Thunderbird 3: How to make it faster

Since I upgraded my Ubuntu to 10.04, and my reliable Thunderbird 2 was upgraded to version 3, I’ve found that version 3 has some advantages, but also some disadvantages, and with the default config, the disadvantages outweight the advantages.

Let me explain myself:

With Thunderbird 2, I’ve found that mail messages full of hyperlinks (100+) takes a LOT of time and CPU to get opened. What I did to deal with them was:

– Hide the preview message panel

– Don’t open them! Just select them from the message list, and Right-Click for “View Source” (Or Control + U). That made the trick to not try to render all the links as links.

Since I upgraded to Thunderbird 3, the rendering engine is quite faster for those kind of messages (although if there are lots of hyperlinks gets still too slow, and I resort to the Thunderbird 2 method described above).

With Thunderbird 2, at least in Linux, whenever a Folder gets too big (2 Gigabytes), Thunderbird won’t complain, but won’t be able to get to the messages which are over the 2 Gigabyte boundary (I guess it’s a fault of the index Thunderbird maintains with every Folder). I also guess you can access those unreachable files if you use other MUA as mutt for example.

With Thunderbird 3, at least in Linux, it will correctly announce you that no more space can be used over a 4 Gigabyte folder, and no message will get unreachable.

The biggest pain with Thunderbird 3 is the indexing. I receive at work automated emails from our company’s 100+ servers, some of the quite big ones, and they get full-text indexed all the time. It slows the machine, and makes thunderbird unresponsive on various occasions.

The cure? Turn off full-text indexing. The Subject + To quick search box will continue functioning just fine, so, at least for me, it’s not an issue.

Well, I hope my 5 cents can help someone get the most from Thunderbird!

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