Upgrading from Thunderbird 3.1
Table of Contents
As of April 24, 2012, Mozilla will no longer support Thunderbird version 3.1. This means we will no longer provide enhancements or bug fixes (including security and performance fixes). While you can continue to use Thunderbird 3.1, we strongly recommend that you upgrade Thunderbird to the latest version. This is why you will see a note saying that:
To check which version of Thunderbird you are running, select
This article answers frequently asked questions about upgrading from Thunderbird 3.1 to the latest version.
How to Upgrade from Thunderbird 3.1
(For those of you who prefer video, please refer to our Thunderbird 3.1 Upgrade Video below. Even if you watch the video, we strongly recommend reading the following explanatory text and screenshots which complement and supplement the material in the video.)
The upgrade has four steps:
- Back up your data
- Upgrade Thunderbird
- Check add-on compatibility
- Review new features
1. Backup your Thunderbird Data
While it is not strictly necessary to make a backup of your messages and settings (which we refer to as a "Thunderbird profile" or simply as a "profile"), we recommend that you do so before proceeding with the upgrade.
To back up your data, copy your profile to another location (for example, to another directory on your local drive or onto a backup device such as a USB stick or external hard drive):
- Close Thunderbird.
- Find your Thunderbird profile on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
- Copy the profile directory to another location.
2. Upgrade Thunderbird 3.1 to the current version
1. Click 1. Click
Thunderbird will start downloading.
3. When the download is complete, Thunderbird will say Update Ready to Install. Click Restart Thunderbird
4. On Windows 7 and Vista you will also see a User Account Control prompt for the Thunderbird Upgrade which you should also accept.
On Linux, the situation depends on which version of the distribution you use. Note that if you use a supported release of Ubuntu, you will be automatically updated to the last release of Thunderbird. However, there is a delay between Thunderbird's official update and the moment when it is made available to all Ubuntu users through the Software Center (generally, 2 or 3 weeks). If you want to be updated faster, then you can either:
- enable the proposed archive in Ubuntu, as it contains the latest release of Thunderbird (see this bug report on Launchpad for more details).
- add to your repositories the ppa called ppa:mozillateam/thunderbird-stable in order to get the new version of Thunderbird. See this article for more details.
3. Check add-on compatibility
After downloading, installing and restarting the latest version of Thunderbird, Thunderbird will perform an add-on compatibility check.
Most Thunderbird add-ons have been updated to the current version, but you may still have add-ons that are not compatible. To check, select.
Thunderbird will display a dialog that shows all your add-ons and their upgrade status. Select or disable add-ons then click Next. You will be prompted to confirm your selection.
Thunderbird will now update the add-ons you chose to update.
4. Review New Features
Thunderbird will restart. New features are summarized on the Start Page, which is displayed in a new tab:
Mozilla uses the Thunderbird Start Page to communicate tips, service notices and other important information. We recommend that you configure it to be displayed every time Thunderbird starts.
Click the menu button and choose
For details about the changes in Thunderbird since version 3.1, see New in Thunderbird.
Thunderbird 3.1 Upgrade Video
For those of you who prefer video, here's a Thunderbird 3.1 upgrade video. Even if you watch the video, we strongly recommend reading the material above because it is explanatory text and screenshots which complement and supplement the material in the video.
The video "TB 3.1 Upgrade Video" does not exist.
Thunderbird add-ons are optional extensions to Thunderbird that are written and maintained by volunteers. While most add-ons are distributed through the Mozilla add-ons site and are validated and approved by Mozilla, some are distributed independently outside of the official Mozilla channels. In all cases, Mozilla is not responsible for supporting or updating add-ons.
Some third-party add-ons have not been updated by their authors to be compatible with Thunderbird versions greater than 3.1. These are listed below. Note that there may be other add-ons that are similarly incompatible but that we do not know about. If you encounter an incompatible add-on, please edit this page and add it to the list. Alternatively, leave a comment to this article that mentions the incompatible add-on.
In some cases, people have written new add-ons to replace add-ons that are no longer functional. Where we are aware of these, we have listed the alternatives below. The replacement add-ons may not have identical functionality to the original add-on.
The upgrade process includes a step that checks add-on compatibility. Incompatible add-ons will be disabled, even if they are not listed below.
Known Incompatible Add-ons
- MinimizeToTray/MinimizeToTray Plus
- Possible alternative: MinimizeToTray Revived
- Update Notifier
- Possible alternative: Add-on Update Checker
To upgrade to a replacement add-on:
- Perform the Thunderbird upgrade. Accept any extension incompatibility.
- Install the replacement add-on using the Add-ons manager ( ).
- Uninstall the old add-on (to avoid future compatibility prompts).