How to Integrate Skype With Mozilla Thunderbird

Click on names or numbers in Thunderbird to place Skpe calls

The concept of unified communications aims to put your contacts within reach wherever you are. It is convenient to click on a contact's name or personal information in an email message to initiate a call, without needing to launch a softphone. You can achieve this by integrating a VoIP softphone service such as Skype into your Thunderbird email client. 

How to Make Skype Calls From Inside Thunderbird 

Your computer uses a protocol handler to govern how calls are initiated or how data is transferred over the internet. Each application works with a protocol represented by a prefix such as http: for web pages, sip: for session initiation protocol, and ​skype: for Skype calls. The integration app identifies phone numbers in email messages and elsewhere and uses the protocol handler to map it to the respective identifier in the service. As a result, a single click triggers the calling app to call the contact. 

Illustration of smart phones and cloud against blue background.
Endai Huedl / Getty Images

Here are a couple of Mozilla add-ons for making Skype calls by clicking on contacts in Thunderbird. There are not many of them around. Of the few that exist, these two are the most up to date. They have ongoing support and deliver the goods satisfactorily. 

How to Use Telify on Thunderbird

The Telify add-on works both on Thunderbird and Firefox, which means that you can use it to click on numbers and contact information in email messages and web pages. Telify identifies numbers and presents a context-sensitive drop-down menu that allows the user to choose which service to use for calling. It works with several Skype and SIP clients, Netmeeting, and a couple of third-party VoIP clients. 

How to Use TBDialOut on Thunderbird

The TBDialOut add-on adds toolbar buttons and gives context-sensitive menu options and clickable links for phone numbers. It also links directly to your Thunderbird address book. TBDialOut works exclusively with Thunderbird, which is why it is well integrated. However, TBDialOut doesn't get updates anymore, so it may not be compatible with the most recent Thunderbird release.