Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition 5.0 (email client) Released

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on June 28, 2011 - 6:08pm

Thunderbird logoMozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition 5.0 has been released in Chinese Traditional, Dutch, English, English (Great Britain), French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Russian and Spanish (Spain and International) packages. It's the popular Mozilla Thunderbird email client bundled with a launcher as a portable app. This release updates Mozilla Thunderbird to the latest release. It's packaged in Format so it can easily integrate with the Suite. And it's open source and completely free.

Simplified Chinese users should read the note below for more information.

Update automatically in the Platform 2.0 Beta 5 by clicking 'Check for Updates'.

Mozilla®, Thunderbird® and the Thunderbird logo are registered trademarks of the Mozilla Foundation and are used under license.


portablethunderbird_small.pngMozilla Thunderbird is the safe, fast email client that's easy to use. It has lots of great features including quick message search, customizable views, support for IMAP/POP, RSS support and more. Plus, the portable version leaves no personal information behind on the machine you run it on, so you can take your email and adress book with you wherever you go. Learn more about Mozilla Thunderbird...

No Simplified Chinese Package

Mozilla has not yet updated the Simplified Chinese version of Thunderbird to 5.0. It is stuck on 3.1.11. Until it is released, Simplified Chinese users should ignore the prompt to automatically update in the Platform 2.0 Beta 5 release. If you accidentally upgrade anyway, it'll just reinstall 3.1.11. The next 2.0 platform release will not have this issue.

GPG 1.4.10

GPG, in conjunction with the Enigmail extension, allows you to sign and encrypt your email. Learn more about GPG and Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition. 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 homepage. You can get the German release from the German homepage and other releases from the Localization page. Get it today!

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John T. Haller's picture

It's just a renumbering. This was originally gonna be TB 3.2 or 3.3. It's now 5.0. Same way how FF 5.0 is really more like 4.1.

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

Not sure if this is a Thunderbird issue or a PortableApps issue, but it seems the plugins don't stay the same from pc to pc. For example last night I updated my Thunderbird on my home PC and updated all the plugins, etc.

This morning when I come to work it says some of my plugins aren't valid for 5.0 so I have to update them again. I noticed the same thing when I was using the beta as well. Plugins that were updated on one computer would show up as old on another one.

John T. Haller's picture

How did you upgrade? If you let Thunderbird upgrade itself from an older release using its own update system, you may not have the most recent launcher and associated files. This issue was a known bug and was fixed about a month ago. The launcher and associated files included in Thunderbird Portable 3.1.11 and 5.0 final should handle this properly.

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

Some previous versions (of 3) I upgraded by the Thunderbird updater. Last night, I updated using the PortableApps updater.

So I updated through PortableApps, and then once I was on 5 I went in and updated my plugins, restarted Thunderbird a few times and used it for several hours (that was on a Vista PC).

Then this morning when I plugged it into a Windows 7 PC it showed all my plugins (even new ones I installed last night) but said they weren't compatible and needed to be updated.

It sounds like a Thunderbird issue - but just wanted to make you aware of it.

John T. Haller's picture

Can you provide a couple examples of extensions that are causing this for you? Also, can you rename the ThunderbirdPortable directory to ThunderbirdPortable2 on the same PC and restart it and let me know whether the issue shows up for you then? (You can then rename it back, of course)

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

What I did was copy the Thunderbird folder and then renamed it. When I ran the renamed folder some of the extensions came up as incompatible - they were :

G-Hun Lite 2.3.0
MinimizeToTray revived (MinTrayR) 0.9.4

I then closed it and ran the original folder and extensions came up as incompatible again - the same ones as above but now also New Mail Attention 1.2 was also marked as incompatible, which was not marked that way on the copied and renamed folder.

John T. Haller's picture

I know MinimizeToTray uses a DLL, so I thought that may be it. New Mail Attention does not, though. And G-Hun Lite I can't find anywhere. Could you please create a thread in the Thunderbird Portable Support forum with all these details and links to the extensions if possible. Start the subject with [Bug] so it shows up in the bug tracker. And we'll take discussion and analysis there. I'd like to get this solved in the next few days.

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

Will do - and take your time. That 2.0 platform is much more important Wink

Thank you, posters.

I installed 5.0 over 3.1.11 with no major issues. One of my add-ons was incompatible with the new version and had no associated updated compatible version, and same thing with the theme I have been using.

Thus it appears this is more of an update than the equivalent of 3.1.12, but not as big a transition as, e.g., Firefox 3.6 to 4.0.

John T. Haller's picture

It is more of an update due to the minor UI changes. But the actual UI layout, etc is unchanged. Unfortunately, the extensions system uses a MinVersion and MaxVersion within that is based on Thunderbird's version, not an a version of plugins or APIs or UI as it should. Thus, many extensions that will work just fine on 5.0 are marked with a MaxVersion of 3.1 or 3.3. These will be updated via by its database once enough people report them as compatible. There is an Extension Compatibility Addon that you can use to do this in both Firefox and Thunderbird.

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

Attempted installation of Lightning 1.0b4 fails with "Script: resoource://gre/modules/XPIProvider.jsm:862". Don't know if this is a Thunderbird problem or a Lightning problem, but Thunderbird 5 is basically useless to me without Lightning. Any suggestions?

I configured portable Thunderbird 5.0 to open the message from Inbox in a new tab.
When I doubleclick it, the message opens in a new window instead, and that window
is write window, the same one I use to reply to the message (it has compose toolbar
and the caption indicating it is the write window). I can open the message in a new tab only if I use right click to activate message menu and select opening in a new tab or by keyboard shortcut. I installed portable TB 5.0 over 3.1.11 on my USB stick
and the nonportable version on my PC. Everything works fine except that problem with
message opening by double click. The nonportable version does not have that problem.

Account import and export plugins are not compatible with 5.0, so I saved all my
messages, deleted portable Thunderbird directory on USB stick, reinstalled portable
Thunderbird from scratch, manually configured my accounts, and imported all my saved messages. The problem with doubleclick opening still remains.