How to revert compose window redesign of Thundebird 78 to 68?


working some weeks with the compose windows redesign of TB78 I have to say that for me it is not something that “make[s] composing a message faster and more straightforward”:

  1. I get the idea behind the “pills” for mail addresses but it slows down the process to edit an address (it is just one more click but anyway it slows down).

  2. The most disturbing thing is that I’m not allowed to convert an address field type into any other kind of address field type anymore by just pressing on it to get a drop down menu. To convert a To-field into a BCc-field in Thunderbird 78 I have to

    1. copy the mail address

    2. click on Bcc button on the upper right corner

    3. paste the copied mail address into the Bcc field.
      To get the same in Thunderbird 68 I

      1. clicked on on To to open a drop down menu
      2. clicked on Bcc, done.

Is there a way to revert the composition style to the one of TB 68?

However: Thank you for Thunderbird!

You can’t revert the compose window.

To move an address you can also

  1. Click BCC to get a BCC line
  2. Drag the address (or several addresses) to the new line.

Yes, but this is the problem. The old interface, I could compose the message, add a BCC or CC, etc. without ever taking my hands off the keyboard. The new version takes much longer to do things like that because I get tangled up (because after 10+ years of doing it the same way my hands just go on doing what they’ve always done), have to swtich to the mouse (trackball), undo things, and do new ones. It’s tedious and pointless, and there’s no benefit from the change. Even if it doesn’t drive me to seek out a different email client, it’s repeatedly annoying every day, and it makes me not like Mozilla any more. Why is this a good thing in life?

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To move an address you can also …

Yes I know but bothering users with “design features” is something Micr$soft and Apple do. I think Thunderbird has a lot of other (and serious) problems than the old compose window design/workflow.

You can’t revert the compose window.

Okay. Where would be the best place for a “feature request” allowing users to use the old style?

Old compose is not coming back in any form, and requests along those lines will be declined.

However, the new compose is being improved with every release. This is where your feedback can be helpful in moving the functionality forward. For reference, lists fixed and open bugs with actiivity in the past three months

Well, I’m not going to try to justify the change, I’m not particularly keen on it myself but I’ve got used to it. There’s been a fair amount of disagreement about it:
@r4dh4l You could raise a bug on bugzilla, but if you’ve read that piece you’ll probably think it would be unproductive.

You could revert to version 68. It might be a bit less secure, but it’s not as if you’d be running javacript in emails.

@wendyg Welcome!
A bit off topic - well, completely off topic - but if you still use mudcat you might like my addon:
Have you heard June Tabor singing Les Barker’s version of Roseville Fair?

Thanks for the link…no, I haven’t, but there are a lot of versions of RF out there!

It’s just wonderful to hear that after being a Thunderbird user for 17 years my opinion counts for…well, nothing.

At least give us keyboard shortcuts, OK?


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This addon provides some shortcuts:

And I think there’s another, simpler, one just for the CC and BCC fields but I can’t remember what it’s called. is a larger list from the last six months. Half of them are fixed. Many of those involve keyboard shorcuts, including some which are fixed - so yes, your opinion counts when it involves improved functionality.

I favor keyboard shortcuts as well. I am happy that the developers are making progress here.