3.5 out of 5 with 50 ratings

Thunderbird Reviews

about Thunderbird and Claws Mail, eM Client · · Helpful Not helpful 12 Helpful Report as spam

I have tried several email clients including Outlook, Em Client, Claws Mail, Zimbra Desktop, Mailbird... and went back to Thunderbird every single time.

Thunderbird is simply still the most customizable email client out there that delivers a solid, stable performance for the unbeatable price of free.

Supports an unlimited number of mailboxes, calendards, has full-text email search, can show you an unified inbox, you can easily compose HTML messages, read RSS feeds, use extensions etc. It's really a Swiss army knife.

The only real alternative is Claws Mail if you rather prefer a fast, lightweight client.

If you only use 1-2 mailboxes (or don't mind paying) and use Windows, Em Client is a decent alternative, too, with a steady release period.

Good to know: Thunderbird is not an abandoned project, it's maintained by the community and bugfixes, minor feature updates are being released periodically.


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Profile folder is not and can't be encrypted by Thunderbird... If your computer gets hacked, all your emails are stored in plain format...


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It's the only available full featured mail/contacts/calendar/tasks application currently available on Windows with decent privacy and open source. Too bad its UX/UI is horrible and its developement has been stagnating for the last couple of years.


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Really wanted this app to work given mozzilla's privacy policy's and open-source approach to app development, however the constant bugs and unreliability of this application has lead me to search for other clients. I think honestly one of worst email clients I've used. countless spam/junkmail issues. currently all my mail is diverting to my accounts "important mail" folder for some unknown reason.


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I am disappointed, that Thunderbird still does not support natively CardDav, even though CardDav it exists since 2011 . Till now I could not find any open-source alternative to Thunderbird in Windows.

Why should I depend on Thunderbird addons like SoGo or CardBook? The worst thing is, that my Thunderbird's addressbook lists are not synchronised to my CardDav email server, when using SoGo Connector.

[Edited by gloschtla, February 07]

[Edited by gloschtla, February 07]


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Thunderbird has always been my favourite email client. But update after updates, Thunderbird gets worse and worse.

On each update, disabled extensions increase, and lot of them are no more updated, or, when they are updated, doesn't work as they should.

Some features asked for years by many users are still not made (like mail summary in list, as you can see in Apple Mail, and most of other email clients).
Can't use maildir (beta / unsafe) instead of mbox.

I'm really fed up fighting with Thunderbird on each update with features like "dark mode" I don't really need or could wait for (as they disabled themes support which was useful for "dark mode" or "accessibility").

Looks like Mozilla is trying to kill Thunderbird !


Still one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Outlook

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With emails you can go two ways

  • Dedicated client (outlook)
  • Web client (gmail, etc)

Thunderbird is still a great alternative to microsoft outlook

Has lots of plugins

The best ones in my opinion are these in image link below

enter image description here


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Thunderbird....once one of the great and shining lights of the Open Source world now remains at the top largely, In my opinion, through inertia and lack of anything to really challenge it on all fronts. While it ticks most boxes in terms of features in practise it's frustrating and frequently baffling. Yesterday, writing an email, I spent ten minutes fighting with it to get text formatted the way I wanted it before giving up and opening the online client in my browser. Mozilla's abandonment of the software left it in horrible condition that you can mitigate somewhat with extensions and themes but most things are a fight and I'm tired of wrestling with it.

Have used this for a couple of years now on Linux and Windows but yesterday was the final straw. I'm here seeking alternatives.

Looking at the list of software alternatives it feels very much like distinct-client email for desktop machines is very much a dead space developmentally speaking for anything other than professional users. Frustrating, and perhaps why people are putting up with Thunderbird.

[Posted and updated by Uraael, July 22]

Since writing this I have actually settled on Windows 10 Mail. It's had some development since I last tried it and as a basic but modern-looking email client that does what you want, when you want, and keeps out of your way it's actually pretty good. It won't do for everyone but if you only peck at an email here and there it's well worth a look.

[Edited by Uraael, August 08]


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**I found it heavy and heavy and... heavy. **
A big big software, just like Firefox. I want my computer staying quick as I work. I have many heavy softwares for my job like Corel Painter pro or Scrivener. I need to send a quick mail to my client between two drawings or looking for something on internet between to writing. Thunderbird like Firefox are too heavy, life is too slow for me, just give me quick tools to make me happy !

**By the way I have the feeling than we have to choose only between Thunderbird and Outlook. **
Some other mails clients are just too old like Sylpheed (2016) or the UI is poor. Other solutions are proprietary. I am the sadness.


There are plenty of benchmark sites out there that compare programs. Are you sure the response is not due to your device or virus-checker?

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It is crap. Moz was nice 10 years back but for the last 10 years every effort was crap.

10 quick Examples:

  1. you can not change the default contact addess book in the f9 sidepanel

  2. by default thunderturd is a data collection machine for a weird US company

  3. nobody uses moz anymore. look at browserstats or anything the number of users drops significantly with every update

  4. the use RUST for coding. ok. but those arrogant twarts forced it on the devs and most great plugins died. both in firefail and thunderturd.

  5. they are crooks that made a deal to implement DRM. this is just a US thing frowned upon in the civilized world.

  6. they have been nominated as the villains of the internet again and again: https://twitter.com/ISPAUK/status/1146725374455373824
    Do you support ISIS? Well then go on using Moz!

  7. Firefox's Enhanced Tracking Protection whitelists Google, Instagram... and Winamp? WTF?

  8. by default Thunderbird has DOUBLESPELLCHECK...in englisch...while typing and before sending. global energy costs for murican spyware?

  9. destroying a working extension (lightningcalender) took a day, fixing their own crap calender took YEARS. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/calendar-updates-issues-thunderbird

  10. There are no more people using it or developing for it. e.g.: https://addons.thunderbird.net/de/thunderbird/search/?q=colors&appver=&platform=
    ALL those plugins havent been updated in a year. none is compatible with the current TB.

I could go on for days as there is nothing good about anyone working for or with moz.


Good points, except for not seeing any reference to ISIS in the tweet linked above. Something about Mozilla being nominated as an "internet villian" but the nominator getting wrecked for "double think".

This poor person is just frustrated and is lashing out at what they perceive as unjust actions taken by the company responsible for maintaining Thunderbird.

I can't speak to the accuracy of most of this review, but...
They meant Quantum not Rust. Rust is no more at fault for the new engine than C, C++, or Javascript.
Learn more about how great Rust really is at https://www.rust-lang.org/

Mozilla was nominated as internet villains by some misguided folks in the UK who saw encrypting DNS queries (privacy) as problematic for their spying efforts.

Mozilla is also one of the most privacy-friendly companies out there, if you really want US data collection use Google products.

Also, a little time has passed and it appears most plugin devs have figured out the new API and specifically lighting is working with the latest Thunderbird

Dev narcism is a problem. Mozilla wants more control and killed Enigmail so they are in full control of your encryption.

Still no selfhosted sync servers for Firefox, the ugly megabar, ff78.1 emergency patch..... lets just trust their webapi and stuff because as a US based company they will suuuuurely protect your data. LOL.

Mozilla should just stop.

1- You CAN change the default contact address book.
2- I don't know about "weird" but here is more info on that: https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/thunderbird.html
3- "Nobody uses Moz" Browserstats? Are you talking about Firefox or Thunderbird? And who cares? Popular software does not equal good software.
4- You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Rust is being used in the new browser engine and has nothing to do with browser extensions/add-ons or plugins. What really changed was Quantum using WebExtension (basically HTML) instead of the old XUL/XPCOM. And there are many reasons why they made this change.
5- Popular streaming platforms require DRM to function. So if you are making a browser to be used by as many people as possible, DRM support is a requirement. You can always uninstall the plugin if you don't want it.
6- ISIS?! LMAO! What I really don't support is the UK government using unencrypted DNS requests to censor the web and track people en masse.
7- That's a valid point. But you don't have to rely on Firefox's tracking protection. There are better add-ons for that. But again, weren't we talking about Thunderbird?
8- It's disabled by default. At least it was for me.
9- Again... Sometimes we have to sacrifice backwards compatibility. And the new calendar is great.
10- Do you really need add-ons in the first place? Thunderbird is already feature-rich.
Anyways, you should stop spreading misinformation. I don't fully trust Mozilla but I would rather trust them than a user called "n-----".

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Powerful email client, but it's old CODE makes it very slow, sometimes it's better to startup from scratch. It has plenty of extensions from PGP encryption support to google calendar interaction, but as noted previously, it's slow and that makes daily use hard.


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A valid free alternative to Thunderbird does not exist in this world. It's perfect in many ways, it also has flaws but can not convince me to remove it from all my computers that I have and I've had over time because I have not found anything so exceptional.


Have you tried mailspring?

I tried mailspring. Won't work for me. Free is limited to 4 email accounts. Might've been ok otherwise, but I have a lot more email accounts than that.

Using Classic 52.5.2 (32-bit), and can still use Classic Extensions.
1,400 emails in "Inbox" and too many custom folders ... no problems or bugs..
Best move has been to save eMails as EML files to safety away from Mozilla (after uninvited Fox upgrade to Quantum deleted all bookmarks.)

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Has all the features, but very buggy in the email editor. Your emails end up with strange unintended font changes. What you type is not what you send, which can be embarrassing when you discover what your email looks like to the recipient.
It doesn't seem to be getting much attention from developers either. Their bug list stretches back years.
I gave up with it after using it for 2 years as I just found it too time consuming.


Font changes depend on what fonts you have installed and use to send letters. If you use the font not installed on the recipient's side, the letter will be distorted. In Thunderbird you can set up the default fonts to use for each mailbox, and you can strip formatting, too.

You are so right about the email editor. It is totally buggy. I've used it for years, and learnt to live with it, but that's about it. It's not fun, but it is free.

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Emails end up looking like ransom notes with a mixture of fonts. So many things just don't work anymore.
As much as I am a fan of Mozilla, it is time to ring the death bell on this one. Bugs reported 10 years ago, patched 7 years ago, still not implemented. If you don't believe me, just browse BugZilla for TB bugs.
Ever since they had their funding cut, they have shrunk support to technical and critical security issues only. Their text editor still uses Mozilla core editor which is atrocious.


You criticized the low-star reviews from a lot of people, just to come up and give TB a 1-star review. Wow. I guess just your troubles are real and everybody else's are bogus? lol

I used to be a fan of Mozilla but this is what all their products are like now. Nothing important works anymore. It seems to be an organization made up entirely of graphic designers and marketers.