Mozilla Thunderbird is an Outlook-like email client, but way better. It’s free, it’s multi-platform, it’s multi-lingual and most importantly, it’s highly customizable featuring lots of useful addons and themes. In case you’re new to it than you can read about it here, otherwise jump directly to must-have section below.
TOP 10 Thunderbird Addons (must-have)
(1) Contacts Sidebar - handy addon that lets you display all available address books in Thunderbird sidebar. This lets you easily access all your contacts from the main window, quickly edit contact details, drag’n drop files on top of a contact to send it as an attachment and more… (Thunderbird: 1.5b – 2.0.0.*)
(2) QuoteCollapse - automatically collapses all the quotes within any message, making it look neat and less cluttered. To expand quotes back to standard view just click inserted ‘+’ button. (Thunderbird: 0.7 – 2.0.0.*)
(3) QuickMove - must-have addon letting you quickly file messages to your frequently used folders using keyboard shortcuts. (Thunderbird: 0.5 - 2.0+)
(4) Signature Switch - allows you to create multiple email signatures (Private, Business, etc.) and quickly switch between them right from the main toolbar. Also provides configurable signature auto-switch option based on the email recipients. (Thunderbird: 0.7 – 2.0.0.*)
(5) Remove Duplicate Messages - helps you quickly locate and remove duplicate messages from the selected folders (and its subfolders). (Thunderbird: 1.0 – 1.5.0.*)
(6) Nostalgy - lets you assign single-key keyboard shortcuts to common thunderbird operations i.e., move/copy/delete messages, change folder, add/remove/view tags, add attachment, scroll the message while keeping the focus on the thread pane and lots more. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(7) GMailUI - adds Gmail-like mail archiving and powerful message search (i.e. ‘from:Makeuseof to:Aibek’) functionalities into Thunderbird. Makes excellent addition to already existing ‘Saved Searches’ feature. (Thunderbird: 0.8 – 2.0.0.*)
(8) Attachment Extractor - integrates one-click attachment extract option from selected messages. Once attachments have been extracted it can delete, detach or mark messages as ‘read’. Way easier than going through messages one-by-one. (Thunderbird: 2.0 – 2.0.0.*)
(9) Auto Zip Attachments - adds an ‘AutoZip’ button to the compose toolbar allowing you to compress all attached files to a single ‘zip’ file. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(10) Send Later - integrates extra ‘Send Later At’ (’Ctrl+Shift+Return’) feature to the message compose window, allowing you to send messages on a particular future date and time. It can be a contract cancellation notice, a ‘Happy Birthday’ or a friendly ‘Don’t Forget’ note. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0)
OTHER Cool Addons
(1) QuickFolders - useful addon that adds an extra toolbar to Thunderbird panel. Drag’n Drop any mail folder on top of it, and you’ll get an instant-access shortcut to that mail folder. Dragging selected message on top of this shortcut will move/copy them to the folder. Especially handy when you have many message folders, but use only a few of them simultaneously. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0)
(2) Birthday Reminder - shows a list of upcoming birthdays for all contacts in your Address Book. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(3) Email Notification Randomizer - extension to randomize the email notification sound. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 1.5.0.*)
(4) Allow HTML Temp - adds a new button to the toolbar that lets you temporarily enable/allow ‘HTML’ in the selected message. Switches back to default settings once you move to the next message (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(5) Text Size - adds text size (increase/decrease) buttons to the main toolbar. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(6) Mail Redirect - lets you export messages out of Thunderbird to another email address without forwarding. It preserves all message headers and “bounces” them to a provided email address. (Thunderbird: 0.7 – 2.0.0.*)
(7) XNote - provides an option to add sticky-like notes/memos to desired messages (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 1.5.0.*)
(9) Provider for Google Calendar - allows Lightning users to read/write events from/to a Google Calendar. (Thunderbird: 2.0a1 – 3.0a1)
(10) Mouseless - introduces bunch of Keyboard shortcuts for quicker navigation, i.e ‘/ ‘ for search, ‘w’ for new message, ‘a’ for reply, d for delete (move to trash) and so on. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 1.5).
(11) Skype Toolbar - initiate calls, chat sessions, transfer files to your Skype contacts within Thunderbird, view sender’s account status (online, offline), etc. (Thunderbird: 1.0 – 1.5.0. )
(12) Xpunge - adds two buttons to the main toolbar: ‘Xpunge’ and ‘MultiXpunge’, which basically work as shortcuts to already provided ‘compact all messages’ command (’File -> Compact Folders’). While ‘Xpunge’ compacts only whole accounts, “MultiXpunge” can be configured to compact individual folders as well.
(13) MrTech Disable XPI Install Delay - disables default 4 second delay when installing extensions. (Thunderbird: 1.0 – 3.0a1)
(14) View Headers - adds a toolbar button letting you instantly view selected message’s headers. (Thunderbird: 2.0 – 2.0.0.*)
(16) Nokia Sync - sync Thunderbird with Nokia mobiles. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(17) TimeStamp - adds an option to insert the current date and time to any message. (Thunderbird: 1.0 – 2.0.0.*)
(18) Dictionary Search - provides a quick way to lookup (or translate) any word within an email message. Simply select the word you want to lookup, access right-click menu and select “Dictionary Search for …”. A new tab or browser window will open with the meaning of the word you selected.
(19) Change - currency converter, convert between 36 currencies right from your toolbar. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 1.5.0.*)
(20) Growl Notification (Mac) - displays ‘new mail’ notification as soon as there is a new email. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(21) Minimize To Tray Enhancer (Minimize To Tray needs to be installed as well) - lets you minimize Thunderbird to the system tray instead of the taskbar. Provides an option to minimize Thunderbird on program/windows start.
(22) SenderFace - associate friends’ images with sender’s ID and display image thumbnails in the ‘from’ field. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 1.5.0.*)
(23) Spamato - extendable (with plugins) spam filtering system
(24) withAttach - adds couple of menu options (and toolbar buttons): (1) compose an email with attachments, (2) reply with attachment and (3) reply all with attachment. (Thunderbird: 1.5 – 2.0.0.*)
(25) Smilie Inserter - easily add smilie faces to your messages. Note: Smilies faces need to be downloaded separately. (Thunderbird: 0.7 – 1.5.0.*)