Thunderbird 78.0 Release Imminent

MZLA Technologies Corporation has uploaded Thunderbird 78.0 to the distribution server; this means that the new major version of the email client will be released soon.

Thunderbird 78.0 is a major release which will replace the current stable branch, Thunderbird 68.x, in the future. The release notes are not up yet, but the beta release notes provide a good overview of the major changes in that release.

Attention: Thunderbird 78 makes major changes to the extension system similarly to the changes that Mozilla implemented some time ago in the Firefox web browser. Many extensions may not work anymore after the upgrade to Thunderbird 78 as classic extensions need to be updated to stay compatible. We suggest that you test a portable version of Thunderbird 78 first, e.g. by installing the add-ons that you rely on manually, to find out which extensions are compatible and which are not.

Thunderbird 78.0

thunderbird 78

The development team released four beta versions before the final release. The beta release notes list major changes in each of the beta versions.

New Features

  • Color customization of Folder Pane icons.
  • Additional Enterprise policies.
  • Preferences to disable OpenPGP functionality.
  • Calendar: add event preview to ICS import dialog.
  • MailExtensions: browser.identity API enabled.
  • MailExtensions: event fired when the user changes compose identity.
  • MailExtensions: UI components for browser pages added.
  • Chat: direct message support for Matrix.


  • OpenPGP support improvements.
  • OpenPGP improvements
  • Various address book improvements.
  • Dark Mode improvements.
  • Use scalable icons throughout Thunderbird.
  • Account settings UI improvements.
  • Improvements to the location bar of a tab displaying web pages.
  • Several improvements to vCard parsing.
  • Various look and feel improvements.
  • MailExtensions: Handle message attachments in browser.compose functions
  • Calendar: location URLs are now clickable.


  • Various fixes for recipient address entry
  • Fixed width font not working in Write window
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Attachment pane in message preview layout broke when toggled or resized.
  • Access key Alt-M for the attachment pane of the Write window not working correctly.
  • Addons could not be removed.
  • Print-progress dialog was disabled.
  • Clear Recent History window did nothing.
  • Initially Show Attachment Pane option was not working for Write window.
  • Links in the Account Central content tab opened in Thunderbird as well as the browser.
  • Order of columns in the thread pane was not persisted correctly.
  • URLs in the message header display were not reachable via keyboard.
  • Calendar: URLs in the event reminder dialog were not clickable
  • MailExtensions: Extension popup windows opened in a copy of the main window.
  • OpenPGP support did not work on some Linux distributions when using the official builds.
  • Thunderbird 78 did not run on Red Hat Linux 7.
  • Anomalies appeared when inserting an image into the compose window
  • Chat: copying from chat conversations not working.
  • Addresses added to address book were not inserted into sorted order.
  • Address book migration not working under certain circumstances.
  • Chat: own messages not displayed in private chats when server supports “echo message”.
  • MailExtensions: Tab was not defined in browser.menus.onClicked callback on out-of-window messages.
  • MailExtensions: select elements in action popups closed the window unexpectedly.

Closing Words

It is too early for a final verdict; the final release notes are not out and there is a chance that other things have changed, were fixed, or introduced in the new version.

Users who rely on certain add-ons may want to wait with the upgrade.

Now You: Do you use Thunderbird? Will you upgrade right away to the new version?

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