Troubleshoot Mode Thunderbird

This article describes the Troubleshoot Mode of Thunderbird, which can be used to find and fix problems, especially if they are caused by add-ons.

What is Troubleshoot Mode and how does it work?

Troubleshoot Mode is a special mode of starting Thunderbird that can be used to find and fix problems with your installation of Thunderbird. Troubleshoot Mode will temporarily disable your add-ons and reset some custom settings in order to avoid these possible causes of problems. If you find that a certain problem with your Thunderbird installation does not happen in Troubleshoot Mode, then most likely one of your add-ons is causing the problem.

Note: Thunderbird Troubleshoot Mode was previously called Thunderbird Safe Mode., which has no relation to Windows Safe Mode. Prior to Thunderbird 91, the menu entry was labeled Restart with Add-ons Disabled.

Starting Thunderbird in Troubleshoot Mode

  1. If Thunderbird is not running:
    Hold down the Shift key while starting Thunderbird.Hold down the option key while starting Thunderbird.From Terminal, run this command: thunderbird -safe-mode
    You may need to specify the Thunderbird installation path (e.g. /usr/lib/thunderbird).


    If Thunderbird is already running:
    > Help > Troubleshoot Mode
    In the Restart in Troubleshoot Mode prompt, choose Restart.

  2. In the Thunderbird Troubleshoot Mode dialog, choose Continue in Troubleshoot Mode.

    TB91-thunderbird-troubleshoot-mode-dialog-marked

    Note: If you just want to restart Thunderbird in Troubleshoot Mode temporarily, do not check the checkboxes, because that would save the settings of Troubleshoot Mode as your regular settings.

Confirming that Troubleshoot Mode is activated

To confirm that Thunderbird is currently running in Troubleshoot Mode:

> Add-ons and Themes

If Thunderbird is in Troubleshoot Mode, you will see the following banner near the top of the Add-ons Manager tab content:

   (i) All add-ons have been disabled by safe mode.

Turning Troubleshoot Mode off

  • > Help > Turn Troubleshoot Mode Off
    This will immediately close Thunderbird and restart it in normal mode.
  • Or you can just exit and restart Thunderbird as you normally would.



MozillaZine has some more detailed, but unmaintained background information on Safe Mode.

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