Two Thunderbird Tips: Remove Duplicate Messages and Change Reply Headers

There are two tweaks I made to my Mozilla Thunderbird client in the last two days.

By default, Thunderbird places “Joe Smith wrote:” at the top of your message when you reply. I’d prefer to have a date stamp there toom like “on 5/12/2006 10:03 AM Joe Smith said the following:”. Firefox is a great browser and Thunderbird is a great email client for more reasons than extensibility, but extensibility sure is nice. The change is nearly-trivial in Thunderbird by modifing the User.js file in your Thunderbird profiles folder, and restarting Thunderbird (not your computer). How? Change Your Thunderbird Response Header

Another nice extensibility feature is Mozilla’s Extensions system which Thunderbird also shares wth Firefox. Returning from another time zone the other day, my POP server got confused and sent me all my recent messages again. Which stinks, because I ended up with about 1800 duplicate messages filtered and spread throughout my inbox folder structure. In the past I’ve just accepted that fate, but this time I looked for an extension.

Sure enough, the perfect tool for removing duplicate messages exists. One tip: switch which message (older or newer) is discarded, lest you delete your metadata (read, flagged) along with the older message. By default it seems to keep newer, but I’d recommend switching that. Aside from that, it’s a blazing fast tool that without fuss does exactly what it advertises.