be a lot of engineering effort, we understand the reasoning behind these requests. As we consider how to go forward, we’ll release all these explorations and ideas in our monthly updates, where people can give us feedback.

Will the K-9 Mail API provide the ability to download the save preferences that Sync stores locally to plug into automation like Ansible?

Yes! Sync is open source, so users can self-host their own instead of using Mozilla services. This question touches on the differences between data structure for desktop and mobile, and how they handle settings. So this will take a while, but once we have something stable in a beta release, we’ll have articles on how to hook up your own sync server and do your own automation.

Thunderbird for Desktop

When will we have native Exchange support for desktop Thunderbird?

We hope to land this in the next ESR (Extended Support Release), version 128, in limited capacity. Users will still need to use the OWL Add-on for all situations where the standard exchange web service is not available. We don’t yet know if native calendar and address book support will be included in the ESR. We want to support every aspect of Exchange, but there is a lot of code complexity and a history of changes from Microsoft. So our primary goal is good, stable support for email by default, and calendar and address book if possible, for the next ESR.

When will conversations and a true threaded view be added to Thunderbird?

Viewing your own sent emails is an important component of a true conversation view. This is a top priority and we’re actively working towards it. Unfortunately, this requires overhauling the backend database that underlies Thunderbird, which is 20 years old. Our legacy database is not built to handle conversation views with received and sent messages listed in the same thread. Restructuring a two decades old database is not easy. Our goal is to have a new global message database in place by May 31. If nothing has exploded, it should be much easier to enable conversation view in the front end.

When will we get a full sender name column with the raw email address of the sender? This will help further avoid phishing and spam.

We plan to make this available in the next ESR — Thunderbird 128 — which is due July 2024.

Will there ever be a browser-based view of Thunderbird?

Despite our foundations in Firefox, this is a huge effort that would have to be built from scratch. This isn’t on our roadmap and not in our plans for now. If there was a high demand, we might examine how feasible this could be. Alex explains this in more detail during the short video below:

56 responses

Angelo Marin wrote on

Non riesco ad inviare email ad indirizzi * Come posso fare ?

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Dispiace sapere della tua difficoltà nella invio di email agli utenti gmail. Non so cosa possa causare questo, e sicuramente dovrebbe essere supportato. Pregati di pubblicare una nuova domanda nel nostro forum di supporto comunitario. (Per favore perdoni errori grammaticali e orthografici. Questa messaggio è stata tradotta da macchina)

Mike Hart wrote on

All looks like very exciting stuff to me. I can’t wait. Thanks to the team for all the effort.

Rich Covey wrote on

When communicating with vendors and HOA Board members, using different text colors to highlight important points is extremely helpful. However, changing the color of text is extremely cumbersome. Why can’t I have a dropdown to select the color I want to use (like text size, or font)? Right now, it takes 5 clicks to change a text color and then 5 more to return to black text.

I really appreciate Firebird, it is so much better than AOL’s UI.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Rich, would the Text Marker add-on work for you? It works with both new messages and replies:

clarence zacharias wrote on

when will you have highlighting as a feature. I really miss it.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Clarence, have you tried this add-on? I think it does exactly what you need:

clarence zacharias wrote on

periodically TB refuses to save my email in the sent folder. Changing email addresses doesn’t fix it, so it must be TB itself.
GOT any fixes for that??

Jason Evangelho wrote on

It’s hard to diagnose without more information. Please head over to and search our knowledge base. If that doesn’t work, please feel free to post a new question for our community support folks.

Simeon wrote on

REALLY glad to hear the arrival of “full sender name column with the raw email address of the sender” is imminent! I was one of the people who had asked for that feature.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Many have! Thanks so much for your patience. And thanks for using Thunderbird!

Tom Panfil wrote on

I appreciate the wonderful new plans for Thunderbird but I wish that Thunderbird would get back to the basics and make it easier for users to READ E-Mail on their COMPUTER Screens. Some time in 2023 Thunderbird stopped supporting the use of Command+ on macOS to magnify the display of the content of the bodies of e-mail messages. It provided some word salad explanation of why this was done. OLD THUNDERBIRD USERS may find it very useful or even essential to magnify the the display of bodies. Control+ is the normal way for this to be done.

As of now a user can select the View Pull-Down Menu, then, without needing to select anything from the menu, he can click in the body of the displayed message and use Command+ once or more than once to magnify the display of the body. This selection of the View Pull Down Menu must be done EACH TIME THAT A MESSAGE IS OPENED. This is extremely awkward. It is an irritating waste of time.

Note that this silliness does *NOT* occur with FIREFOX. When one views a web page via Firefox one can use Command+ and Command- at anytime to adjust magnification. There is no need to select the View Pull Down Menu first.

Reading E-Mail is one of the most important and ubiquitous reasons for one to use Thunderbird. Please correct this problem with the User Interface.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi there Tom,
I’m confused at this, because I’m typing from a Mac right now, and CMD +/- works on Thunderbird 115 for adjusting the text of email messages.
Additionally, you can increase or decrease the text size of the entire program by following these directions: Click ≡ (the symbol for the App Menu in the top right) then find “Font Size.” Click + to increase the size of the fonts or click – to decrease the size of the fonts.

Teinturier Françoise wrote on

Pourquoi le version de Thunderbird que je possède refuse-t-elle de télécharger ma boite gmail ?

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Which version of Thunderbird are you using?

Delia Todd wrote on

Oh dear… I couldn’t understand the questions In your FAQ above using terminology I’d never heard of. Then, of course, realised it was for mobiles, so heaved a sigh of relief as I only use Thunderbird on my computer. Though then I got worried about what was going to happen to the desk top version.

I’m still worried about that.

When you make changes to layout or format, especially when it’s optional, can you leave our preferred settings alone. I hated the threaded emails and it took me ages to work out how to revert.

Can you explain what ESR is and how it affects the Calendar and Address Book. Are we likely to lose these? I just don’t understand how we can send emails without an Address Book? And would be lost without the Calendar.

If I can’t use Tb properly, how can I preserve all my saved emails so I can still have access to them.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Fear not! Nothing about Thunderbird on the desktop is changing. “ESR” stands for “Extended Support Release.” That’s the new version of Thunderbird that releases once per year, normally during the summer. We only plan to improve calendar and address book on the desktop, not remove them!

Ellary Kahan wrote on

What’s the point of Thunderbird in a browser? I just use the email client’s web version when I need to access from another device. I don’t need to download email locally, which is what I use Thunderbird for.

Tony wrote on

How do you reset your password if you don’t have it anymore or forgot it?

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Tony, there are likely some solutions to this on our community support pages here: (search for “reset password”)

David Argo wrote on

Changes are always innovative, and I wonder if I could suggest something. My need is to have a simple space included for each incoming email into which I could make a personal note or reference comment about the received email. It’s not transmitted, just a reference. And not the “Tags” option – this needs a “comment box” concept. And not massive either. Just comments.
Many thanks for listening.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

It’s a great suggestion, David. Would you consider “voting up” the existing feature idea on Mozilla Connect?

James wrote on

When you say, “We want to support every aspect of Exchange,” does that include this feature:

I was waiting for the announcement post to send this question April Community-Office Hours, but hey, since you’re here 😛

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Hi! The answer we got was maybe, depending on how this is represented in Microsoft’s EWS API. We hope this helps!

Tom Panfil wrote on

Thanks Jason,
I’d used the hamburger menu’s Font Size controls to increase the font size of everything in Thunderbird but that is not ideal. It increases the size of the header, thus reducing the screen area available for the body. It also increases the size of the font in the window which lists messages, thus crowding out information in various columns.
There was a specific change made to Thunderbird in 2023 which disabled CMD +/- on macOS. The reason stated by Thunderbird was something to effect that CMD +/- was used by Apple for controlling display size and Mozilla did not want to step onto Apple’s toes.
I’ve used MacBook Pros since the first Unibody models were introduced in Early 2009. I’d purchased three 17″ MBPs ( one was stolen and one was for a gift to a friend ) before needing to move to the mid-2015 MBP 15″ which I am still using. I’ve read hundreds of thousands of e-mail messages using Thunderbird since about 2009 or 2010. I can assure you that when I open an e-mail message using Thunderbird I can no longer use CMD +/- to control the size of fonts used in the display of bodies until I at least click on the control for the View Pull Down Menu. I was able to use CMD+/- routinely, without clicking on View, until Thunderbird made a change in 2023. This problem has been reported by others. I learned about just needing to click on the View Control to enable CMG +/- from someone on that thread.
My configuration is:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) // 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 // 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
macOS Monterey ver. 12.7.4 (21H1123)
Thunderbird 115.9.0 (64-bit) — I see that a new version came out sometime today.
— Tom

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Tom, I double-checked with our team yesterday during our weekly Knowledge Transfer session, and I can confirm that we did not disable the CMD +/- functionality you’re referencing. I’m curious if perhaps an add-on is disabling this functionality. What happens if you launch Thunderbird in Troubleshoot Mode?

To launch in Safe Mode, follow these instructions:

Ken Dutton wrote on

All power to your elbows, and fingertips, but PLEASE add a simple button to disable threads in an installation for those of us who can’t stand threading.

Désiré Van Meulder wrote on

Dear hereby a question.
When will there be a Thunderbird for IOS and iPad?

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

We are currently in the earliest stages for an iOS app. With Android, we were lucky to have K-9; with iOS, we will have to build an app from scratch. Right now, we hope to have alpha code available by the end of the year. We will keep people updated on the blog!

samsy wrote on

How about jmap support?

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

The best place to follow this issue would be on the related Bugzilla report!

Richard Wood wrote on

I am VERY disappointed that you have NOT addressed any of the complaints about the new threading feature. I already have a very good way to keep my messages organized, and your threading feature totally screws it up. I would very much appreciate a means to TURN OFF the threading feature.

Frank Brown wrote on

All appears in order. However the only issue I have with Thunderbird, probably a minor issue, is that the layout is not the same as outlook 2007. I used 2007 while working at a university in Dundee, Scotland. The layout, colour and ease of use with outlook 2097 still beats anything else I have seen. To me it was oerfect and I can’t understand why microsoft changed the system. Especially the layout and colour.

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Frank, this sounds like a solid suggestion for Mozilla Connect ( – while we can’t promise any changes, it will get seen by the community and developers! (And as a student who came back to find her word processor layout completely changed around this time, I hear your frustration!)

Dan Suthers wrote on

Is anyone looking into the problem that 115 on Sonoma takes nearly a minute to start up before anything appears in the application window? This happens for me on two machines, one Intel one Apple Silicon. It never used to happen, and the problem appeared when I changed to 115 from 102. It does not happen for 115 running in Big Sur on an older Intel machine, so I think it is an interaction between the OS and 115.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hey Dan, this isn’t something I’ve seen mentioned on our support forum, but I can check in with our engineers. I’m personally running 115 on two Apple Silicon machines (one M2 mini and one M3 MacBook Pro) and haven’t experienced this.) Would you please consider posting your problem in detail at

Michael Coates wrote on

No complaints from me, just praise ! Using fund the bird since version 3.1 from memory it has been the daily work horse and go to program that keeps my business alive. It is never failed, it is never spat the dummy, it occasionally does some with things but normally a restart will fix that. It is a fantastic program that our business relies on daily. Keep up the good work guys it is appreciated by so many!

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

We’re so glad to hear that, and thank you for using us for so long! And our hard work is just getting started so we can keep you all working 🙂


Will I ever be able to use Thunderbird with Yahoo mail?

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Yes, Thunderbird has been compatible with Yahoo since it launched in the early 2000s. Here’s a guide:

Dru Whitledge wrote on

Ola, Jason, It’s likely there — I just can’t find it in TB — but I really, really need an easy quick “HARD STRING” search! It’s not about words or roots or similarities — just characters — only those letters and numerals and characters ONLY between the quotation marks and ONLY that exact number of characters in ONLY that exact order — and nothing more — I want to find that “hard string” of characters in one email among a 1000 — and see ONLY that one return.
Otherwise, TB’s automatic search of similarities and roots and related words ability is impressive and useful and convenient — but not when I just really, really need to find that one “hard string” of characters in a 1000 emails.
Muito Obrigado,

Delia Todd wrote on

Thanks for the re-assurance Jason.

I’ll be 80 in June and it’s really difficult sometimes to keep in tough with new stuff and “jargon”.

Interested in what “improvements” are to be made to the Address Book as, very often whenever I write to someone, or receive a reply, a new entry is made in the Address Book, even though it’s exactly the same address. This doesn’t happen every time, but I keep having to spend time cleaning up the addresses.

A quick glance through just now and I’ve found another 3. been added. One of which, the Name is the same, though one is all small case, the other initial capital, the email address is exactly the same. Perhaps the case sensitivity could be looked at?

Jerome Goodley wrote on

When I delete an email where can I find it to recover it?

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Jerome, without knowing a lot more about your unique environment and email provider, it’s difficult to answer that. Have you tried searching for an answer on our support pages?

sklo wrote on

Any chance Thunderbird will ever support running in the background on Linux ? I need to be notified about incoming emails without having to open it myself.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Answered this via your newer comment.

sklo wrote on

(Please don’t delete my comment, you’ve answered others and I don’t see anything wrong with it.)

Any chance Thunderbird will support running in the background on Linux ? I need to be notified of incoming emails without having to open it first.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hiya! Some good news on that front. We’re planning to start work on Linux system tray support next month. In the meantime, there’s an immediate solution called BirdTray that may work for you:

Sam Tuke wrote on

This Q&A is awesome. Exactly the kind of thing I want. Great job!

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Thanks, Sam! We’ll try to do this more frequently.

Logan wrote on

Will Thunderbird for Android have RSS compatibility? I’d very much appreciate if the android app would synchronize RSS feeds with desktop.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Logan, as an RSS user myself, I recognize the importance of this ask. But we don’t have any plans to have built-in RSS for Thunderbird mobile. That’s outside the scope of all mobile email apps.

Jon Wilson wrote on

Hey Jason,

Are you guys publishing a financial report this year, like last year? Interested to see how the project is chugging along/how sustainable it is.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hey Jon, we should be! Traditionally that gets published in May so please stay tuned.

Dru Whitledge wrote on

Still hoping for help to learn how to do a “hard string” search —
— a basic, simple “compare” operation —
to compare for only and exactly the letters, numerals, “characters” in a search string —
— searching all emails — and searching only for that exact number of letters, numerals, “characters” between two delimiters — in that exact order.
The search available with “Ctrl-K” is fabulous and finds “roots” o a search string — and finds “related to” the search string — but gives me 500 “hits” to sort through and parse out — when in reality there exists ONLY one email — among 1000 that has within it — the exact “hard string” I am searching for — and I would like see only one hit from the search.

Vincent wrote on


Any ETA from when the Thunderbird Sync functionality will be released?

Thanks in advance.

Comments are closed.