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VISTA: make portable thunderbird default mail client (please no lectures here)

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Last seen: 8 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2008-02-08 19:06
VISTA: make portable thunderbird default mail client (please no lectures here)

I use PTh because I can migrate my mail from one pc to another.
NOT on a USB !!

It is my main and only mail client on a desktop.

I DO want to make it a default client.
Can you please post the trick how to do it. (no lectures about why I should not do it).
I want to HACK it !
I will pay via paypal the hacker who will post a sucesful hack.

Aciago's picture
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 2007-01-24 14:23

In Thunderbird look for the option to check that is the default mail client and check it...

If it works, and you want to pay... do it to here Smile

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report Biggrin

Last seen: 3 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 2007-08-27 13:35
If you really want to hack

If you really want to hack it, check out this comment (found by searching):

One technique that suggested itself is to install the regular thunderbird and run it and tell it to be your default mail client. That should (might?) set up the registry the way Vista wants it. Then find the registry entries and change them to point instead to the ThunderbirdPortable.exe, which should accept the mailto link if it is passed that way. If it is passed as MAPI, that might take even more hacking.

Good luck, and when you get it working, write a brief "how to" so other people can do it.

Oh, and don't blame me if you mess up your registry. Blum


Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2007-05-02 19:15
Kinda Works for me....

If I have Portable Thunderbird open and click a "mail to:" link in Portable Firefox, it will give me the Compose Window for Portable Thunderbird in Vista. But, if I right click a file in Windows Explorer and click "send to", I have to have Netscape Mail open which is fine, Thunderbird and Netscape Mail share the same folders which has never been an issue, so I'm happy with the way it is for now.

Aciago's picture
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 2007-01-24 14:23

That's pretty easy... search this forum and download Convey Portable, configure it ad it will paste a temporary sendto shortcut on your right-click menu.

You can also do it by hand (permanent) placing the shortcut to portable thunderbird on your send to folder (hidden inside your user name folder in "users").

If you want to use Convey permanently in your computer and not portable, just copy a shortcut in the startup folder on your Windows' start menu.

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report Biggrin

Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2007-12-17 05:43
Here's the technet article for you...

There is a TechNet article at that includes details of where to place extra clients in the registry for the "defaults" stuff to pick them up.... it's down near the bottom of the article.

Basically, you need an entry at
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird\shell\open\command
with the path (and parameters) to your exe.

Something like...

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird\shell\open\command]
@="\"c:\\PortableApps\\ThunderbirdPortable\\ThunderbirdPortable.exe\" -mail"

Good luck

Last seen: 11 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2008-03-01 15:37
Make Thunderbird Portable the default e-mail client

Here are the registry entries which worked flawlessly for me. I have TBPortable installed on my hard drive and use it as my primary mail client.

Copy and paste the code below into a .reg file, then edit the path to match your TBP installation.

I tried this on Win XP SP3.

=== start .reg code ===

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Changes to make TB Portable the default e-mail client
; Make your TB Portable the default mail client: Tools > Options. Don't skip this step.
; Edit YOUR ThunderbirdPortable.exe path below. MINE is E:\\Program Files\\ThunderbirdPortable\\ThunderbirdPortable.exe
; Run this patch and you are done.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird\shell\open\command]
@="\"E:\\Program Files\\ThunderbirdPortable\\ThunderbirdPortable.exe\" -mail"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird\shell\properties]
@="Thunderbird &Options"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\Mail\Mozilla Thunderbird\shell\properties\command]
@="\"E:\\Program Files\\ThunderbirdPortable\\ThunderbirdPortable.exe\" -options"

@="E:\\Program Files\\ThunderbirdPortable\\App\\thunderbird\\thunderbird.exe,0"

@="\"E:\\Program Files\\ThunderbirdPortable\\ThunderbirdPortable.exe\" \"%1\""

@="Mozilla Thunderbird"

; This fixes MAPI

@="E:\\Program Files\\ThunderbirdPortable\\ThunderbirdPortable.exe /MAPIStartUp"

=== end .reg code ===

Leave feedback for other users if this works for you too.

Last seen: 11 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2009-01-23 01:32
Worked perfectly for me.

Worked perfectly for me. Thanks very much.

Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2008-10-16 06:25
Windows 7

Has anyone got this to work with Windows 7? I've tried it and failed Sad

Clarification: mailto: works, but the "send to" menu item complains that there isn't a default mail client.

Think I am going to try the TB Portable+Local option and ensure that the profile is shared.

That's probably the best solution for now.

Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2007-05-02 19:15
I may play with that as well, but this seems really easy here...

Install whatever non portable version of TB that matches your portable version on your Vista computer. Once installed, do not run it an start to set it up. Type in into the command line (start, run) "thunderbird.exe -ProfileManager" (no quotes).

Select "Create Profile", click "Next", click "Choose Folder", point to your "Profile" folder wherever your Portable TB is stored and then TB will use your Portable Profile, but be happy that it is running off the installed version. All your mail, settings, calendar, etc. will still be stored in the fully functional Portable TB folder, so you can back it up and move it and run it wherever you like. If you are only using one profile, you can check the "Don't ask at statup" box.

If you are using Portable TB off of other drives besides (or instead) of the C: Drive, you can just make other profiles and put the drive letter on them. For example I have C:\ TBP and E:\ TBP as my 2 profiles. I know my Vista likes to switch up drive letters, so you can make 26 of them with different drive assignments if you want.

BTW, this was using TB and TBP, I would think that ver. 2 and 3 would work the same.

Last seen: 15 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2009-03-23 08:56
Thanks arizona480

I'm using XP. Do you think your method will work also on XP?
Having read around a bit I have come to the conclusion that having FF/TB local installed but refering to the portable version is maybe the best thing for it not to get messy, which is what the point is when using portable as main clients.

I have a few more questions:
Does the local FF/TB have to be the same as the portable FF/TB I want to use??

What about the check box to see if it is the default? Can I check it or uncheck it?

What about updates? How does it work? Because the way I understand it is that I am using the local version but refering all settings and mail etc. to my portable version. So say if I go through the start menu to open the local version (which is refering to portable version) and check automatic update, will it update my portable or just the local version, or both??

And finally, if I want to use Firefox Portable as my main default browser but also want all my changes, add-ons, bookmarks etc. saved in my portable folder, is there a way that I can do something similar?? Like where I install a normal version of Firefox and then somehow have it point to the portable version??

It sounds like you know what you're talking about, so I would be grateful if you could help me!

I used arizona480's method for both FF and TB on XP and it worked perfectly!! No more mess and both the local and the portable versions are constantly up to date!

Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2007-05-02 19:15
Yes, in fact, I had to use it on XP on my new mini laptop for TB

I think you check the box, I know you are asked initially to use as "default mail/browser" then "don't ask again".

Updates for the application itself will go into the installed versions, the add-ons updates stay in the profile folder as well as the bookmarks and settings. If you were to delete your profile folder from the portable version you pointed the profile to, Firefox would start as "new" with nothing added.

I know when I tried out Firefox 3.0 portable and copied my existing profile used in 2.0 to the profile in the new version, it did and automatic checking for compatibility and then told me which add-ons would be updated to work and the ones that could not work. Remember , that was going up a whole numbered release, so updating from 3.0 to 3.1 should not be an issue, but yes, one drawback is that you would need to update both installed and portable versions.

EspaÑaks (not verified)
its simpler: Get the

its simpler:
Get the extension "minimizetotray" & its helper for firefox & thunderbird(tb in this case)
configure TB to run minimized on windows start.
click the "default mail client" option

Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2007-05-02 19:15

Wouldn't that be the same as having TBP already open then clicking a "mailto:"link in firefox to try and open a compose window? When I try that, if TBP is open, I get no compose window, if TBP is closed, I get TB opening, but with a blank profile and then I'm prompted to setup a new account. I might play with that add-on for FF and TB and see what happens.

EspaÑaks (not verified)
Yep. and now you mention it,

Yep. and now you mention it, FF has an addon to launch thunderbird with other interesting abilities. I think it's called Thunderbiff biff, or somelike.

Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2008-01-24 07:39
A very easy way to do that

Rather than changing the default "send to" -> mail option, I would add a new one linking the TBP exe file. To do that:

1-Create a ".bat" file with the following content inside:
path-to->thunderbirdportable.exe -compose attachment=%1
2-Copy a link or the .bat file itself in: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
3-Enjoy it!

Last seen: 14 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-07-04 04:14
Batch file almost

None of the tinkering with the registry seemed to help in my case.
I am using XPSP3 and TBP and gave the batch file a go that iolaizola posted.
Here is what i used for my batch file.It was then copied to my send to folder.

REM Batch File Maker Generated
start /d"D:\Thunderbird Portable\" ThunderbirdPortable.exe -compose attachment=%1

This worked almost perfect. It started TBP, and had it composing a new message with the attachment. The only problem was that the attachment was only a shortcut, rather than the actual file, so it never gets emailed.
Any of you brainiacs got any ideas how i can solve this problem?
Thanks in advance.

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