The problem that Thunderbird is always selecting the next message in line after deleting or moving the previous one has bothered me for some time. It happened more than once that a spam mail was selected and read that way which I did not want to happen for obvious reason.
The Unselect Message extension for the web browser puts an end to this. Instead of moving to the next message in line when deleting or moving a message, it simply does not select a new message. This makes sure that Thunderbird does not jump to a spam or malicious message after deleting or moving the previous one.
Unselect Message is unfortunately not compatible with the latest version of Thunderbird unless you change that. It seems that the author is not developing the extension anymore but it is working fine in the latest version of Thunderbird.
Download the Thunderbird add-on from the Mozilla website. Rename the xpi extension to zip and unpack it. Now edit the file install.rdf with a text editor and change the maxVersion entry from 1.6 to 2.1. Save the file and move it into the archive once again replacing the old version of it.
Now install the Thunderbird add-on as usual and the extension should work just fine. You can also click on the blank space at the bottom of the message list to unselect the message to empty the preview pane.
Update: The Thunderbird add-on is still available on the Mozilla Thunderbird Add-ons repository. It has not been updated though, which means that you still need to manipulate the downloaded file to enforce compatible with more recent versions of the email client.
It still appears to be working fine in the most recent versions of Thunderbird, but it is likely that it will eventually become incompatible.
Update 2: The extension is no longer working in new versions of Mozilla Thunderbird even if you manipulate the extension file. There is a comparable extension called Deselect on Delete which does the same thing when you delete messages but does not work when it comes to moving messages.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.