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Thunderbird 1.5 to OS X Apple Mail

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The Complete Guide for Thunderbird to Apple Mail OS X by j2227

08/26/06 - I will be updating the theme soon. Some members have noted on bugs with the latest release of Thunderbird

Note: For better formatting and pictures, see the readme in the zip file enclosed. Make sure you have Lucida Grande ;)

zip.png 3.05 MB

Hello all Aqua-soft.org and beyond. Today, I'll be discussing how to turn you Mozilla Thunderbird into a pretty good look-a-like of Apple Mail for Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger.” There are a few guides out there to do this, but none have been updated recently. Everything’s included: extensions, userChrome, the redux theme, updated .jar files…everything needed, so no complaining about broken links. With that means I need to give all due credit to the creators of them:

1. Tiger Mail 2.0 by toyo-snow

2. Account Buttons by Inpac

3. Move Search Items by Frank DiLecce

4. Thunderbird Title Bar fixer by Frank DiLecce

5. Compact Menu by Chris Neale

6. Menu Editor by Devon Jensen

7. ConfigDate by Alexander Ihrig (optional)

I'd also like to give a huge thanks to all the great modders out there that were apart of this: INpac, DJ Fall, patstome, Qweedle Guy, theEVILcube, sean.fletcher, and everyone who also helped with this objective in some way. Without them, you’d be without this.

By the way, Apple©, Apple© Mail, and Apple© Macintosh OS are copyright Apple Computer© 2006. :)


0. Install Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5 from the Mozilla website and set up your email accounts. (Okay, I lied. This isn’t included.)

1. Install the modded Tiger Mail 2.0 into Thunderbird. If you don’t know how to do this, open up Tools > Themes and drag the file to the Theme window. Don’t bother restarting. It’s not manditory yet.

2. Install the necessary extensions: Account Buttons, Move Search Items, Thunderbird Title Bar fixer, and Compact Menu OR Menu Editor. (I personally user Menu Editor. For a how-to to set it up, click here. Make sure you have the Extensions command available in your Thread or Message pane context!!

You can also use neither, but you will have to continually edit your userChrome.css to access the menu bar, which you will have to do anyway to see the Compose/Address Book Window menu bars.)

3. Restart Thunderbird.

4. Set up your extensions, layout, and such. Few of them have options in the Tools > Extensions dialog box, specifically Move Search Items and titlebar fixer.

Right click on the toolbar to customize the layout of your main window, Message Preview window, Compose window, and Address Book window. Move all your icons to the top row next to the menu in correct or preferred order. Don’t forget about flexible spaces (if your going to use them)! Once done, go to the Tools menu of the window, then to Toolbars, and hide the one it was just on. (e.g. Tools > Toolbars > Mail Toolbar (unchecked) )

5. Close Thunderbird.

6. Go to your Drive:Documents & SettingsApplication DataThunderbirdProfiles folder and drop the folder “Chrome” included inside, overwriting the previous.

*Note: If you have any modifications you did, you might want to copy the contents of your current userChrome.css or userContent.css into the new one.

7. Now for editing the installation folder. Go to your Drive:Program FilesMozilla Thunderbirdchrome folder.

Backup/Replace your messenger.jar with your preferred one included. This will change your start page (or start.xhtml is the technical term) from Thunderbird Start. If you wish not to do this, just open the Options menu in Thunderbird and uncheck “When Thunderbird launches, show the Start Page in the message area.” However, Thunderbird will start without displaying the search box:

Next, replace en-US.jar if you are locale :) If you installed Thunderbird in a different language such as in this list, well…you’ll have to mod several things in your version to get it accurate. If you need help, send a message my way.

Finally, drop the folder “Icons” into chrome folder as well. This is optional if you don’t want to see the Thunderbird Titlebar icon, as also showing in the picture above.

8. Restart Thunderbird.

9. The folder tree is spoofed to look like Mail, so I recommend renaming you “Local Folders” directory to “ “(meaning: a space). This shouldn’t hurt your mail in anyway, unless you have it scatter throughout your hard drive unorganized. Then I can't guarantee anything. Once done, download your mail.

10. One optional step is to configure your time so it is close to Apple Mail’s format:

To do that, go to your Control Panel, click on Regional and Language options, click customize next to your local language, click on the Date tab and set the long date to: MMM dd, yyyy. Optionally, if you want it in a different format such as just the time or just the month, use the Config Date extension.

11. You’re done! See, only 10 steps to give Thunderbird a complete overhaul. We did our best visually to make everything look Apple perfect, even if it was pixel-perfect to the real OS X Mail. Hey, we even did the About Box and the Options dialog. If you liked this tutorial and/or have comments or suggestions, feel free to leave a message or start a thread, as long as you use the search box first. :)



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"Hello all Aqua-soft.org and beyond. Today, I'll be discussing how to turn you Mozilla Thunderbird into a pretty good look-a-like of Apple Mail for Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger.” There are a few guides out there to do this, but none have been updated recently. Everything’s included: extensions, userChrome, the redux theme, updated .jar files…everything needed, so no complaining about broken links. With that means I need to give all due credit to the creators of them:


I've been following up on your progress here at the forums for a while, and all i can say is that you guys have done gooood. :-) i've much appriciated your work and effort into this.

one thing i don't like about it, if there should be one, is the lack of 'support' for any other extensions from the theme, i.e. Lighning calendar - you simply can't incorporate the calendar with the TigerMail theme and make it look decent as it is today. - sadly this is why i may never use it.

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Yeah... when I try to rename Local Folders (or in my case, .Mac), it won't allow me to leave it blank (as just a space). It either reverts back to the old filename (.Mac) or says " You need to use a filename".

I am supposed to rename the one in "C:Documents and SettingsSeanApplication DataThunderbirdProfiles82z86j0d.defaultMail", right?

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Oh then I don't know, sorry.

But I fixed the scrollbar image that appeared in the background of my mail, it was some code in the userchrome.css that I removed, I don't really know what it did but anyway I fixed it. Oh and I found out how to change the folders on the lefts fonts.

My thunderbird is rockin'

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what WB version and what skin are you using for this??? i cant get my Danimator's Tiger nor Xero's one to go borderless ... am using WB5 and as i was said the latest version of Dan's Tiger

Edit: Ok, am an idiot ... i had set a preapp setting for it :D:D:D ... great skin guys ... great skin

Edit 2: thouh i still have one question ... Why is my thunderbird still showing the icon in the titlebar?

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@changer, check your userChrome.css please and remove the applicable lines.

@Trent Pivot and all, please edit/add on to your original post instead of double posting for future reference. I don't want to try looking for a solution and it's already solved at the end. ;)

@nightcrawler, thanks! you rock!

@matthew, did you replace the folder "Icons"

@sean.fletcher, all i can say is try Alt-0160.

@theEVILcube, I never found that .psd that was in your messenger.jar. What folder is it in?

Thanks everyone for pointing this stuff out :D

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j2227 is there a way to go revert the folders to standard?

The way you have it set up with Local Folders above the inbox folder basically makes the buttons above inbox unuseable. I know you're supposed to center the buttons in the toolbar but I like them aligned to the left with the apple compact menu on the left.

BTW great work.

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Hey Trent Pivot I'm getting the same error that you showed on your picture with the scroll bar backgrounds. What did you do to fix it?

Ok this is for anyone having the problem:


Go into your userchrome file and you will see (If you used the one above) a line of code that looks like this,

tree { background-color: none !important; background-image: url("OSX Scrollbars.png") !important; background-repeat: repeat-y !important; }

Just remove JUST that line then restart Thunderbird and it should go away, I don't know what this does but it obviously didn't help me in anyway.

Worked for me.

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no matter what i do i cant get the date to look like what i want.

i used the extension, but none of the provided "mods" suit what i want

and i went into the regional options and changed the "long date" but it had no effect on thunderbird.

i want it to be like this "Apr 06 2005"

can any one help me out?

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ok, no i didnt, i followed the instructions on the previous thread, so i thought it want necessary for me to copy all of these codes and images ... quess it was :D ... still have couple of questions ... what shadows you guys using? i´ve been using WinFX for a while, but the shadow is screwy for borderless windows also, would it be possible to change the scrollbarbuttons this was in any windows? i quess not, but its worth asking, but i think it would definitelly be possible in firefox where i have set these buttons to stay together at the pottom, but they are kinda rectangular and i would like to see them such as in thunderbird

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@changer: It's quite easy to edit via your theme.jar. Give me a few hours and I'll upload it later.

@mntnbr1065: Do you still want to have the time or just the date? I'm a little confused. All I can say is check where I did: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Date_display_format

@matthew, I've never had luck with WinFX. I can never seem to get shadows at all. The only reason I wanted it was because of iTunes. Would you like Y'z Shadow ;) ? You can set the offset to 1 or 2 px in the bottom center so the shadow 'll be flush with TB. I'm not sure what you been by buttons at the bottom. Further explain?

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