Here are some frequently asked questions about ThunderBrowse. Please consult here before asking questions.

Installation Issues

Start Page

Uninstall Issues

Plugin Issues

Website Issues

Link Issues



Installation Issues

I can’t go back or forward

On some installs of Thunderbird, the history feature will not activate when it should when ThunderBrowse is first installed. To fix this problem, you should restart Thunderbird, this bug is extremely hard to trace and leaves no errors, after restarting it once, the history system should activate.

I can’t click anywhere

Sometimes, ThunderBrowse doesn’t register because the install is brand new. Few users encounter this bug, and if you have this problem, a simple restart of Thunderbird should fix it.

I see a different picture in my status bar for ThunderBrowse

If you see this image instead of this . Your installation of ThunderBrowse is either corrupt or you have a major conflict. Email support@thunderbrowse.com your error log (Tools > Error Console).

ThunderBrowse doesn’t show up on my screen

First off, check that you don’t see this imageĀ  . If you do see this image, your installation of ThunderBrowse is either corrupt or you have a major conflict. Email support@thunderbrowse.com your error log (Tools > Error Console).

Otherwise, this can be several issues:

  1. The wizard is hiding behind the Thunderbird window. The cause of this is unknown. Simply minimize the Thunderbird window and the wizard should be right behind it.
  2. The messagepane is hidden (this is true if you have gone through the wizard). On first installs, ThunderBrowse puts itself in the messagepane (you can change this later). Press F8 to see the messagepane.

If you still do not see it, restart Thunderbird. If that did not work, please contact support.

I just installed ThunderBrowse but it doesn’t show up in my addons list

This can be several issues:

  1. You have a corrupted or mismatched (caused by having two different copies of Thunderbird open at once) profile. If you can install other extensions, this is not your issue.
  2. The download of ThunderBrowse was incomplete or corrupted. Simply redownload ThunderBrowse again.
  3. The profile files that handle the addons list are currently in use. Verify that Thunderbird is completely closed via a task manager and then restart.

I always see a wizard!

The following contains some fairly advanced steps. Please backup your profile before attempting to do this

This can be caused by numerous things. However, you might see this wizard twice if you have TBExtInt (before 3.2.3), BrowsrBounce, and/or ThunderUpdate (if on another restart you see the wizard, then you might have a corrupt profile). I’ve made a list of things that could cause this to happen and how to fix it:

  • Corrupted Profile – Thunderbird is having problems when saving settings. You know this is definitely the case if you install another new extension and it starts giving you problems. Try following the steps in this MozillaZine knowelegebase article. If that doesn’t help you, ask for help on their forums.
  • Extension Conflict – another extension is conflicting with ThunderBrowse. Make sure you have all your extensions up to date. If the wizard shows up and then you finish it but no url bar shows, then this could be your problem
  • Locked Files – In some cases, the Thunderbird prefs file could be locked. This is rare, but the fix would be to restart Thunderbird after you make sure Thunderbird is completely closed.
  • ThunderBrowse can’t overlay key functions – This means that ThunderBrowse is having problems with your configuration somehow. This can be caused by extension conflict or you have a nightly of Thunderbird (the old TB3 Alphas caused this).

I never see a wizard!

First verify that the ThunderBrowse wizard isn’t hiding behind the main Thunderbird window (or any other window [make sure you check via minimizing, there is a bug that causes windows to not appear in the task bar). If you still cannot find the wizard, continue with this issue.

The following contains some fairly advanced steps. Please backup your profile before attempting to do this.

This rarely happens unless you are trying to install ThunderBrowse on a client that is not supported (such as: Netscape, Songbird, Seamonkey) or you have a profile problem.

The first thing you need to do is check if you’ve actually ran ThunderBrowse before.

To check

Open about:config and check for the pref extensions.tbrowse.firstimerun.

If the pref is false, then you’ve already run the ThunderBrowse wizard before. Change it to true and restart Thunderbird to see the wizard again.

If you do not have this pref, you might have a corrupted profile OR Thunderbird is having problems installing addons. Try to install another extension. If it doesn’t show up on restart or the addons manager is saying restart Thunderbird to complete installation, you are having profile installation problems. You’ll have to delete some files from your profile to get Thunderbird to work again.

If the pref is true, check to see if the wizard is hiding behind a window (this happens a lot on Vista and XP SP3). If you still don’t see the wizard, open your inbox and check for the urlbar. If there is a urlbar, type in google.com and press Go. If nothing happens, ThunderBrowse has failed to start correctly. Restart Thunderbird (make sure you don’t switch any windows when you do this). If you still don’t see it, you probably have profile problems. You can check the error log for more details.

Start Page

Why was my startpage/homepage overwritten?

Because I think it is helpful to start out with a search bar when you have a browser. This is a standard thing for browsers to do. If you don’t like it, please see the “How do I change my startpage back?” answer.

How do I change my startpage back?

Go to Tools than Options and click Restore Default (if you haven’t changed it previously. If you have, go to about:config and put tbrowse.backuppage in the filter bar and then copy the value).

Uninstall Issues

I uninstalled ThunderBrowse, restarted and it’s still there

This is actually a problem in Thunderbird and not ThunderBrowse. ThunderBrowse is not spyware and doesn’t try to stay installed after you’ve uninstalled it.

The following contains some fairly advanced steps. Please backup your profile before attempting to do this

This may happen due to many things: corrupted profile, something is still using the extension files, and cached programs (common on Vista).

Try these steps:

  • Restart Thunderbird again. If ThunderBrowse still appears, restart your computer.
  • If it still won’t go away, then you have to delete “xpti.dat”, “compreg.dat”, “extensions.ini”, “extensions.cache” and “extensions.rdf” in your profile folder(when Thunderbird is closed).
  • It may take a couple more times until Thunderbird acknowledges that ThunderBrowse is uninstalled.

I uninstalled ThunderBrowse and nothing happens when I click on links

There are two things that could cause this to happen.
The first thing to do is to go to about:config and change the pref: network.protocol-handler.external-default to true.
If the pref is already at true, then you have a problem with your profile. Look at the question above this one.

Plugin Issues

Why can’t I see any flash/java/media files?

There isn’t plugin support for Thunderbird versions before 3.0. The newer versions of Thunderbird (3.0 and up) support plugins but only ThunderBrowse versions 3.2.3 have media support via SmartPlugins.

I have plugins enabled but I still don’t see anything

This is a pretty silly bug. It normally happens whenever Thunderbird upgrades or a specific plugin changes. Oddly, Thunderbird thinks that its plugins are running and will report this, but the files will be incorrect.

To fix this (THIS WILL NOT WORK WITH FLASH 10 [skip on to the new plugins part]):

  1. In your file explorer, navigate to your Firefox installation (default on Windows is: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\)
  2. Copy the contents of the Plugins folder
  3. Navigate to your Thunderbird installation (on Windows, the default is C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\)
  4. Paste the files into the plugins folder (if you don’t have one, create a folder called plugins)

Normally, this fixes the problem, but sometimes Thunderbird won’t load the plugins at all. I’m not entirely sure why the files never load up. You may need to reboot your computer in order for this to work (flash is silly like that). Version 3.3.2 should fix most of your plugin issues.

Newer versions of plugins (like Flash) install in their own directories in the System folder. Thunderbird can also scan these directories, with a few simple config tweaks.

With newer plugins, you have to do the following (luckily, you should only have to do this once).

  1. Open up about:config
  2. In the filter bar type in plugins
  3. Verify the following preferences are set to these values (you can change them by double clicking the entry):
    • plugin.disable to false
    • mailnews.message_display.allow.plugins to true (Thunderbird 5 users should change mailnews.message_display.allow_plugins)
    • plugin.scan.plid.all to true
  4. Restart Thunderbird

Why can’t I see images?

Newer versions of Thunderbird disable remote images in about:config. To enable images go to about:config and change mailnews.message_display.disable_remote_image to false. Currently, ThunderBrowse respects image polices, so these images are disabled. In ThunderBrowse 3.2.3 and above, images are enabled by default and can be turned off via ThunderBrowse settings.

Javascript Support

ThunderBrowse disables JavaScript in websites by default for security purposes. If you leave JS off, Thunderbird will not be vulnerable to JS attacks from the web, but ThunderBrowse may not function correctly in some situations. ThunderBrowse’s extensions.tbrowse.dojavascript tells ThunderBrowse to control javascript. If javascript.allow.mailnews is on and extensions.tbrowse.dojavascript is off, then ThunderBrowse will not control javascript and won’t be able to unless extensions.tbrowse.dojavascript is turned on. See also “Is ThunderBrowse secure?”.

Javascript doesn’t work in 3.0b1

This is known. The cause is that the Thunderbird core sends a deny all to javascript code. The developers have been warned about this, but there isn’t anything else I can do about it.

Website Issues

Facebook doesn’t work very well

Facebook has a history of issues with browser compatibility. The issues that are known to me about Facebook are:

  • Facebook opens an external browser (because of the annoying FRIENDS AND FANS API)
  • Posting new statuses or commenting is off. Sometimes the post will go through, other times it will not. Because of how much Facebook changes, it’s difficult to trace this bug and solve it

Random pages are opening in Firefox

ThunderBrowse doesn’t support popups very well. It’s something I hope to fix in later versions of ThunderBrowse, but it will take some time.

I can’t login to any website!

Some builds of Thunderbird can use cookies via the file included with ThunderBrowse. If you cannot use cookies, then you need to install CS Lite. Set cookies to allow cookies globally in the global tab and then set keep cookies until browser exits.

ThunderBrowse does support login forms, and only very rarely does logging in not work on Thunderbird versions 3 and up. If you found a site that doesn’t work, it might be because the site uses popups (which ThunderBrowse does not support fully).

I just installed CS Lite but I still can’t login!

By default, CS Lite automatically blocks all cookies, check your CS Lite settings and make sure cookies aren’t set to Globally block. If they are allowed globally, and you are trying to login to an https website, it’s because of this Thunderbird bug (#477120). This bug is fixed in Thunderbird 3 and up.

I can’t install userstyles

This is a bug in Stylish. Stylish in Thunderbird is a dumbed down version of the Firefox version. There is no way to fix this on my end.

Link Issues

GUI Links don’t work!

Mr. Tech’s Local Install overwrites our GUI Link handling in the extensions window. It’s because Mr. Tech was being nice and allowing ThunderBrowse to actually work with Local Install. It’s nobody’s fault anyways.

I don’t want the prompts every time I choose Visit in Browser or leave ThunderBrowse

In the options, go to the Mouse Functions tab and uncheck the “Ask to launch browser on Middle Click?” option.

I want to launch links in another browser

Check the settings documentation to find out which prefs to toggle.

Is there a way I can have a relative path to the external browser?

Yes. In ThunderBrowse 3.2.3 (and above), you can substitute the drive letter for %Drive%. This tells ThunderBrowse to check the current drive letter and then launch the application from there.

When I use Visit in Browser, it doesn’t always work

This can happen if you have network.protocol-handler.external-default set to true. If you set it to false, ThunderBrowse will load the default OS browser. However, you can still launch other browsers with this pref set to false if you have defined a custom browser path.

When I click on a link I want it to load in an external browser by default

Click the ThunderBrowse button in the status bar. If it has a red cross out, all links will load in an external browser.

Links are loading in an external browser by default

Double check your settings, you could have remapped left clicks to open in a browser. If that’s not the case, then make sure the icon in the statusbar (the one with the Unread counter) and make sure the ThunderBrowse icon doesn’t have a red cross out. If it does, click the icon once. Links should open in ThunderBrowse again. You can also right click the icon to bring up the Quick Access menu.

Links are always opening in new tabs when I told it not to

This is a bizarre bug that happens on new installs of ThunderBrowse. I have no idea why the problem occurs but I believe it’s caused by the wizard. There is an option in the Link portion of the settings window that allows you to change this behavior. If the option still doesn’t change, open the settings manager again and click the option you want 3 times. It should save correctly.
However, if it doesn’t save still, go to about:config and change extensions.tbrowse.lefttab to false.


I don’t want button labels

Check the settings, there is an option to turn them off

I don’t want favicons

If you don’t want favicons, then follow the steps below:

  1. Install Stylish: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/2108
  2. Go to the stylish window (extension manager < Stylish < Options)
  3. Click create a new style (name it whatever you want)
  4. Add this code to the big text area:@namespace url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul); #favIconDeck,.tab-icon {display:none !important;}
  5. Press save.

Changing Hotkeys

Please check the settings, choose the tab “Hotkeys”.


Is ThunderBrowse secure?

In order to make this understandable to the least tech user I am going to try to explain this as easily as I can. I have made ThunderBrowse as secure as possible to my knowledge.

Out of the box, Thunderbird is only really vulnerable to javascript hacks (and Thunderbird has javascript disabled by default). ThunderBrowse has a built-in javascript controller so it can protect the user from such hacks that could steal user data. The controller is only active when the user activates it through the options dialog.

The controller acts like a hand operating a switch. When you open a email, javascript is turned off for your safety. When you browse a website, javascript is turned on. This is only true if the controller is activated. There are no exceptions. It’s either all on, or all off. However, you can have a whitelist of sites that can run javascript by installing TB Noscript.

What exactly do the options do?

For ThunderBrowse versions after, you can view the help files here. Otherwise, support help files are visible here.

Does ThunderBrowse have a license?

Yes it does. You can find it here.

Suggesting a new feature

If you have a new suggestion for ThunderBrowse please email general@thunderbrowse.com.

I really want to be able to…

Please check the settings, what you are looking for is probably in there.

Alerting the author of a bug

If you think you have found a bug please check here to see if your bug has been brought up before. If not, then either add a new post or file your bug here.

I have another question

If you need to email support, please understand that I answer these emails when I’m available.