Mozilla Thunderbird speed up

Mozilla Thunderbird is of those pieces of software I could say I am a fan of, but since I upgraded from TB3 to TB5 and recently to TB6, I’ve been experiencing various problems with the application’s overall speed and responsiveness. Using Thunderbird almost felt as if it was reading its data from the internet. Working with it had become an unpleasant experience, until I found some tips about how to make it more responsive. It seems that versions 5 and 6 try to use hardware acceleration to render the application’s user interface and, apparently, this does not work very well with my hardware. Anyway, here is what you have to do in order to restore Thunderbird 6 responsiveness to that of version 3.

Open TB’s Config Editor (tools/options/advanced/general-tab/config-editor-button). Search for the following settings and double-click on them to set them to TRUE.


Also, open the Add-on Manager (tools/add-ons/plugins) and disable all plugins that do not need to be enabled in your email client. Note that the plugins are a different thing than the extensions. I disabled them all in my TB.

Finally, restart Thunderbird.

This has worked for me. Thunderbird 6 now feels as responsive as TB3 was.

Mozilla Thunderbird speed up by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Licensing Information.
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About George Notaras

George Notaras is the editor of G-Loaded Journal, a technical blog about Free and Open-Source Software. George, among other things, is an enthusiast self-taught GNU/Linux system administrator. He has created this web site to share the IT knowledge and experience he has gained over the years with other people. George primarily uses CentOS and Fedora. He has also developed some open-source software projects in his spare time.

One response on “Mozilla Thunderbird speed up

  1. Jan Greeff Permalink →

    There’s no “options” tab under “tools” in my Tbird version 17.0. Where d I g to speed up response time in my email app?