50

Whenever I compose a new email message in Thunderbird, it defaults to the Western (ISO-8859-1) encoding, and I have to manually change it to UTF-8 every time.

How do I change the default?

5 Answers 5

2

In Thunderbird 78+:

Menu > Options > General > Language & Appearance > Advanced button > Text encoding

Text encoding settings in Thunderbird 78

3
  • Thank you for the updated answer that applies to more recent versions of Thunderbird! :)
    – hpy
    Apr 7, 2021 at 1:14
  • Don't you just love how it seems to change in every... single... version... ? ;p Apr 8, 2021 at 0:48
  • 3
    This (the whole contents of the red frame) seems to be gone in TB 91+ - any idea if it still is customizable? Apr 26, 2022 at 11:08
56

Tools → Options → Display → Formatting → Fonts → Advanced... → Character Encodings → Outgoing Mail:

Screenshot

4
  • 5
    Well, that is somewhat illogical to put it there … Thanks! Mar 31, 2012 at 20:22
  • 6
    In linux it's Edit > Preferences > Display... Feb 2, 2013 at 3:20
  • 3
    Agreed that it's illogical : you'd expect it to be in "Composition", not "Display". Completely defeats principle of least surprise. They could at least adopt a prefs dialog like Eclipse that will filter to aid discovery of obtuse settings.
    – Adrian
    Dec 1, 2014 at 15:40
  • Display... on THEIR machine!
    – Worthy7
    Apr 13, 2017 at 4:19
12

For Thunderbird 17 on the Mac, you can find this setting at:

Thunderbird > Preferences > Display > Formatting > Advanced

Look at the Character Encodings section, as seen here:

enter image description here

2
  • Regarding your comment; I did test it and it is the very same path, only with Edit except Thunderbird under Icedove@Debian and the dialog also looks the same (except for the theme, obviously).
    – bitmask
    Jun 27, 2013 at 5:32
  • Great. Add a new answer with screenshot. Jun 27, 2013 at 12:32
5

On Mac OS X you have to use the Config Editor (also know as about:config) found in Preferences -> Advanced -> General. Change the value of the preference named mailnews.send_default_charset to UTF-8.

0

On Thunderbird 68:

Edit>
    Preferences>
        Display>
            Formatting>
                Font & Colors>
                    Advanced (button) > 
                        Text encodings      
2
  • Thunderbird, not Firefox. Are the menus the same?
    – Karu
    Jan 8, 2021 at 18:54
  • Sorry I meant Thunderbird.
    – xenoid
    Jan 8, 2021 at 20:27

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