4 Little Known Thunderbird Extensions

I recently searched through the mozilla thunderbird extensions website and found 4 extensions that I didn’t know about that actually prove to be quite useful. I use Thunderbird on Foresight Linux and have tested all of these extensions and verified that they work on that environment. Hopefully, they’ll help someone craft a more enjoyable email experience 🙂

Search for Sender

If you’re like me, you like to group like items together in your inbox. With this extension, you can group emails from the same sender as quickly as a right click. Really, it’s just a shortcut that places the sender email up into the search box and searches for you. The nice part is, with this extension, you don’t have to type it. Quick, easy, and simple. This has quickly become an extension that I cannot live without.


SyncMab is an extension similar to foxmarks for Firefox. With foxmarks, you keep all your bookmarks on a central server of your choosing so that your bookmarks are the same across all computers you use that have Firefox installed. This is perfect for me since I have a set of work bookmarks and home bookmarks and like to be able to switch back and forth between them. But what about thunderbird? It doesn’t have bookmarks right? Exactly, but it does have contacts in your addressbook! So, you’ll be able to save your contacts to a server of your choosing and then on another computer with thunderbird you can synchronize your contacts by downloading that file using SyncMab. It’s brilliant and allows you to always have the same contacts across operating systems, across computers, and even to maintain multiple addressbooks 🙂

Display Quota

This extension will display a small graphic in Thunderbird that tells you how much space you have left in your IMAP mail account and can warn you when you get close to filling up. This might not be too useful for those of you that use IMAP with huge quotas (gmail) but for others, it may be. I have heard that some users do not like the popup that displays for warning on this extension. For those users, Thunderbird has a built in function you can enable:

Open your configuration editor in Thunderbird and find the following keys:

  1. mail.quota.mainwindow_threshold.show – % when quota should show up
  2. mail.quota.mainwindow_threshold.warning – % when quota becomes yellow
  3. mail.quota.mainwindow_threshold.critical – % when quota becomes red

Thanks to goddess-gate.com for information on how to do this.

Sender Verification

With the sender verification extension…you can verify that the email that has been sent actually came from the sender. This extension goes out and checks the domain in the FROM field and makes sure that the email originated from this address.

Does it work 100% of the time? No. But for a majority of emails, this extension will make sure that someone hasn’t spoofed an email address in your addressbook to bypass your spam filters. The extension uses Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DNS-based reputation lists to make it’s decision and report back to you.

I opened up the preferences for this extension and made sure to toggle “Show verification results in statusbar” so that on the bottom of every email, SVE results display. This even works for previewing mail messages in the preview pane. You can also set individual white lists of domains not to check.

In all, quite a handy anti-phishing extension to make Thunderbird just a bit more secure.

What Obscure Extensions Do You Use?

What obscure extensions do you use to customize your inbox? How do youe extend thunderbird to do your bidding? How does it help you take charge of an unruly inbox? Please share your comments with us here and let us know the steps you’ve taken to rule over your emails.

Author: devnet

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix and Linux administrator, a Technical Writer, a System Analyst, and a Systems Engineer during his 20+ years working with Technology.

12 thoughts on “4 Little Known Thunderbird Extensions”

  1. Very important: [url=https://addons.mozilla.org/de/thunderbird/addon/2487]Nostalgy[/url]
    I’m much faster using the keyboard.

  2. Nice, well written, informative article. How did that happen? *grin* This was just plain, good information to have. Thank you.

  3. Hi,
    I use the following extensions:
    1. dictionary switcher – button in status bar which switches between English and my local language.
    2. Maximize Message Pane – when you click on e-mail from Inbox by default new window opens – I hate that, so this extension maximize window over existing window. Double click on head of mail returns back
    3. Mouse Gesture Redox – the same extension exist for Firefox – it just helps using gestures
    4. Quote Colors – for mails getting different color for each reply instead of “>” sign.
    5. QuoteAndComposeManager – get rid of [fwd: ] when forward, etc…
    6. XNote – writing a not on received mail
    7. “my language spell chacker” – spell checker for my language.

  4. For me, there’s nothing better than the ‘Quicktext’ add-on. As a website and server administrator, I quite often have to reply to emails with almost the same verbiage. With this extension all I have to do is click the reply button and then the appropriate template button that I’ve set up. Then my email is composed with something like “Hello [sender firstname], please click the link below to update your information on our website.

    [link – whatever’s on my clipboard]

    (then then my signature, etc.)

    It’s a big time saver for me.

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