Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition 3 Beta 3 Released

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on August 5, 2009 - 2:37pm

Thunderbird logoMozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition 3 Beta 3 has been released in Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Spanish (International). It's the latest test release of the upcoming Mozilla Thunderbird 3 email client bundled with a launcher as a portable app, so you can take your email with you. It's also a great way to test out all the new features of version 3 without affecting your existing Thunderbird installation. This release updates to Mozilla Thunderbird to 3 Beta 3 and has an improved installer. It's packaged in Format so it can easily integrate with the Suite. And it's open source and completely free.

Read on for more details...

What's New in Thunderbird 3 Beta 3

Thunderbird 3 Beta 3 is based on the Gecko platform including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, web compatibility, and code simplification and sustainability.

There are over 500 changes in this release, many laying the groundwork for future changes.

New features in version 3 include: Tabbed Email Messages, New Message Summary View, Column Headings per folder, Smart Folders for multiple accounts, Improved Gmail Integration, new Mail Account Setup Wizard and lots more.

New In This Release

The included Thunderbird has been updated to 3 Beta 3 (release notes). Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish and Spanish (International) languages have been added. The installer has also been updated. As with other tests, it will install alongside your current Thunderbird Portable installation in a ThunderbirdPortableTest directory by default. You can distinguish it in the Menu by hovering over it to see the version number. You can right-click on it to rename it to 'Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition Beta' or another name if you prefer. Installer / Format

Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition is packaged in a Installer so it will automatically detect an existing installation when your drive is plugged in. It supports upgrades by installing right over an existing copy, preserving all your email and settings. And it's in Format, so it automatically works with the Suite including the Menu and Backup Utility.


Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition is available for immediate download from the Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition 3 Beta 3 homepage. You can get the Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Spanish (International) releases from the Localization page. Get it today!

Story Topic:


Just installed this over TBP and now it won't run at all. thunderbird.exe terminates almost as soon as it starts... I'd blame this on the fact that TB3 is still in beta, except I recently tried the local version and it worked just fine.

I even tried with a fresh profile figuring maybe it just didn't like my TB2 profile, but got the same result.

John T. Haller's picture

As always, discussions of support go in the forums. It works fine for me in multiple locations, so it's not an overall problem.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

It seemed to be specific to this release, so that's why I put it here (and yes, I know it's a beta so no need to beat a dead horse there). Anyway, the problem went away when I deleted my entire Thunderbird folder, installed 3.0b3, and created a fresh profile. The problem only seems to come up when upgrading a TB2 profile.

Sorry to post a response here, but now it has to be done... Smile

Your problem, and mine when the same thing happened to me, is that the stable thunderbird (2.0) installs as /ThunderbirdPortable/ while the beta (3.0) installs as /ThunderbirdPortableTest/. The old one is still there. So open both folders, tile them vertically, and copy your IMAP folder from one to the other. I don't know what else you want to copy, but surely one of those is your settings file, too.

FYI Firefox does the same thing. Maybe it should be a note on the download page...

The MAZZTer's picture

Forget to upload the file(s)? Only Thunderbird 3.0b3 files I'm seeing are labeled "Test".

I downloaded that and I think it's what Fileforum is linking to but I'm not sure if it's what you meant to link to.

Signature automatically removed for being too awesome.

John T. Haller's picture

Yes, it's test since it's not the final supported release.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

qwertymodo's picture

Just my two cents, thanks for putting out these betas, I've been wanting to try Thunderbird 3, but I still use TB 2 regularly and didn't want to mess anything up, so this gives me an opportunity to do that side-by-side Smile

Quamquam omniam nescio, nec nihil scio.

horusofoz's picture

Not reasy to use this for prime time but did a quick test on XP SP3 without admin rights and worked as expected. Doesn't look like there's been that many changes but as I understand its mostly uder the hood stuff. Still looks a little fresher. Thanks for doing it John. Advocate

So far in my testing, this is just excellent -- a real improvement from previous versions.

My review:
[link removed by moderator JTH. Links to personal sites like this aren't permitted in comments. please review the forum guidelines, thank you.]

Moderator at

TB 3b3 is a huge improvement over 3b2. Does anyone else have this issue:

double clicking on an email sometimes causes it to open in a new window (classic style) and sometimes opens as a tab in TB. When it opens as a tab, the original mail tab also becomes a copy of the email. The only way to get back that I've found is to restart TB. I'm having the same issue with and without any addons installed.


EDIT: Wow, the room got quiet all of a sudden......

about your issue... it's just that you're not going to get support responses here (as already noted earlier). This is for comments about the software release, rather than for problems or questions. Please go into the Forums link and post your problem in the Thunderbird section. Good luck!


I recommend linking to forum guidelines inside the reply form -- a quick search didn't reveal them and I couldn't find them under Google.

Moderator at

Chris Morgan's picture

Make a backup of the Data directory first. Then try it! If it works, it works, if not, it doesn't and you've still got your data intact.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1