A major new version of Thunderbird, the open source email client, is now available to download.

Thunderbird 78 carries a host of major changes, new features, and usability improvements — though not all are enabled by default.

Add-on users should note that this version of Thunderbird only supports MailExtensions. Older XUL-based add-ons are not supported.

On the topic of extensions the Lightning calendar and tasks add-on for Thunderbird is now part of the app itself, no additional downloads required.

The client’s reworked compose window is said to be ‘faster and more straightforward’ to use, while improvements to the account setup wizard make it easy to get the app up and running with an existing email address.

Thunderbird 78’s revised account set up

Native support for OpenPGP in Thunderbird is another big addition in this release but it is not enabled by default at present. To turn on OpenPGP support in Thunderbird 78 you need to go to the config editor and set mail.openpgp.enable to true.

OpenPGP support in Thunderbird 78 will be available “out of the box” when the Thunderbird 78.2 release arrives, expected in the next few months. Users of the Enigmail Add-on are advised not to upgrade to Thunderbird 78 at this time.

These and other key Thunderbird 78 features at a glance:

  • Redesigned ‘Compose’ interface
  • Lightning calendar and tasks integrated
  • Updated account setup wizard
  • Change color of folders in the sidebar
  • HiDPI folder icons
  • Dark mode support (Windows and macOS)
  • Minimise to tray option (Windows)
  • Graphics hardware acceleration enabled by default
  • Redesigned add-ons manager
  • Option to anonymize header data
  • Address books stored in SQLite database

Read over the Thunderbird 78 release notes for details on a more comprehensive change-log of everything notable in this released.

You can download Thunderbird 78 right now for Windows, macOS and Linux from the Thunderbird website.

Download Thunderbird Email Client

Note: it is currently not possible to upgrade from Thunderbird 68 to Thunderbird 78 in-app, from an earlier release, on Windows or macOS.

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