Talk:Thunderbird:2.0 Product Planning

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Separate messages from attachments and store them in a database

Current desktop search facilities are much more productive then search tools because of their database oriented approach. In case message headers, body and attachments would be stripped the data could be integrated into a database, which might easily carry the messages of a users life and store the data separately in archives. Since attachments usually eat up so much of the precious space, these have to be specially treated and separated (i.e. to the file system) Searching and therefore finding, as well as storing and archiving could be performed fast and (semi-)automatically.

Separate download of text and attachements for POP-accounts

There are still numerous users of Thunderbird getting their mail using modem connections - reducing size of downloads is then critical and could be achieved by more sophisticated options for downloading large files via POP:

Thunderbird allows to set a maximum size when messages are downloaded from a POP-Server. If a message e.g. contains large attachments, then only the first few lines of the message text are downloaded. It would be better if Thunderbird would download the whole message text and only skip loading large attachments.

The new options-page should look like:

  • (Checkbox) "Load attachments"
    • if yes: (Checkbox) "If message is larger than" (Value) kB

      • (RadioButton a) "Only load first few lines of message text"
      • (RadioButton b) "Load message text but skip loading attachments"
      • (RadioButton c) "Only load attachments smaller than" (Value) kB

For options a+b+c it would be good if the name(s) of the attachments that were not loaded would be indicated (similar to the state when attachments are deleted with the extension "Attachment Tools"). And even better if it then would be possible to load single attachements by clicking on the filename.

There is no reason that I'm aware of not to extend something similar for IMAP. While I'm not especially fond of large attachments in my INBOX, the reality is that people will send them. When they do, I want to be able to deal with large files--images, executables, text--without attempting to download them in their entirety. (I should add here that to delete an attachment requires you to download the whole thing first!) Lastly, it would be great to see the size of attachments before I attempt to download them; right now, I only see the file name and an icon. Why not show more attachment information in the attachments window a la Mulberry 3.x (RIP)? : Therearenoteams

Better offline IMAP support

To reduce size of downloads also the offline support for IMAP-accounts could be enhanced:

It would be nice to have better offline IMAP support. At the moment you have to download the whole folder if you want to read Mails offline... And: if you read a message while you are online, this Mail ist also not available offline, if it is not downloaded again with the offline function. It would be better if one can select single mails to download for offline use, and if mails that are already opened and downloaded online, could be used offline. --sebi 06:21, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Search IMAP folder, especially the content of messages, not only adress, subject an other header data.

Moreover, it would be nice if there would be an option that attachements would not already be loaded when selecting a message but only when the attachement is selected for download or opening.

Marking archive folder to contain sent messages

The "sent" folder is treated differently by Thunderbird compared to other folders:

  • The tab 'sender' is changed to 'recipient' in the 'Sent'-folder (which makes sense as for sent messages the recipient is more important because the sender is usually oneself).
  • Secondly, when doing a quick search for 'sender' instead of really searching for 'sender' it is searched for 'recipient'.

This functionality could be enhanced by two points:

  • The text in the quick search dialog should change from 'sender' to 'recipient' to reflect what Thunderbird is really doing. (After all, the current behaviour of quick search in the 'Sent'-folder could actually be called a 'bug').
  • If one wishes to archive sent messages by moving them to a newly created folder the funcionality of the 'Sent'-folder is lost and there is no quick way to look for the recipient. It would be nice if this folder could be marked as 'this folder contains sent messages' resulting in the same behaviour as for the 'sent'-folder.

Allowing to decide whether an e-mail message should be archived at all, striping off the attachments and filing it with appropriate labels (ideally obtained by a bayesian filter) should help. However the whole concept of having a sent folder could be replaced by a fixed label called "sent" vs. "received", so that the messages could be filed together with the other messages in a conversation stream instead.

Setting an other folder as Trash folder

Currently thunderbird creates automatically a folder "Trash" on an imap account. Would be nice if this folder would be adjustable (like the sent, templates and junk fodlers already are!) --aliB

Export / Import "Message Filter" & "Junk Mail Training Data"

I use Thunderbird on a Laptop, at work, at my home computer and sometimes at school. It would be fantastic if it were possible to keep all this settings synchronous. It also gives the possibility to store these settings for backup purpose. --aliB

Also there should be a support for using or fast copying mail filters from one account to another! --UncleFu86

At the very least, can the Message Filters be manually edited & saved?--blusk

They can be manually copied from one account to another, but edited and saved only in the MTB Interface itself. --UncleFu86

The ability to save/import settings could be included in an email stored on the IMAP server so that the settings could be imported without access to the computer from which you want to copy settings from.--Skydiver 08:53, 5 Dec 2005 (PST)

The ability to save/import settings especially from Microsoft would be THE key for me to start using Thunderbird. Without such an option it is simply too much hazzle to re-create a message filter with 900 entries. On the other hand, the ability to save and import from Microsoft Outlook Express to Outlook Express does exist when using the regedit program. This should be possible with Thunderbird even today. The trick is to find the right register key. (The key for my installation of Outlook Express is: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{14B5F47A-B747-4FB8-8DCA-BDBB1840A884}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail ) The above works for saving and import. One can even import from other identities if one is willing to do some creative armtwisting by using notepad. Here is a description: [1] --Arnomd 11:27, 23 Feb 2006 (PST)

Load .eml files

Thunderbird is already capable of storing an email into an .eml file. The new version should also be capable of opening .eml files. This would allow Thunderbird to completely replace Outlook. Currently, on Windows systems, Thunderbird cannot read .eml files, and Outlook is associated with them.

Use File>Open Saved Message...

File>Open Saved Message opens the message, but the message tools (Move/Copy) don't seem to work. And, you can only open one saved message at a time. It would be helpful if you could save a group of .eml files into a mail folder.

Store settings online (Roaming and clustered mailstore)

It would be cool, if Thunderbird was able to store all his settings (accounts, adressbook, signatures, filter rules, junk-learning-data etc.) in an online repository. (This feature was once built into Netscape, I think it was called "Roaming".) This way, I could use different computers and didn't have to configure the client every time from scratch. You could use a web based repository, IMAP, LDAP, ...? This feature should also allow me to use a POP based message store on one computer as a primary repository of messages while running multiple copies of TB from multiple computers. There should not be a requirement for TB to be running on the primary machine, so the message store would be accessed by a standard filesharing mechanism such as NFS, Windows fileshares or an internet based file sharing mechanism or service. (But a copy of TB running on the local machine should also work.) So this may require a small synchronization demon which is probably available from one of the open source clustering projects. This would be particularly useful for people who tend to use a stationary PC at home and leave it running all the time, but occasionally use their laptop to roam around at home or to go on the road during the day. Combined with the roamable settings feature, this would be extremely powerful. It would also allow you to access home email from at work without having to worry about turning off each machine (or exiting TB) to make sure only one copy was running at the same time. Yet the mail repository would never be physically present at work, thus more under your own control.

better Meta-Data usage like (Tags)

The colour-coding of eMails in Thunderbird is a nice feature and with customisation I can do a bit of cross-cutting-concerns tagging. But I would love to use easy custom keyword like a column where I can type in things like "projectX", "projectY", "informative", "justMarketing", etc. Then of course sorting, filtering of these custom meta-data e.g into virtual folder: "projectX"+"informative" would be great. I think of for my eMails. If one could use the RDF infrastructure it would be sustainanble for even more complex meta-data-handling. Starting with RDFS where I can build small taxonomies/trees of keywords. --Gabridome 01:37, 18 Jan 2006 (PST) This thing is also similar to gmail which is growing in popularity also for his usability. It seems also a commitment of the developing team. "Message Tags Rebrand message labels as tags. Expand the functionality to include arbitrary number of tags and multiple tags per message. Investigate supporting auto generation of saved search folders for tags."

synchronize different inboxes

I'd like to have the possibility to synchronize different thunderbird inboxes (of different pcs), e.g. import all mails, import new mails etc., this way I dont't have synchronize by hand and make sure that i'm not importing the same mail twice or even more times. I think synchronizing two Thunderbird installations on different PCs via LAN would be really interesting especially for people, who have a desktop and a notebook.

Synchronizing the whole profiles on two different computers (or more) should be implemented soon :))

PGP / GPG Support

I would like to see direct integration of enigmails PGP / GPG Support into Thunderbird, to make the setup for novice users as easy as possible. --Sleepy 06:49, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

not only integrate PGP / GPG. the setup should be easy - ok - but there should be also possibilities for other electronic signatures that should be integrated. perhaps include Enigmail more infos?

I don't think I can stress this issue enough. When the user installs TB, the wizard runs and asks for their mail server and account info. It could then ask the user if they want to utilize encryption (with an explanation?), asking for just a few things like a passphrase and if they want to store their public key on a local file or on a website.

It would be a HUGE selling point for companies if they knew that it was easy to setup encryption with their email system, rather than pay for a costly server side application. The easier it is, then the easier it will be to get people at home to use. The more they use at home, the more they'll ask for it at work.

Yes, this would be an incredible feature that I just cant believe no one has done yet. Make it "just work". Negative is that it would piss off the government, but positive is that it would work towards protecting human rights activists. Other standard tradeoffs for easily accessible encryption technology apply, but since this is already available for those determined to have it, it would not likely make the negatives worse. (Morkfromork)

Palm Desktop/Adressbook Support

It would be nice to get direct access to your Palm Desktop addressbook when you're writing Mails out of Thunderbird instead of the build in addressbook. --Sleepy 06:51, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

It would be nicer to also have access to the Iambic Agendus addressbook extensions for Palm Desktop.

Centralized administration and administration plugins

What about central administration? It would be cool if there was a way control thunderbirds settings (especially account settings, etc.) from a central place. As there might be many ways to do this, the interfaces between thunderbird and the centralized settings could be done by plugins. For example: Imagine an MS Windows environment. Managing accounts with Active Directory would be cool. Under such a situation one would need an AD plugin. For other administration means or other platforms one could use another plugin. --mmweber 29 Nov 2005

More Usenet Features

I use Thunderbird even more as an Usenet-client than as an Email-client. So I'd like to see some enhancements there. Like scoring or better support for killfiles.

Perhaps a dynamic scoring like in Gnus. If i delete a message or did not read it, the sender score will be decreased and vise versa. --Driessel 07:18, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

I think users with mail-list-subscription for software developement would benefit from this too. (phj)

With current Thunderbird, it is hard to keep track of your watched threads when there is a lot of newsgroups with a lot of traffic. Some flagging on groups that have new replies in watched threads would be very helpful, see also this bug. --Jfrantzius

Truly, Thunderbird lacks Usenet features. I'm about to move to another newsreader but here are what IMHO should have been in TB: multipart binary file support [2], GNKSA compliance [3], and antispam tools for newsgroups [4].

Ability to setup Workflows

What about this Idea: I get an email. This email is converted to a task (perhaps in Evolution or SunBird). When I finished the task the sender receives an message, that i have done the task. With some more meta data it should be possible to setup workchains. For Example:

Anne sends a document to Bob. Bob edits the document, when he finished his task, he is asked if he wants to notify Jane (she is the next in the chain). If he says yes jane will be notified.

This needs a more powerfull filter (perhaps send some XML-files aus attechment, with the meta data). It should be possible to develop this as an extension. --Driessel 07:32, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Ability to select menus that should appear in context menu

I'd love to have the possibility to determine which menu items should appear in the context menu on a folder/mail etc... without having to hack XUL. I especially miss the ability to run junk filters and message filters from the context menus.

The extension Menu Editor allows you to edit context menus.--Audunmb 07:21, 12 Feb 2006 (PST)

Ability to answer to an already sent mail without changing To/CC

I would like to have the possibilty to "Reply to All" a mail in my Sent folder without having Thunderbird change all the To's into CC's and adding my own address as a new To. This would allow to send some kind of a follow-up without having to edit the whole header. --Bornheim 08:51, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Doesn't "Edit as new" provide exactly that? --Stmoebius 07:09, 13 Jan 2006 (PST)

Additional Mailing List Functionality

  • Mailing list automation
  • mailman automation, registration and notification
  • detect that a message has been sent to a mailinglist and make it visible (special tag, icon, label, etc.)
  • support RFC 2369

Mail Content Analysis and Classification

  • language identification (with flags)
  • using baysian and existing language identification algorithms
  • "groups" of senders, e.g. buddy list, using the address book

mail-merge letter

i sometimes had the wish to to create simple mail-merge letters with predefined variableslike xml-tags or something like this and data from adressbook

protection of unwanted opening of junk-mail

mails declared as junk should not be opened at once, but after clicking a button with a warning "this email is declared as junk! do you really want to open it? [Open]" in the email display-field. especially users with less experience often tap into this 'trap' when they want to delete the mails in the junk-folder finally by drag and drop or whatever.

Yet this feature could really irritate an experienced user. Probably the message should have a 'Don't say this again' option at the very least... ~Toby

You can open an email and don't open files attached. I think the matter you reportedi s not a problem. It could be a problem ith other eMail client.


there is an extension which displays in the statusbar on the right side the current quota, with a fillstand bar and the used space in per cent. would be nice if it would full implemented

minimize to (sys)tray

nearly all os except mac force the user to have thunderbird openend with a minimized window in the taskbar. with a build in function to minimze it always to systray would save a lot of space in the taskbar. i use it with an extension, which is a little bit buggy. So thunderbird can be started like a service, which watches all mailfolders without standing all day in the forground.

UncleFu86 wants to add: Yes, the extension is very buggy, so it is important that you keep in mind, that I in common want only to systray the main window, the other (message) windows I want to close!! So there has to be a different behaviour, when clicking X on the main window it should minimize to tray, when clicking X on the main window, it should close the message window(s).

The tray icon should visualize where there is some new e-mail or not since last minimization.

e-mail folders for each contact

- E-mails should be sorted automatically to folders of my addresses (one folder for each contact person in the address book) in order to get an overview of all in- and outgoing e-mails

This is one of my mostly missed features. I call it "automatic correspondence folder". The point is, that a user should not have to configure any filter. The mails will be pasted automatically. Sent mails as well as incoming mails - all into the same (specific) folder. I described this missed feature also in german on You could find examples there. --Andreas Borutta

This feature would be most useful to me if instead of actually moving or copying the email to the folder, it would simply add a "link" in the addressee folder for each person on the to, from, or bcc list. Moving does not work since there may be multiple people, and copying would not be very efficient in terms of disk space. I would want to be able to enable this by default for any person already in my address book, and it should indicate each recipient/sender who does not have an address book entry and allow me to create one by clicking a checkbox. For any email labelled as junk (or dont know) the default should be to NOT create such links unless I relabel as not junk. The links could be stored in an auxilliary file and it should be possible to regenerate these links automatically for all senders/receivers who already have address book entries. This will also allow me to update existing mailstores to use this feature once it is implemented. (Morkfromork 23:16, 6 December 2006 (PST))

- E-mails should be easilly exported / backed up and synchronized periodically

Alternatively, it would be nice to have set a default folder or folders for each person in your address book.

When you receive an e-mail, there would be a "save to default folder" button. If there were multiple default folders, the "save to default folder" button would open a dialog box with check boxes for each default folder.

When you send an e-mail, there would be a dialog box that would open asking if you wanted to save to the default folder. -- Sean Roche

Ordering of any Folders via D'n'd (was: Ordering of E-Mail Accounts)

It should be possible to order the diffrent E-Mail Accounts individually, e.g. per Drag and Drop, such that e.g. one's faovite account can be easely moved to the top.

It should be possible to rearrange the order of any items in the folders pane per drag&drop in general, i.e. accounts, folders within accounts, newsgroups within ng account, etc.. -- Jfrantzius

Proper E-Mail 'Bounce' Functionality

One should be able to "bounce" incoming mails to another recipient. The entire mail content (including all headers!) should be left entirely untouched. I.e. the mail should appear as originating from the original sender to the new recipient(s). Cf. bounce functionality in eg. 'mutt' and other popular clients.

This can be done perfectly well using the Mail Redirect extension. --vor0nwe 08:32, 14 Dec 2005 (PST)

It has been asked for as a core feature in 1999 already! It is an essential feature that absolutely should be available without installing an extension. Citing Rick Russel from a related Bugzilla discussion:

"It sure would be nice if we could get a stable version of the Redirect extension ( in the core code. That extension is apparently unmaintained, and it's also unstable when redirecting large numbers of messages."

The Bugzilla thread is here:

--Fluithle 04:49, 22 Dec 2005 (PST)

"Multi-Replies" -- reply to several messages in one outgoing mail

When participating in discussions on mailing lists, it often saves time and space if one replies to several messages in one go, as follows: You mark the messages you want to reply to and start the reply. The editor then opens a single reply with all the messages quoted. A separate quote header ("xyz wrote") is inserted for every message. You then edit out the unneeded quotation from each section, inserting your reply. The message is then sent back to the sender of the first message in the selection or all recipients (but see below).

This feature might need a separate menu entry and/or button, or should be restricted to mailing lists only -- depending on configuration or usability issues. Maybe TB could also guess if the user wants this functionality by looking at the recipients of the marked (replied to) messages -- if the recipients for all mails are the same, the above described use case is entered; if not, the old behaviour is used.

Email Response Tracker

Here's how it should work:

When sending an email, there should be an option (only if a corresponding switch in the Thunderbird preferences is not switched off) to switch on response tracking, plus some clickable fields for specifying the maximum amount of hours or days until a response is expected (maybe even a text entry for numbers of hours and days).

Optionally, Thunderbird may add an additional text line like "please respond within XXX days" to the sent email. This text should be configurable, and Thunderbird should insert the amount of hours or days into that text at a specifiable place.

After sending the email, Thunderbird should check the inbox for a response for those emails that are to be tracked.

If the email arrives within the specified time, the response tracking is switched off for that email. If there is an email for which no response arrives within the expected time frame, a popup or an email in my inbox will be created to remind me that there was no response for an email - subject and sent time will also be mentioned. Plus, the email in the Sent folder will be marked so that one can easily see for which email no response has arrived. Emails for which no response arrived for a multiple of the tracking period (configurable) should be marked differently, and response tracking should be switched off for those emails.

An additional option when sending the email or in the preferences will make Thunderbird send a automated reminder email to the recipient each time the tracking period is expired, in addition to the popup or reminder email to the sender. Plus, Tunderbird optionally marks all email senders in my inbox and/or in my address book as "very reliable", "not always reliable", or "unreliable".

I think the email response tracker can be very powerful when using it together with the "Ability to setup Workflows" idea and also in conjunction with the "Reminder Flag to follow up emails" idea.

--Fingerling 14:01, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

That would be a fantastic feature. I've long wondered why email clients dont to that. --duncanshannon 23 Jun 2006

That is exactly what i need for overviewing and optimizing my work. I spend many hours a week just for checking the overdues. --e9826017 24 Jun 2006

Miscellaneous Stuff

I would highly appreciate to see a function that all open (unsent) mails are automatically saved in the background while editing and recovered to the draft folder when Thunderbird restarts the next time after Thunderbird itself, the OS or the power supply had crashed. --Longnose 22:32, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Improved handling of quoted text passages in the plain text editor. The angle brackets marking quoted passages should not become part of the text and thus move around when such passages are edited, but stick to the left margin like the bars in the HTML editor do. Also, editing quoted passages often leads to "comb quotes" when the mail body is rewrapped at sending. In short, the angle brackets should be decoupled from the text during editing and rewrapping and only be inserted into the actual mail body afterwards.

Groupware integration (sunbird, lightning); administration of IMAP ACLs and sieve scripts with a GUI; write access to LDAP addressbooks including creation of address lists--Bollin 13:48, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

A function which automatically changes the sender identity specific to the folder i'm in, when i create a new email (at the moment it changes only specific to the accounts). (see the bat).--RMM 13:40, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

I really miss the easy backup and restore options known from The Bat. For Mac OS X i would like a better integreation, easy migration from to thunderbird and the Option to use the Mac OS X address book.--Jan-42 13:30, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

hello, I wish to have the posibility to add a photo to a contact in the adressbook (don't know if this is already realized in 1.5).
An other more complex idea is that Thunderbird could be able to sort your mails automatically to multible different folders after a learning period, similar to the actual auto-learning junk filter. --Nimix13 10:03, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

filter mails from IMAP-folder automatically to offline folders --Skurt 09:14, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

set more then one person from adressbook to BCC with sparse clicks. building groups of adresses would be great --Skurt 09:13, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Import/export adressbook to Outlook, synchronization would be greatest --Skurt 09:13, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

To make the migration from Outlook Express to Thunderbird easier for non IT freaks, it would be nice to integrate the "Contacts sidebar" extention and have the 3-pane-window as default look... --Yann 29 Nov 2005

Change the Address Book. Currently if you have an address in more than one Address Book (e.g. friends and company) and you have to make changes (email-changed...) you have to make this changes in EVERY Address Book. Something like categories or links would improve the usability. I would prefer categories like the Address Book in KOrganizer. --aliB (moved to topic completely new adress book) --Bierdrinker 06:53, 22 Dec 2005 (PST)

I would like an easy way of reporting spam to DNSBLs (i.e. An assistant might help removing personal information from the mail (i.e. the reporter's email address) and send it to several DNSBL servers at a time. (rumpelstielzchen, 29 Nov 2005)

I currently miss an easy way to "convert" a POP3 account to IMAP. Many mail providers support both, so switching from POP3 to IMAP should be made simpler. Furthermore, it should be possible to explicitly archive mails from IMAP accounts (a kind of "offline" mode that stores them on disk only and removes them from the server). A lot of IMAP providers severly limit the disk space, so archiving mails within Thunderbird gives you the "best of both worlds" (POP3 & IMAP). --phantasm 29 Nov 2005

The Bayes Filter should not only classify Mails als SPAM, it should be able to learn classify Mails as I move them to Folders (e.g. "Newsletter", "Work", "Friends" ...a self learning Inbox Filter) (GOI)

Would be great if Thunderbird would support email templates. For example I create everyday a report containing the current date in the subject. Creating a template with the subject "Report: <date>" would be great. --aliB

I'd love to see an option to hyperlink phone numbers in the address book. Either to "sip:" or better still to any URL, so that a CGI script could connect to an Asterisk server to initiate a call.--Libits 05:41, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

It would be nice if the addressbook is integrated with the evolution addressbook (for the GNOME Desktop).--Driessel 03:42, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

It could be also interessting if calendar appointments could be storred in the evolution-datacenter-server.--Driessel 03:42, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

More integration in the corresponding Desktop would be nice --Driessel 03:42, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Perhaps these things could already be handled with with the existing plugin structure? If not it would be nice to to make this possible with some extensions. --Driessel 03:42, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Spotlight integration, Metadata support, Slideshow features like optional Dashboard Widget, better integration into existing iWork & iLife product --Chunk 05:17, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

UI Face Lift for the 3-pane Window: I like the 3-column view that Outlook 2003 has. It features a column with the mail folders (left), one with the headers, but every msg gets two lines (middle), and one column showing the actual message. --f00f 14:20, 29 Nov 2005 (CET)

UI Face Lift for the 3-pane Window: One key navigation in the Folder Pane would be a great navigational improvement: I filed this as an RFE a while back: --smagdali

I would appreciate a more flexible way for date-formating in the message list. Another nice feature would be the possibility to sort messages in the order of reception. --f00f 14:20, 29 Nov 2005 (CET)

I would appreciate microsoft entourage and apple mail support for the 'import of local mail' tool (Mac OsX version).

Mail notification and filters: Currently I'm notified of a new mail regardless of wether it's filtered away to another folder or not. I would like to filter unimportant mail and only be notified if a mail is filtered in a special folder or not filtered at all. : Swift 05:30, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Another features: - The ability in MS Windows to minimize Thunderbird to the Systray like MS Outlook.

- Prevention of showing HTML E-Mails (show text only). View->Message Body As->Plain Text

- Ability to show additional Header Informations in an extra windows - not on the message itselfs

- Ability to mark Messages (Done, Undone, Status : red/green/yellow...) Try the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 keys.

- Ability to say 'download all folder contents' on IMAP Thanks ! --Neversaid 05:37, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Generate a task in Evolution, Outlook or Sunbird from an email message. This should be done through an extension --Driessel 05:39, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

RFC 3028 Sieve/MANAGESieve Support

Support maildir format internaly. See Bug 58308. People have given enough arguments why this would be nice, but it would make it possible and fairly easy to write a mdimporter for mac os's spotlight (spotlight integration). Ibn 14:39, 29 Nov 2005 (CET)

Better integreation in Mac OS X: 1) Spotlight plug-in to search Thunderbird's e-mail (as mentioned above) 2) The Option to use Mac OS X's address book instead of Thunderbird's. --Setrok 05:46, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

PS: @Neversaid: A shortkey to change quickly between Plain Text/HTML view (only for this message) would be nice. I normally use the Plain Text view, but sometimes a messages requires (grumble) HTML. In that case, such a key would be nice.--Setrok 05:50, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

display connection errors in a dropdownlist above the statusbar and do not open a messagebox (try navigating in an imap-account when disconnected). Could look like "The Bat!" (screenshot - look at the dropdownlist at the bottom containing "FETCH ...").

ability to store searches in subfolders, even if real subfolders in imap-accounts are not allowed (e.g. imap).

I would like to specify in which folder to store the answered mail (the original) together with the copy of the outgoing message. Like in the mailer mulberry: I copy the respective mail AND my answer in a folder I select (this feature is in the mulberry email window available as "Copy to: (list of all folders) followed by a check box "_ Also copy original message"). --gep

You can specify to store a copy of an outgoing message (Options -> Send a copy to -> ...). But you can't change the settings after you have chosen a destination, and you can't see wether you have chosen to save a copy at all. It would be nice to have an indicator in the status line or at least be able to check the settings in the menu. --Swift 07:03, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Related to the previous entry: when a copy of an outgoing message is enabled, a copy will be stored even if I only store a message as draft. In my opinion a copy only should be save when I really send the message. --Swift 07:03, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

i would like to see the cabinet concept (like virtual folders that can group folders from different account (not quite like the favorites mentioned!)) of mulberry implemented in thunderbird. This includes the possibility to tie identities to cabinets/folders. --bnz

I would appreciate a feature to delete all mails in junk folder with one click in the contextmenu of the junk folder or with a shortkey. (see Mac OS X) --Elmexz 06:54, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Additionally to the "Empty Junk Folder" feature Elmexz mentioned, a global setting that Junk is really deleted (and not first sent to Trash) that works for all delete methods (contextmenu, "Automatically delete junk messages older than..." feature etc.) would be nice. --Stebs

To extent Stebs proposal further; I would highly appreciate the feature to permanently delete a mail (not sending it to the trash folder) by holding e.g. shift or ctrl when clicking on the delete button with the mouse or pressing the delete key on the keyboard. --Jott 01:36, 3 Feb 2006 (PST)

I'd like to have a data source interface as provided by the KDE Kontact suite: One can chose between different data sources and has a flexible tool to access and merge his data.

I am using kaddressbook with an imap addressbook ressource. Since thunderbird is already able to handle imap folders and even store them in offline mode, it would be cool to be able to use addresses from such an imap folder in my addressbook.

The same holds for sunbird: Korganizer can store its appointments as ical-Files in an imap folder (basically as e-mails with ical content). If Sunbird were able to use an imap folder (provided by Thunderbird) as data source, I could also synchronize my calender data.

While you are at it: Storing the mail filter rules on the imap server would be great too. (If it's an easily parseable format maybe someone even writes something to update mailfilter or procmail scripts for serverside filtering) --Elm 16:32, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Make it possible so that while viewing Message Headers sorted in descending order (=default, and automatically reset after "compact folder"), deleting a Mail does move Focus up to the next newer Message (and not move down to the next older one). --Stebs

Hierarchichal unread messages count indication. Having nested folders, you can't see, when the parent folder is collapsed, how many unread messages are in the parent folder. If the account is collapsed there is no indication that it holds unread messages.

Native Widget Support (GTK+) on Linux

I would be really nice to have native GTK+ widgets for the file dialogs in thunderbird (ff, too). In windows everything works quite well, so I would be happy to see this for linux, too.

handle of mails

It would be helpful to have a possibility for marking a mail with a different state. The best would be to give the user the right for creating the different states. for example.: Todo; answer later; private; etc.

other is give a mail a answeringdate like it is coming in at that day.

other would be to send a mail at a different date.

edit the subject

Possibility to change the subject in an recieved mail. or to have a second mysubject-line for comments.

(Added by Don Dillin): Further to last comment, above: Really would like Thunderbird to have a feature LONG AVAILABLE in MS Outlook: Need ability to EDIT the subject of any email item in the INBOX (AFTER it has been received) and then be able to save that email in the INBOX with the revised (edited) subject field. This feature has been available in Outlook for 10 years, since Outlook 97, and every version since, and is invaluable for later search and retrieval of messages when the original "Subject" field was null or insufficient. This is a critical functionality deficiency in head-to-head comparisons with Outlook, when T-Bird is so rich in other feature areas.

Thanks to whoever might be able to do something about this! Please add to planned features ...

(In fact, not only Outlook is known to have this feature (editing the subjects), but also Lotus Notes.)
There is a Thunderbird addon which implements this feature ( , ), but isn't working well over IMAP (looses attachments), as can be seen from the discussion there. Sp, there is indeed a need for a working subject-editing feature in Thunderbird.--Imz 13:55, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

handle of attachments

a good thing would be to have the rights to delete an attachment in the mail. so it is possible to keep the mail-message without the attachment. It would be good to make a note in the mail that there was an attachment.

Sorry for this rude striking, but this is already possible with TB 1.5 (and we talk about TB 2.0) --Stebs

It is possible, sort of. But: Detaching doesn't work properly, in my experience. What's more, that message should, in my view, not pop up at the top of the list as if it had been the last one received. And anyway there should be an option to completely delete any reference to there having been an attachment in the first place. --Peter

A nice feature would be to strip attachments from mails automatically and save them to an extra folder. This would ease virus scanning, keep mailboxes slim and therefore speed up TB dramtically. However, I don't know whether the mailbox format allows references to files in a folder, but if, it would be most valuable.

Save Attachments of Selected Mails
Maybe this one does work already too, but I can't find how to do it. I want to save all attachments of mails I selected. Would be a nice feature.

I think that what the original comment might have meant is that Thunderbird should have an option to not save attachments to the sent-mail folder. I would ideally like a global preference which could then be checked or unchecked for every individual message. I am wasting a lot of upload and download time with big attachments which I don't need saved in my sent-mail folder, but where I do want to keep a record of what was in the message body. The only thing I can do is abort the save to sent mail process, which sometimes causes Thunderbird to crash, or to detach the attachment after it is saved, at a large cost in time and bandwidth. I also agree with the comment above about the difficulties with the detach feature. --Reykvikingur

How about being able to view the filename (or maybe also properties) of an attachment on mouse over (or right click)? Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere, Luke

Download of attachments shouldn't be necessary when reading the mail. I had to download a big (24MB) attachment three times: When viewing the message the first time, then I wanted to save it (waiting again) and after reading a different message I had to wait again when reading that message (yawn). I'm using IMAP. Downloading once should be enough, right? And not when viewing the email the first time but only when I want to save it.

Addressbook Management

In the current Thunderbird, I often get stuck when managing Email lists. Suppose you want to create an Email list for 10 out of your 200 entries. You have to open each addressbook entry individually, copy the Email address, open the list again, and paste it as a new list entry.

It would be much smoother if Email lists could be handled by drag and drop, and if the List entries worked just like the address fields in the compose window.

Anybody who regularly works with Lists under Thunderbird should be pleased by such features.

Standard8 responds: Well actually, you can drag and drop already - open up the address book view and select an address book, then you can drag entries from the view on the right pane to the mailing list on the left pane. --Standard8 13:52, 30 Dec 2005 (PST)

UncleFu86 thinks: There also has to be a Adressbook entry update!! Maybe also like this:

Standard8 responds: This is being thought about, but we could do with more volunteers to help with it. See MailNews:Address Book for more info --Standard8 13:52, 30 Dec 2005 (PST)

Clemente thinks this would be a nice feature: Create a list in the Adressbook from the recipients of a mail. All adresses in "From", "To" and "CC" except my own should be added to a list with one click.

Metasailor googled this topic, came here and signed up just to request this feature. I agree with Clemente. I have been in bunches of different mailing lists, and would like to add all of the folks on them to my address book AND make my own mailing lists. If Addressbook has an option for me to create lists from the recipients, and/or then edit the lists, merge them, and manage them, that would be just too awesome for words.

This is also of great added convenience if I'm managing multiple accounts with Thunderbird, including Google and Yahoo accounts via the Webmail plug-in.

Configurable display for mail header fields

It would be great if there would be the possibility to add special header fields to the header display, which is currently containing subject, from, to and date. An example would be the display of the user agent or any other header, if existent.

Support for Mixmaster / Mixminion remailers

What about support for anonymous, secure remailers like mixmaster / mixminion? It would be a major contribute to be able to use those from within thunderbird. --Eisman 23:04, 29 Nov 2005 (PST)

Customizable print output

It can be very usefull to customize the printout. I suggest a template like system, so that a user can change the look of a printout without programming abilities.

Agreed. I like the way Outlook prints out the messages. I would love to be able to have the sender be large, in the top corner, and the subject right under it. Then the date in the opposite corner. Put a border around it all, kinda like Lotus Notes. Let it be something that the user can define, based on each part/section of the message.

Pocket PC sync

Sync Address book and Calendar like Palm-sync in MOZ

I, too, would like the ability to sync contacts and calendar with my *shudder* Windows Mobile --k0rtnie

Update Vertical View Layout

I like the vertical view layout, but it's not useable on 1024x768 pixel screens. The middle column with subject, from, date infos is to wide. Two lines (one for subject, one for from, date) will be the answer to 1024 screens. Example (Outlook) (see also this bug)

Backup recovery/profile import

The last time I totally rebuilt my workstation (formatted HD, new XP installation), I just had a backup of my profile dir. After installing TB, I was forced to create a new email account, then I replaced this dir by the backed up one. Please tell me it's already possible in the current release to import a saved profile in a more comfortable way - otherwise, I'd appreciate such a feature in a future release.

It would be very nice to export / inport all user data in a EASY way... If you plan to make a new installation of your OS, you would like to save emails, accounts, rules and so on. there are some extentions, but it should be integrated... It would be a good function for people who don't have good IT-knowledge --Yann 29 Nov 2005

I agree here totally: It took me (a Computer Scientist!) over an hour and a lot of luck to restore my profile after a new installation. Thunderbird needs a simple "Backup Profile" and "Restore Profile" functionality! --Kyron 03:52, 27 August 2006 (PDT)

Intelligent folder handling

The next step for email clients would be to massively facilitate folder handling. For example, when dragging an email onto folders, it should be possible to type the initial letters of a folder name (while pressing the mouse button), and the matching folder(s) would automatically be expanded and scrolled to. For corporate users with a large set of folders, this would be very helpful.

Even better would be a Bayesian filter (much like the junk mail filter) that detects the most likely folders for an email, and shows them as drag-and-drop targets in a toolbar above/below the email content, so that the user can drag the email into one of these most likely folders. If he wants to use another folder instead, he can use the regular folder list.

But these Bayesian filters could do even more: When the most likely folder (or set of previous emails) for a new email is determined, the previous emails (and their replies) could be used to pre-fill a new reply email with the correct address (taken from previous replies).

Another thing: How is copying of emails to local folders done right now? If this is a full copy, an improvement would be to have aliases (placeholders) that would point to an email. In this way, I could file an email under several folders (e.g. under 'customers/ACME' AND under 'complaints'), without copying it.

+ This is partially handled by Quick File, at least for moving/copying messages and navigation. There are attempts underway to integrate QF into TB2. Ptomli 16:35, 8 Feb 2006 (PST)

Searching for addresses in message window

I hope, that I haven't missed anything. Sometimes I get e-mail with a very big distribution list. To check whether a specific recipient is addressed, I'd like to search for it using <ctrl-f> in the message window. Currently I have to do it via the message source <ctrl-u>.

Improvements to search folders / vFolders

Search folders should not only be cached, they also should be kept up to date when new mail arrives. This way you you can see in what kind of category a mail falls without moving it to a different folder. A bit like the views-concept of the Opera mailclient or the vFolders in Evolution.

An really useful search folder would be one that matches all messages not matched by all other search folders. This is an default vFolder in Evolution and should be in Thunderbird as well. So maybe some automatic search folders for unmatched messages, contacts, priorities, attachements and stuff could also be included or made possible to create.

When creating search folders it should be possible to choose which folders to include in the search. Either give some specific folders or all existing folders in one account or even in all accounts.

Also add some functions to the context menu of those folders. Like delete all, mark all read and so on (which should be on every folder by the way).

Wouldn't this be quite easy to implement if vFolders were based on tags.

Performance of search folders should be fast even when dealing with large numbers of messages (eg. 100,000 messages for users). When the user clicks on a search folder, the contents should be viewable immediately, and should be complete -- currently a search is performed and can take many seconds to complete. The search folder caching should update all relevant search folders at the time when a message arrives, so searching at the moment the user clicks on the search folder should not be necessary.

Multiple email addresses for sending

I've got lots of email addresses at different providers, but they all share the same server side inbox (e.g., they are all collected by a Yahoo! mailbox). Wouldn't it be nice to be able sending emails with all of these email addresses without having to create a dozen inbox accounts? At the moment (TB1.3) you can specify several SMTP server but you can't use them unless an account. --Manuel (talk) 03:56, 30 Nov 2005 (PST)

Maybe what you're looking for is the "Identity" thing in Account Options? --Peter

Try the VirtualIdentity extension. --vor0nwe 08:47, 14 Dec 2005 (PST)

I know some guys wich have to handle their messages with POP3 and SMTP. And I am not able to configure it correctly to handle it with "more than one smtp-server" to work properly! Maybe it is better to solve the problem with "connecting an smtp-server with the catching account like outlook (express). In outlook express every emailaccount is connected with incomming (pop3/imap) and outgoing (smtp) account. --jamfx

IMAP: Let me chose in what folder to save sent messages

In order to hold threads together I would like to be asked before sending a message in what folder to save the message. If it is an answer or a forward, the folder where the original message lives in should be the default.

kreatifworx: That is exactly what I would like to see. I use three email clients on three different computers (unfortunately I have to) and every client software has created its own IMAP directories like "sent", "outbox", "trash", "junk" and so on. It would be very fine if I could eliminate some of these redundant directories.

New structuring and visualization features

Implement new mail structuring and visualization features like done in IBM remail

Colored EMail index

In the mail index, the text color should be customizable for each message. Depending on whether messages match a certain pattern. For example, with a certain configuration all mails from the linux kernel mailinglsit should be shown in red and all from the thunderbird developers mailing list should be shown blue.

I'd also like to be able to mark messages so that they appear with a solid bar of colour behind them; someone seems to have hack for this with the userchrome.css file on linux, but I haven't seen it for windows. i.e. I would like mails to appear as they do when you first mark them, with say white or black text against a solid red/blue/yellow etc. background. I'm requesting this because it would make them more easily visible; I can't always pick them out at a glance even when I've marked them. Sorry if this has already been requested elsewhere, Luke

Synchronize locale messages with POP3 server account

Since 90% of the users have POP3 accounts it should be considered to add a better synchronization of locale stored messages with the messages on the server account (see also ""). The intention ist to give the user the most possible control over his POP3 account and allow to retrieve messages to several computers. This also allows to use the POP3 account as a backup store in case of a locale failure, allows to mark messages as locked (never deleted), etc and allows to delete stray messages on the server which should have deleted before.

Folder selection through popup box when folder pane hidden

This allows to still be able to switch between folders even if the folder pane is hidden. This popup box may be show always or only when folder pain hidden (see also Folder selection through combo box and Combo box for folder selection).

Verbose E-mail folders

Currently, you can only browse through your email by clicking the emails and reading them, or you must read the often not so useful subjects. I suggest to introduce a view into thunderbird with summary panels for every email with the traditional information, together with attachment names, first few lines of the email, maybe link to meeting scheduled in the mail etc.

unify mailing list, newsgroup, and feed interfaces

(from [my blog post on the subject])

Users participate in discussions and receive announcements via a variety of delivery methods, including mailing lists, newsgroups, and feeds. Although these methods are all technologically different, users interact with them in roughly the same ways. They subscribe to and unsubscribe from a source of discussion/announcements, collect its messages into folders, sometimes save those messages indefinitely, and other times periodically delete old messages.

Users don't care about the technology providing communication, they care about the communication itself. So the UI of a messaging client like Thunderbird shouldn't arbitrarily differentiate between delivery methods but rather focus on what users actually want to do with the messages they receive. Thunderbird's UI should include the following features:

  • ways of subscribing to sources (in this one regard, the UI may vary noticably between methods, since users tend to stumble upon them in different ways, and it may be difficult to hide some details of the subscription process);
  • when a user subscribes to a source, the client automatically creates a collection (a.k.a. "folder") in which to store the source's messages;
  • global and per-source options (with sensible defaults) for receiving messages in the Inbox, in a collection, or in both places;
  • readily-available contextual options (f.e. toolbar buttons, context menu items, buttons embedded into the message display, etc.) for managing sources (i.e. unsubscribing from them, changing their settings);
  • when a user receives a message from a discussion/announcement to which he isn't subscribed, readily-available contextual options for subscribing to it;
  • global and per-source options for deleting messages after a certain amount of time, a certain number of messages, or a certain amount of storage space;
  • a way to browse the list of all subscriptions and manage them;
  • a distinction between turning off message reception (either temporarily or permanently) and removing the source and its messages completely (not sure which should be called "unsubscribing"; probably the former);

Note that unsubscribing from a mailing list is technically very different from unsubscribing from a feed, since mailing list subscriptions are stored on a list server. But from the user's perspective, it's irrelevant where or how the subscription is stored, since either way she wants the same thing: to stop receiving the messages. Users shouldn't have to learn two different UIs for doing the same thing just because the technology behind their behavior differs, just like they shouldn't have to learn different ways of accelerating depending on whether their car has a carburetor or fuel injection; Thunderbird should handle those details under the hood.

For feeds, that means no longer polling the feed. For mailing lists, it means interacting with the server to cancel the subscription. And even though there's no standard way to unsubscribe from a mailing list, most lists are run by one of a small set of list server packages which are identifiable from the headers they add to messages, so it's possible to implement a few package-specific handlers that can automate unsubscribing from 99% of lists.

better Thunderbird source->folder mapping management

Thunderbird users may have only a handful of accounts, but they have numerous discrete serial sources of information, including mailing lists, individual newsgroups, and feeds. With filters, the global Inbox, and Forumzilla's arbitrary feed->folder mappings, users have a great deal of flexibility about where they put their messages. But the more source->folder mappings they add, the harder it is for them to remember which mail goes where, and adding mappings is challenging for ordinary users.

Thunderbird's UI for source->folder mappings is scattered across multiple Account Preferences pages and Filters dialogs. Forumzilla adds yet another dialog for managing feed subscriptions. Users need a better way to view these mappings and change them.

I suggest we add a "sources" pane to the left of the Thunderbird folder pane. The pane, when displayed, would feature a list of sources with arrows pointing from them to their folders. Users would be able to drag arrows to different folders to change where sources write their messages. And they'd be able to double-click a source to get more detailed configuration options, which could be just the existing account, filter, and feed preferences dialogs.

Changing a source->folder mapping for a feed means changing its "target folder" preference. For a mailing list it might mean creating or updating a filter. But these are backend differences; to the user, it's the same action, and it should work the same for all sources.

Mark unanswered E-Mails automatically clearly visible

Unanswered but read mails should be automatically clearly marked as unanswered. This should occur in a visible way, like you normally label Mails! (Or like in Outlook!) This helps to "work off /execute" the remaining E-Mails. If some one migh change this appearence he should be able to do it in the Options Menu.

E-Mail context menu options to add

I would like to be able to use a ?Copy E-Mail Address“?and ?Configure message filter(s) based on this message“ "dialog" via the context menu of a message which is just hovered over via mouse in the Inbox or equivalent folder. This would provide a more efficient working capacity by - amongst others - guarantee a faster message filter implementation.

Different Certificates for different Identities

You can define an identity, but you can't add a different certificate to this! Enigmail perhaps allows several PGP setting for this identitys too. so This whould be an nice enhancement for me ;)

Restrictions to E-Mail Sending through an "Administrator", Enigmail, LDAP

There should be the possibility for the Administrator of the Mozilla Thunderbird Installation / Options / Settings to block the attempt to send messages to certain E-Mail Adresses. The E-Mail Adresses itself shouldn't be available to save in Adressbook or somewhere else.

The second thing is, that there should be a filter so that to some E-Mail Adresses you can only be sent with PGP/GPG, to some only without and also one setting for changing an account as like from this account you only can send with PGP/GPG.

The point about this is, this should be somehow available to administrate apart from the other settings. But at least it would also be okay to integrate the things (except of the last, which is possible in common via enigmail also now) without a separated administrator area...

Also there should be more help to successfully use / install an LDAP Server.

Insert a Export- and Importfunction for E-Mail!

Please insert a export- and importfunction for e-mail, especially to backup POP3- or IMAP-servers.

Write/Update Support for IMAP ACL (shared folders) or LDAP

To maintain a network centered contact directory, independent of clients or operating systems, writing to shared folders or directories should be enabled. Of course there are many configuration issues involved; probably LDAP "schema" files would have to be imported.

Could these be "power user" features with configuration by editing some text oriented "conf" files without the need of UI tools?

More intelligent column options for different folders

It seems to me to be an absolute pain in the butt that e.g. whatever changes I make to the column display in a newsgroup also affect the columns in my primary inbox. There should be options to copy the relevant setting from another folder as well as to make e.g. everything within a NG domain follow the same rules. (This is basically what Mnenhy's Folder Storage options do.) --Peter

Selective quoting in replies or forwards

Most of the time you don't need to quote *all* of the text of the replied-to message, but only, say, a paragraph. It would be excellent to be able to select just that in the original message, then click Reply and have only the selected bit show up as quoted text in the reply message. --Peter

Let me add my push for this... It was a much-used feature in Eudora, and since a lot of Eudora users are migrating to Thunderbird, lets add this capability. It's really handy when you have a very long message, especially with lots of forwards with gunky address lists, rather than go into the forward or reply message and make a huge, scrolling delete of unwanted material... just do as Peter says. Highlight the part you want in the original message, click forward or reply and there you have it... ready to add to or send on. --Jack

Allow Address Book import from Outlook without it being the default E-Mail Client

Outlook is still used a lot for Calendar/Adress Book, so a real Address Book synchronization would be best. Until this works though, a workaround would be to let Thunderbird Addressbook-Import backup this Registry Value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail]@="Mozilla Thunderbird", set it to "Microsoft Outlook", do the import and then resetting the previous Value. That would prevent the annoying neccesarity having to manually set Outlook as default E-Mail Client. Added a comment to corresponding Bug# 124486 --Stebs

Improved sorting and grouping of messages

It would be great, if Thunderbird could group/thread messages and sort threats by different criterias. Thus it will be possible to group the mails of one sender and sort the groups by date by the latest message of each group (as The Bat! does it). I hope I put this proposal at the right place! See also and (german Thunderbird-Board).

I'd like to second the call for a self-threading feature, and provide an example of how this becomes important to myself (and likely others):
I do a lot of online purchasing on various websites, some are designed well enough to provide me with a single email containing everything from confirmation to postal tracking number. Purchases from others, especially those who serve only as intermediary, results in many emails from different email addresses and over a span of time (these two combined is what actually makes my current Thunderbird very difficult to use).
A case study: Today I'm having some trouble with an item I was sent on My mailbox has emails from: eBay (confirmation that I won the item), the seller (an invoice), (reciept), an email or two from the United States Postal Service (tracking of the package), an email from myself to the seller about how the item was not as described. Now that I have a problem and need to provide eBay with all this information, I've got no easy way to collect it. Searching can get one or two per search term, but that's not really simple. I could have created a folder for each item I purchase online, but that's really overkill. I'm almost happy with Gmail's mechanism for "tagging" and item, but I think the combination of moving email in folders and being able to actually decide which items do or don't go into a thread is far more useful.
The way I imagine this implemented is to have the following abilities:
  1. Create thread from message(s) : this creates a thread whose name is identical to that of the message subject
  2. Rename thread : obvious, to allow a more readable/searchable title
  3. Add message(s) to thread : possibly by drag-and-drop
  4. Remove message(s) from thread : obvious
See Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)
Many thanks to the Thunderbird team for this awesome product. I hope to join some day (but have only just graduated college and yadda yadda yadda). I don't know how complicated this feature would be to implement, but if one of the developers tells me it would be relatively simple, I'd be glad to have you tell me to do it myself. Send it to my Gmail account: mkazin@....
-- MJKazin 08:17, 23 July 2006 (PDT)

Display free space on IMAP server in Thunderbird's main window

It would be nice, if you could see in the main Thunderbird window, next to each IMAP account, how much space there is available on the IMAP server for this account and how much of this space is still free. Currently this information is hidden in the preferences dialogue of the IMAP folders. Most mail providers have huge POP3 accounts, but only comparatively small IMAP accounts. So it would be useful, if there was an easy way for keeping an eye on the free IMAP space with Thunderbird.

Mailbox Dispatcher

There is just one reason i am not user Thunderbird: It does not have a mailbox dispatcher like TheBat for example. I am just using a modem so downloading large files is a problem and besides I would rather like to know which mails are on the mail server before I download them. Just using the "filter" options is not enough.

completely new address book

A great step to make Thunderbird more comfortable would be a completely new address book like the one there is on Mac OS X. In Apple's address book you can create as many entries for a contact as you want, e.g. several email addresses, the date of birth and the like. Wouldn't that be nice? I can imagine that this could also advantage the development of syncing applications for mobile phones, PDA's and so on. kreatifworx

Currently if you have an address in more than one Address Book (e.g. friends and company) and you have to make changes (email-changed...) you have to make this changes in EVERY Address Book. Something like categories or links would improve the usability. I would prefer categories like the Address Book in KOrganizer. --aliB Categories would especially usefull for importing contacts from Outlook. Without categories switching from Outlook can be a real problem. (moved here form misc) --Bierdrinker 06:56, 22 Dec 2005 (PST)

Rnapier adds: Rather than extend built-in address management capabilities in Thunderbird, I believe it would be better to hoist all contact management functionality out of Thuderbird and integrate with external tools via plugins (built-in OS address books, ACT!, Palm Desktop, etc.) Then if there is a desire, we can begin a separate contact management project to provide all the functionality listed above.

Rnapier 09:11, 17 Dec 2005 (PST)

This is also a great idea, but: different built-in OS address books have different capabilities, so what do you do in case you would like to have your addresses synced on several computers? And if a built-in address book has being changed? Someone would have to take care of these cases at any time. kreatifworx 00:17, 16 Jan 2006 (PST)

An integrated, cross-platform, stand-alone address book would be a wonderful new Mozilla project. How many address books do you have? I have my Thunderbird address book, my Palm address book (plus its desktop version), plus a database-based one that I use for address labels, etc.... Every time an e-mail address changes, there are at least four places I want to put it. Ugh!

My idea of a Truly Terrific address book: small, fully portable, configurable mini-database that can (1) interface with Thunderbird's compose function, (2) drag-and-drop to Thunderbird, (3) sync to/from Palm, (4) print a simple envelope directly, (5) print simple address labels directly, and (6) export one or more addresses in RTF format or some such for use in a word processor for merges, etc. Searchable, of course, and with some kind of alias system so one database entry can appear in multiple categories, as noted above. Plugins could exist for people who for some reason have to use Outlook, GroupWise or whatever.

Make Thunderbird a "Complete PIM": Calendar and Todo List integration - Sync with PocketPC

To Replace my current PIM , Thunderbird (plus addons) would have to be able to also manage a Calendar and a Todo List All three components should have a seamless support for reminders, priorisations et al.

Also, today I sync my PIM with an iPaq Pocket PC which is not yet possible for the Mozilla Tools up to now

08:15, 9 March 2007 (PST) I second this, and would be interested in beta testing or providing any help I possibly can to get this underway. --k0rtnie

September 9, 2007 I agree with the above, but I would also like to add that I would LOVE IT if Thunderbird also included a place to post Memos/Notes, that are NOT linked to any messages. In others just a Memos/Notes section separate from the emails. I currently use Palm Desktop Version 4.1.4 (PalmOne has not updated this piece of crap for 4 YEARS!!!!) and I HATE IT!!!! Mainly because it's search tool SUCKS!!!! You can't do any advanced searches, but rather only one word or phrase. That is so lame. But yet I'm sort of stuck with it because I have stored EVERYTHING in it for years, and unless I want to use Outlook, which I don't want to do. I want to use Thunderbird/mozilla for everything. It Kicks. Just needs to be more like a P.I.M./Personal Information Manager, including a calendar, todo and Memos as I stated. -Rick

Auto compress folders after relative changes in size

At the moment the auto compressing of folder will only be applied after an absolute value of the file size. More interesting is an automatically compressing when the folder size is increased by a value or after a number of changes (new e-mails). Important, if one collect e-mail by e-mail over years without a general clean up of the folder. An automated periodically compression is OK and necessary but not every times.

Show size and First Headline while downloading mails

I find it very useful immidiately have a short view about the size end object (headline) of every mail while downloading. That enables me to stop a download soon. Useful when You have a very slow connection.

Integration with native Addressbooks

I would suggest a better Integration with the local address books of the most common IDEs. Thunderbird should be able to use the Evolution, KDE, MacOS, Outlook or Windows address book. This would realize a better Integration in the Desktop. --Driessel 00:52, 11 Dec 2005 (PST)

I'd like to add onto this suggestion. Contact management isn't a "mail" function. Users use contact information for many non-mail applications such as IM, calendars (birthdays), mailing labels, phone numbers, etc. Trying to manage contact information in the mail app is extremely limiting. A better solution is to rely entirely on external apps for rich functionality, while continuing to provide the current built-in functionality as a basic stub. If Mozilla would like to create a feature-rich contact management solution, that belongs outside of Thunderbird IMO. -- Rnapier 09:44, 17 Dec 2005 (PST)

When I was using Mozilla Mail I managed to link my .wab address book into Mozilla's address book; I can't figure out how I did it let alone replicate in Thunderbird. What I most want is a way of sharing an address book between users

create an email group in the address book from an email

From an email I receive that goes to many people I'd like to take over ALL email addresses into the address book and then have a group created.

I'm clear that this might be misused. So it could be limited to be available only when my own email address is in the To or cc field.


Reminder Flag to follow up emails

I often deal with mails that need some sort of follow up.

A reminder flag with a date is desperately wanted!

It could then show up as a reminder pop up or at least a folder showing all reminders (for each account as well as ALL accounts together).


sorting messages by subject (as thread)

This is already possbible right now to a certain extend but not fully as required practically.

(1) I would need to be able to edit the subject line (as requested by others here already)

(2) I would need an option to enter words or abbreviations that get stripped off the subject line as I work with people in Germany a lot, where there is no "Re." ... there it's either "Antw." or "Antwort" or the like. So if I could edit this list myself (in the preferences), that would do a terrific job.

(3) finally - the top would be a display as a thread, but that's not essential.


See Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)

Editing incoming messages

A client of mine works with Outlook mainly because of this functionality: since he is using email as a real conversation tool and an essential tool to work on documents really, it is essential for him to be able to edit a message someone sent to him.

Editing as a plain new message (i.e. more or less a response) as it is possible today is not the same.

If this for some reason is not possible, the edited mail message could be a copy that lives parallel to the original mail (same folder, etc.) and that has some sort of clear mark, that it is NOT the original message.


Agree. My request for Post-it note capability would accomplish the same. But, some means of making notation incoming mail is desperately needed. The "copy" or "forward" work-arounds are clumsy and cluttering and often confusing, just by the nature of being a work-around rather than a solution!

Addendum: Shortly after I enter the above, I got a response to a Mozillazine forum query about the subject. The following link extension has been installed and used. It fits my needs and others's too, I presume

Several well described feature requests in German

I have described several missing features in German in my tip collection for Thunderbird: Maybe some of you devolopers can read German and regard it as useful? --Andreas Borutta

Insert text as external quote

The usual quote initial for a quoted text which comes from an external source, e.g. a website, is "|".

I suggest to add a new command, "insert as external quote".

If it were added, the command "Rewrap" should work for such external quotes as well.

A more detailed description of the suggestion enriched with examples can be found at This text is in German. --Andreas Borutta

Protect specific lines being wrapped

Sometimes special parts of text should not be wrapped.

In the news- and mail-client "40tude Dialog" the user could protect marked lines with a command from beeing wrapped.

I suggest to implement this into Thunderbird as well.

This suggestion you could find in German on enriched with examples. --Andreas Borutta

Show subject in threads only one time - show names in position of subject

In the view of an expanded thread the subject is repeated multiple times. That is redundant. It reduces the readability.

I know a way to display an expanded thread quite more readable. Only the first subject is displayed. In the first answer the name is shown at the positon of the subject. The column with the name will stay empty. Screenshot: subject-nicht-wiederholen.png

If a subject changes inside a thread, the first changed subject will be displayed again with two columns: subject and name

--Andreas Borutta

See Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)

Heading of Accounts (IMAP)

The Headings of Accounts is in bold-face. For better working this should by normal-face or - optimum - individual configuration in user-settings.

New Mails in IMAP-Folders

It is very difficult to see, when new Mails in an account are available. Some themes provide somewhat better optical reminders, but this is still not enough.

Best method will be:

- Account-Heading not in bold-face - if new mails are available, open the folder of this account - change face of account-heading to bold (or other color) - mark input-folder of account with a thumb, bold-face or other color.

Delayed message delivery

Being able to set a certain time and date in the future for TB to send a particular message -- just as e.g. Eudora does -- would be nice to have. (And should be easy to implement, I imagine...) --Peter

Remove LDAP, add it back as an extension


In general, Thunderbird needs to have more extension points. In this case, an easy way to add in additional providers of address books and address lookup would be a huge benefit. Perhaps a new LDAP extension would result, or perhaps some other type of address store would be created (e.g. simple web service system, or ...) Judging by the comments here, address lookup and the address book appear to be among the bigger grievance points. This would allow for a lot of experimentation in this space.

Tagging and Hierarchical search

I notice that better tagging support made the officially planned feature list. Along with this, it would be good to see a lot of the UI and searching features that the leader in this space has done (GMail).

  • make it simple to tag things
  • eliminate custom folders, there are only tags

Along these same lines, add in hierarchical search. Start from multiple roots, and drill down until you find the mail you're looking for:

  • Contacts
    • John
      • Tags
        • Project1
        • Project2
    • Anne
  • Tags
    • Project1
    • Project2

Every one of these levels would display all of the messages below (allow sorting by all columns, including date). Each level would also allow arbitrary searching (right-click on John below contacts, select search, and then enter in text based search against that context).


I'll found it very usefull to have a Mail-History... e.g.:

Dezember 12th 2005:

        - Mailheader 1
        - Mailheader 2
        - Mailheader 1
        - Mailheader 2



vCard export/import

I think a vCard import/export is very usefull... Thunderbird 1.0.x doesn't have any function for it... an there are no extensions.... It's really usefull, e.g. to exchange contacts...


from Thunderbird-User1:

Thunderbird 2.0 must have a vCard import/export function. Almost every MacUser complains about that, because their contacts are saved as vcards, and also iPod-User or users of different Mail-Programs which use vCard have often talked about this very important feature. Additionally you get more business users who use vcards. So please implement this must-have feature into the next generation of Thunderbird.


Not just for Mac users. While Organizer (faithful old friend that it is) does CSV files, it is lots easier to do vCard exports from its phonebooks; should also import easier.--Djenner 19:20, 25 August 2006 (PDT)

08:18, 9 March 2007 (PST) I very much agree with this statement. I'm not sure if we're allowed to vote. :P --k0rtnie

Shared address book support

Similar to a previous Feature request (LDAP as extension), but more to the point.

Would like to have some sort of shared address book support. At a minimum, this would:

  • query against an external source when looking up email addresses (possibly with an extension to allow multiple types)
  • Allow for the launching of a tool to manage this external address book (e.g. URL or simply an external app)

Some things, which would be great....

1. The compression feature is a great method to reduce storage size, but it's very unpractically. I think in the next release there should be a autocompress feature after deleting a various number of messages, not about the complete size of the profile.

2. The possibility to export complete folders with right-click (or all message older than ..) in an archive, that should be also opened as like an additional profile. Like the feature in Outlook to export all message older than .. in an separated .pst-file.

3. The possibility to show additional header information and the complete mailsource with an rightclick of a message. Not with Ctrl+U or clicking in the menu.

Separate Window for E-Mail header before fetching mails

I would appreciate a separate window showing a list of new mails on the POP-Server (which is generated using only the mail headers) with the ability to easily remove some mails from the list which causes them to be removed from the POP-server. A separate window would lead to a much more comprehensible behaviour compared to the "Fetch headers only" option which silently deletes mails from the POP-server if the header-only mails are deleted or moved to the junk folder. So many users have asked for this feature in the german forum. Here you can view a screenshot of such a window: auswahl.gif

some possible options:

  • delete msg from server
  • download msg from server
  • remain untouched on server
  • download and remain on server
  • move directly into junk

Integration of a Calendar + Birthdays

Integrate a Calendar like the iCalendar plugin into thunderbird, such that reminders are able when the calendar is not open. Another important thing for me is to have a birthday field for my contacts. These birthdays should generate automatically a repeating calendar entry. Then it would be perfect for me. Another nice-to-have thing is syncronisation with PDAs but yet not so important to me.

I wish not only birthdays but other anniversary fields too. (In Hungary we have namedays.)

- There's already a Calendar Extension for Thunderbird. Lightning is a project to integrate the Calendar into Thunderbird fully.

Server protocoll

One reason I prefer AK-Mail to Thunderbird: There is a log of the server communication. Would be great, if this is possible in a future version of Thunderbird. It helps to analyse errors...

POP3: Verbinde zum Host-Rechner [] am Samstag, den 24. Dezember 2005 11:46:40
POP3: 11:46:40 [rx] +OK GMX POP3 StreamProxy ready [...]
POP3: 11:46:40 [tx] APOP [...]
POP3: 11:46:40 [rx] +OK mailbox has 2 messages (186120 octets)
POP3: 11:46:40 [tx] STAT
POP3: 11:46:40 [rx] +OK 2 186120
POP3: 11:46:40 [tx] LIST
POP3: 11:46:40 [rx] +OK mailbox has 2 messages (186120 octets)
POP3: 11:46:40 [tx] UIDL
POP3: 11:46:40 [rx] +OK mailbox has 2 messages (186120 octets)
POP3: 11:46:41 [tx] RETR 2
POP3: 11:46:41 [rx] +OK message follows
POP3: 11:46:41 [tx] QUIT
POP3: 11:46:41 [rx] +OK bye

Automated deletion

One reason I prefer AK-Mail to Thunderbird: It supports automated deletion of messages from the trash folder of an individual account:

There is a per-account setting "Delete messages from trash folder, after they have resided XX days in the trash folder". This way the days of being in trash are relevant, not the date of the message! It is a nice feature to keep the trash fullness low, but provide the chance of restoring messages within some day-range, if I recognize having deleted them by accident.

Robust automated fetching and sending

One reason I prefer AK-Mail to Thunderbird is the possibility to configure independent intervalls for automated fetching and sending messages -- per account.

When fetching or sending the unsent messages fails, there is no annoying message-box you have to click away each time, but there is only a log entry to the account log. This is nice, because I have here often connection failures with my DSL. The e-mail client should be able to fetch and send whenever possible and don't annoy me, if it's not possible. If I want to, I'll have a look at the log...

Linking of attachments to the file system instead of copying

One reason I prefer AK-Mail to Thunderbird: It is possible there to link attachments instead of copying them into the message. This way it is possible to create template messages with linked files. When I finally send the message, the current version of the file is taken from the file system.

Custom Tabbar Location

Many people might like the upcoming tabbar for tabbed messages on top of the pane, but many eudora users will prefer them under the message pane. It would be great if this customization option could be part of TB 2.0 right from the start and the position wasn't hardwired.

reply with template

Although filed in Bugzilla as bug 21210 I would like to have it in TB 2.0, integrated in the concept of discussions/threads.

Double Key Encryption by Default

I propose that future releases of Thunderbird incorporate default encryption and signing of all email through a peer-to-peer, double-key encryption system, similar to PGP.

I'm proposing a very simple system, essentially:

  1. ) Thunderbird will include a double-key encryption system
  2. ) Thunderbird-originated emails will include a line "public key available"
  3. ) Thunderbird clients will automatically exchange keys when they spot #2
  4. ) Future messages between the two will automatically be encrypted

The result would be that all Thunderbird users would communicate securely between each other. Hopefully, a critical mass would be attained, and all email clients would have a the same compatible encryption scheme.

For this to work, encryption must be default rather than an optional plug-in or extra effort if we are finally going to solve the vulnerability of totally open email.

The system must be so simple as to be essentially transparent. What I'm suggesting is VERY simple: After the first email, the Thunderbird clients exchange public keys. All email after that is encrypted with no effort by the user.

I feel very strongly that routine encryption of email is long overdue. The first time I used email in the late 80's, I was uncomfortable with the total lack of privacy. I can't believe this hasn't been solved, yet!

Can anyone else jump on this bandwagon with me? I honestly believe that adding this one feature could have a profoundly positive impact on everything from commerce to human rights.--Calan 22:41, 11 Jan 2006 (PST)

As I wrote to you personally: How do you plan to solve the problem, that some (most?) users may also check their email with other email clients or via web-access (e.g. hotmail, yahoo)? --Eisman 23:57, 26 Jan 2006 (PST)

Microsoft Exchange

I propose that the next version of Thunderbird should be able to talk to Mircosoft Exchange using its native protocol, perhaps using the GPL Ximian-Connector from Novell. Yes I know that Exchange supports IMAP and POP3, but a lot of companies do not enable them for security reasons

I would love to see this implemented. Our University is migrating to Exchange and I'm currently having to downgrade everyone from Thunderbird to Outlook Express. Not pleasant I can tell you. -- Trippynet, Nov 07 2006.

Why don't you try MS Outlook 2003? This integrates real well with Exchange 2003 and supports a lot of good features. I would like to see Thunderbird on Exchange as I have a client who is using it. For now, I will set him up with POP3 to my Exchange Server so he can keep using it. I would never use Outlook Express unless you want your users exposed to spam and all the other bad stuff that is out there. The term "downgrade to...." is an understatement! Charles

In my company, they are moving all servers to Exchange (non-IMAP/POP), so I will no longer be able to use TB, and this is not anything I will have control over. A plugin for Exchange connectivity would indeed be of great value to me. Yannack

My school doesn't have POP or IMAP enabled (for security reasons, like Yannack said) so a plugin for exchange support would be greatly appreciated and Thunderbird would be copacetic to the business world, instead of using Outlook. -- niftymatt

RSS offline support

It would be great to incorporate in future Thunderbird realeases offline RSS reading support.

UI changes mentioned in last item of article

Aka Gmail-like message grouping by conversation, and also possibly integrating the message list pane and the message display pane into a single conversation pane, wherein individual conversations can be expanded/collapsed, and also perhaps in collapsed form, a small preview of the message content is shown in the conversation line.

Conversation lines thus do not have to be a single line in height; they can be two or three lines -- think Gmail message search results display.

Bug 241197 [5] is a very good place to start.

If implemented this can put Tbird head and shoulders over the rest of the email crowd :-)

per folder (and per sender) hooks (like mutt) for identities

There's already a bug for this (Bug 200872) but I thought I'd add it here too... the ability to add hooks like Mutt supports so that I can say "all mail to should come from bugzilla@mydomain.ext" and not need to remember to change the drop-down to the correct address.

Tony Firshman: Having moved from Demon's now unsupported Turnpike, I miss the per-folder identities. This meant one could set _all_ default values when writing emails. I use different identities for public mailing lists, where archiving is often ridiculously open - ie quoting sigs literally. I also like to fudge the "Reply to:". Also in TP mailing list folders, the To: is pre-filled. I have to set up dummy accounts with unused root folders to be able to set default ID. I cannot though set default "To:". Messy.

Tagging, annotations, and information management

Tagging has already been mentioned multiple times and seems a very important feature for any information system that contains data with multiple associations. The problem of information management and retrieval for emails is actually very similar to the problem of organizing bookmarks (see The ability to quickly add and edit tags (projects, events, locations, groups, names) associated with an email, bookmark, etc. provides a selection mechanism that is more specific than free text search. The "traditional" Inbox, Sent, and other folders of multiple accounts can even exist besides the tagging but the folder names and account names need to be integrated as (default) tags. Annotations are as powerful as tags but rarely used so far. The key issue for both tagging and annotations is the user interface. It needs to be a "permanent" tool like the "new" find, the Firefox extension "Flat Bookmark Editing", or tools in Photoshop that provide direct access and NOT a dialog. The search should by default include all main folders such as Inbox, Sent, etc. and sort the results by time. To select emails by tags and to have the results from Inbox, Sent, etc. in one list seems to me even more interesting than some proposed features of IBM's Remail project. A method to save tag combinations in a list (may be with a name) for later searches would be equivalent to dynamic folders and may provide a solution for some of the above feature requests.

New message popup to include message info

It would be nice, if whenever I get a message from somebody that when it shows the New Message popup and says, "1 new message" that it tells me who it is from and maybe the first part of the message. Sort of like outlook does. This would really be ideal for me cause if I am watching a movie.. It pops up and says you got 1 new message. But I have to get up and go to the computer to figure out if it is important or not. If it had who it was from, I could tell without having to get up.

If you have multiple messages, ie. "2 new messages". Then just popup a window for each message.

Just adding another vote for this feature. It's immensely helpful to know whether or not I should divert my new attention to that incoming message or whether it's just more spam. For me, the alert is useless without this because there's always new mail lately, it's just a matter of who it's from.

Return receipt mail tracking

If I send a return receipt mail, I don't want to check manually later if I got from all the addressed persons return receipts. I also don't want to see the return receipts in any of my folders. I would like to have a visible distinction (eg. by colors) of the unsuccessfully sent mails in the sent folder, which have not received the return receipt yet. It would be nice also if I can set a timeout value for an important mail, in which if a return receipt is not received then the email is automatically resent.

Insert signature here

In conversations between two Thunderbird users with the setting "Forward messages: inline" set, the signatures will just heap up in a useless mess at the bottom of the e-mails since the signatures are always inserted at the bottom of the mail.

Furthermore, when replying customers' e-mails the signatures are also inserted below their messages which is kind of awkward. A better solution IMHO would be the Outlook Express way where a toolbar button inserts the signature where the user wants it to be. NisseSthlm 10:38, 25 Jan 2006 (PST)

I just realized that there is an option in the Thunderbird settings where you can choose to insert the signature above or below the quote, Outlook Express style. NisseSthlm 07:35, 17 April 2006 (PDT)

Good point. You can use Quicktext - Thunderbird Extension in the meantime:

Easy language switch UI

For those of us using more than one language on a daily basis, the inline spell check tool becomes useless half the time. If I want to write a message in English with spell check activated, I first have to open the Options... dialog and choose the English dictionary. When I'm done writing that e-mail, I have to open the Options... dialog again and change back to Swedish dictionary. With that many steps (lazy bastard), my dictionary is set to Swedish and will stay set to Swedish, making it useless when writing English e-mails.

I'd like the dropdown menu availiable in the Options... dialog but placed on the message toolbar.

This option should furthermore change the one word ("wrote") written by Thunderbird when replying a message with the "Forward messages: inline". In Swedish the "XXX XXX wrote:" line would be "XXX XXX skrev:". NisseSthlm 11:05, 25 Jan 2006 (PST)

I am also struggling with this when having multi-lingual mail output. My approach to solve this would be slightly different: An additional language field in the address book would be great, which would then be used as default setting for spelling and, as mentioned above, generated comments.

Full text indexing of messages

Add the option to full text index incoming messages. Thunderbird maintains its own fulltext index. So instead of going through all physical messages on a search the index is scanned. This will speed up searches dramatically.

S/MIME X.509 handling

I suggest makeing it possible that encrypted mails stored unencrypted after decoding it. Maybe the mails should be stored in a new folder.

The main problem is, that for security reasons, the privat certificate isn't stored on the notebook. In fact it's only stored on a smart-card (a-trust) that is used with an external card reader with a keypad on it to type in the code. If now, for some reasons, this card is broken or the validity of the certificate will be void, there's no way to read all the previously decrypted mails again.

So I think, that storing mails unencrypted is a very important feature

email address and identities per SMTP server instead of POP/IMAP

I use one single IMAP server that automatically fetches mails from my private and work POP3/IMAP accounts. Unfortunately, sender addresses can only be set per POP3/IMAP account (via identities). That doesn't work well because I can only use one SMTP server for all my email addresses. To solve this, I have created multiple "fake" POP3 accounts and associated them with real SMTP servers. Why don't you move the "identities" feature from the fetching server (POP3/IMAP) to the sending server (SMTP)? It's more intuitive because you send mail via SMTP not via POP3. Also, Thunderbird does not automatically choose the right email address when replying to mail (which is stored on my IMAP server). It's always the default account's address, so if I forget to set it to the correct sender address my mail does not get through mailing lists, for example. It should also be possible to choose the default sender address independently of the default POP3/IMAP server (i.e.: put all that stuff in the SMTP server settings). Thanks!

IMAP address book (and for Sunbird calendar, todo, etc.)

It would be nice to have other address book backends. With LDAP I cannot edit/create contacts (and I currently cannot easily get a list of all contacts). An IMAP address book based on vCards would be a great feature, but it must be standardized because other mailers should implement that, too. This should also allow for PIM features (calendar, etc.), so you can have everything stored on one single account (there aren't that many Exchange servers for personal use, so IMAP is the best compromise).

Integrate Quick File

Quick File is an existing extension to enable keyboard based filing and navigation. See Quick File on mozdev.

There is a bugzilla bug for discussion of this.

Views as main UI

The combination of Views and vFolders is one of TBs strengths. With tags, it's get even better. Use it.

Rather than the 3-pane window, TB should have a default window based on different views of your mail. The 3-pane window shows the accounts and folders you have, the default window should show valuable information your mail and messages. For instance it could tell you that there is a total of 43 new messages, 5 of them is from People you know, 22 is from A Mailing List, 8 is from Another Mailing List, 3 is from A Feed and 5 is from A Newsgroup. Each view from the default window could then be opened in a new tab.

Exactly what should show on the default page should be configurable. It doesn't necessarily have to be new mails, it could be mails marked ToDo (as in You have 5 mails marked as ToDo), or anything else the user may create a custom view for.

In addition to a new default window there should be a Favorite Views toolbar and a dropdown menu of all views (much like bookmarks in Firefox). The 3-pane window should still be an option as it has it's uses, and many users may prefer it. The new default is better for users accustomed to gmail and other Tag/Search-based services, the 3-pane window is for people who is accustomed to folders.

Ability to customize the Background Color

A lot of people find tiring for the eyes to read on a white background. I don't use Thunderbird just because of this problem! (with Foxmail and others I can use the light gray background I put on windows settings).

Good work,


Considering Sproutit Features in Development process

Please think about Sproutit from Sprout Systems, Inc. and ask yourself how to implement the best and most useful features from their program to Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0!

Look at a review from Brian Benziger here.

Thanks for considering this.

--UncleFu86 05:25, 14 Feb 2006 (PST)

Import/Export vcard format to/from Thunderbird Addressbook

Applications like Palm Desktop or Lotus Notes usually import and export contacts using vcard (VCF) standard format (rev 2.1 or 3.0).

It would be nice to get this feature added to the import/export features of the Thunderbird address book. Files accepted or generated should be for suitable for single and multiple contacts.

Importing contacts from such applications right now is cumbersome. In windows you can import them from Outlook Express and then import the OE address book from Thunderbird. :-(


Simple Mail Access Protocol (SMAP)

Support SMAP in addition to IMAP.

See also

--Mozifix 02:11, 17 Feb 2006 (PST)

UI Liftup and stuff

1. View pull down menu. (all - unread - important...) This menu should be replaced with buttons for each entry. In addition an ability to add custom labels should be possible. Buttons should be made on "on" - "off" paradigm, which would enable the possibility to "combine" views like for example "all read" that have "attachments" and are labeled as "to do". Each category would refine the previous view. Left mouse button click would ad/remove this category from selection, while middle mouse button click would clear all except selected. (I expect right mouse button click to open customize)

2. Same changes would be appropriate for the search window + highlighting keywords.

3. Proposed windows layouts are good, (the third all vertical panels is by my opinion unfuctional) but I miss the functionality of the client. For example one very important column in the message view is the entry "mailbox" that the mail belongs to. This would allow filters to be applied for all mail in all mailboxes if user chooses so. This could be again selected as in 1 and 2 with some pull down menu tith checkboxes with all the mailboxes. You simply click the mailbox that you want to be a part of the "all together global" view. This does not mean, that mail is gathered in one mailbox, but merely that results are global for all mailboxes. When grouping mail all from all mailboxes are structured, if you do not want that, you simply do not mark mailboxes and all are shown seperated as now. The email box column should be first and very clear - icons?

4. Force mail, to thread! Sometimes thread gets busted for no obvious reason and the mail has to be "changed" with an extension or by hand. There should be a feature, to allow forcing mail to be part of some thread. That would give users even more power of structuring.
See Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)

5. Local Folders - mailboxes panel should combine "unsent messages" and "drafts" into "Unsent & Drafts" with ability to send unsent at specific time and date and to warn users for long time not accesed drafts. In case that is a problem, then there should be a possibility to not show some mailboxes or even removing them (e.g. - I never have unsent messages). The info bar should have some info on the size and number of all entries in the mailbox or it's folders.
See Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)

6. Tabs for different profiles - when more than one person sits behind the computer turning on and off the mailboxes is just waste of time.

General Plug-In able syncronization system

This has been said several times on one way shape or form so far, but a feature that would put thunderbird over the top for many people is the ability to syncronize data with other devices like a laptop, a phone, a pda, whatever. I think a generic sync system can be built into thunderbird that would allow other devlopers to add device specific communication modules. say for example, my motorola phone. if thunderbird had such a sync system, i could build a motorola plugin that would query the phone for the data it has, pass it to the sync routines, and recieve back the changes that need made to the phone. the sync system would take care of the stuff like who overwrites what, conflict detection, confilict resolution, etc. all my plugin has to do is know how to connect to the device, query the data, and write the changes to it. --willie

I totally agree to that and i still don't understand why this hasn't been implemented yet. I think this is simply something many people need and I don't know any satisfying solutions for this problem.

New Approach to 3 (or more) Pane UI creation

Hardcoded 3 Pane views will never please everyone (unless you hardcode all combinations of layout plus contents). I think there may be a developer toolkit that has this idea, but I don't know the name and will describe instead. The idea is to start with an empty sandbox. Two splitters, one horizontal and one vertical in a toolbar can be drag/dropped onto the sandbox to divide it and subdivide it.

If I wanted a 3 pane view with the message list end to end on top horizontally, I would drag first a horizontal splitter to so divide the box; then I would drag the MessageList widget into that top pane and instantiate it. I then want the folder tree view on the bottom left; drag a vertical splitter into the bottom half of the box, and have two new panes. I'd drag the FolderTree widget into the left, and then drag the MessagePane into the right pane.

Result is a "T" view (one I've never seen but I believe is most space conserving, and takes into account reading ergonomics). Splitters slide of course.

Of course, this can be expanded quite a bit. The 'sidebar' is just another split pane with a particular widget app dropped in it; it doesn't need to be nailed to the 'side', but rather where the user wants it.

Another example: an "H". Drag a vertical, another vertical, and have 3 vertical panes. Then drag a horizontal into the middle pane. Put any widget anywhere you want.

Alta88 18:09, 27 Feb 2006 (PST)

Compatibility of the addressbooks of Outlook 2003 & TB 2.0

There should be a full compatibility of the addressbook with Microsoft Outlook 2003 to support the spreading of TB and to make it really timesaving! (Export possibility as *.xsl (Excel), Microsoft Access file, *.bcm (Outlook 2003 Business Contact Manager (~CRM)), *.pst (personal folder) and *.wab (Outlook Express addressbook)) --UncleFu86 14:05, 2 Mar 2006 (PST)

Discussions : all or watched unread


I often use the Display menu, Discussions option, to switch between "All" and "Watched unread".

It would be so nice to have a button and/or a keyboard shortcut to do that instantly ...

UI Redesign: View Tabs - View By Contacts, View By Attachments, Etc.

I'd like to see tabs at the main application level. These tabs would allow you to find messages by attachments, contacts, date, etc. Individual mail folders or accounts could be pulled to the tab level as well.

It's a feature I've first seen done well in Nelson Email Organizer but it only works with Outlook. A screen shot can be found here

I think this product has some excellent ideas that would take Thunderbird beyond anything Outlook does right now. I know some of the features could be difficult to implement, but I'd like to at least see the Tab concept be taken to the main UI level and not just the message tabs that are being disucssed now.

Birthay Field in address book for yearly events in Calendar Plugin

The most important reason for me to use a addressbook in relation to a calendar is to keep track of birthdays and anniversaries of friends, family, and colleagues.

Thunderbird has an address book, but it doesn't have fields for date of birth or anniversaries. The nice Mozilla calendar Plugin for Thunderbird doesn't have an address book, forcing you to manually enter every contact's birthday/anniversary.

Sad but true, but this simple features is a reason for me (and a lot of other people), still to use a old fashioned outlook instead a modern open source product like Thunderbird+calendarplugin! Imho it would be not that big problem to implement a birthday field which can then easily integrated in the calendar plugin as yearly event!

Don't wrap plain text attachments

Thunderbird needs an option to NOT autowrap plain text emails.

The best option for this might be to make a menu option for turning on text wrapping. If it is turned off, then one could paste in a patch and it would not wrap the lines. If there was a paragraph or two at the top, then another menu option "rewrap text" while selecting the part you want to wrap would still work. Note, this is a general problem for Linux kernel devopers and free software developers in general. For example see the thread: Jeff Carr 12:51, 6 April 2006 (PDT)

Phishing/Spoofing Reporting Tool

A feature that I don't see in any mail clients at the moment is a straight-forward way to report phishing attempts to the appropriate people. Currently, I'm innundated with over 50 phishing attempts per day across a several accounts, and if there was a button (or a menu option) that I could choose to "report phishing" that could, based on the supposed return address, select from a table (that would exist in an external file, updated from someplace on the internet) the correct forwarding address and wrap the message appropriately, then forward it to the right address (be that "" or "", to name just two), it would cut down on the amount of effort that must be put in to reporting these things, and that in turn might encourage more people to report these scams as early as possible and reduce the chance that some people will fall for them.

I agree. Firefox 2 is supposed to include a phishing filter, so I was hoping that something like that might also leak into Thunderbird 2. After all, e-mail is where a large amount of the phishing initiates.

Export is crucial for businesses

Exporting of mail and preferences (including rules) are crucial. We know Mozilla would prefer to not have people migrate away from tbird, but real world requires the ability to do so easily. I have found no easy way to do this in Linux.

Add tags this way

There is already an extension that allows you to add tags to Thunderbird. It's called HeaderTools and in it's latest version (0.56) it's easy to add tags to mails. Check this thread for more info.

With a few UI-improvements this extension does everything that is planned for tags when it comes to TB 2.0. Should save the developers a lot of work.

New search options

I'd like to see 2 new search options in Thunderbird 2.0: Subject or To or CC Subject or Sender or To or CC

Also the original bug 279855 has been fixed.

The patch for Thunderbird 1.5(.0.2) works for me for 3 month without any problems.

A patch is available at:

I would like a "search everywhere" option (like in Eudora) (which ammounts to search in the whole message source)

Address book improvements

It will be fine to implement tree structure for address book or implement grouping addresses by firm for example. I'm using a few accounts with TD - one for private mailing, another for bussines etc. It will be very usefull to associate default mail account for sending message with vcard. Sorry for my english.

Allow Different Location for Address Book / Email

One feature that I would find helpful is the ability to create an address book at another location -- for example, on a network shared drive. On my home network, I store most of my files on a common network fileserver that is backed up on a regular basis. By allowing me to store my address book on this drive would make it available to all of the computers on my network as well as ensure that it is backed up with all of my other personal data.

The feature could be implemented either by allowing the folder Thunderbird uses to be changed in options or using standard File Open/Save dialogs to manage address books.

Catalog and list management

If a group of users like to make an arrangement for a social event, they need to collect and merge all answers and changes for this event from each user in separated list. For example: If a user has some friends and need to know what the others can bring along for the next party. Then he send an email to his friends and asks for ideas. All friends normally send a message back to all others (Reply All) and checks the incoming message of the others for collisions, e.g. to many drinks and no food. An easy list filter can collect all emails for the specified list (special ID) and should merge the special list entry of each user-email (in a separated data structure). Furthermore a pure list GUI would help to keep track of it.

Take into account the studies & experiences of the IBM Remail Project!

I think it would be VERY important and useful to take into account the deliberations the Collaborative User Experience (CUE) team in IBM Research made in / at / with [url=]Remail[/url]!

Please also notify me about your progress / idea concerning this appeal of mine!

Thanks in advance!

--UncleFu86 04:53, 4 July 2006 (PDT)

application/mbox MIME support

I'd like to encourage the adoption of RFC4155, which defines an application/mbox media-type for email systems. Essentially it defines a MIME type for *.mbox files, which gives you a hook into mailfolders on a filesystem, similar to the way that Web browser have hooks into *.html files.

Some of the ways that this could be used in Thunderbird:

Read/Search mail messages in a folder that has not been imported into the client (EG, download a mailing list archive in Firefox and have Thunderbird display the folder as if it were part of the local mailstore)

Archive an existing folder to a disk-based folder, such as when a project has been completed, with awareness that it is in fact a mailstore object

Import a folder, such as a historical archive or a mailing list archive, etc.

Send/receive folders as email attachments

Most of that is possible today with extraneous tools, but it would be nice if Thunderbird had direct support for this kind of feature set without requiring the user to import a folder for direct manipulation.

Better support for raw message/rfc822 filesystem objects would be cool too, of course.


ps--yes, I'm the author of that RFC

Differentiate between sent and unsent-but-saved drafts

It'd be nice to be able to distinguish between sent drafts and unsent-but-saved drafts in my Thunderbird drafts folder.
See Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)

Post-it style note for Incoming e-mail

there is a frequent need to make a note on a piece of incoming mail and then keep it in incoming or a follow-up folder for additional action as cited in the postit. Keep in mind, software for data processing should be an emulation of what would be a normal "by-hand" process - only smarter and more efficient. Follow-up stickys on hard copy files are an everyday process - probably in the millions daily. We need it in our paperless workplace.

Major Usability Redesign of Folders & Threads (in 4 Steps)

Step 1: Combined Sender/Receiver Column

Problem: Currently, in each custom mail folder there is a column for the sender of the message. For outgoing messages this is always your name. But you can't see the receiver! (Sure you can display the column for the receiver, but the result are two redundant columns with only one information, since in one of the two is always your own name).

Screenshot: Combined To/From-Column

Proposed Improvement: Combine the sender and receiver columns to one "who" column. This column would always show the other person's name, and never your own. To differentiate between incoming and outgoing messages, use emphasis (e.g. print outgoing messages in italics) and/or prefix outgoing messages with boldface/italics "To: " and/or use another (small) column showing an icon. Best solution, of course, would be to let the user select the way of emphasizing (italics, color, icon(s), etc.).

This was already filed as: Bug 36489 (for SeaMonkey), Bug 274232 (for Thunderbird), and Bug 359270 (for Penelope, the Mozilla follow-up to Eudora).

This step is, by and large, resolved with the extension Show InOut. So my suggestion is to include this extension's functionality into Thunderbird and set it as the default behavior.

Step 2: Combined "Unsent Messages", "Drafts" and "Sent" Folder

Problem: Currently, the folders "Unsent Messages" and "Drafts" are (almost) empty for (almost) all users (almost) all of the time. The purpose of having three different outgoing folders (Unsent Messages, Drafts, Sent) is only to differentiate between the status of the mail.

This has already been filed as Bug 197228 and was suggested before, see point 5. at UI Liftup and stuff


Proposed Improvement: Combine these three folders to one "Out" folder. And show the status of the message by using emphasis (bold face for messages not yet sent) and/or a (small) column showing a status icon.

Rationale: From a logical point of view, an outgoing message not yet sent is equivalent to an incoming message not yet read. But only the latter are displayed in bold face in one combined "Inbox" folder (containing read messages as well as unread messages). So why not use the same simple system for outgoing as well?

Note: By using different status icons, you could easily differentiate between sent drafts, unsent-but-saved drafts, messages ready to be sent, messages whose sending failed, etc., as suggested at Differentiate between sent and unsent-but-saved drafts

Step 3: Combined "In" and "Out" Folder

Problem: Currently, if a user sticks with the default folders "Inbox" and "Sent", incoming and outgoing messages are strictly separated. But if the user creates custom folders, they contain both incoming and outgoing messages. This is inconsistent.

Proposed Improvement: Combine the folders "Inbox" and "Out" (from Step 2) to one "Main" folder. The differentiation between incoming and outgoing messages is achieved through emhpasis (e.g. italics, see Step 1). And the differentiation between sent and unsent is achieved through bold face (or icon, see Step 2).

Rationale: Any custom folder is a combined incoming/outgoing folder. Why shouldn't this system work for the program's default folders too?

Bug 301084 is related to this step: The bug requests the option to automatically store replies in the same folder in which the original message is stored in. I'm suggesting the same thing for the default In/Out folders too.

Step 4: Threading/Grouping of Messages

Rationale: Most email communication is threaded: I write a message, I receive a reply, I reply again, and so on. Single messages are the exception, not the rule.

Problem: Currently, threaded messages are treated as exceptions. The message grouping function is ridiculous & unusable.

Proposed Improvement: See points 1. to 4. at Improved sorting and grouping of messages and point (2) at sorting messages by subject (as thread).
Point 4. at UI Liftup and stuff is a duplicate.

In short: The entire system should work as the folder tree in Windows Explorer: Expand&collapse threads, drag&drop messages, rename, and so on.

Suggestion on the display of those threads: See Show subject in threads only one time - show names in position of subject

I list this as Step 4 here, because to me, such a grouping/threading feature only makes sense if it encompasses incoming as well as outgoing messages. There's no point in having "parallel" threads in the folders "Inbox" and "Sent".

Overall: In order not to confuse users, maybe you could keep the existing system as well and let the user choose the "Folder Setup" between "Outlook-style" and "Improved Usability" ;-)

--ThomasLandauer 10:18, 16 August 2006 (PDT)

Hey Thomas -- have you put all this information about UI and usage overhaul together? This is not less than MIND-BOGGLING, and should get as much community attention as possible.

This is especially valid for the part:

The entire system should work as the folder tree in Windows Explorer: Expand&collapse threads, drag&drop messages, rename, and so on.

Your above steps 1 through 4 actually are a complete revolution and redefinition of what an e-mail client actually should do. I KNOW that one day every proper e-mail client will be acting exactly like this (because mine, and probably yours as well, does already; and since this is like "the invention of the wheel" to me ;).

Although your article possibly points a long way into the future of e-mail, I hope that it won't take like 5 to 10 years to accomplish these fantastic features...

Only thing is now, how can we carry this discussion into the brainstorming process of Thunderbird v.3, effectively?

May I finally add my screenshot visualizing some of your proposals already below? TB.png

Auto-Hiding Preview Pane

The preview pane should have an auto-hide-option. Set, it should not be drawn by default and only appear whenever the user selects a message (maybe after a short delay of a second or so). It should dissappear again either after the user clicks on a respective hide-button or as soon as he starts scrolling.

Example: This way, the user can go through his folder more easily (more space). He may select a message to briefly check its content (the preview pane pops up), see its not the one he is looking for, start scrolling again (or hits the hide button) and the preview dissapears. This is a very effective way of implementing the preview, other mailing apps (i think pocomail?) have it. It should of course be toggleable, maybe even making switching between fixed, auto-hiding and no preview possible via keyboard shortcut (think F8).

Status Log

There should be an option to display a log that contains the last status message (like the one displayed in the status bar). A user might return to his desk after some time and find it sensible to see wether TB did check emails, when it did, how many new messages where there and how many where successfully fetched. This may give a better experience to some users, especially the rather unexperienced ones: A programms actions (if so important and essential to the programms intention like the ones mentioned are to TB) must be transparent to the user.

Search Messages results previewed in new message area pane

After searching emails for specific content (or a sender, etc.) the results appear below in another pane, which lists all of the emails that fulfill the search criterion.

But in order to view any of these emails, one must click on each and open it in a new window.

It would be much better if there was a third pane that showed the contents of the selected email, so that one could quickly go down the listing and see the contents of each email.

Importing Mail from Mac OS X Mail

When I was moving all the mbox's from folder to folder, with little instruction where exactly to put them, I almost gave up and stuck with Mac Mail. It took an entire night- this is very important. I had more then one account on Mac Mail, making it hard to switch.

Implementing md5-checksum creator for e-mail attachments

I'd like to see the automatical copy&paste of the md5-checksum of the imported attachments into one's E-Mail, so one could send the e-mail immediatly and fast with automatically integrated, correct md5-checksums to someone else! This would enchance security issues greatly, while saving a lot of time for users using md5-checksums a lot of times! --UncleFu86 12:30, 25 September 2006 (PDT)

Ability to select from multiple VCFs to attach to an outgoing message

I have several functions in my job, and have two official titles which I use depending on whom I'm communicating with. It would be great if, for each outgoing message, one could choose from a pop-up menu which of several VCF files (or none) to attach to that particular message. All for the same identity.

Also, as mentioned by others, I would very much like to see VCF import capability into the address book. Drag & drop import/export would be fantastic.

Microformats support: iCalendar / vCalendar / iCard / vCard

(is this page intentionally kept unstructured? is it a good idea, to make a separate section for the addressbook, for example?)

Looking at gives many hopes for standardising the field of contact and event management fields, especially after what Google Calendar has created. For me, the clear need is to make the Addressbook an external application, and make Firefox, Calendar/Sunbird, and Thunderbird use it. I have put the iCalendar support also here, because email client has to pupport it, in order to understand the "event" microformat attachments to emails. Interchangeability of the contacts and events/appointments should be a cooperative aim for the information exchange application creators, like the RSS technology. It's not about proprietarisation and dominating the market. It's about possibilities for the user. What do You think? (sorry, I haven't signed at first) (it is now 13:04, as I write it)--Njpl 04:04, 1 October 2006 (PDT)

Back und Forward buttons / History of "visited" folders

I think it would be swell if Thunderbird sported a history of the last visited folders and gave us a forward and back button to navigate that history. I often find myself wondering where that last message I looked at was located before that new email arrived. Clicking on "Back" in this moment would save hours of my life time. The history wouldn't have to be very long and it doesn't have to be saved between sessions. 20 entries should do just fine. --Manni 23:15, 15 October 2006 (PDT)

Offer a default Domain option

Please add a preference in which you can define a default domain to be added to all addresses which don't have one. Eudora has this feature. For me, T'bird is unusable without it. --Mkmelin: isn't that what the mail.identity.default.autocompleteToMyDomain pref is for?

Thunderbird should recognize that an email address is already known.

Right now (1.5.7) I always press ADD TO personal ADDRESSBOOK and in the same moment Thunderbird creates the second, third, fourth entry about the very same email address.

As Gmail user I am used to alaways press the ADD to ADRESSBOOK - Button, whenever it is visible.

The only workaround is to filter unknown persons into an extra folder, what I normally wouldn?t do. It?s not such a big problem for myself, but it prevents me from installing Thunderbird to a secretary office, where Outlook 2003 is still in daily use by some girls who don?t know yet about my plan to give Thunderbird as gift to them. SK october 21th

Add personalized categories for contacts

Thunderbird could have more options to categorize and manage contacts. Contact list is great but could be completed with categories : when you can add category to contacts, you can create a contact list yourself in 2 clicks when writing a new message. It's a great idea for managing contacts efficiently when we have so much contacts... the contact list is a list ready to send, the category are a efficient search and managing help.

The search box could make advanced searches with categories. THIS would be very professional, txs!

NOTE: TB Addressbook already has a "category" item!

Unfortunatly it's not presented on the standard TB/AB UI.

Currently it's not a problem to enable it with a user-written extension .. that's I have done based on the extension "MoreColsforAddressbook".

Because this TB-item is widely unknown -- as the usage is -- it's not clear if in the future this item will be part of the standard definition!

Please see on [6] Comment by >>Mark Banner Di 28 Nov. 2006 16:04<< -- neandr 02:50, 15 December 2006 (PST)

Show contacts of a contact list in the To: field when sending message

When sending a message to a contact list, it's great to have the possibility to delete just one or two person in the contact list without modify the contact list itself, or it's just important to see who's on the list.

So if thunderbird can show and let choose the contacts of a contact list when sending message, it would be great!

The way outlook do this is by giving a [+] in front of email list name in To/CC entry box. Clicking on the "+" expands the list into individual mail ids

[Added] I also vote for such an option but I would like a different behaviour: it should be possible that when adding a contact list to the recipients field that all entries are expanded into single lines, rather than one line which shows the name of the list. It would then be easy to delete some entries or change To to BCC or BC.

Notification icon

For God's sake, PLEASE get Thunderbird on Mac OS X to not show the Local Folders folder (and dock icon) as unread if one has quickly manually selected (and either moved away from or deleted) all unread messages. Although the blue indicator turns off successfully if one selects items slowly, it will not turn off if one has selected and moved away from or deleted the last unread message. This is especially annoying if one frequently receives junk mail and wishes to quickly delete the junk mail. Thank you!!!!

Scan to Email in Windows

I got a "scan to email" option on my scanner which I'd love to use. When I choose "Scan to Image" the standard scanner wizard is started and saves the file to some location. If there would be some trick to get the wizard attach the image to a new email, it would be quite a great feature which wouldn't require much work.

Of coure, I don't think that Thunderbird should containt a full scanning software, but this trick would make it a bit better. Thanks.

Allow reply header option like outlook

bug 67089

-----Original Message-----
From: SenderName <>
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 8:42 AM
To: YourName <>
Subject: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Original mail content

Easy switch for outgoing mail server.

People may be using a Laptop at home or at office. Email client should make it easy to switch outgoing mail server. May be something similar to SwitchProxy Tool.

Contact's default account

Would it be possible to add the ability to set a default account for each contact in my address book. For security reasons, my employers use a separate mail-server for 'internal' and for 'external' mail, and further, I sometimes send email to test/dev systems. It would be very nice if tb would select the correct outgoing server for the contact, instead of my having to manually select each time.

True portability

After using Portable Thunderbird for a while so that I can access my accounts and mail from three different computers, I started to wonder why Thunderbird isn't more portability-friendly to begin with.

Since I don't want to run Portable Thunderbird off my USB all day at work, I synch my profile to Portable Thunderbird every evening and run that at home. But it's not entirely smooth: Portable Thunderbird always wants to rebuild summary files (which can take a while for a big Sent mail folder, for example), etc. And even then, odd things happen - read mail is sometimes marked unread, etc. And trying to copy files between computers without Portable Thunderbird is truly maddening!

IMAP is fine if you can count on unlimited storage and bullet-proof Net access 24/7...but many users would benefit from structuring Thunderbird so that the profile folder is completely independent of where or how it's installed. The user should be able to simply copy his/her profile folder from one computer to the next and voila. To keep this trim, it might even be desirable to keep extension and theme data in a separate folder, which likewise would ideally be completely portable.

Mail file structure

Is one large file for each mail folder really the most efficient way to go? Almost every major problem I've had or heard about with Thunderbird comes from some kind of corruption or other problem with these files, which can get huge. Plus, this structure necessitates all kinds of other things like file compaction, attachment stripping, etc. The profile folder is confusing with contents-less folders, summary files, duplicate file structures for individual accounts and global folders, etc. I would love to see this smoothed out and streamlined.

This is one of my largest gripes. Access is really slow with large folders/files. Is SQLite a possibility? There is a JDBC port that may be integrated into Thunderbird. Third party programs would also be able to access the data easily (not that accessing a text file is difficult, but parsing is a mess!)

Of course, SQLite storing all information in one file is also prone to expensive data losses.

Strip attachments enhancements

The ability to strip an attachment from a message is great, but could be improved: (1) option to automatically strip attachments from messages as they're saved in the Sent folder, (2) filter that can strip attachments from all messages in a specified folder

Address Book Features

I would like to have the option to "tag" each contact as "primary contact" and have a list of my primary contacts appear on the main window in a cell below the folder structure. From this "primary contact" list along with the complete address book, double clicking a name would create an e-mail. I would like to see multiple selection e.g. single clicking on multiple names would then give the option to add those selected contacts in the cc or bcc fields.

Address Book Option: HTML Mails

In Thunderbird there is a setting how to react when a HTML mail is to be send to a recipient who does not wish to receive HTML formatted mail (settable by the "Recipient refuses HTML"-popup-menu). However, if the according setting in the addressbook is left at the default value 'unknown HTML preference' Thunderbird automatically assumes that the recipient refuses to get HTML-Mails. I propose to add a setting where one can choose if 'unknown' means 'recipient refuses HTML mail' or 'recipient accepts HTML mail'. This setting could be accessed by a checkmark in the settings dialog besides the "Recipient refuses HTML"-popup-menu.

Multiple Install Instances of Thunderbird

One of the features I've most enjoyed about my long time client, Eudora, was the ability to install and run multiple instances of the program, if you so choose. This has allowed me to keep my various business accounts completely separate from my various personal accounts. If I want to access my business e-mail, I simply open that instance of Eudora. No configuring of multiple logons, servers, etc. Simply open one program for one e-mail account.

It also greatly simplifies the backing up of my e-mail, complete with all settings and customizations, since you simply back up the entire folder - without the need to search for additional parts and pieces.

Qualcomm has stated that they are releasing Eudora to the open source community, and I've read that the Thunderbird team will be taking a crack at it, either incorporating features of Eudora into Tbird, or visa versa. If any Eudora feature makes it into Tbird, I hope this is the one. And, if any features are going to be removed from Eudora, please leave this one.

I use Tbird at work, as I only have the one account to contend with there. But, at home, where I shuffle a minimum of six accounts at all times, I still use Eudora, simply for the reason noted above. Otherwise, liking the feature set and functionality of Tbird immensely, I likely would have already switched.

Password Protect Message Panes Upon Bootup

It would be nice if there was an option to prohibit access to Thunderbird when it is booted unless a password is entered. This would be helpful in case there were confidential information stored in email messages on the hard drive.

Server side mail filter support

I think that integration with server side mail filter will be a real good thing. The integration will use the existing filter wizard and a checkbox indicate that the rule will be stored on the server. The checkbox is active only when a server protocol is supported. The Cyrus Sieve via timsieved can be the first system to be integrated. --Malix 18:57, 14 Jan 2006 (PST)

A further enhancement to this implementation would be to automatically parse any server side script (either Thunderbird generated or otherwise) to see which folders are destinations for server side filters. Thunderbird could then automatically check these folders for new mail messages. This would suppliment the ability for a user to manually specify which folders to check via the folder properties dialog. It may be that some users would not like this feature and so it should be a user option e.g. "Check filter destinations for new mail". --Coling 22:25, 25 Jan 2006 (GMT)

Merging "Message Filter"-entries / creating rules from multiple messages

Just select e.g. 2 messages and select the menu "create filter from message". Would also be nice if you could select 2 (or more) filter entries and make one of them. --aliB

Allow Filters not only for Inbox

It would be nice to be able to set up Filter Rules that work on an arbitrary Folder, example:

For Folder |Sent| :

[ ]Match all of the following [x]Match any of the following

|Age in days| |is| |30|

Perform these actions:

|Move Message to| |Trash|

--Stebs 30 Nov 2005

I agree. I had to disable a filter for moving in my Sent file to another folder in order to have a filter based on a particular domain for the Inbox of one account. Looked for an extension that would handle this, there was none. Can we please make this a feature?

--M7csat 13:02, 5 July 2006 (PDT)

I would use this tool exactly the same way: deleting sent mail after some number of days. Currently, you can set up this filter and it works, but it has to be run manually. Filters that can run on a specific folder and *according to a specific schedule* (on startup, on shutdown, daily, weekly...) would be a great improvment.

Allow adaptive filters not only for Junk

Similar to not only allow Filters for any folder it would be nice to have different adaptive filters apply to different folders/collections of messages. So one could possibly train a filter to match the most interesting items on an RSS stream, and use the same filter on a folder where the mails from a newly subscribed mailing list with similar content goes. Used in this way, the adaptive filter would be a positive filter, which could be used in filter rules. Each adaptive Filter would have name and a message could be matched by more than one filter (where the highest priority rule succeeds).

This kind of adaptive filtering would greatly improve searching through news items as tastes and interests would manifest themselves in the adaptive filters.

--heron 30 Nov 2005

I support this suggestion. To take it a little further. From using other email packages, being able to do relative date filtering is a plus [if XXX days (weeks, months) then move (delete, copy, foward)] . It allowed me to execute an action based on age of email, e.g., automatic deletion after 30 days old. The big plus here is, managing the volume of email, espeically if you have limited space. --[User:benjiesp] 12 MAY 2006


A negative filtering like junk would be very interesting for the items on amo-feeds. --Archaeopteryx 05:39, 10 October 2006 (PDT)

Extended Filter options

Filters in current versions of TB have an option for 'any of the following' or 'all of the following' which is either a giant union or intersection of all filter rules. It would be very useful if we could make more complex boolean expressions, like adding OR and AND between the different rules. Furthermore, it would be helpful if you could import filters into filters.

It would also be nice to create filters from mails, e.g. mails from any of the recipients of a certain message should be moved to a folder.

If it's possible to link a filter to a list in the addressbook, e.g. if the sender matches any of the members in the list, move the mail to a folder, that would save the double work to manage the list both in the addressbook and the filter.

Added comment: Also Demon Turnpike-like regexps in text is needed. This would allow something like pe[n]+*s to cover pennis, pen1s and so on. I find some of my Turnpike single expressions turn into a dozen in TB.

It would be nice if you can start some script action, depending on your filter rules. E.g. start an alert bell if a mail comes in from a special sender. Scripts would ideally not be limited to some Thunderbird sub-language, but could actually run files on the filesystem (such as Microsoft Entourage 2004 does). Thus, one could expand on the alert bell idea to have a script selectively run (e.g., Applescript on Mac OS) to turn up the computer's speakers and speak out the name of the sender.

Filter for all accounts

If you create a filter for e.g. "", the filter doesn't have any affect on account "".

There should be an option, if you want to create the filter for only this account, for some special (menue-list) or for all accounts...

It's very useful, I think... I think it could be alredy in Thunderbird 1.5? Or isn't the idea bad? ;-)


Possibility to set "Junk" flag via filter


it would be great, if you can create a rule in the "filter" area, that sets the "Junk"-flag for e-mails.

s.g. All incomming mail should automatically marked as junk, if the subject line is empty.

Edit by schiieech: That?s allready included in TB 1.5. It is called "Set Junk Status to".

Editing Message Filters - Move To: Folder PopUp too short

Using Thunderbird 1.5b on Mac OS 10.4.3, when I edit a message filter, and choose (from the lower pane) Move To, the right pop-up displays my message folders as expected, but the list is so narrow that the folder names are truncated so much as to be mostly unreadable. Resizing the dialog window makes no difference.

I'm a newbie to both Thunderbird AND this wiki, so I hope I've put this in the right place.

Auto Forward From Drop In Folder or Report as Spam Button

Many of us have server spam filters. By simply forwarding a Spam back to a particular address on the server, it is reported to that system as spam or ham for future reference.

It looks like Thunderbird is so very close to having this, but it requires a filter action to do the auto forwarding.

I would like to be able to set a filter on a folder, where any message I move into that folder is forwarded back to my spam reporting address. Alternatively, have a single button for forwarding any particular email back to the server's spam address.

This would be useful for many anti-spam systems. One could use this to both whitelist and blacklist via SpamAssassin. Report spam to Dspam. End the arduous task of selecting forward and then beginning to type in the spam reporting address and then clicking on send.. one drop or one click would be awesome.

"I don't know" category for spam filtering

This is one of the most useful features of SpamBayes, and I haven't seen it implemented in any other Bayesian spam filter. The idea is that instead of setting one threshold between "spam" and "not spam," you can set two thresholds - one for "anything below this is certainly not spam," and one for "anything above this is certainly spam." Anything between the two thresholds falls into the "I don't know" category.

Note that this feature does not require any change to the basic Bayesian algorithm that assigns the scores; it simply provides more flexible handling of the messages once the scores are assigned.

With this in place, SpamBayes currently achieves nearly 100% accuracy for me - in the sense that no spam is ever filed as not spam, and vice-versa. A very small percentage of my email goes into the "I don't know" category, where it is easy to review. Also training only the messages that fall into this category is a pretty easy and effective training strategy.

With this one feature, I believe I could stop using SpamBayes, and take advantage of the tighter integration of the Thunderbird spam filtering.

Message Filters: Make "Match all of the following" the default

When a new filter is entered using multiple rules, the choice "Match ALL of the following" should be the default, not "Match ANY of the following". The reason: If the user forgets to check this setting altogether, the suggested new default will touch the smaller number of message and thus cause less damage. --Jos 11:30, 3 Mar 2006 (CET)

More capable filtering

I used Eudora for years and the only thing I truly miss now that I use Thunderbird is the really excellent filtering abilities Eudora has. Even Outlook has much better filtering than Thunderbird. This is a major reason why several colleagues I know refuse to switch to Thunderbird. It is also the only issue that regularly causes me frustration with Thunderbird.

To start with all incoming Emails really need to be tagged with their "profile" so that this never gets lost. Basically this just means that the email account that received the message (POP, IMAP or whatever) gets permanently assigned to the email no matter where it ends up in the folders or whatever. This information is incredibly helpful later for good filtering and to figure out what email address to use as the from when replying.

Selection criteria suggestions for filters:

  • It should be possible to indicate if a filter applies to incoming, outgoing or both
  • You should be able to select "is in my address book" or "isn't in my address book" for To, Cc and "To or cc" in addition to "from"
  • It needs to be possible to use which profile (see above) a message belongs to as a criteria.

Filter action suggestions:

  • Bounce message to (same as Forward but does a bounce instead)
  • Set profile / account to - allows the profile which gets assigned automatically to be changed by a filter (which can be very handy)
  • Set subject to - allows user to change the subject of the message. Some token should be assigned to allow inserting the old subject into the new one (so that text can be added to the subject).
  • Play Sound - Plays a custom sound if the filter criteria matches
  • Speak - Very unlikely to get added, just thrown in since its is a new feature in Eudora and would be cool. Basically speaks the from and subject contents aloud. Useful for really important messages.
  • Print - immediately sends the message to the default printer. Useful for automation such as when sales orders or such are received.
  • Pop-Up Message - Displays a pop-up notification message regarding the message (this could contain the from & subject fields or whatever). Useful for really important messages.
  • Launch Application - runs a application specified by the user. Email info can be passed on the command line by allowing the user to indicate a tokenized command line as part of the application they specify.
  • Stop Filtering - Prevents any further filters from being run on the message. Unless this is encountered all filters which apply are executed. This is very useful to prevent "default" rules which are frequently added at the end of the filter list from being executed.

One primary requirement is that it be much easier to manage filters when a user has many email accounts / profiles. I've been forced to duplicate the same filter across many email accounts which is difficult to manage. Since I use the shared inbox extensively but it is impossible to use which account received a message as a criteria I am unable to really utilize the new filters on the global inbox capability in TB1.5 which is unfortunate. Trying account / profile information to emails and allowing filters to use this along with some of the other above suggestions would make filters much more useful in v2.0.

Filtering capabilities such as the above would allow many power users who are currently stuck using other clients the choice to move to Thunderbird. These should be very useful to a broad range of users who rely on Thunderbird.

I agree, the feature that keeps me using kmail is the ability to use a filter to pipe a message to a program (script). I believe that using a pipe is often more useful than the "command line" approace in Launch Application above.

[Added] More options to adjust if and what kind of information is displayed upon new message arrival seems to me crucial for many users as email has become such an attention-draw-off with new emails arriving every few moments e.g. if you subscribed to some newsletters. I think it would be great if options to modify mailbox alerts would be merged with the message filter. E.g. I would like an option to disable mailbox alerts for all messages I move to a different folder. Or to only show alerts for messages with high priority.

Message Filters should have sortable views

Problem: If you have a great number of message filters it is a VERY hard to track down a filter if you want to update it (I have over 200 - covering mailing lists and work contacts - each message is sent to its own folder)

1) It would be very nice if the filter sort view option was restored (it was removed a while back)

2) Add a search option for those of us with a large number of filters

3) Allow the actions of filters to be nested

4) Create/Edit filter option when dragging a message to a folder

I would just like to reiterate this contributor's plea. I've been ALL OVER the Mozilla site trying to find out how to do this, and it surprises me that such sorting isn't available yet. I migrated from Netscape, where it was possible to sort filters by name. I don't have the technical prowess to suggest the "how" but I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing for the improvement. Thanks.

Drag&Drop surface for creating filter rules from adressbook

There should be a graphical possibility to create simple filter rules: A window with (vertical) split view: the adressbook on the left, the mail folders on the right. Then simple mail filters (move mail to folder, if adress matches) can be created by dragging single / multiple adresses or adress lists from the adressbook onto the folder, where the according mails should be moved to. A dialog window should warn in case of collisions (e.g. mails from one adress are already moved to another folder). There should be a possibility to view the existing filters, too. This information could be displayed e.g. on mouse-over or the folder could be expanded/collapsed (+/- button) to view the assigned mail adresses.

--Clemente 16:09, 2. May 2006 (MEST)

Email notification sounds

I second the suggestion above for

  • Add custom sound files as a selectable action in the filters. So that rules can trigger a different wav file for each sender.

The closest thing currently available is a randomizer. -Monkey1 00:51, 26 May 2006 (PDT)

Permit the dumping/filtering of non-text email

Add a filter that would strip (and delete) the html copy of a message when both text and html versions are included. And, when no text version is provided, convert the html version to pure text by stripping the html tags and retaining the resulting text as the body of the message. Selecting only the first and filtering when the resulting message is null would eliminate html-only messages.

Filter enchancement: execution after reading

Filters for inbox are executing after receiving. In my office where TB runs permanently and I'm not always front of my screen, I miss some mails because they are already filtered and moved to the defined folder. This follows into to lost the message in the way, that I can not react just-in-time. It would be better, if I can define for some of the filters that it shall be executed in inbox after reading the message. --Celald 02:54, 26 October 2006 (PDT)

Establish a standard COM/OLE interface for automation from external programs.

An automation model loadable thru the standard component methods from Borland Delphi and C++, VBscript, VBA, etc would allow Thunderbird (and Firefox if you must) to act as a component of a larger system. Current methodology seems to be to try and focus all development within Thunderbird, almost like an O/S within and O/S. Outlook offered plugins, but also offered the Outlook Object Model and MailItem/Folder interfaces and Imessage interface. I personally prefer to just have an external app launched or messaged by the mail client and to then automate the mail client, keeping all of the automation logic in the backend processor instead of in the mail client or its add-ins. This allows programmers to perform tasks within the application from languages and environments with which they are already familiar and to easily integrate application functionality into existing system. For example, message sorting into folders based on business rules, and triggered by external events, like shipping system updates. This external approach also seems to limit the impact that individual application changes have to system operation.

Example of what I do now: Outlook launches an external Windows app (order manager) with every new message (via Rules Wizard). The external order manager app uses msoutl9.olb type library imported as components into Borland C++. This app opens the inbox and reads the new messages, looking for order confirmations sent from a website. The order confirmations are XML attachments and are processed into a MySQL database. The emails are sorted into folders based on order number, for easy retrieval later if needed. The UPS shipper program exports data into the same MySQL database. The order manager program scans the shipping tables for tracking numbers as orders come in, or when an operator tells it to update. Once the orders are in shipment status the order manager generates email messages in the outlook drafts folder and then sends them. This has the added benefit of archiving both inbound and outbound emails for each order within the outlook folders.

What I'd like to do: Use Thunderbird instead of Outlook.

Additional automation such as calendaring, memos, and to do lists are also possible with the OOM.

Only Text Mails Bug

I'm not sure if this bug is already reported, but when I do copy&paste into a mail that is marked as "Text only"--rather than HTML or RTF--and I do copy&paste, the inserted text seems to get handled as RTF.

This is terribly bad. It might be a good idea to replace the RTF-Control with a Text-Control and disable all Formating-Buttons when the mail is set into the Text-only-Mode.

MovGP0 23:57, 23 June 2007 (PDT)

UI Enhancements

I've noticed that some semantic identical elements are not handeled the same way throughout Thunderbird.

  • When I rightclick on a mail adress in the previw window of a mail it does other things then when I do the same after opening the mail. Also, after rightclick on a mailaddress in the maillist leads to a completly different context menu. From the user view, this is complete irrational.

A possible way to solve this would be specialized components. There should be a dedicated Mail-Control that is useable from XUL which gives a well defined set of functions. Dependend on the context, some features might get disabled.

  • If the address is already in the contact list there is no need to do it again
  • It should be possible to reply to a mailadress even in the preview
  • When composing a new mail, it should be possible to change the contact data directly by right-click on the address/name. There should be a kind of auto-complete when entering new data.

see also:

  • Haystack -- very buggy and not user friendly, but it shows the way.

MovGP0 00:37, 24 June 2007 (PDT)


I think that it would have much sense to have a simple computer-wide semantic-store where the contact-data is stored, so that the controls can query for needed data globally. The computer wide storage is needed to exchange the data with Firefox and Calendar.

Also there should be support for microformats and RDF, ie. when there is a calendar or contact information is embedded in a xhtml-mail than this contact data should get recognized and extracted for import into the calendar-application and the contact-data.

Mozilla Thunderbird Semantics Draft.jpg



see also:

MovGP0 00:37, 24 June 2007 (PDT)

'Delete Junk' item on context menu for Junk folder?

Just like on the Trash folder, it would be nice to have an 'delete junk' item on the pop-up context menu for junk folders.

Quality of pasted images

When you paste an image into Thunderbird compose window, image gets very compressed and looks very unprofessional. I did find workaround, but it's very slow and requires a lot of additional steps. I do screenshot, then I go to photoshop, save image there, then in compose window I insert image, and then it looks perfect.

Here are the differences btw what I get in both cases:

Would be nice that Thunderbird would not be so aggressive on compression, or would give ability to control compression level. And the best would be, if Thunderbird would switch to PNG compression instead of JPG, and again, may be provide an option to choose, which one option user wants.

--Ddon 21:08, 11 July 2007 (PDT)

Ability to click on URL in subject of email


From time to time, when someone wants to send URL to someone, they just paste it in a subject of email. So, when you receive email like that, you have to copy URL from subject, which is not very user friendly.


Proposed Improvements

1. Parse URLs in subjects and make them clickable in a subject field.


2. Provide ability to go to URL in a right-click menu: Subject-url-thunderbird-sol.png

--Ddon 21:13, 11 July 2007 (PDT)

File Send To

Adding linking features from the OS on which it runs. On Windows XP, you may use the Send To feature directly on a file and will make a new email with the file already attached, you may find the feature in: Context Menu (everywhere you can manipulate a file) and Windows Explorer.


Allowing OS Items in Contextual Menu

Dear Contextual Menu Code Authors and Maintainers,

Please allow your contextual menu to include items the OS wishes to include.

OS X includes the option for users to customize their contextual menu. I have customized my contextual menu in various ways, but none of them are present in Thunderbird/Penelope since it does not poll the OS for what else to include in the contextual menu.

Long live contextual menus! Long live open source. TIA

A large e-mail structure with many folders really slows down Thunderbird.

I have my mail store on a W2003 server share. When starting Thunderbird scans all folders.

Using ethereal it shows that opening the mail store takes 6 seconds and around 9000 network packets.

Using ethereal is shows that moving a message of 10Kb takes 2 second 347KB of netwerk data and 740 network packages.

The scanning through all these small files is a very inefficient, risky and susceptible to integrity problems.

Using a database tools like SQLite could be a solution.

Delete Folder Contents on context menu

Identical to the item on the Trash folder it would be nice to have a "Delete Folder Contents" on the pop-up context menu for all folders.

2 suggestions to make Thunderbird really awesome

I believe these two suggestions practically must be added to Thunderbird...

1) Allow mail filters to selectively run external files, etc. with parameters being somehow sent to the external file (e.g., a voice alert program which could speak out the name of the email sender)

2) For each mail which has been replied to or forwarded (or which is itself a reply), have a link available (around the header information) which leads one to the message to which it was related. This REALLY ties together one's mail and allows one to jump around to e.g., find what one said to someone when they reply without giving your context...

trusting thunderbird junk-mail system

Junk-mail engine is very good. By the way I think no many people trust in it. When many spam mails are received every day, it would be hard to check all junk-flagged emails, in junk folder, to be sure no "valid" emails are marked as junk. It could then be useful a button, visible only for junk folder, that show you the not-so-sure junk emails, just lowering the junk threshold of a percent (for example 30% less). Thanks to this feature you could check just a little part of the total junk-flagged emails, and be quite sure on all other emails.

add text highlighter ability

I find that I send a lot of information in emails, but need busy people to focus on a few lines. Using the font color change (eg, to red) is good, but not as clear as the background. Unfortunately, changing the text "background color" changes the text for the entire page.

If I use the "insert html", I can use a "span" function to change the background to yellow (for example) which gives the impression of running a highlighter over the key text. But it's awkward using the insert html function on all phrases of key text.

I think a "highlighter" button that allows changing the background text color (or perhaps just letting the background color apply to the section of text under focus and implement with span) would be useful and even innovative.

For example, the resulting highlight would look like this .

add Lotus Organizer type functionality

Lotus Organizer was the best PDA going however it seems to have dropped off the radar. Functionality such as a Notebook and a Year Planner would be a biggy for me. I think the more you could make Thunderbird the electronic Filofax the better.