I absolutely adore Mozilla Thunderbird. I’ve been using it for the last couple of years, and I must admit, it’s one of the best freeware out there. For those who haven’t used it yet, Thunderbird is a third-party email client suite from Mozilla.

Besides its support for multiple email accounts and compatibility with every email service, Thunderbird offers a plethora of other features. In this article we will be uncovering some of the lesser known features of this incredibly useful app.

Use Add-ons

Themes in Thunderbird

Much like web-browsers, Thunderbird also supports add-on installation. There are several thousand such handy tools available that can levitate pretty neatly on top of this email client. Hate seeing adverts on your emails? Tired of getting spams? Look around, many advert-blocking tools are just a few searches away.

Use Thunderbird as an RSS reader

RSS Feeds in Thunderbird

Still seeking a nice RSS client for Windows? What if I told you that Thunderbird comes with a built-in RSS feed reader? Open File (Press Alt to fire up the Menu bar), go to New and select ‘Feed Account’. Now you can add the feed address of any of your favorite website. If you have an opml file that contains all your feed information, you can import that as well.

Note: All the feeds will be saved to your hard-drive, and won’t be populating any of your email account.

Spell-check and Grammar

Spell-check

What could be more frustrating than sending amateur emails to your potential employers? In order to enable the spell-check option, go to Tools, select Options, and click on the Composition tab. From there you can click on the Spell sub-tab and make sure both the boxes are ticked. In order to make Thunderbird’s spell check more powerful, click on “Download more dictionaries”. Download the dictionary add-on, once the download is complete, you will see an option asking if you want to add that add-on to Thunderbird, answer every question in affirmative and you are done.

Similarly, there are add-ons that can make fix your grammatical and syntactical errors. Grammar Checker is a nice pick.

Unlimited Storage

Another benefit of using Mozilla Thunderbird is the extra storage space that you can utilize for keeping your emails. Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and probably any other premium email service you use provide limited data storage space. But if you use Thunderbird, and you have set POP protocol, you are essentially using your hard-drive for the storage. Hence, larger the space you have on your hard-disk, the more space you can invest on emails.

Thunderbird as an Instant Messenger

Chat account

I was quite surprised when my friends (mostly techies) didn’t know that Thunderbird also offers instant messaging service. Whether you have Facebook account, or Gtalk or any specific IRC, Thunderbird can manage them like a breeze.

In order to make things more convenient, you can use Thunderbird Conversations add-on to revamp the whole mail experience to elate your chatty temptation.

Think about it, an incredibly stable and fast email client that lets you check dozens of your email accounts, offers you RSS feed reader features and lets you chat with your friends and colleagues, what more do you want from a free software?

Send later

Master password

If you have written an email, and don’t want to send it right away, you can always send it later. Thunderbird allows you to shed more lights on emails later, and instead of saving it to your Draft folder, it saves it on your system. To use this feature, when you write an email, go to File menu, and select Send later. Now go back to the homepage, and seek the ‘Local Folders’, right click on Outbox and select ‘Send Unsent Messages’.

You can also use the Send Later  add-on which lets you schedule your emails to make things more interesting.

Send heavy attachments

Filelink support

One issue that almost all the email services resonate is their inability to send larger email attachments. But thankfully, Thunderbird isn’t really a fan of any such policy. In fact it comes with a pre-built tool called Filelink which connects this email-client to cloud services like Box, Ubuntu One and High Tail to take care of your large files. Before you go bonkers, yes, there is an add-on to link up your favorite Dropbox to Filelink as well.

Once you have installed it, go to Options, select the tab Attachments and go to outgoing sub-tab. Write down your cloud service credentials to avoid future annoyance.

Enable Master Password

Master password

As awesome as Mozilla Thunderbird is, it has one serious problem. You can fill-in all your details and make access to your accounts without having to bother about putting their login credentials ever again. But what if your laptop gets in wrong hands? And when it does, they won’t need your password either. Thankfully, Firefox lets you put another master password on top of everything to cement the security. In order to enable it, go to Tools, select Options, and hover to Security tab. Now, go to the sub-tab Passwords, and tick and enter your master password.


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Author

Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.