Mark Banner's thoughts on Thunderbird, Mozilla, Bellringing and more.

Thunderbird 3 Beta 4 is now available

September 22nd, 2009 Posted in Mozilla, Thunderbird

After a busy few weeks and a lot of hard work, Thunderbird 3 Beta 4 is now available for download and testing. We’ve made some big changes since the last beta, which bring together the work done over the last few betas.

Thunderbird 3 Beta 4 is the last planned beta before Thunderbird 3. We welcome your feedback to help us make Thunderbird 3 even better.

So what are the big changes? Read on…

New Search with Advanced Filtering Tools

Search results now include advanced filtering tools. You have the option to filter your results by sender, tag, attachments, people, folder, and mailing list. You can also filter your email using the timeline tool.

New Search with Advanced Filtering

New Global Search field and Redesigned Mail Toolbar

The Mail Toolbar is redesigned to include the new Global Search bar. Buttons such as reply, forward, delete, junk are part of each email message. When typing in the Global Search field, Thunderbird autocompletes against your address book. You have the option of searching everywhere or filtering within folders against different parts of the email such as by subject or by sender.

Mail Toolbar and Message Header

New Mail Account Setup Wizard

The new Mail Account Setup Wizard matches against a database of email settings from popular mail providers so that you will only need to provide your name, email, and password to set up new mail accounts.

New Account Wizard

Smart Folders

The folder pane offers a Smart Folders mode which combines special mailboxes (e.g. Inbox) from multiple accounts together. Smart Folders is now on by default.

Smart Folder View

Help us test our last Beta

As I said above, this is our last planned beta before the final release of Thunderbird 3. Therefore we’d like as much testing as possible to make sure it is stable for our users when we release it. Please provide feedback via the normal channels. If you want to help us with more specific testing, please see the wiki page.

  1. 10 Responses to “Thunderbird 3 Beta 4 is now available”

  2. By Bob on Sep 22, 2009

    What version of lightning is compatible with Beta 4?

  3. By Standard8 on Sep 22, 2009

    @Bob Lightning information can be found here:

    The latest test (nightly) builds can be found here:

  4. By John Drinkwater on Sep 23, 2009

    I can’t test it at the moment, but does this mean my submission for (I notice it’s your provider aswell) will autocomplete now? If so, awesomesauce.
    If anyone else wants to provide Mozilla information to easily populate email account settings for their ISP, see

  5. By Thomas on Sep 23, 2009

    the New Search with Advanced Filtering Tools is awesome and very nice-looking. Good work! But I miss one feature today: the ability to go forward and back during search fine tuning with the filter options on the left or with the timeline tool. After clicking on a specific month/year in the timeline tool, I can’t go back if my selection wasn’t what I want.

    And the new icons (address book, etc.) looks very bad especially at Windows XP. Tb2 icons were much nicer. Weill the icons change till final release?

  6. By Chis on Sep 24, 2009

    Does TB 3 will have a feature to hide the program in the tray when it’s minimized and/or to start with windows in the tray and minimized? Cause right now to do so I have to use an externalprogram called TB-Tray.

    Another question, when I am reading a mail and that I delete it with the delete button, it opens the previous mail. Is there, in TB 3 a feature so that instead of opening the previous mail, it goes back to the list of messages?


  7. By carl on Sep 24, 2009

    Nice to see the screenshots. The new search looks very good.
    So it won’t be any release candidates before the final release?

  8. By Standard8 on Sep 24, 2009

    @John we’re still working on the submission processes, so it may not be there straight away, but will hopefully be by the time we release 3.0.

    @Thomas For each filtering option you can just click on what you’ve restricted it by to take that restriction out. For dates you can click on the option above (e.g. year) or just click on the magnify glass at the top-left of the graph.

    @Chris No, TB 3 won’t have minimize to try. We won’t be adding any significant features between now and then. Using an extension/external program isn’t a bad thing, it means you can customise TB how you like it.

    For your delete question, I think there is now a preference, ask in our support groups for more info.

    @carl My post said this is the last beta. A release candidate isn’t a beta. – so there will be release candidates before we release final.

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