How to Make Thunderbird Look Like Outlook?

Written by James Wilson
3 mins, 16 secs Read
Updated On December 20, 2023

Thunderbird and Outlook are two popular email clients with their unique styles and interfaces. But what if you prefer the sleek and familiar appearance of Outlook and want to replicate it in Thunderbird? 

For those accustomed to or looking for a fresh email client experience, these customizations offer a more Outlook-like interface without sacrificing Thunderbird’s functionality.

Thankfully, it offers extensive customization options, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences. Nevertheless, if you’re inclined toward the experience, making the switch is also a viable option. 

To facilitate a seamless transition without data loss, consider employing a Thunderbird to Outlook converter that streamlines the entire process, saving you time and simplifying the switch.

However, it does not matter if you prefer either one of them. in this write-up, we will guide you to make Thunderbird look like Outlook.

Moreover, check out our detailed guide how to recover your lost outlook emails.


Choose an Outlook-like Theme 

The first step to transforming your Thunderbird into a lookalike is to select a suitable theme. Fortunately, this email client offers various themes and add-ons that can give it the desired Outlook vibe. 

Moreover, you will also get to choose from different kinds and variations of themes. That said, follow these steps to change the theme:

  1. Open the application: Launch your email client.
  1. Access the Add-ons Manager: Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner and choose “Add-ons.”
  1. Search for Outlook-Like Themes: In the search bar, type “Outlook theme” or “Outlook-like theme” and hit Enter. Browse through the available themes and choose one that appeals to you.
  1. Install the Theme: Click “Add to Thunderbird” on your chosen theme, and then click “Add” when prompted. The theme will be installed.
  1. Activate the Theme: Once installed, go to “Add-ons” and find the newly installed theme. Click on it, and select “Enable.”

Your interface will now take on a more Outlook-like appearance.

Microsoft acquired Outlook in 1997 for an estimated total of $400 Million.

Customize the Toolbar

Outlook’s toolbar is distinctive, and you can replicate its functionality in Thunderbird by customizing the toolbar. There is a plethora of customizations and alternatives to explore. To do so:

  1. Access the Toolbar Customization: Right-click on the toolbar and select “Customize.”
  1. Rearrange Icons: Drag and drop icons to rearrange them to your liking. You can move frequently used functions to positions similar to those in Outlook.
  1. Add or Remove Buttons: You can also add or remove buttons to match your preferred layout.
  1. Compact Density: Adjust the density of the toolbar icons to make it look more like Outlook. Click the “Density” button and choose “Compact.”
  1. Done: Click “Done” to save your customizations.

After this amazing series of steps, you can highly customize your toolbar.

Outlook was invented in 1997 by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith, named as Hotmail.

Configure the Message Pane

The way email messages are displayed is a crucial part of the Outlook experience. You can modify Thunderbird’s message pane to resemble the reading pane:

  1. Navigate to the Reading Pane Options: Click on “View” in the menu and choose “Layout.”
  1. Choose Vertical Layout: In the “Message Pane” section, select “Vertical.”
  1. Show/Hide Folders Pane: Depending on your preference, you can choose to show or hide the folder pane on the left side. It typically has a separate pane for folders, making the interface more streamlined.
  1. Message Preview: Customize the message preview settings, including the number of lines shown in the message pane. Adjust it according to your Outlook-like preferences.
  1. Apply: Click “OK” to save your changes.

Modify the Email View 

Outlook is known for its clean and organized email view. Here also, you can explore several modifications. You can replicate this look in Thunderbird:

  1. Select “View” Settings: Click on “View” in the menu.
  1. Choose “Layout”: From the dropdown menu, select “Layout.”
  1. Turn on Conversations: If you prefer, enable “Conversations” to group emails in a thread, similar to the conversation view.
  1. Sort and Group Emails: Set your email view to sort and group emails in a way that’s similar to the view. You can sort by date, sender, or other criteria.
  1. Apply: Click “OK” to save your changes.

Manage Add-ons

Thunderbird’s versatility allows you to further customize your experience through add-ons. There are numerous add-ons available that can enhance Thunderbird’s Outlook-like appearance and functionality. Explore the add-on library and experiment with those that best suit your needs.

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With these multiple steps and measures taken on your Thunderbird, you will easily turn your Thunderbird into an Outlook lookalike.

Final Say

By implementing some straightforward tweaks and personalizations, you can transform Thunderbird into a user experience that closely emulates Outlook. These modifications won’t hinder its inherent capabilities; instead, you’ll enjoy the seamless fusion of familiarity with Thunderbird’s robust features. Enjoy your Outlook-inspired Thunderbird!

Author: James Wilson