I am specially interested in a solutions for Thunderbird.

Currently I don't know of any efficient way to copy the recipients from an old mail to start a new conversation. As there are currently many ways to do this I will illuminate some (to me most common strategies) and show why I feel those are not very efficient.

Scenario 1: Using the address-book

Ok, there is the address-book which should save you some time as it fast suggest you the recipient and you don't need to type the whole email address. However, even typing in ten recipients will take ages, I want just to copy the whole group and start writing the email. Also there is the danger that I forget some recipient :(

Scenario 2: Edit as new..

  • right click on the existing mail with the recipients and then choose: Edit as new..

Then the mail will be attached to the old conversations tree, but I wanted to start a new conversation.

  • I generally just do "reply to all" and then edit the message to look like a new message. Pretty sure there is a way to put groups into the address book, though, if you send to the same group repeatedly. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 31 '12 at 12:20
  • @DanielRHicks that could be problematic because the Message-Id stays the same in your new message. And some mail clients will merge it with your previous email's in a conversation. Edit as new works around this. – m-ric Nov 13 '14 at 21:52

There is one other method that avoids the conversation-tree problem but has its own defect:

Copy recipients from email source

The source is accessible via Ctrl+u (or View > Message Source). You can copy several email addresses and paste them in the e.g. To-field of a new email. On pressing enter the string is split automatically and spread out in one field per address.

For this string it will work fine:

Alice Test <alice@test.com>, Bob Test <bob@test.com>

The defect: if there is a newline between Bob Test and <bob@test.com>, Bob Test will be extracted to an extra field and sending the email will fail.


I solved the issue by doing this:

  1. Copy all recipients from source, as suggested above (Ctrl-U)
  2. Create a new email.
  3. Paste the recipients in the email body (sic!)
  4. Reformat the text (Ctrl-R)
  5. Copy (cut) the list of recipients and paste in the To: field.
  • This breaks/doesn't work with encoded recipient names (e.g. umlauts) – Jasper Apr 4 '19 at 17:06

Go to the email you have already sent, file, message resend and recall, select resend this mail, then it will come up and you can edit message and send

  • @math asked about Thunderbird. The described procedure works for Outlook only. – dirdi Sep 12 '19 at 14:35

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