Downloading and Installing

You should always download the latest version of Thunderbird from the official Mozilla site:

Need Thunderbird on a CD?

If you are unable to download the file, you may purchase a CD that contains Thunderbird from the Mozilla Store (

Unofficial Thunderbird Builds/Localized Builds/Downloading Thunderbird from Other Locations

A number of organizations may offer unofficial Thunderbird builds that can be downloaded from the FTP site:

You should be aware that these builds may be configured differently from the official builds distributed by These builds may also be optimized and/or tested for specific platforms, such as Solaris and Java Desktop for Linux.

A number of localized builds are available. To see if your language is supported, visit for a list of official builds that are distributed by


Following are some common questions before installing:

Can I migrate my profile from Mozilla email clients?

Yes. Auto migration is available for Mozilla 1.x or Netscape 6.x and 7.x profiles.

Will I be able to import messages from other email programs? What about exporting messages?

Yes. You can import by going to Tools | Import. Thunderbird's "mbox" format should allow you to export mail messages as well. If you are looking for an easy way to import mbox files, there is an extension available that allows you to do this. You can find it at For more information concerning how to install extensions in Thunderbird, see Chapter 13.

I use AOL. Can I use Thunderbird to send and read my mail?

Yes. You need to set up an IMAP account in Thunderbird (see Chapter 10) and use the following settings:

  • Incoming Server Type:

  • Port Number: 587

  • User Name: Your AOL screen name

  • Outgoing Server (SMTP):

Can I use Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail with Thunderbird?

Yes. Follow these links to learn how you can accomplish this:

  • Gmail:

  • Hotmail: Blue HttpMail:

    Hotmail Popper:


  • Yahoo! Mail: YPOPs!

  • Mr. Postman:

  • Yosucker:

Can Thunderbird help my horrible spelling?

Yes, thanks to

Can I sync my address book in Thunderbird with my Palm?

Yes, if you use Windows. Go to to find out how to do this.

I would like some kind of notification that I have new mail. Can Thunderbird do this?

The Windows version of Thunderbird serves up mail notification in the system tray while Thunderbird is running. An extension discussed in the "Getting and Sending Messages" section of Chapter 13 might be of some help in this area. On the Mac side, you can configure Thunderbird to animate the dock icon to notify you when you have new mail.

Installing Thunderbird

Windows: Installer


Click the Download Now icon.


Save the thunderbird.exe file to your hard drive or launch the .exe (if you have your system configured to automatically open .exe files).


If you have saved the file, double-click the Thunderbird setup.exe icon.


The file extracts and you are taken to the Thunderbird Setup Wizard, as shown in Figure 9-2.

Figure 9-2. Mozilla Thunderbird Setup Wizard.


The wizard guides you through the remainder of the installation.

Mac OS X: Compressed Disk Image


To uncompress and mount the disk image, double-click the Thunderbird Disk Image (this may already have been done for you depending on your configuration).


Double-click the Thunderbird Disk Image to open it, and drag the Thunderbird application to a location on your hard disk.

Don't run Thunderbird from the disk image!


Do not double-click the icon in the disk image! Instead, be sure to drag the Thunderbird application out of the disk image and onto your hard disk before you run the application. If you do this accidentally and find that the Thunderbird icon bounces and disappears and reappears in the dock, you will have to kill the process by opening a terminal and typing killall thunderbird-bin and then pressing Enter.


To place Thunderbird in the dock, drag the icon there. You have to set the "Keep in Dock" parameter if you want Thunderbird to continue to be present in the dock after the application has been closed.

Linux: GTK2 + XF (No Installer Available)


Download the thunderbird-1.0.tar.gz file.


Make sure you are logged in as a root user.


Save the file to the place where it will be used.


Extract the file by issuing the command tar zxvf tbird-1.0.tar.gz.


cd into the Thunderbird folder.


Start the program by typing ./thunderbird

Need Thunderbird in Your Hip Pocket?

Go to and download a version of Thunderbird that is optimized for use on a USB key drive. The author of this version claims that it also works from zip drives, external hard drives, flash RAM cards, and some MP3 players. At the time of this writing, it is available only on the Windows platform.

Interestingly enough, the author states that the whole idea of having a portable version of Thunderbird originated from a MozillaZine forum topicyet another way that forums can be useful in ideas regarding the development of open source products.

Uninstalling Thunderbird



Navigate to Control Panel.


Select Add or Remove Programs.


Highlight Mozilla Thunderbird.


Select Change/Remove.


Answer Yes to the dialog.


If you receive a prompt indicating that "Not all files were uninstalled from the install directorydo you want to completely delete this directory?", answer Yes.

Mac OS X

Drag and drop the Thunderbird application into the Trash.


Remove the Thunderbird folder that was created when you decompressed the tar file by running this command: rm -rf thunderbird/.

FAQ: What happens to my profile when I uninstall Thunderbird?

When you uninstall Thunderbird following these instructions, your profile is left untouched in the event you decide to install Thunderbird again at a later date. To remove your profile folder, you need to delete the location described in Table 9-1.

Table 9-1. Mozilla Thunderbird Profile locations by platform

Windows 2000, XP

Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Application Data\Mozilla Thunderbird

Windows NT

WINNT\Profiles\<UserName>\Application Data\Mozilla Thunderbird

Windows 98, Me Thunderbird

Windows\Application Data\Mozilla

Mac OS X


Linux and Unix systems


Are You Absolutely Certain That You Want to Delete Your Profile?

If you decide to delete your profile, you will permanently lose all your email, address book data, settings, themes and extensions, junk mail configuration, and so on. In the event that you elect to use Thunderbird again, you will need to start from scratch with a fresh profile. A better approach would be to rename your profile rather than permanently deleting it.

    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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