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What is the advantage of the archive button in Thunderbird?

Is it just to save me dragging the email into the archive folder? In my case I don't think i'd be bothered with the month and year subfolders so other than that it seems to be effectively the same as if I had created my own archive folder and dragged the mail(s) into it.

Can anyone who uses it explain it's advantage over a more manual method?

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It's just a shortcut. You can also hit "A" to archive selected messages instead of hitting that button, or use the menu and sleect Messages->Archive. Basically it's there in case you like to click instead of typing or dragging. ;) Additional info is in the release notes for Thunderbird. Any 'advantage' would be a personal decision. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 17 '12 at 15:50
It is just a little bit faster. – wizlog Oct 21 '12 at 17:21
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Additional resp. shorter ways to move a mail to the archive:

  • "Archive" button that can be added to the toolbar
  • Right-click on mail(s) → "Archive" shortcut
  • Keyboard shortcut a

Sub-folder structure that expands automatically by date:

  • yearly archived (2011, 2012, …)
  • monthly archived (2011-10, 2011-11, …)


  • not so savvy users might not know they that could create custom folders
  • users might not work it out for themselves that moving old mails from the inbox to a different place could be beneficial; thanks to the (prominent) Archive functionality they might try it
  • the "Archive" folder gets a special icon

If (some of) these features are advantages to you depends on your personal workflow.

Note that you can also mark a custom folder as "Archive" folder for an account: Configure archive location

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Note that Thunderbird keeps track of messages by conversations (threads) and using the Archive button takes advantage of this feature. – bwDraco Oct 21 '12 at 17:16

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