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10 Best Mozilla Thunderbird Themes

Tina Sieber 15-08-2009

Mozilla ThunderbirdAmong desktop Mail clients, Mozilla Thunderbird is still a popular choice. Although more than 50% of our readers check their eMail online, 15% use Thunderbird, followed by Outlook and other desktop clients.


Thunderbird unites many advantages, including the flexibility we all know from Firefox. And if you have to rely on eMail accounts from different providers (e.g. work, GMail and Yahoo! Mail), a desktop eMail client like Thunderbird allows you to collect all your eMails in one place on your desktop.

One of the greatest joys for me is customizing Thunderbird’s look and feel, i.e. rearranging icons and trying new themes. Here are 10 of my favorite Mozilla Thunderbird themes.

2nd Classic

(2.0 – 2.0.0*)

Mozilla Thunderbird Theme

2nd Classic is a light gray Mozilla Thunderbird theme with a few good contrasts, for example a different background for the sidebar. It also comes with custom icons for the Mail, Calendar and Tasks buttons, something that most skins are lacking.


If you’re wondering how I got those buttons there, check out my post How To Integrate Google Calendar Into Thunderbird How to Integrate Google Calendar Into Thunderbird You're using Thunderbird and Google Calendar and you wonder how you can unite the two? We show you how to fully integrate Google Calendar with Thunderbird. Read More and the secret should be lifted. It also works for iCalendar (ICS), CalDAV or Sun Java System Calendar Server (WCAP).

Aquabird Redone

(1.5 – 2.0.0.*)

Mozilla Thunderbird Skin

I’m a great fan of light Mozilla Thunderbird themes with neat buttons and this skin definitely fits into my predatory pattern. The theme is also available in a dark version: Aquabird Black



(1.5 – 2.0.0.*)

Browser Skin

This is the theme I’ve been using for the past few months. As I said, I have a soft spot for stylish light skins. Unfortunately, no custom Mail, Calendar and Tasks buttons.

iLeopard Mail

(2.0 – 3.1a1pre)


Browser Theme

The color scheme of iLeopard here is very similar to 2nd Classic, but the icons are very different. I find them adorable, very Mac!

Modern Modoki

(2.0 – 2.0.0.*)

Customize Mozilla Thunderbird


Most Mozilla Thunderbird themes are light. Modern Modoki’s blueish grey colored theme with the beautiful icons is different.


(2.0 – 3.1a1pre)


Nuvola is a more playful skin with colored icons on a light gray background. I like all the little details, especially the custom icons everywhere. Very well done!


(2.0 – 2.0.0.*)

Customize Theme

OxyBird is another favorite light skin with pretty buttons. If you’re a fan of light skins, pay attention to the subtle differences in the icons. This theme isn’t monochrome, but integrates little bits of color, which makes it so interesting.


(0.8 – 2.0.0.*)

Customize Skin

The only real dark Thunderbird skin I found and liked. The brownish grey / black combination is quite special, but will certainly find its fans. I like the clear borders. Overall it reminds of dark science fiction movies. Not sure where that comes from, though.


(1.5 – 3.1a1pre)

Mozilla Skin

Silvermel has a light gray base with slightly colorful and novel icons.


(1.5 – 2.0.0.*)

Mozilla Theme

Finally a light theme. Whitehart is very classy, with simple but stylish icons. Perfect if you need a low-key skin that’s easy on the eyes. My current favorite!

And Thunderbird can be a lot more than just pretty! As mentioned previously, Thunderbird supports extensions, just like Firefox. Here’s a small selection of custom settings we have covered on MakeUse Of:

Damien compiled a list of 10 Great Thunderbird Addons You Must Have 10 Great Thunderbird Addons You Must Have Read More .

Kyle wrote an article explaining how to Update Your Thunderbird Address Book With Address Crawler Update Your Thunderbird Address Book with Address Crawler Read More .

From Saikat you could learn How To Set Up Mozilla Thunderbird To Send Mass Emails How to Set Up Mozilla Thunderbird to Send Mass Emails Read More .

And in case you’re being flooded with eMails, you will find my article about How To Set Up Message Filters In Thunderbird How to Set Up Message Filters In Thunderbird Read More very useful.

What’s your favorite theme? Do you change your themes regularly? How many are currently installed for your Thunderbird? Yeah, we want to know it all! :D

Related topics: Desktop Email Client, Mozilla, Mozilla Thunderbird.

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  1. psychic readings
    November 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Some cool themes here, going to try one out thanks. :)

  2. antonio brandao
    August 17, 2009 at 8:21 am

    I don't like any of the skins. Should add that I'm tired of mac look. It takes greater creativity to design something really good that's not just inspired in apple designs. Please show us something new !

  3. Aaron Spuler
    August 17, 2009 at 10:54 am

    If you're looking for alternative Thunderbird themes, I have 10 available at my website.

  4. trey
    August 16, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Amazing, ten themes that look identical at first look.

    Seriously, how about thinking out of the box and be daring?

    I install a lot of Linux for friends and family who are retired and you know what the number one regquest with seniors is?
    Fonts, borders, icons, buttons.

    I was looking for something for my folks, aunts, inlaws, neighbours over 65 and nothing here strikes me as useful...

    • Tina
      August 17, 2009 at 2:44 am

      thanks for your feedback.
      Clearly, this post was not about "Thunderbird themes for the elderly". And for obvious reasons there are few such themes available.
      The younger folks it's the opposite, they want everything smaller, so they can see more of what matters on their netbook screens.
      In Windows you can increase general font size, I'm sure something like that is available in Linux. Also, in Firefox (and under Windows), when clicking the [CTRL] key and moving the mouse wheel forward, text size of the page you're viewing will increase.
      Good luck!

  5. paul
    August 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Are u for real..themes mentioned conflict with various add ons...look okay...but Noia...has been around for a couple whiles...updates consistently etc...check it out...most users stay with Noia.....

    • Tina
      August 16, 2009 at 5:07 am


      thank you for your comment. May I ask which of these themes are causing conflicts with what add-ons? We appreciate constructive criticism!

      I have reviewed the comments for all themes and tried to reproduce the reported issues, but for the themes that made the list I failed to reproduce them. I suppose a more recent release of the theme fixed the issues.

      Cobalt, comment from 2007: One person had an issue with keyboard settings. I have used Cobalt for over a year and never had an issue with it.

      Modern Modoki, comment from 2008: One person lost tool button functionality. I couldn't reproduce this issue.

      I thoroughly tested each of the themes that made it into the list (and a few more) without encountering any issues.

      Noia is not in the list because I personally don't like it and this post is not about oldest or most reliable themes. Of course I do know Noia and I did try it. Actually, it's still installed.

      Hope this answers your questions.