Thunderbird: big plans for 2019

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 3, 2019
Email, Thunderbird

The Thunderbird team provided us with an outlook of things to come for the desktop email client in a new post on the official Thunderbird blog.

Mozilla revealed in 2015 that it wanted to hand over responsibility for the Thunderbird project even though usage was on the rise.

Thunderbird was moved under the umbrella of the Mozilla Foundation in 2017, and the first major release, Thunderbird 60, was released in 2018.

The then-independent Thunderbird team grew to eight full-time employees in 2018 working on the browser.

Plans are underway to increase the number of full-time employees to 14 in early 2019; the Thunderbird team is made up of engineers for the most part that work on "making Thunderbird more stable, faster, and easier to use".

Thunderbird in 2019

The near-doubling of the team of engineers that works on Thunderbird full-time gives the team flexibility in regards to development priorities. New features and improvements are planned for 2019: from improvement performance and user interface slowness to improving compatibility with Gmail and integrating native desktop notifications.

The Thunderbird project team plans to introduce support for Gmail labels in Thunderbird in 2019. Other, unmentioned, Gmail-specific features may also be introduced or better supported in upcoming versions of the email client.

Desktop notifications, native support for them, is another item that is on the to-do list for 2019. Support for desktop notifications makes Thunderbird "feel more native" and improve notification management as well.

The team plans to make the use of encryption easier in Thunderbird, and work on user interface improvements. The out-of-the-box experience of the encryption functionality will be improved and it should just work without confusing the user with tech jargon or maintenance tasks.

A detailed roadmap for 2019 was published on the official Thunderbird Mailing list. Key improvements not mentioned already include:

  • Improve the handling of.ics (system integration, invite improvements).
  • Improve mail filters (make them asynchronous, contextual filtering, e.g. globablly or per-folder, pre-filter MIME processing and more).
  • Rewrite certain protocols using JavaScript
  • Improve the add-ons experience.
  • Exchange support (at least for Calendar).
  • Improve support for open formats and structured data such as CardDAV, WebDAV, and vCard.
  • Improve Thunderbird setup experience (e.g. complete package for organizations).
  • Calendar improvements.

Closing Words

The parting ways with Mozilla appears to have been positive for the development of the Thunderbird email client. 2019 could be the year of a turnaround in development; more engineers working on Thunderbird, fixing long-standing issues, improving support for popular features, and introducing new features to the email client.

The future looks bright; the Thunderbird team relies on donations for the most part to fund development and maintenance. Interested users may also get involved in various areas including development, documentation or translation.

Now You: Which email client do you use primarily, and why?

Thunderbird: big plans for 2019
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Thunderbird: big plans for 2019
The Thunderbird team provided us with an outlook of things to come for the desktop email client in a new post on the official Thunderbird blog.
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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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