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Sometimes I receive emails with subjects like "As discussed" or "(empty)". At that point I know what it is about but for later reference I'd like to change the subject into something slightly more useful. The emails are accessed via IMAP, thunderbird can basically modify them (as the detach attachments feature shows), so is there a way to modify the subject line as well?

edit saving a modified draft is not what I want, since that changes the sender to myself and the date to the modification date

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related:… (the edit Draft solution is not helping me since it modifies the sender and the date) – Tobias Kienzler Nov 15 '11 at 12:47
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Two other add-ons that may possibly do the job :

TB Header Tools Extension
This extension hasn’t been updated for years. However here is a way to get it working again.

Has an option for forcing changes with IMAP accounts.

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+1 for pointing towards HeaderToolsLite. Works like a charm :) – andreas-h Feb 24 '12 at 16:59
HeaderToolsLite works perfect, thanks! – Tobias Kienzler Jan 1 '14 at 9:48

I use the EditEmailSubject extension, works great for me.

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hey thanks, it looks good. Unfortunately it does not seem to sync back to the IMAP server though, i.e. when I access a renamed email from another machine, the renaming is undone. This also happens when moving edited mails to other folders. But +1 since it might work nicely for POP3 at least – Tobias Kienzler Nov 15 '11 at 11:29
That's true, this is a weakness of this addon. – CGA Nov 15 '11 at 20:24
Maybe a bounty will motivate someone to modify it :-7 – Tobias Kienzler Nov 23 '11 at 8:31
Not needed. As of New Year's, it works! (You just have to enable the IMAP option.) – colan Apr 15 '12 at 22:52

I'm not sure what your asking, however....

If you click Reply you can change the subject to whatever you want, and then save it as a draft. The drafts would sync, and you'd be able to sort your drafts by subject that you give them.

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thanks, but I want to change the subject stored in a received email without modifying anything else. The drafts trick will put me in as sender and change the mail's date to "now", making things just as bad as a useless mail subject – Tobias Kienzler Nov 23 '11 at 18:06
What you doing can't be done. You can't (legally) fool your mail server into thinking a subject is something it isn't, while still retaining the original message headers. I would suggest catagorizing them using labels like this and this – wizlog Nov 23 '11 at 22:08
I don't want to retain the original message headers. And a modified version of an email can be stored on an IMAP server, as the native thunderbird possibility to remove (or detach) attachments shows – Tobias Kienzler Nov 23 '11 at 22:11
What mail server are you using? – wizlog Nov 23 '11 at 22:13
My university runs horde/IMP, but from what I read in the context of the TB Header Tools Extension mentioned in harrymc's answer, it should also work on gmail and probably any other IMAP server - why are you asking? – Tobias Kienzler Nov 23 '11 at 22:22

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