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Supporting Mailto links if Thunderbird is already open

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Ellis L Miller
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Supporting Mailto links if Thunderbird is already open

I configured mailto links to go to Thunderbird Portable. This works fine if Thunderbird is closed. However if Thunderbird is already open, then I get an error message when clicking on an email link: Thunderbird is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Thunderbird process, or restart your system.

My registry settings for the mailto command --
Key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command to:
Value: "r:\ThunderbirdPortable\ThunderbirdPortable.exe" "%1"

According to mozillazine you should only get this error if you are opening a second instance of Thunderbird displaying the main window. The second instance should open fine if it is launching a Compose window or the Address book.

Is this a limitation of Thunderbird Portable? Are there workarounds? I spent quite a bit of time researching this and didn't find any solutions.

Simeon
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Yes

ThunderbirdPortable, as are all programs from Portable Apps.com, is supposed to run portable, meaning you shouldn't integrate it into the local registry. So yes,it is a limitation of Thunderbird Portable.

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Ellis L Miller
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I understand...

I understand that these are portable apps, however, the feature would be helpful for my use case. I use it to carry my work email on a flash drive. This lets me easily carry my entire work environment from the office to my house without needing to carry a laptop.

Since this is my only email client on my work computer, I would love to be able to have mailto links go to Thunderbird Portable even if the app is already open. I don't mind opening Thunderbird before clicking a mailto link, but it's annoying to need to close Thunderbird before clicking a mailto link....

This would also be useful for people who use Thunderbird Portable on a fixed computer because it makes backup management easier.

arizona480
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Install a local copy and point to your portable copy's "profile"

folder:

(from a previous post of mine)

Install whatever non portable version of TB that matches your portable version on your Vista or XP 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 1.5.0.14 and TBP 1.5.0.14, I would think that ver. 2 and 3 would work the same.

Ellis L Miller
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Thanks

Thanks, that sounds like a good option!

consul
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heh, I had the opposite setup ...

I also wanted the mailto to open up in ThunderbirdPortable, but I didn't set up anything in particular.

As it works by default for me, when I click on a mailto link, ThunderbirdPortable has to be open/minimized so it uses it, otherwise it opens up Novell Groupwise (university email server).

Maybe since you need to change the key about "Opening" a new instance to just open the Compose command, whatever the command is.

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Ellis L Miller
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That would work great!

I wonder why your setup works that way? It sounds like Thunderbird Portable is temporarily registering itself as the default email client for you and then unregistering itself at the end. I'm not sure why mine doesn't do that. I'd be quite happy with that solution.

Ellis L Miller
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Newer versions work

I downloaded a newer version of Thunderbird Portable and copied over the data folder from my previous version. Everything is working fine now! Apparently the newer version temporarily registers itself with Windows.

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