The Thunderbird team has released Thunderbird 68.0, a new major version of the desktop email client that is going to replace the current branch Thunderbird 60.x in the long run.
Thunderbird 68.0 is a major update that changes quite a few things; that explains why it is not pushed via the email client's automatic updating system at this point in time. Thunderbird users who are interested in the new version may download it from the project website to install it manually. Organisations may point the browser to the Thunderbird for Organisations page instead to download a MSI package or the 64-bit installer for Windows.
Check out our guide on upgrading 32-bit Thunderbird to 64-bit if you still run a 32-bit copy.
The team plans to push Thunderbird 68.1 via the automatic update systems.
Note: it is highly recommended that you back up profile and data folders. If things go wrong, you may remove the new version, install the old again, and restore the backup.
The release notes list new features, changes, and fixes. One of the major differences to Thunderbird 60.x is that add-ons may only work if the add-on developers have adapted them. Any add-on that has not been adapted will be disabled when you run Thunderbird 68.0.
While you can check that in a running copy of Thunderbird 68.0, you may also check the official add-ons repository to find out if installed extensions are listed as compatible with the new version of the email client.
I don't run a lot of extensions in Thunderbird but all three installed extensions -- Compact Header, Manually Sort folders, and Subject Manager -- were disabled automatically after the upgrade to Thunderbird 68.0 because they are not compatible with the version of the email client.
Another change in this regard is that Thunderbird 68.0 supports only WebExtension themes or dictionaries.
As far as new features are concerned, there are quite a few:
The list of changes and fixes is equally long. Noteworthy changes include that options are displayed in a tab and not window, that there is a new Hamburger menu to launch certain tools and run actions right from it, theme improvements including a dark message list and thread pane option, improved phishing detection for messages with "certain forms", and improvements to scam warnings.
The auto-compacting thresholds has been increased from 20 Megabytes to 200 Megabytes but you can still change the value in the Options under Network & Disk Space.
You can check out the full release notes here.
I made the switch earlier today and like the new release even though it disabled all three extensions that I used previously. Thunderbird 68.0 feels a lot snappier and faster, and while that is certainly just my impression after a short period of use, it looks as if some of the performance issues could be a thing of the past.
I'd still suggest to test the new release before making the switch especially if you rely on certain extensions.
Now You: What is your take on the new release?Advertisement
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.