I have configured my email server to send all email to my mailbox. So x@example.com and y@example.com go to one mailbox.

Every forum, registration, and guy get their own address for sending me emails so I can deliver their messages to /dev/null if anyone starts spamming. That’s the working setup.

Now the problem: If I reply to a message, then Thunderbird always sets my default Identity as the sender. I know I can add additional identities, but I don't want to add every address.

How can I configure Thunderbird so that when an email is sent to x@example.com, replies will come from x@example.com?

  • Does thunderbird support macros? What language does it use? – Raystafarian Jan 27 '14 at 15:42

Not an automatic solution but the Virtual Identity addon for Thunderbird might help. It allows you to edit the From: field (assuming your smtp server allows it).


So you don't want to reply with the exact same address that received the message (that's trivial), but with a variant thereof, maybe x+y@z gets reply from x@z.

If you set a directory to be the default for a certain address, that address will be selected by default, instead of the main identity, when you reply to messages in that directory. (Usually this is done together with filters or maybe Thunderbird guesses this is what you want just from filters?!)

I know this is possible, because I set it up for my Thunderbird years ago and it still works.

  • My read of the question is the opposite. The goal is to reply using the same address. The problem is that instead of having a mailbox for each address, all incoming messages go into a shared directory. The reply-from address needs to be based on the sent-to address in the message rather than an association with the mailbox the messages are collected in. – fixer1234 Dec 21 '14 at 3:21

Per Mozillazine.org:

When you reply to a message, Thunderbird uses the identity that matches the address the message was originally sent to, if it can find a match in the account you are working in. Otherwise it uses the default identity.

It sounds like you have created a slew of aliases that get directed to a common incoming account. As long as each of those aliases has a defined (outgoing) account, Thunderbird will use the matching account by default. If you don't define those accounts, Thunderbird will use the default account. However, you can always use the pull-down menu in the From box to select from the defined accounts.

So in your example, "How can I configure Thunderbird so that when an email is sent to x@example.com, replies will come from x@example.com?", that is automatic if you have defined the x@example.com account and outgoing server. Unfortunately, you must define an account in order for Thunderbird to be able to send an email from it.

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