A Step-By-Step Guide to Searching Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird

Find your messing email in Thunderbird

What to Know

  • Enter a name, address, or keyword in the search bar at the top of your messages and choose one of the auto-completion options.
  • Select Quick Filter at the top of your messages, choose one or more of the filters, then use the search bar beneath the main search bar.
  • Go to Edit Find Search Messages for more advanced searches, then select Save as Search Folder to save the results for later viewing.

This article explains how to find emails in Mozilla Thunderbird using the Thunderbird search bar, quick filters, and advanced search tools.

Use the Thunderbird Search Bar

The quickest option is to use the search bar above your messages. Select the search field and type a person's name, an email address, or any keyword that might appear in the message subject. If there are multiple matches, you can select one of the auto-completion choices.

Thunderbird Search bar with auto-complete results

Thunderbird Quick Filters

Select Quick Filter at the top of Thunderbird to see a list of search filters. Select one or more of the filters below to see all messages that match the criteria. For example, selecting Attachment shows all messages with attachments. To further narrow your matches, use the search bar beneath the main Thunderbird search bar.

Quick Filter and Filtered search bar in Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird Advanced Search

Thunderbird offers even more search tools to help you find the exact email you're looking for:

  1. Go to Edit > Find > Search Messages.

    You can also bring up the advanced search options with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F.

    Search Messages in Thunderbird
  2. Select the Search for messages in drop-down menu to choose between All Mail, a specific address, or a folder.

    Search for messages in the drop-down menu in Thunderbird search options
  3. Select the Subject drop-box to choose the criteria for the search.

    Subject drop-box in Thunderbird search options
  4. In the next box, choose an operator (e.g. contains, doesn't contain, begins with, etc.).

    Operators in Thunderbird search options
  5. Type a search term in the text field and select Search. Your results will appear in the box below.

    The search button and search bar in Thunderbird search options

Thunderbird Search Folders

You can save your search results in a folder so that you don't have to search again in the future:

  1. After completing your search, select Save as Search Folder.

    Save as Search Folder in Thunderbird search options
  2. Enter a name for your search folder and select Create.

    Create in Thunderbird search options
  3. Your saved search folder appears with the rest of your folders in the left sidebar.

    Saved search folder in Thunderbird folders
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