Thunderbird Filter Additions

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 3, 2009
Updated • Dec 16, 2012
Email, Thunderbird

The email client Mozilla Thunderbird comes with a few mail filters preinstalled that can be used to automatically process incoming emails. The actions that can be selected for new Thunderbird filters are limited to moving, copying, deleting, forwarding or tagging messages, adding stars, setting mail priorities, marking as read, setting the junk status or replying with templates. While the actions do include several of the most used filters they do lack some actions that are available in other mail clients.

The experimental Mozilla Thunderbird 3 add-on FiltaQuilla adds those additional actions to the Thunderbird Filter settings, in particular filters to launch a software program, append text to subjects, remove tags or stars, mark the email as replied or unread, copy the mail as read or disable notifications.

Probably the most interesting filter of this list is the filter to launch a file after receiving an email message that meets the requirements. You can use it to automatically scan email attachments for malware for instance, or to load images that you receive into an image editor or program to upload them to a server on the system.

Each Thunderbird filter can be activated and deactivated in the options of the Thunderbird add-on. The mail filters can be selected in the Tools > Message Filters menu.

The Thunderbird add-on is unfortunately only compatible with Thunderbird 3 and not with the more widely used Thunderbird 2. Thunderbird 3 is currently available in Beta 1.

Update: The extension is compatible with all recent versions of Thunderbird. The developer has added new filters to recent versions of the extension:

  • Append to subject
  • Remote Tag
  • Remove Star
  • Do not notify
  • Copy as read
  • Mark as unread
  • Mark replied
  • Launch file
  • Run file
  • Train as junk
  • Train as good
  • Print
  • Add sender to address list
  • Save attachments to

In addition, the following search terms are added:

  • Subject regex match
  • Header regex match
  • JavaScript
  • Bcc
  • Tag of thread head
  • Tag of thread messages

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Jeffrey said on January 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    For me Thunderbird 3 filters are really messing things up.

    Every new email which is filtered into a folder is being marked as “READ” before I even see it. Every un-filtered email stays “UNREAD” until read – the way it is supposed to be.

    I nearly lost several hundred $$ today when a client’s order went into his folder and was marked “READ”. I have seen several similar postings on the Help forums but no one from Mozilla has responded with an answer.

    You guys have anything?

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