Thunderbird FAQ

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 (rather than browser or web-based) email application that is powerful yet easy-to-use. See Thunderbird features for a summary of the features.

Who makes Thunderbird?

Thunderbird is developed, tested, translated and supported largely by group of dedicated volunteers, plus paid staff. Thunderbird is an independent, community driven project. Therefore its paid staff, budget and fundraising are entirely managed and overseen by the Thunderbird Council, which is elected by the Thunderbird Community - with funds donated by the Thunderbird community. (Many years ago it was managed by Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Messaging. And Mozilla still hosts many of the Thunderbird 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?

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.

What is my Thunderbird email address?

Thunderbird is an application, 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 stuff on your local drive. If you are using the IMAP protocol for accessing messages, your messages are also on your email server. See IMAP Synchronization for more information. You will also want to protect this information by backing up your profile.

Where can I get help with using Thunderbird?

All support is web-based - for example the article you are reading now. This Knowledge Base has many articles that may help you. Check Thunderbird's support forum where you can ask a question, or search for issues and answers similar to your own. Also, the MozillaZine community has a library of articles and a forum.

Thunderbird does not provide direct support services. In other words Thunderbird does not offer support via email, fax, chat, phone, remote, nor paid support. Instead we rely on our volunteer community (which includes you) 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! Please do!

// These fine people helped write this article:Chris Ilias, Tonnes, Ricky Rosario, Wayne Mery, Matt, user669794, Lan, Dyvik Chenna, guigs. You can help too - find out how.

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