HomeNEWSThunderbird 52.0 released: discover what's new

Thunderbird 52.0 released: discover what’s new

Thunderbird 52.0 is available. The new version of the desktop email client for Windows, Mac, and Linux devices was released to the public on April 4, 2017.

The new version of the email client is one of the major new versions, as indicated by the version. Replaces the previous version Thunderbird 45.8.0.

Thunderbird installations and portable copies will pick up the new update eventually. You can check for updates by clicking Help > About Thunderbird. The new version may not yet be available through the email client’s automatic update system.

Thunderbird 52.0

Thunderbird 52.0

The new version ships with a massive list of new features and changes. Probably the biggest change in the new version is a change in the way Thunderbird handles images.

The way images are included in a compose window has changed. Images are now included as data URIs and not as references to parts of other messages or operating system files. This allows better interoperability with office packages like MS Office or LibreOffice. Images linked from locations on the Internet will no longer be automatically downloaded and attached to the message.

Therefore, image links pointing to Internet locations will no longer be automatically downloaded by the email client. This should deal with tracking pixels attached to emails.

thunderbird block internet images

The team notes that images can be downloaded “by image” using the image properties dialog. Thunderbird users who want to restore the previous status quo can also do so:

  1. Select Tools> Options.
  2. Switch to Advanced > General tab.
  3. Select Config Editor there.
  4. Use the search for to find mail.compose.attach_http_images.
  5. Double-click the preference to set it to true.

New features in Thunderbird 52.0

thunderbird folders toolbar

The following features are new additions or improvements:

  • chat functionality has been improved. Support direct messages, likes and favors on Twitter now. Also, added support for Jabber/XMPP message chars and SASL SCRAM authentication mechanism.
  • Calendar Events can now be created and edited in one tab. The release notes also mention “Processing received invitation counterproposals”, but I’m not sure what that means.
  • OtherNote: Becky’s Internet mail settings can now be imported and Thunderbird can delete the data files that correspond to the accounts when the account is deleted.
  • Other: Folder panel toolbar, enable in View > Toolbars, to quickly jump to folders. Also, the option to copy message filters was added.

Changed features in Thunderbird 52.0


Several features have been changed or removed in the new version of the desktop email client:

  • The (relatively) new Correspondents Column is now enabled for all new folders. You can disable the feature by setting mail.threadpane.use_correspondents to false.
  • When Thunderbird users reply to mailing liststhe response is sent to the address in the From header, not the response header.
  • audio pulse it is needed in Linux to play sound.
  • IMAP caching uses new caching technology.
  • IMAP folder messages reading on external devices are filtered by default.
  • mbox storage folders more than 4 GB are now supported without notice.
  • yahoo messenger support was removed.
  • The Format toolbar remains in place when the email delivery format is changed to Plain Text.

Fixes in Thunderbird 52.0

Quite a few issues were also fixed in Thunderbird 52.0:

  • Message preview pane doesn’t work after IMAP folder is renamed or moved
  • Editing in paragraph format: pressing Shift + Enter sometimes does not move the cursor to the next line
  • Various fixes when composing messages in paragraph format
  • Paste as quote doesn’t always work
  • Long lines in plain text responses are not properly wrapped
  • Unwanted whitespace before signature in paragraph mode
  • When the attachment is not available, compose shows an endless “Attaching…” message instead of an error
  • The response text encoding is sometimes wrong (uses the encoding of the last seen message)
  • Text encoding of message display, reply, or forwarded message is sometimes incorrect (uses attachment encoding)
  • Delivery format is not preserved for saved drafts (Autodetect | Plain Text | HTML | Both)
  • Responding to your own email does not respond with the correct identity
  • Caching of IMAP message parts
  • Links with non-ASCII (international) escape characters cannot be clicked
  • Calendar: events specified in the “local time” time zone generate alerts in UTC time
  • Chat: XMPP resource collisions

closing words

The Thunderbird development team added several exciting privacy and security-focused features to Thunderbird. First, the blocking of remote images on the Internet, and then the change in mailing list responses.

Release notes are here.

Now you: What is your impression of Thunderbird 52.0 so far? Do you use a different email client?

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