Many applications offer a safe mode where the app starts off without loading certain extensions and settings. Thunderbird also has the same feature where you can open it in safe mode if there are some problems. It’s also called a debugging startup mode because if you are having some problems with your Thunderbird, you can actually find out using safe mode.
So, what exactly does “Safe Mode” mean?
Safe Mode is a startup mode for Thunderbird that launches without any extensions. All the extensions that might have installed will be disabled temporarily. In Safe Mode, Thunderbird also disables any theme and launches with the default theme. And all the settings used in Safe Mode are ‘Localstore’ settings (toolbars and settings).
Plain and simple – Safe Mode disables most of the features that aren’t necessary for the most basic task in Thunderbird and that is sending and receiving mails, adding and viewing contacts, and so on.
Why launch Thunderbird in Safe Mode?
The next question arises, why even bother? Why launch Thunderbird in Safe Mode when it disables a lot of functionality (fancy or otherwise)?
The answer is simple: because it lets you launch Thunderbird in case there are any problems with the client regarding any particular settings, extension, or such. Often, Thunderbird can get all buggy and problematic, refusing to even open for you to debug. Safe Mode allows that, even if everything is all chaotic.
It might need a few trials and errors to precisely spot the main issue with the Thunderbird, but it’s very effective and can help you in almost all issues you might be having.
How to Launch Thunderbird in Safe Mode in Windows and Mac
Lastly, how does one launch Thunderbird in Safe Mode?
It’s quite simple.
- Look for “Thunderbird (safe mode)” option in the Windows start menu under Thunderbird folder. (Note that with Thundebird 5, this is no more an option. You can choose “Restart with the Add-ons disabled” within the help menu at the top. If Thunderbird isn’t already running, you have to go with the other methods explained below.)c
- Hold down the shift key and double-click the Thunderbird icon to launch it in the safe mode.
If you fail to open safe mode by the above two methods, you can also try the following:
- Open the ‘Run’ dialog (Windows Key + R or click ‘Start’ –> ‘Run’)
- Now simply enter the following – “”C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe” -safe-mode”. Try replacing “Program Files” with “Program Files (x86) in the above address if it doesn’t work.
Now that you are in Thunderbird, you can start by resetting some settings, disabling some add-on that you think might be causing some problems. Then launch Thunderbird normally and see if the problem is fixed. If not, go back to safe mode again and disable other add-ons that might possibly be the source of problems.