How to Display Plain Text Email Messages in Mozilla Thunderbird

Receive emails without HTML formatting

What to Know

  • To display messages in plain text, go to View > Message Body As > Plain Text.
  • To send in plain text, go to Tools > Account Options > Composition and Addressing, and clear Compose messages in HTML format.

This article explains how to set up Mozilla Thunderbird to display incoming emails as plain text on all current versions of Thunderbird.

Display Messages in Plain Text Only

To configure Mozilla Thunderbird to display emails as plain text:

  1. Open Thunderbird.

  2. Select View.

  3. Select Message Body As.

  4. Select Plain Text. You'll now see all incoming emails displayed in plain text format.

    Mozilla Thunderbird Plain Text setting

    Thunderbird may enhance plain text messages with certain text formatting features such as bold, italic, and underlined text.

Send Messages in Plain Text

You may also want to send your email messages in plain text for security reasons, to be considerate of recipients' preferences, or because some users can't receive HTML messages.

To compose emails in plain text:

  1. Open Thunderbird.

  2. Select Tools on the top menu.

  3. Select Account Options.

  4. Select Composition and Addressing.

    Account Actions in Thunderbird
    Thunderbird account actions to set email to plain text
  5. Select OK. Now, all messages you compose and send will be in plain text format.

Was this page helpful?