Making Mozilla Thunderbird Your Default Email Client

Launching Thunderbird on Windows or Linux for the first time should generate a prompt asking you if you want Thunderbird to be your default email client. If you happen to answer "No" and you want to go back later and make Thunderbird the default, follow these steps:

FAQ: How is the default email check done in Thunderbird?

The default email check performed by Thunderbird occurs on a per-computer account basis, not a per-profile basis.


  1. Go to Tools | Options.

  2. Click General.

  3. As shown in Figure 9-3, check the box under General Settings that says "Use Thunderbird as the default mail application."

    Figure 9-3. The Thunderbird General Settings with Thunderbird set as default on Windows.

  4. In the event that you are using Thunderbird as your default news reader, you should check that box as well.


  • The unofficial Thunderbird FAQ at covers how to do this for GNOME and KDE 3.

  • is a good resource if you are having any issues with making Thunderbird your default.

If at some point you switch to another email client and you want to go back to using Thunderbird, the next time you launch Thunderbird you should get a dialog box asking you if you want to make Thunderbird the default. At the time of this writing this is not supported on the Mac due to the way Apple manages the default email choice through To set Thunderbird as your default, you actually have to set up a account first and then go into Preferences to make Thunderbird your default email client.

Opening URLs From Thunderbird with a Mac

If you want to click URL links in Thunderbird and have them launch in Firefox, you will have to go into Safari and set Firefox as your default browser. Those tricky Apple developers sure don't make it easy!

If you encounter problems with mailto: links not launching when you're using Windows, you might have to go to Start | Settings | Control Panel and open the Internet Options tab. Go to Programs and select Thunderbird from the dropdown list under E-Mail.

You've taken the first step and downloaded Thunderbird. An exciting world of mail management awaits you. Let's move on to the next chapter and show you how to set up your mail, RSS, and news accounts in Thunderbird. You'll quickly see how Thunderbird will allow you to soar to new heights!

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

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