Thunderbird 78.0.1 has been released

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 22, 2020
Email, Thunderbird

The team that is responsible for developing the Thunderbird email client has released Thunderbird 78.0.1 to the public on July 21, 2020.

The new version is the first minor update for Thunderbird's new main version 78 that was released last week to the public. The new version of Thunderbird is offered as a direct download and installation only at this point in time because of its wide-reaching changes.

One of the big changes of Thunderbird 78 is that classic add-ons don't function anymore in the application.

Thunderbird 78.0.1 is already offered as an in-client update but users may download the latest version from Mozilla's website as well. The update is only offered to devices running Thunderbird 78 and not to devices running earlier versions of the email client.

Warnings that Thunderbird users who use the encryption extension Enigmail should not update at this point in time still apply.

Thunderbird users can run a manual check for updates in the client by selecting Help > About Thunderbird from the menu. Thunderbird runs an update check and offers to download and install the update if one is available.

Thunderbird 78.0.1 is a bug fix release for the most part. It fixes ten different issues in Thunderbird 78; these are:

  • Faceted search data and relevance settings not saved.
  • FileLink attachments were included as a link and a file when added via drag & drop from a network drive.
  • The dragging and dropping of multiple attachments to Mac OS Finder created duplicate files.
  • Recipients in the CC field collapsed sometimes in the header pane.
  • Search results displayed in the Contacts sidebar were cleared when a contact was removed.
  • Incremental search in the Contacts sidebar did not always display local results when an LDAP server was in use.
  • About Thunderbird keyboard shortcuts did not work.
  • Faceted search date and relevance settings were not saved.
  • Messages with long Armor header lines did not display using OpenPGP
  • Messages containing non-UTF-8 text were not supported in OpenPGP
  • The list of participants in chats did not display operator flags.
  • Various UI and theming fixes.

Thunderbird 78.0.1 includes new functionality as well. The OpenPGP implementation supports the following new features:

  • Key revocation.
  • Key expiration extensions.
  • Secret key backups.

You can check out the entire release notes of the new Thunderbird version here.

Now You: Do you use Thunderbird? Have you upgraded to Thunderbird 78 already?

Thunderbird 78.0.1 has been released
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Thunderbird 78.0.1 has been released
The team that is responsible for developing the Thunderbird email client has released Thunderbird 78.0.1 to the public on July 21, 2020.
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  1. Declan said on July 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    The only two extensions I use are the calendar and the ability to organize or alphabetize email accounts. I guess those will be lost in the upgrade?

    1. Wayne said on July 25, 2020 at 2:15 am

      @Declan regarding account ordering, there is work in progress in Bug 244347 – Cannot change sort order of accounts (Implement “Reorder accounts”) and Bug 1359410 – TB 52.0.1 doesn’t accept accounts order in mail.accountmanager.accounts … where the author of the sort folders add-on author is involved. So the issue is being worked on.

      1. Declan said on July 28, 2020 at 12:02 am

        Thanks Wayne. Sorting accounts makes life sooo much easier. Thanks.

    2. owl said on July 24, 2020 at 12:42 am

      Even if you are an existing user who has selected “Automatically install update”, it will be automatically updated only if it is determined that the installed and enabled extensions and plugins will not interfere with the update application.
      Recommend that you do not do manual updates until the automatic updates are rolled out.

      #1. Manually sort folders
      Works with Thunderbird 68.0 – 73.0
      Official support from the author (Jonathan Protzenko):
      Not working in TB 78.0 #123

      #2. Calendar function (Lightning calendar)
      Thunderbird Release Notes
      Version 78.0, first offered to channel users on July 17, 2020
      What’s New:
      Calendar: Added ICS import support to -file command line option
      Calendar: Add event preview to ICS import dialog
      Calendar: The Lightning calendar add-on is now integrated into Thunderbird
      Calendar: Lightning version removed from Thunderbird user agent string
      Calendar: Web Calendar Access Protocol (WCAP) support removed
      Calendar: Storage access is now asynchronous to improve performance
      Calendar: Location URLs are now clickable
      Addon Developers: Updates to and expansion of MailExtensions APIs. Details
      Calendar: Task and event dialogs were sometimes too small for their content
      Calendar: URLs in the event reminder dialog were not clickable

      ● Extension for synchronization with Google Calendar “Provider for Google Calendar”
      Does not work with Thunderbird 78 and later #77
      I’m working on an update and will post a new version for testing hopefully by the end of the week.

      1. Declan said on July 28, 2020 at 12:01 am

        Good info – thanks owl

  2. Anonymous said on July 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    The build-in password protection of this new Thunderbird seems now (finally) to work identical to the former extension “StartUpMaster”.
    So a casual bypasser can not sneaky startup Thunderbird to view your emails!! I am happy with this.

  3. ShintoPlasm said on July 23, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Another un-updated extension lost to Thunderbird’s ruthless march into the future. Pffffff.

  4. Bramble said on July 23, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    I prefer Thunderbird to Outlook. It’s easier to use (at least for personal rather than business use) and it can be configured to work with one unified inbox. Outloook, for me, is just far too complicated.
    Having said that I’m sticking for the time being with Thunderbird 68. My extensions work and I can use a complete theme which improves the bare bones look of Thunderbird. Unless I’ve missed something later versions have very few complete themes.

  5. Xahid said on July 23, 2020 at 7:17 am

    From 68 to 78, I don’t know, whats up with Mozilla with version jumping.
    But 78 have builtin feature for minimize to tray. cool.

    1. Iron Heart said on July 23, 2020 at 8:27 am


      The version jumping comes to pass because Thunderbird follows the Firefox ESR release schedule.

  6. owl said on July 23, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Thunderbird prioritizes development support based on a “roadmap” that it has formulated.
    “Bug” does not only mean a defect, but also the progress of an issue (plan).
    [Maildev] Thunderbird 78 +++ Roadmap |
    The Maildev Archives |

    For reference:
    To understand the current status and mission of Thunderbird
    #1.Understanding the current situation of Thunderbird :
    Is Thunderbird dead and other FAQ (updated Feb. 8,2019) | mozillaZine Forums
    The Thunderbird project has become a community lead project. It continues to uses the Mozilla Foundation as its legal and fiscal home but is now a independent project. It still has some dependencies upon Mozilla Corporation infrastructure (such as the build system) but has minimized that, and provides it’s own add-on web site. While the project primarily relies upon unpaid volunteers, the Thunderbird Council (the governing body for the project) has hired eight full time employees and is looking to hire up to six more in 2019. All of them are engineers except for the community manager. [Maildev] thunderbird near term focus describes what they will be focusing on this year. There is also a collaboration with Ura Design to create a UX team and style guide, and with the p≡p Foundation to add p≡p (pretty Easy privacy) support to the Enigmail add-on (OpenPGP based email security).
    #2.About the mission of Thunderbird :
    A detailed roadmap for 2019 was published on the official Thunderbird Mailing list. | [Maildev] thunderbird near term focus
    Thu Oct 25 08:42:28 EDT 2018
    ・Address UI slowness
    ・Integration improvements
    ・Finish rewriting nsMsgSend
    ・Rewrite and improve mail filters
    ・Protocol rewrites using web technology
    ・Better, easier encryption with decent UX
    ・Adopt best add-on features
    ・Automated testing upgrade
    ・Better support for open formats and structured data
    ・The complete Thunderbird package setup
    ・Calendar improvements

    What’s New in Thunderbird 78
    Official blog: The Thunderbird Blog
    article: by Ryan Sipes on Jul 16, 2020
    Below, reprinted the main part of the article:
    Last year’s release focused on ensuring Thunderbird has a stable foundation on which to build. The new Thunderbird 78 aims to improve the experience of using Thunderbird, adding many quality-of-life features to the application and making it easier to use.
    The past year has been an amazing year for Thunderbird. We had an incredible release in version 68 that was popular with our users, and laid the groundwork for much of what we did in 78. On top of great improvements in the product, we moved into a new financial and legal home,
    and we grew our team to thirteen people (soon to be even more)!
    We’re so grateful to all our users and contributors who have stuck with us all these years, and we hope to earn your dedication for the years to come. Thunderbird 78 is the beginning of a new era for the project, as we attempt to bring our users the features that they want and need to be productive in the 2020s – while also maintaining what has made Thunderbird so great all these years.

    About Us | Thunderbird
    Thunderbird/Core Team | MozillaWiki
    Modules/Thunderbird | MozillaWiki

  7. Anonymous said on July 22, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Tried a few years go and didn’t like it so, sticking with Outlook 2010 until this version of Office goes belly-up for security support.

    That said, the Thunderbird users I trade email with have issues if I embed photos and I don;t always remember to externally link. Outlook has issues with embedded photos received from iDevice users, tipping them sideways or only partially showing the photo on screen.

  8. kalmly said on July 22, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I use a very old version of Thunderbird. Have no wish to update it.

    1. Iron Heart said on July 22, 2020 at 8:15 pm
  9. Kenny G. said on July 22, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    I did try 78.0 but it had a strange behavior: It wouldn’t start in the folder that was active on exit. It always started in “Local Folders”. Annoying to me so I went back to 68.10 and disabled auto updating until that is fixed.

  10. Frank said on July 22, 2020 at 11:18 am

    I’ve used Thunderbird for ages, but it looks like I’ll be on 68 forever. I tried 78 and I hate it, not just because of the add-on mess.
    The folder pane was obviously redesigned by a complete moron: almost invisible icons (using the dark theme), insane line spacing (half of the folder tree now requires scrolling while it was fully visible before). Also, it’s slow. Opening a folder in the pane takes seconds instead of being instantaneous.
    The so called ‘dark theme’ has a nasty kind of grey background, which makes non bold text almost illegible.

  11. John C. said on July 22, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I think a lot of people are going to hold off on updating to version 78.0 and newer mainly because some extensions they count on are not compatible with those versions of Thunderbird. It’s now a waiting game to see if those extensions will be updated as MailExtensions. My understanding is that there will still be minor updates to version 68.

  12. Rob.G said on July 22, 2020 at 10:21 am

    “The update is only offered to devices running Thunderbird 78 and not to devices running earlier versions of the email client”.

    Useful info. Thanks Martin.

  13. Addy T. said on July 22, 2020 at 9:56 am

    I do use Thunderbird, but just because it ended up as my mail client. I don’t upgrade to current version because I’m fed up with losing addons. I delayed upgrading to Firefox Quantum, too, until DownThem All was working.

    1. h said on July 22, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Me too! I’d rather stay on 68 than lose my few, vital, add-ons. Apparently it is not trivial to get them working with 78.

      Mozilla are doing this too often IMO

  14. pd said on July 22, 2020 at 9:51 am

    That many bug found in one week says there’s something wrong with release engineering.

    Hope they can improve their quality control.

    1. Wayne said on July 22, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      > That many bug found in one week says there’s something wrong with release engineering.

      Actually, I think half those bugs long predate version 78. Would you rather they hadn’t got fixed?

    2. Corky said on July 22, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      If you think finding 10 bugs in a week across 3 operating systems on a major version change is bad It would be funny to see you spend a day in a typical software development department.

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