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This is a list of various experiments being investigated. Some of these may be published at the Mozilla Labs Messaging site and some won't make it further than this page.

Rules of engagement

If you think something is a great idea and want to get involved just go fork the code and work on it. If you think something is a terrible idea that's fine too. If you feel like something needs to be in Thunderbird by default or should not be in Thunderbird by default you're much too early for that conversation. :-)

Please keep in mind this list may be out of date


Released add-ons are published at:

Mailing List Manager

Help you manage and organize your mailing lists. Tools to create filters, unsubscribe, and find archives for mailing lists. (July 7, 2010)

Thunderbird Contacts

Thunderbird Contacts isn't a standalone address book, it can pull in contact data from various services where your contacts already exist. Currently it connects with the following services: Thunderbird and Native Address Books, Facebook, GMail, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, Yahoo! (August 4, 2010)

Compose in a tab

An early experiment trying to see what's needed to replace the composition workflow in Thunderbird with a JS backend and a XHTML editor for the frontend (CKEditor is currently used). (September 3, 2010)


about:support, modeled after the Firefox about:support page, contains email account and diagnostic information (e.g. IMAP, POP, and SMTP settings) to help you when you’re getting support for Thunderbird. (October 13, 2010)

Thunderbird Conversations

This was previously known as Gmail Conversation View. The addon is close to a preview release, and integrates a standard conversation just like Gmail. This also includes quick reply, and a whole lot of other cool features. Nightly builds available at (December 7, 2010)

Account Provisioner

Offer a new email address to new users. A lot of people think we're going to give them an account when they download Thunderbird, so let's not disappoint them. (December 14, 2010)

Mute Thread

Allow for email threads to be muted. Two goals:

1) allow current users to get the same UX that is currently available to newsgroups 2) experiment with alternate UXes in search of one good enough that we could use it in core


Development add-ons have code available for you to fork and do something cool with

Thunderbird Sync

The add-on formally known as Weave Sync working inside Thunderbird. We have an initial working version that can support sync of address book contacts, passwords, and preferences.

Data Miners

A framework for experimenting with data mining email messages for interesting objects. i.e. finding parcel tracking numbers, phone numbers, addresses, etc. to help the user do useful things with those items. The extension itself is built as a playground for creating new data mining attributes using the Gloda message framework.

Thunderbird Air

(aka Thunderbird for Netbooks)

An alternate look at what an email client could be when screen size (especially height) is severely limited. This add-on reuses all of the Thunderbird technology while leaving behind most of the UI. It heavily uses tabs in a new way which creates a different kind of folder pane and email experience.


Attachments Tab

Browse and search for attachments in a new tab. Offers several ways to search and refine for the type of attachment displaying them as thumbnails.

Web Tabs

Bookmarked web sites which open up in Thunderbird tabs instead of the browser. Especially designed for often used web applications like twitter, bugzilla and others where it could be faster and easier to just open a Thunderbird tab instead of the browser.


Notifications Wrangler

Similar to the Mailing List manager but centered around advertisements and newsletters. How can we help people organize and control the messages from facebook, twitter, amazon, etc.

Quick (Inline) Reply

Creating a space at the bottom of messages for a quick and inline reply to the message you're viewing without opening the composition window.

Keyboard Navigation

(from the Future!)

A fresh look at keyboard navigation inside Thunderbird. Using a mapping system for the key binding so users from other systems (outlook) can continue to use their old key bindings. Also looking at a new way of offering keybindings which is more visual (think quick silver / ubiquity), teaching (teaches you new / different keybindings), and smarter (uses frecency for menu items).


none yet

This list is not exhaustive or definitive, additions and deletions will happen.