Mailbird vs. Thunderbird – Which We Prefer

We live in a time where having a reliable email client is crucial to operate a business. At the same time, using social media is becoming integral to our professional success. That makes Mailbird an excellent email client to use because you can integrate all your socials apps with it. There are also many other advantages of using Mailbird, both in a professional and a personal setting.

Mailbird vs. Thunderbird - Which We Prefer

Thunderbird is another great email client, and people are often torn between these two options. They are both very versatile, but Thunderbird is available for both Mac and Linux in addition to Windows. Mailbird is exclusive to Windows for now, even though people would like to see it on other platforms as well.

Let’s see how the two options compare in a few significant categories.

User Interface Comparison

Thunderbird is made by the creators of the prominent web browser Mozilla Firefox, and both Firefox and Thunderbird are in competition for the top spot in their respective markets. But in terms of user-friendliness, Thunderbird still has a long way to go.

The main upside of using Thunderbird is that it’s easy to see what every button does, and going through a long list of emails doesn’t take long because they are all clearly distinguishable. But in spite of its interface rework, Thunderbird can still be frustrating to use. It takes some time to set it up because you need to choose every setting manually.

Mailbird is much easier to set up and you can start using it right away. All you need to do is to input your login credentials, and then decide if you want to use remote folders for your mail or if you prefer to keep your mail on your PC.

thunderbird setup

Thunderbird is more cluttered overall, while Mailbird saves space with icons, which are a breeze to use when you get the hang of it. It does not have a tabbed view like Thunderbird, so you need to view emails one at a time. There are three reading panes: horizontal, vertical, and also a third-party pane, which can be used for social media apps.


Functionality Comparison


Mailbird takes the cake once more thanks to its UI. It has a superior Contact Manager, so you can sync contacts more easily and even import them from Google. Contact info is easily accessible and you can get your contacts’ pictures from Facebook as well.

Thunderbird uses an Address Book which only lets you import your Outlook contacts (Outlook Express included). You can also add contacts via .txt files.


Although spam will always exist, you can use filters to get rid of it – as long as you are using Thunderbird. This is a great feature which might have been inspired by Outlook, and it lets you customize your filters as you please, choosing appropriate actions for various senders or email subjects.

Unfortunately, Mailbird still has no filtering system, so Thunderbird is the clear winner in this category.

How Many Accounts Do You Get?

One of the main differences between these two email clients is that you can get as many free accounts as you want with Thunderbird, while Mailbird limits this function to premium users. The way it works in Thunderbird is that you get unlimited mailboxes, which are in fact folders, and you can manage them with a click of a button.

It is worth mentioning that Mailbird does not overprice their services, and you get many perks in addition to unlimited accounts, such as commercial use, priority support, etc.

Sending Email Attachments

Both email clients warn you if you try to send an attachment that is too large. Thunderbird offers a neat additional feature in terms of attachments. Instead of sending or forwarding mail with an oversized attachment, you can upload it to a Firelink.

Once you do that, a direct link to your file will be added to the body of your email. This is a very useful in-app option which saves time and prevents you from worrying if the file will fit the email format.

Additional Differences

There are some minor differences and additional features, which can also impact your decision about which client suits you better.

Snooze Emails

A great exclusive Mailbird Pro feature is rescheduling emails using the snooze option. Don’t have time to respond to emails right away? Snooze them and reply to them all at once instead of one by one. Thunderbird, unfortunately, does not offer this feature.

Ad Placement

The trial version of Mailbird is free forever. However, there are downsides to it. Namely, you often get popup ads to upgrade to premium and there is always a banner letting you know you should upgrade at the bottom of the screen. There are no ads in Thunderbird, nor does it ask you to upgrade.

The Bird Is the Word

Both Mailbird and Thunderbird are amazing email clients and both have their ups and downs. If you are an avid ad hater, maybe stick to Thunderbird. In case apps like Facebook or Slack are important to you, integrate them into your mail with Mailbird.

It is up to you to decide which one suits you better. Tell us about your choice in the comment section!

8 thoughts on “Mailbird vs. Thunderbird – Which We Prefer”

Zander says:
I have been a premium Mailbird user for many years. Very simply, I love it!. I managed to get it when the premium license had a lifetime fee (no longer offered, but my mail still works), and I use it every day.
I used to use Thunderbird, and sometimes use it when I am in “a mood”, but, for the most part, Mailbird is the way.
If you have a few dollars (or pounds, or Euros), go for it – you will be glad you did!
JohnM says:
This article is out of date where it states “The trial version of Mailbird is free forever”; it isn’t; if you don’t buy Mailbird the trial version stops working online after a few days. It seems like there used to be a free version, but that’s no longer the case so, if you’re looking for a free email client, the winner here has to be Thunderbird.
Peter White says:
I have used Thunderbird for years and its version 68 was nearly ideal for me as a private user. It had two superb ‘Addons’.
One was ViewInOut which combined the Inbox and Sent boxes. My incoming and outgoing emails were correctly threaded with the incoming one’s subjects in italics. The other one was Xnote which had a column into which I could put a comment against an email.
Unfortunately my 68 was forcibly regraded to 78 and ViewInOut had disappeared. Then a few days ago I was forcibly regraded again and the Xnote column had vanished. Also Help is a complete mess and I cannot contact the forum – just keep getting sent to Firefox.
What a pity – now I am trying Mailbird…
Hrishikesh Gadagkar says:
I have been using Thunderbird for a while and Calendar integration with Google simply does not work. The plugins that are recommended cannot be installed on Firefox browser itself so that in itself show how poorly maintained it is. I don’t mind making a one time payment for mailbird and it does support unlimited accounts.
Noblelox says:
Seems like a totally pointless review, since Thunderbird is free and Mailbird isn’t? It also seems biased towards Mailbird in that where Thunderbird gives you unlimited accounts, you never explain how many you get with Mailbird… One? Two? No, you just go to make a case for Mailbird’s premium offering. Yes, Thunderbird is a bit Windows 95, but unless you can offer something like for like, this just stinks of it being a “sponsored” advert for Mailbird.
Henry C Brown says:
2-21-20 – Google is blocking their SMTP from my Thunderbird. Although I am not a power user, I have tried for the past 2 days everything they show to correct this problem to no avail.
Alex Rosenthal says:
So, I used to use Thunderbird until one day my account was corrupted. what a huge pain in the neck. I loved thunderbird otherwise. Haven’t used a desktop client since because I did not want to go through that again. Any idea if Thunderbird still has that issue? I just want a very stable desktop client – nothing fancy
Chuck says:
I thought Thunderbird was no longer supported. That was the reason I gave up on it several years ago.
Evan says:
Mozilla has picked up development again

Comments are closed.

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