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I want to completely restrict access to TBird. I know about the master Password but this does not go far enough. Unauthorised people can still read my old mail.

What are the options to have stronger security? Any add-ons?


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Take it with you and you won't leave it behind:

  • Get yourself a well-sized USB flash drive
  • Install the portable version of Thunderbird onto the USB stick
  • Access your emails through this version of Thunderbird.

This will allow you to control access to Thunderbird to those who are physically holding the actual USB device.

If they don't have the stick, they can't access your emails (unless they log in elsewhere) and they can't read your old emails.

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Eight Days of Malaise I am using portable Tbird: I am scared of losing my USB flash drive and someone can read my mail! ...And yes I have considered encryption (too complex for what I require) – Max888 Dec 2 '09 at 12:21
Did not know you already had the portable version. How about a password on the USB?… – random Dec 2 '09 at 12:54

It won't help you at all to restrict access to TB. If you use POP3 or use IMAP with offline folders, everyone can read your email having physical access to your computer.

All downloaded mails are stored in plain text on your harddrive. So you cannot protect them during a session. This affects Linux OS and Windows.

Try this on Windows:

  1. Open a command line (cmd.exe)
  2. cd /d %appdata%\Thunderbird\Profiles
  3. dir /s /b *.mbox > %tmp%\found.txt
  4. for /F "tokens=1" %f in (%tmp%\found.txt) DO @type %f

On Linux OS, it's easier, but works similar:

  1. Open a terminal (resp. a shell)
  2. cd /.mozilla-thunderbird/ Probably cd ~/.thunderbird/
  3. `find . -name "*.mbox" -exec cat {} \;

With this little command line magic, you can read all mails.

There are some options to protect your Profile data in the mozilla Knowledge Base.

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It's not possible to do this with an extension. Your best guess would be to log off/lock whenever you leave the PC.

But you could file a Feature Request to the project.

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