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How to add Send Later functionality to Thunderbird email

Most modern email clients have Send Later functionality already built into them. Find out how to add it to the open-source Thunderbird app.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
A hand presses a button on a laptop, sending emails (represented as floating envelope logos).
ESB Professional/Shutterstock

I have, on occasion, needed to compose an email and send it at a more apropos time. 

When such an instance arises, if I'm using either Gmail or Apple Mail, sending later is very simple

However, if I'm using Thunderbird, that option isn't built into the app.

Since Thunderbird is the email client I use the most, having that functionality is pretty important.

Also: How to encrypt email in Thunderbird (and why you should) 

There is a way to add it to Thunderbird, and I'm going to show you how.

How to add Send Later functionality to Thunderbird


To add a send later functionality to Thunderbird, you'll need an updated version of Thunderbird. It doesn't matter what operating system you're using, as the process is the same. I'll be demonstrating on Pop!_OS Linux.

1. Open Thunderbird

The first thing to do is open the Thunderbird email client on your desktop.

2. Open the Add-ons Manager

Click the three horizontal lines button at the top right corner of the Thunderbird window and then select Add-ons and Themes.

The Thunderbird menu popup.

Opening the Add-ons Manager in Thunderbird.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Open the Extensions page

Click Extensions in the left pane of the Add-ons Manager and then click addons.thunderbird.net.

The Thunderbird Add-ons Manager.

New add-ons are found on addons.thunderbird.net.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Search for Send Later

In the search field, type Send Later and select Send Later from the resulting popup.

The Send Later addon in the search results.

Send Later is found in the Add-ons site.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

5. Add Send Later to Thunderbird

Click Add to Thunderbird to install the add-on. 

Also: How to add Do Not Track to Thunderbird (and why you should)

When prompted, click Add. When the installation completes, click OK, and then close the Send Later and the Add-ons Manager tabs.

The Send Later entry in the Add-ons market.

Installation of Send Later is just a click away.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Using Send Later

Using the newly added Send Later feature is simple. Begin to compose an email and you will now see the Send Later button in the top-right corner of the compose window. Once you've finished writing the email, click Send Later and a new pop-up window will appear, where you can set the exact time for the email to be sent, as well as set a recurrence (if needed). If you opt for a recurring email, you can set a general time frame for it to be delivered, as well as specific days of the week or a period of days.

The Send Later configuration popup.

Configuring a time to be used for Send Later.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

After you configure the time, click the gray button associated with the exact time you've set, and the email will be saved and sent at the specified time. 

Also: How to create message filters on Thunderbird to keep your inbox organized

You'll also notice a few pre-configured Send Later buttons, which make it easy to send the missive now, 15 minutes from now, 30 minutes from now, or 2 hours from now. 

Congratulations, you've just added a new feature to Thunderbird that you'll probably use more often than you assumed.

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