Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows 11, Mac, & Linux: Definitive Guide

Mozilla Thunderbird

In this post, we are going to share how to download Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows 11, Mac, and Linux.

You will also learn about the benefits of using Mozilla Thunderbird and the must-have add-ons that will optimize the performance of this free email application.

Check this out!

What is Mozilla Thunderbird?

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free and open-source email app with a lot of useful add-ons to maximize its performance in managing emails. Thunderbird wants to bring new and open standards on how people communicate with each other. It wants everyone to have freedom and choice in how they communicate. 

The add-ons are probably what makes Thunderbird is quite different, yet better than other email managing apps. There are thousands of useful add-ons with different functions. 

The add-ons come in various categories, such as Appearance and Customization, Calendar and Date/Time, Chat and IM, Contacts, Folders and Filters, Import/Export, Language Support, Message Composition, Message, and News Reading, Privacy and Security, Tags, and Miscellaneous. 

As a user, you can add any add-ons that you need to your Thunderbird app. There are lots of helpful add-ons that will make your task in handling emails becomes a lot easier. For example, you can install an add-on to reply automatically, check your grammar and spelling, help import or export certain file formats, send emails at specific dates and times, and many more.

In the last section, check our recommendation about the Mozilla Thunderbird add-ons that you can use to manage your emails better. 

Get Mozilla Thunderbird


  1. FREE! Thunderbird is 100% free to use and it is open-source. 
  2. Easy to use. You don’t need to set up the IMAP or such setting. Just insert you name, email address, and password, and you are ready to go.
  3. Never forget of your attachment ever again. When you mention about attachment in your message, Thunderbird will remind you if you have attached the files before you press the send button. 
  4. Open several emails in separate tabs. The tab feature allows you to keep some emails open in different tabs at the same time. It will be easier for you to jump between the tabs. 
  5. Archive the important emails for future use. The archive feature lets you keep important emails in a separate folder. The emails will be easier to find when you need to access them again in the future. 
  6. Improve the performance using add-ons. There are hundreds of useful add-ons that you can use to maximize your Thunderbird app. With the add-ons, you can automate your Thunderbird to do several things like replying and forwarding messages, sending emails automatically, and many more.
  7. Change the theme of Thunderbird as you like. Thunderbird provides several light and dark themes. And you can choose the theme as your convenience. 

System Requirements

Look at the system requirements below before you download Mozilla Thunderbird and install it on your computer.

Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 7/8/10/11
  • Pentium 4 or newer processor that support SSE2
  • 2GB of RAM 
  • 200MB of HDD space
  • Mac OSX 10.12 or newer
  • Intel or M1 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 200MB hard drive space
  • Must have of libraries or packages:
    • GTK+ 3.14 or newer
    • X.Org 1.0 or newer (1.7 or higher is recommended)
    • libstdc++ 4.8.1 or newer
    • glibc 2.17 or higher
  • Recommended libraries or packages:
    • NetworkManager 0.7 or higher
    • DBus 1.0 or higher
    • GNOME 2.16 or newer
    • PulseAudio

How to Install Mozilla Thunderbird

Windows 7/8/10/11

  1. Visit the Mozilla Thunderbird official page.
  2. Click the green button to download the Mozilla Thunderbird installer. The download will start automatically.
  3. Run the installer by double clicking on it. 
  4. Then, follow the on-screen steps to complete the installation.
  5. Once it’s finished, you’ll see the Mozilla Thunderbird icon on your desktop. Click on it to set up your account.


  1. Click this link to get the Mozilla Thunderbird installer. The download will start automatically.
  2. The disk image will automatically open when the download is completed. There you’ll see the Thunderbird app.
  3. Open Finder > Applications folder.
  4. Drag and drop the Thunderbird app to the Applications folder.
  5. Eject the disk image.

For easy access, add the Thunderbird to your dock by simply dragging and dropping the icon from the Applications folder to the dock. 


Basically, most Linux distributions have Thunderbird by default and most already have a package management system that allows you to install Thunderbird easily. 

However, in case you don’t have Thunderbird and want to install one on your Linux computer, do the following instructions:

  1. Go to the Thunderbird official website.
  2. Click the green button to download the Mozilla Thunderbird file.
  3. Open the Terminal on your computer and go to the home directory: cd ~
  4. Extract the contents of the Thunderbird file: tar xjf thunderbird-*.tar.bz2
  5. Exit Thunderbird if it’s open.
  6. To run Thunderbird, open the thunderbird folder and run this script: ~/thunderbird/thunderbird


Tips & Tricks

Managing Updates on Mozilla Thunderbird

Thunderbird performs the update by default. Whenever a new version is released, it will automatically update itself. You can check this on the Settings and change it to manual if you’d like to. 

Here’s how:

  1. Click the three dashes or menu bar to go to the Settings.
  2. Choose Preferences > General > Thunderbird Updates.
  3. Select ‘Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them’.
  4. Save it.

We strongly recommend enabling the automatic Mozilla Thunderbird updates to get the latest security fixes and performance improvements. 

Mozilla Thunderbird Manual Update

If you turn off the automatic update on Mozilla Thunderbird, in return you have to install it manually. It’s quite easy to do though.

Here’s how;

  1. Hit the menu bar and choose Thunderbird menu > About Thunderbird.
  2. Thunderbird will check for updates available and download them automatically if any. 
  3. Once completed, click ‘Restart Thunderbird to Update’

Viewing Saved Password

Mozilla Thunderbird keeps your username and password safe in the password manager. In case you forget your password, you can see it on the password manager. 

  1. Click the menu bar and go to Thunderbird menu > Preferences.
  2. Go to the Security panel > Password tab > Saved Passwords.
  3. Choose Show Passwords to see the password.
View password Mozilla Thunderbird
View saved password (Source:

Changing and Deleting Password

You also have the authority to change and delete passwords as well as the username that you have saved. 

Do these simple instructions:

Open the Password Manager as shown in the previous section.

  1. To change your username and password on Mozilla Thunderbird, press down the Ctrl button and click the one that you want to change. 
  2. Choose Edit Username or Edit Password to proceed.
  3. To delete the username or password on Thunderbird, choose Remove or Remove All if you wish to erase all accounts saved at once. 

Backing up All Folders, Emails, & Settings

Unfortunately, to backup your profile that consists of all folders, emails, and settings, you must do it manually. Up to now, Thunderbird hasn’t added any feature that lets you do it in a single click.

Instead, do the following instructions:

  1. Close Thunderbird if it’s still open.
  2. Click Finder. On the menu bar, choose Go, press and hold the option/alt button and click Library
  3. Open the Thunderbird folder > Profiles folder. If you only have one account or profile, the folder would have ‘default’ in the name.
  4. Hold the Ctrl button and click the profile folder (e.g. xxxxxxxx.default) at the same time. 
  5. Choose Copy.
  6. Press down the Ctrl button and choose the backup location. Then, choose Paste item.
Copy and edit username and password (Source:

Restoring Your Backup

  1. Close the Thunderbird.
  2. You can simply replace the existing profile folder with your  backup if the folder has the same name. Remember that the folder name should have 8 characters within. 

10 Must-Have Add-ons for Mozilla Thunderbird

1. SmartTemplates


Do you get tired of writing the same emails over and over again? 

SmartTemplates can be your solution and save you time.

Here are what SmartTemplates can do for you:

  • create customized reply templates for specific emails,
  • use the custom templates to compose, reply, and forward emails,
  • use the mail templates to reply both single and group accounts,
  • automatically insert fields like first and last name, and add signature. 

Get SmartTemplates Add-ons

2. Thunderbird Conversations


Do you get confused with the emails because they are not in the correct order? 

Use Thunderbird Conversations add-on to make your emails inline like a conversation. It groups messages from the same senders so that you won’t lose the topic being discussed in your emails. You can still catch up on the discussion even though you have lots of messages in your emails. 

Here are other things that the Thunderbird Conversations add-on can do for you:

  • create a conversation view in your Thunderbird,
  • auto complete texts,
  • reply emails quickly.

Get Thunderbird Conversations Add-on

3. CardBook


Need to add more detailed information to your contacts? Use CardBook.

CardBook add-on is an address book with CardDAV and vCard standards.

Get CardBook Add-on

4. *cloud – FileLink for Nextcloud and ownCloud


Need to attach big-size files to your email? Use *cloud – FileLink for Nextcloud and ownCloud add-on.

You know that the size of attachment files is limited to 5MB. It means you can only attach a file that’s less than 5MB only. The system will refuse if your file is bigger than the maximum allowance. 

But, if you still need to send a file whose size is more than 5MB, this Thunderbird add-on will help you. 

To use this add-on, you need to create an account in a Nextcloud or ownCloud server. 

Get Cloud -FileLink for Nextcloud and ownCloud Add-on

5. DeepDark


Tired of staring at your Thunderbird screen because it’s too bright? Enable the dark mode using the DeepDark add-on.

Looking at a bright theme for hours can cause your eyes to get tired. Hence, for your convenience, try to use a dark mode. 

DeepDark add-on is giving your Thunderbird UI a new look. It enables the dark mode which is better than the dark theme from Thunderbird itself. This beautiful theme has several colored variations like emerald, sunstone, graphite, and more. 

Get DeepDark for Thunderbird add-on

6. ImportExportTools NG


If you need to import or export messages, folders, and profiles, you can simply use this powerful add-on, ImportExportTool NG.

Here are what you can do with the ImportExportTool NG add-on:


  • indexes as plain texts or CSV
  • all folder messages into EML, HTML, PDF, CSV or plain text
  • messages from search dialog
  • as individual files or a single file


  • MBOX files
  • EML & EMLX files
  • individual or all directory files


  • import profile
  • auto backup with schedule on shutdown
  • export complete profile or just the mails

Get ImportExportTool NG Add-on

7. Provider for Google Calendar

Use Provider for Google Calendar add-on if you want to connect it to your Google Calendar account. It also allows you to read and write events and tasks from Mozilla Thunderbird.

Get Provider for Google Calendar Add-on

8. Send Later


Do you need to send an email at a specific time? Use Send Later add-on. 

Send Later add-on allows you to send emails at a specific time and date. You can set it to be 15, 30 minutes later, 2 hours later, or set a custom date and time. 

This way, you don’t have to wait for a specific time just to send an email. And with this add-on, you will never forget to send an important email anymore. 

Get Send Later Add-on

9. Attachment Viewer: Images/Office-files, slideshow


Wondering about the images you receive in your emails? The attachment Viewer add-on allows you to preview the images before you download them. Furthermore, you can do several things to the images like zoom, rotate, and flip. 

Besides images, this add-on also allows you to preview these file formats: Docx, xlsx, pptx, and PDF.

Get Attachment Viewer Add-on

10. Grammar and Spell Checker — LanguageTool


Avoid grammar and spelling errors on your important emails using the LanguageTool add-on. It helps you detect misspelling words and grammar errors by scanning your writing. When there are errors, you will get some notifications as well as how to fix them. 

LanguageTool add-on works automatically and pretty fast in scanning your writing. You will feel like having personal assistance that proofreads your writing as you are typing. 

It is free and no registration is needed. Plus, it supports more than 25 languages. You don’t need to do anything to set up the language. LanguageTool will automatically switch the language once you change your language.

Get Grammar and Spell Checker — LanguageTool Add-on



That’s all about Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows 11, Mac, and Linux. 

If you encounter some issues on your Mozilla Thunderbird email such as it won’t open, not responding or stop working, attachment problems, etc., you can restart your computer or re-install the Thunderbird.

Or, you can visit the Mozilla Thunderbird help page and ask the developer yourself.

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