SoftMaker logo

Thunderbird 52: What's new?

Monday, 15 May 2017 08:00

Dear SoftMaker customers:

Thunderbird 52 has been released. With immediate effect, it is available to users of SoftMaker Office 2016 as a free update.

Besides bug fixes, the new version offers a slew of new features. In the course of its release, we have updated the SoftMaker add-ons to make them compatible with the new version of Thunderbird.

This blog post tells you the most important improvements of the popular e-mail client.


First of all, please make sure that you're already using the latest version 52.1.1 instead of the slightly outdated versions 52.0 to 52.1.0 which still contained a number of bugs. To do so, please launch Thunderbird, invoke Help > About Thunderbird and click on Check for Updates.

In a second step, you should refresh the SoftMaker add-ons. Please open the add-ons manager (Tools > Add-ons), click on the gear-wheel icon in the top right of the window and choose Check for updates from the dropdown list.

Here are the most important improvements of Thunderbird 52 at a glance:

Folder pane toolbar

Thunderbird 52 offers a handy new dropdown list which makes it much easier for you to access your folders and accounts:

This dropdown list enables you to get an overview of your accounts and folders quickly: You can use it to display only certain folders, e.g. folders containing unread messages or folders marked as favorites. When doing so, you can choose between a compact view that shows just the folders or the regular mode which includes their parent folders, too.

If this dropdown list isn't visible yet, enable it by selecting View > Toolbars > Folder Pane Toolbar from the menu.

New chat features

With the integrated chat module, you can access your Twitter account directly from inside Thunderbird. With version 52, this module offers even more features than before. For example, you can now "like" tweets directly in Thunderbird:

Thunderbird now also supports direct messages in Twitter. Just double-click on the recipient in the right column of your Twitter timeline. A new conversation is displayed that lets you send direct messages to the selected recipient.

Lightning calendar: Show events and tasks in tabs

You can now create and edit events and tasks in tabs:

To activate tab view for events and tasks, please go to Tools > Options > Calendar > General and check the following checkbox below Events and Tasks:

The "Correspondents" column

In all newly created local folders, the column "Correspondents" is now shown by default. It replaces the column "From":

If you don't want to make use of this change, open the configuration editor with Tools > Options > Advanced > Config Editor, search for the entry "mail.threadpane.use_correspondents" and change its value to "false" by double-clicking on it:

Copying message filters

You might already have created message filters which help you organize your e-mails by moving them to suitable folders. Now you can create such filters even more easily by just copying existing filters:

Other improvements

  • The keyboard shortcut for inserting hyperlinks is now Ctrl+K instead of Ctrl+L.
  • When removing an account from Thunderbird, you can optionally delete all related data files from your hard disk drive.
  • New import function for the Japanese e-mail program Becky!
  • Changed processing of received invitation counter proposals
  • Chat now supports the SASL SCRAM authentication mechanism of XMPP.
  • Chat now supports XMPP Message Carbons (XEP-280).
  • When replying to a mailing list, the reply is now sent to the address in the "From" header instead of the address in the "Reply-to" header.
  • On Linux, PulseAudio is now required to play sound.
  • If you switch to "plain-text mail" while editing an e-mail, the formatting toolbar is now left in place.
  • Images inserted into e-mails from the internet using copy & paste now reference the original URL instead of being attached.

You can find a complete list of all improvements and bug fixes here:

Thunderbird "powered by SoftMaker"

If you use SoftMaker Office 2016, Thunderbird "powered by SoftMaker" is included. You not only profit from the improvements that come with Thunderbird 52, but also from the add-ons developed by SoftMaker. These improve Thunderbird's user interface and add powerful functions for filing messages and folder navigation.


  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Friday, 02 March 2018 16:13

    Xavier Norton: You can export EML files with Outlook and then import them into Thunderbird afterwards. You might want to have a look at the following third-party add-on for Thunderbird which helps with importing EML files into Thunderbird:

    Thunderbird is included in the Windows version of SoftMaker Office 2018. The Linux version of our Office suite only includes our add-ons since Thunderbird itself is included in many popular Linux distributions already.

  • Xavier Norton posted by Xavier Norton
    Friday, 02 March 2018 15:46

    Hi - is there a simple/ proven way to import OUtlook 2010 mail folders (via pst or otherwise) to Thunderbird 52.x?

    Does Thunderbird by Softmaker come as part of Softmaker Office 2018 or is it a separate purchase?

  • Teun posted by Teun
    Thursday, 07 December 2017 22:46

    Sorry Ray Yonas but that last statement is curious, what is easier than adding some text to the account setting?
    Or do you mean you want more options like a from-to date and time?
    Maybe separate messages for senders within and outside of your organisation?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Thursday, 18 May 2017 13:16


    Such issues are best discussed with our technical-support team (just contact them using our support form at

    Такие вопросы лучше всего обсудить с нашей службой технической поддержки (просто свяжитесь с ними, используя нашу форму поддержки на

  • Basil posted by Basil
    Thursday, 18 May 2017 07:21

    [rus] как (и можно-ль) сменить цвет выделения: синий -> желтый?
    [en] How can I change the color of the selection: blue -> yellow?

  • ceeslans posted by ceeslans
    Wednesday, 17 May 2017 19:35

    Not (yet) for Linux mainstream distro's, as it requires GTK+ 3.4 or higher...

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Wednesday, 17 May 2017 10:04

    Ray Yonas: You can create signatures for your e-mails in Thunderbird, too. To do so, please invoke "Tools > Account Settings" and click on the account you'd like to create a signature for. Below "Signature text", you'll find all options needed for creating and editing your e-mail signature.

  • Ray Yonas posted by Ray Yonas
    Tuesday, 16 May 2017 20:09

    how about including an easy way to make a good signature for emails. It is super easy to do in outlook but near impossible to do in thunderbird!

Leave a comment