My todo-list includes answering some emails. I want to include a reference to the email that allows me to quickly find the email to answer in my Thunderbird inbox.

The name of the sender or the subject of the email is a solution when these are unique: I include the subject in the todo-list and when I effectively want to answer the email I copy the subject from the todo-list and paste it into the quick search field of Thunderbird. Among the few hits it's quick to find the one. This is not feasible for senders with lots of "no subject" emails.

A workaround: I can include a characteristic part of the email text. And when looking up the email do a search enabling email "body" search. This is, however, terribly slow.

Is there a quick and easy solution to look up a given email in Thunderbird?

4 Answers 4


You could and should use Message-ID field in the header. To be able to find it easy just customize your search.

Go to Edit -> Find -> Search Messages. From the search field select the last option "Customize ...", in the text box of the new apperead Window write Message-ID and click Add and then OK ( tested in Thunderbird 11.0.1).

Now you have a new field to search by, select it write your ID in the search field and Voilà.

I do this to connect a "TODO" list with an email. The search is reliable and faster than "From+Subject".

I just wish I could add this to "Quick search...".

  • 1
    Just checked — still works in Thunderbird 60.9.0.
    – andrybak
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 13:08

The ThunderLink plugin provides a custom thunderlink://messageid=... protocol handler. With the plugin, you can put such a URI of the current email to the clipboard, and use that in TODO lists, web links, etc., and a click / invocation of that link will immediately get you back to the email in Thunderbird!


Yes ThunderLink was great, but unfortunately it is not working any more from Thunderbird 60.x on and in my add-ins window, it says "deactivated and will not be supported anymore"

I installed "Copy Message ID" Button Add-on, this works so far. Then by "search > custom field" and entering "Message-ID" i can search for these IDs ... but it is by far not as convinient as thunderlink was...


Message-ID should help you. When you put the Message-ID in the search field, it will find the mail, and only that one (provided you did not store duplicates).

  • I tried it and the search did not find the mail. Are you sure that "body" search searches in the header as well?
    – user73573
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 9:10
  • 1
    Message-ID is part of the message header. Searching for it in the body will give no results. You have to either search whole messages or headers only. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 8:48
  • 1
    @Florenz Kley, You can search directly by Message-ID by adding a custom search field, see my answer.
    – Radu Maris
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 12:52
  • @downvoter: please elaborate. I don't get your point. Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 7:44

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