Thunderbird keyboard shortcuts

Guest Author
If you use Thunderbird
and is a keyboard-heavy user (like me), as opposed to mouse-heavy, then you'd
like to know about Thunderbird
keyboard shortcuts
. I've been particularly interested in "Move to
Search Bar" which takes you to the search box on top-right corner of
Thunderbird. It can be accessed by "Ctrl + K". In Firefox,
I've been using Ctrl+E for this functionality but that means "Edit as
New" in Thunderbird. I immediately tried "Ctrl+K" in Firefox and
that of course took me to the search bar as well.

Other than that, I already use the following shortcuts in Thunderbird:

New Message: Ctrl + M

Send Message Now: Ctrl + Enter

Reply to Message: Ctrl + R

Reply to All in Message: Ctrl + Shift + R

Increase/Decrease Font size: Ctrl +/-

Get New Message for Current Account: Ctrl+T

Save Message As File: Ctrl+S

Some more shortcuts I learned are:

Move to next mail Pane: F6

Toggle Message Pane: F8

Then there are other fairly intuitive shortcuts. The only other shortcut that
I'm missing now is "Change the Search Criteria" in Search Bar. Does
anybody know ? Even Firefox
does not have this shortcut.

"Move to Search Bar" is my most favorite and heavily used feature
in Thunderbird and Firefox. What is yours ?

Technorati: thunderbird
keyboardshortcuts firefox

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Comments ( 13 )
  • melanie gao Saturday, February 24, 2007
    Thanks! I'm a new Thunderbird user myself so these are really helpful for me!
  • Arun Saturday, February 24, 2007
    Melanie, glad you find it helpful. Do let us know what's your favorite shortcut.
  • muv Monday, February 26, 2007
    On Windows, Alt+down (or up) arrow opens the search criteria drop-down when the focus is in the search bar. Escape closes it. That at least makes it possible to set the criteria using only the keyboard, though it takes a few strokes to do it.
  • Arun Monday, February 26, 2007
    muv, that worked for both Thunderbird and Firefox.

    thanks a lot!
  • david folk Tuesday, February 27, 2007
    The space bar is where it's at!
    1. Use it to move to next unread in a folder.
    2. Open a message and it will scroll to the bottom of the message, then open the next unread.
    Most of the time I read all of my mail and feeds with this single key.
  • Chris Wednesday, April 9, 2008

    I've just accidentally discovered that ctrl-down takes you from thuderbird to the lightning calendar, which I've been trying to find for ages and does not seem to be on the mozilla page you posted. The trouble is I cannot find a shortcut to take you back to mail!

  • dan Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    In Thunderbird with Lightning installed you can use CTRL-1 to see mail, CTRL-2 for address book, CTRL-3 for the calendar, and CTRL-4 to go to your task list. The ctrl-down shortcut key seems unintentional and will hopefully be removed. It is preventing me from using the keyboard to ctrl select multiple items while going down a list of emails.

  • Bill Saturday, July 26, 2008

    For some reason Ctrl++ and Ctrl+- done work for me from the keyboard. They do under Text Size from the View menu. And the two little icons on my status bar (Text Size extension) work, they they are not really "quick zoom" compared to keyboard shortcuts.

    Can you tell me why I might have lost this capability? What's the easiest way to restore it? Should I reinstal Thunderbird, or would it continue with the same settings?

  • BILL BAYES Monday, July 28, 2008


    It appears I've solved my own problem. I tried everything dealing with menus and the Options. Finally, I began to wonder whether any or some of the extensions I installed could have had an adverse effect. Well, I got rid of a couple that didn't seem to work, and a few I would probably never use. I can't tell which one or ones did the trick, but I got my Ctrl++ and Ctrl+O- back. So, it's apparent to me that the extensions could be a fertile ground when looking for the source of a problem

  • Neil Friday, December 5, 2008

    I just got stung by the <Ctrl-Down> change (Ctrl-Up still works!). You can change the (“go to today”) mapping with the keyconfig extention (I've set it to <Alt-Home>).

  • flavigny Friday, January 1, 2010

    I am searching howto access search type (subjetc/sender/full) in the search bar of Thunderbird.

    (it is for a blind user, sometimes the type change, I don't know how?)

    And also do anyone knows how it is stored?

    best regards


  • mawi Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    OMG! The ctrl-down issue. How stupid is that? ctrl-down is universal for allowing multiple select across applications (in windows). But t-bird chooses to use it to...activate lightning... arrrghhhh... Any keyboard user would know better...

    The question is: How do I get rid of it?

  • andrea Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Anyone know how to insert live links for email addresses in a message?

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