Flexible Thunderbird Loader

Some time ago, I created a Mozilla Thunderbird (TB) loader for my personal use (on Windows). It makes TB totally portable, works with any TB version and can be applied to already installed versions. Maybe others like the way it works, too. So I decided to make it available here and to write a small documentation.


Flexible Thunderbird loader — version 100414 (212 kB)

Documentation (README file):


This loader makes your Thunderbird (TB) totally portable (on Windows).

Features (and possible advantages over other TB loaders):

  • very flexible (relevant paths can be set in an INI file)
  • the loader works with any TB version
  • TB itself is not included:
    • you can use your existing TB version or download one from a trustworthy site
    • very small download size
  • no need to ever re-install the loader after TB update/change
  • you can use TB’s internal update function
  • works totally transparent (open source)

With the help of this loader, you can start TB with any personal mail profile located anywhere within your file system. Hence, you e.g. can

  • put TB and your profile data into the same directory and then move this to another computer. There, you can access your profile without any further modifications or installation process.
  • Keep TB and your profile together for easy backups.
  • Put TB and your profile together on a USB stick.

This loader can be used with any TB version. It just needs to be pointed at your TB executable. If you do not already have a version of TB, you can get one at


Just install Thunderbird anywhere and then make it portable using this loader: therefore, the loader needs two pieces of information: the path of the TB executable and the path of your TB profile.

  • Keep thunderbird_loader.exe and thunderbird_loader_settings.ini in the same directory.
  • Edit the INI file to your needs (helpful comments are inside the file).

After proper configuration, you simply have to run thunderbird_loader.exe.

The directory loader_src contains the source code of the loader and can be deleted.

  • download AutoHotKey from http://www.autohotkey.com
  • apply the built-in AHK-to-EXE-compiler to thunderbird_loader.ahk
  • for convenience, you can use the icon file thunderbird_icon_small_res.ico

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