Easy fix to unfreeze Thunderbird

If you use Thunderbird like I do you may have noticed that HTML emails cause it to freeze momentarily. For a long time I thought this was a side effect of a large mailbox file and large email size but nope, it has an official bug.

The problem is fixed in Thunderbird 3 which hasn’t been released yet but there’s a simple way to avoid the problem. Open your address book.

It appears that having your address book in memory helps Thunderbird to render HTML emails quickly. I don’t know why, and the bug has some interesting comments on why. It’s possibly related to the anti-phishing code in the email client.

If you don’t want to keep your address book open all the time install the Contacts Sidebar plugin. HTML emails now render instantly.

I’ve lived with this bug for years. It’s a huge relief to have it “fixed” now!

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Easy fix to unfreeze Thunderbird”

  1. well, well, well

    who’da thought.

    I gave up on T’bird years ago because it






    open emails

    which is what it’s supposed to do.

    Amazing that the fix is so simple… I may have to revisit.

    1. LOL, emails fly open now. It’s startling the difference. The biggest offender in my mailbox is PayPal emails. I never looked forward to opening them, just because they’d take an age and disturb my n n n n n n scan of the folder …

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