I subscribed to a mailing list under a forwarding e-mail address. But Thunderbird sends mails from my real address (a GMail account). I tried to send my first message to the list today, but it got rejected because "The email address used to send your message is not subscribed to this group." Is there a way I can put my forwarding e-mail address on my messages instead of my real one?

  1. Tools > Account Settings

  2. Then select the account. Doesn't matter if you have multiple accounts, it'll still work the same

  3. Click Manage Identities

    • The dialog window "Identities for [account name]" will appear
  4. Click Add

    • The dialog window "Identity Settings" will appear
  5. Fill in the details using the forwarding email in the "Email Address" and "Reply-to Address" fields

  6. Click OK on the "Identity Settings" dialog

  7. Click OK on the "Identities for [account name]" dialog

  8. Click OK on the Account Settings dialog

Now when you want to write an email, select the email address/identity you want as the outgoing from the "From:" field.

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    Sometimes this one doesn't work properly. I've got an Outlook account with an alias which I also use for a mailing list. I tried to set that alias to send e-mail from Thunderbird in the way you described. It still sends mail from my original address. – user348734 Nov 17 '14 at 17:56
  • At Thunderbird 31.7.0, "Account Settings" (1) is on the "Edit" menu. – Rhubbarb May 19 '15 at 22:09
  • @Rhubbarb: No; on Windows, Thunderbird lists Account Settings in the Tools menu, but on Linux, it lists Account Settings under Edit. – palswim Apr 16 '18 at 4:44
  • Any suggestions regarding the concern raised by @FilippoDeBortoli? Been struggling to get this working on a G-Suite domain for several weeks - both on standard Thunderbird and the latest Nightly (Daily) version(s); it always sends from my original log-in email address, with just the Reply-To set as the mailing list :( – Janaka Bandara Aug 7 '19 at 19:01

Try the Virtual Identity extension. This will allow you type into the From field. However, be sure you SMTP provider will allow you to send from a false (for them) email address.

To install download the file provided on the website, then in Thunderbird 'Menu: Tools > Add-ons > Gear Icon (Tools for all Add-ons) > Install Add-on from File...', and restart your Thunderbird.

Usage is straightforward, click on greenish area to edit, click on white background area to choose any stored identities.

Thunderbird Edit From Header enter image description here

  • Their SSL-enabled download site raises a security warning in Firefox. See github.com/absorb-it/Virtual-Identity/issues/10 – akaihola Feb 20 '16 at 8:21
  • @akaihola: Their certificate is signed by CaCert. For some reasons, this free Certification Authority is not pre-installed in your browser. If you verify and install the CaCert Root Certificates, absorb.it verifies just fine. You still have to trust absorb.it to play nice, but that's not an certificate issue :-) – Vincent Mar 15 '16 at 10:47

I appear to be able to edit my from address in Thunderbird (v52.2.1 for Linux), simply by clicking the "From" address in the compose window, and selecting "Customize From Address..." in the drop down menu.

This works for me because I have a lot of disposable email addresses, and sometimes need to reply from one of them. If you have a regular address you want to use a lot, adding a new identity as described in the other answer seems appropriate.

  • See Holger Dot’s answer for an update on Thunderbird’s “Customize From Address…” feature. – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Jan 1 '18 at 23:22
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    Currently, though Thunderbird sets the From header correct with this method, Thunderbird has a bug which sets the Return-Path header of a message which uses this feature to the initial address of the Account. – palswim Apr 19 '18 at 5:46

The TB feature "Customize From Address..." (see wu-lee's answer) is currently broken, see per message From-Header not used for SMTP MAIL FROM - the edited "From Address" is only used for the "From:" header line whereas the address stated in the TB Account Identity is used as Envelope Sender when TB submits the message to the MTA (Mail Transport Agent). This is totally unexpected and undocumented TB behaviour, and will likely cause issues like the one described in this Super User Question.

  • wu-lee's answer is correct, in that Thunderbird sets the From header. But with this bug, Thunderbird exposes the underlying address in the Return-Path header. The contents of this answer helped me, but technically, it's not an answer to the question, but more of a comment on the correct answer. – palswim Apr 19 '18 at 5:41

There is another, very lightweight addon called EDITSENDER. It allows you to edit From:-details on the fly for each message you write (As long as your mail-server accepts this).

Edited to add (2016-03-15): It has to be noted that the add-on is not part of the official mozilla ecosystem. There is no external verification-process for this add-on, and it might do nasty things to/with your data at any time.

The old Link to nic-nac-project.org currently raises certificate errors. The new link to freeshell.de seems to be a bit more trustworthy.

  • This one worked well for me. I did tried the most-voted method first, but it didn't work until I've installed this addon. – user348734 Nov 17 '14 at 18:10
  • The linked site raises a security warning in browsers – that means the download shouldn't be trusted. – akaihola Feb 20 '16 at 8:23
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    My testing show that even though you can modify the 'From:' header it no longer seems to work with Thunderbird 38.6.0 - I have reported the issue to the author, but Virtual Identity Extension (absorb.it/virtual-id) did work. – Daniel Sokolowski Mar 6 '16 at 14:42
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    @DanielSokolowski: I can confirm that. I will not change the answer, yet, as I still hope that the author will fix it soon. – Vincent Mar 15 '16 at 10:33

Add your forwarding address as a POP3/SMTP account in thunderbird. Then, make sure you uncheck the POP3 account settings options "check for new messages" and "automatically download new messages" so you don't actually download the messages from your forwarding account

For Thunderbird 3, the steps may be a little different.

Then, when you go to send a message, just select the account you wish to send from.

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