Thunderbird FAQ

Thunderbird Thunderbird Last updated: 09/10/2022 54% of users voted this helpful

This article provides general information about Thunderbird.

What is Thunderbird?

Thunderbird is a free, open-source, cross-platform application for managing email, news feeds, chat, and news groups. It is a local email application, meaning it installs and runs as a client on your device, being rather than browser or web-based. It is powerful yet easy-to-use through its many features.

Who makes Thunderbird?

Thunderbird is developed, tested, translated and supported by volunteers plus paid staff. Thunderbird is a community driven project, because the project is overseen by the Thunderbird Council, which is elected by the Thunderbird Community. Thunderbird development is made possible by funds donated by the Thunderbird community.

  • Thunderbird is completely independent of the Mozilla Corporation, the makers of Firefox. But the Mozilla Coperation supports Thunderbird by hosting many of the Thunderbird infrastructure and resources.

Why should I use Thunderbird?

  • Thunderbird is free.
  • Thunderbird has many cool features.
  • Thunderbird gives you control and ownership over your email.
  • There are many add-ons available for Thunderbird to extend and customize your email experience.
  • Thunderbird's history is with Mozilla, and so it adheres to the Mozilla Manifesto, a pledge that describes a commitment to an open, accessible, egalitarian Internet.

Is Thunderbird free?

Yes! Thunderbird is open source software. Anyone can download and use the program for free, and view and modify the source code under the terms of the license.

Where can I download Thunderbird?

Download Thunderbird here. Or use these links for different languages, beta versions, old versions, and the source code.

Is Thunderbird available in my language?

Very likely, yes. Thunderbird has many dedicated volunteer translators who translate each version. If you do not find your language in the download list, then we encourage you to develop a localized version with the help of the community of volunteers.

Is Thunderbird available for my platform?

Probably. Windows, Mac and Linux are available from the download page. For other operating systems, you can build Thunderbird from the source code.

Is Thunderbird available for Android?

Android support will be provided per an agreement of the K-9 mail project having joined with Thunderbird.

Is Thunderbird available for IOS or iPhone?

IOS / iPhone support is being investigated.

What is my Thunderbird email address?

Thunderbird is an application run on your device, so it does not provide email addresses, nor the service to transmit emails. But Thunderbird can be used with your existing email address and service provider to send, receive, sort and search your email messages. If you do not have an email address, you may apply to a service provider when you first start Thunderbird.

Common email address and service providers include:

  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs): When you sign up for internet access through an ISP they usually give you one or more email accounts.
  • Corporate: Employers often provide their employees with email accounts.

All of these email accounts can be used with Thunderbird. In fact, with Thunderbird you can access mail from multiple accounts at the same time. All you need to do is set up your account.

Where is my personal information (such as my messages, passwords, account information, etc) stored?

Thunderbird stores your personal data on your local drive. If you are using the IMAP protocol for accessing messages, then your messages are also stored on your email provider's server. See IMAP Synchronization for more information.

You will want to protect this information by backing up your profile.

Where can I get help with using Thunderbird?

Support is available primarily in these ways:

  • The web-based Knowledge Base of many articles, for example the article you are reading now.
  • Thunderbird's support forum where you can ask a question, or search for issues and answers if you didn't find the answer in the Knowledge Base
  • Various other communication sources, some of which cover special topics.
  • For questions or problems about a feature provided by an add-on that you installed in Thunderbird, you will want to find the Support site or Support E-mail adddress on that add-on's web page.

Thunderbird does not provide direct support via email, fax, chat, phone, remote, nor paid services, so be wary of offers of paid support, and also please report scams that you think are suspicious. Instead we rely on our volunteer community to help users. We hope that you, a Thunderbird user, will become a Thunderbird community member. (See below on how to help.)

Can I help?

Yes, absolutely! Please do!

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