Replies Append to Bottom in Thunderbird

philblog tells about how Mozilla Thunderbird has its default reply position at the bottom of the email.

It bugged me too. Here’s what he said about it:

Apparently replying at the bottom of an e-mail is not an acceptable practice because I seemed to have either confused, annoyed, irritated, or all three, several people by doing so. After a few e-mails and instant messages from people I figured I would check to find out if there was a way to change this. After a brief Google search I found the solution to setting the reply position on e-mails to the top instead of the bottom.
# In Thunderbird: Go to “Account Settings”
# Select “Composition & Addressing” for the account in question
# Check the checkbox in the Composition group that says “Automatically quote the original message when replying”.
# Once the combo box below is enabled select the option “Start my reply above the quote”

That did the trick. If you use Thunderbird, or are going to try it: do this!

65 Responses to “Replies Append to Bottom in Thunderbird”

  1. MEE says:

    5 years on and this post is still, sadly, very helpful. Thanks.

  2. Tobeon says:

    Have to agree with MEE there! Thanks for the post Elliot, very helpful/

  3. Gaz says:

    Does anybody out there reply to email below the quoted message?

  4. Oz says:

    LOL, Thunderbird should really change the default to reply’s on top! Maybe they assume people read from the bottom of the email up to the top like Japanese people read books backwards?!?

    Almost as bad as Gmail’s conversation threading which is the reason I am using TBird in the first place!

  5. John says:

    Thanks – it annoyed the hell out of me.

  6. Mike says:

    A 5yo post, came up in a google search solvin my answer, how amusing that this is still a problem after so long

  7. sonohuey says:

    thanks. I am trying out Thunderbird to get the hell away from Office 2007 and Outlook 2007 and replying below the original email was buggin ght esh@t out of me.

    Thanks again

  8. l00p says:

    huh top posting is a way more evil than bottom posting.

    Or do you generally first reply and than listen the question?

    I’m fine.

    > how are you?

    that’s sick :p

  9. Darryl says:

    Nearly uninstalled Thunderbird because this lack of attention to detail showed me they don’t have their fingers on the pulse of Internet users.
    Kind of makes me wonder why they would humiliate themselves so much rather than comply with an obvious convention.
    My cursor is STILL over the UNINSTALL button but this 5 year old article gave it a reprieve. Thanks.

  10. zdsadas says:

    ah fuck this really helped me out

  11. Andrew says:

    Thank you man!!!!

  12. brad says:

    thanks, Elliot! Why is this still the Thunderbird default setting?

  13. Gustavo says:

    I dont’t believe that nobody has already changed this default !!!

    Thanks a lot.

  14. pw says:

    THANK YOU!!!

    it was so annoying.

  15. Conrad says:

    Please Thunderbird people please fix this stupidity. It’s absurd

  16. t.r.i. says:


    It annoyed the hell out of me and I was seriously considering an alternative mail client just because of this.

    As other users have said, this post came up first on my simple google search and is so helpful even after 5 years.

  17. Vijay says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post this and helping out folks like me..!

  18. ttt says:

    Great article….what an effing failure from the makers. After a solid webbrowser they slip up on something so simple

    I wonder if in the next release of firefox they’ll put the address bar on the left so you have to type address in a vertical direction………

  19. brett says:


    And no, nobody (should) replies to the bottom of a email. A Usenet message yes. Email no. You don’t need to see the previous conversations first because you most likely have already read or actually wrote them!!

    And your signature (even if it’s just a first (nick)name) should always go just below your message so that it is obvious who wrote the preceding text.

  20. brett says:

    Oh, and in business correspondence, EVERY email should include your contact info along with your name!

    So that I don’t have to look through stacks of paper, rolodexes and address books just to find your damn phone number. Please be considerate.

  21. J5 says:

    thanks for the article and thanks to google for pointing me to it.

  22. Suz says:

    Thank you so much Eliot. This was driving me crazy!

  23. wizzfizz says:

    Thanks, I think I went through the options about 5 times and never once saw that option.

  24. Chris says:

    Thank you for the instructions…This has been annoying me for ages…Bloody Mozilla think they can change the way email works….


  25. Shannon says:

    Thanks a ton!!

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