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. Steven S says:

    Having the reply at the bottom of the E-Mail is mostly a carry-over of posting on Usenet newsgroups. Due to the scattered nature of Usenet, occasionally, posts would get lost, or ‘delayed’ on several, but not all servers. As a result, the response to a post, might be seen before the actual post itself.

    Having the reply of a post, at the bottom allowed people to read the quoted (original) message first, before seeing the reply. It was more logical that way.

    Of course, in the context of one on one email, it isn’t needed. However, the same problems that plagued Usenet posting, would also apply to multi-recipient e-mails. Soo.. what I’m getting at is…. that bottom-posting is the default on Thunderbird for a good reason :)

  2. Luke says:

    I’ve never understood why anyone would ever want to put their reply to an e-mail at the bottom. I sent it to you…I should have a decent idea about what’s in it. Having it for reference is good as specifics might be lost in memory, but really putting my message at the top of a personal e-mail doesn’t sound that bright. I always wonder why they choose that as default…

  3. Ross says:


  4. garyblk says:

    Thanks, it worked for me.

  5. Chris R says:

    Thanks for the tip – was very puzzling (although I can also understand the logic of having the history first!


  6. grateful says:

    Thanks! The Thunderbird default is precisely the wrong one. I spent quite some time looking through “Options” for this switch — I knew it was in there someplace, as I’d set it up properly on another machine, some time ago. Why they make this a per-account option is…. well, just baffling.

  7. Patrick says:

    Thanks for the tip! The default reply cursor and signature position was driving me mad. Sorted it now thanks to your tip.

  8. Abe says:

    More silliness from Thunderbird developers who think their way is the only way.

    • Elliot Lee says:

      Abe, thanks for the link. Interestingly, with Gmail’s “hide quoted text” feature, this almost becomes a non-issue. It’s a feature I wish all email clients had.

  9. rahim says:

    Thanks for posting this.

  10. pete says:

    thank u so much….was wondering how to do this

  11. Daniel says:

    OMG!!! Thanks! That’s been bugging me for AGES!!!

  12. John Goodwin says:

    Hello there from Buenos Aires. Recently a convert to the world of Ubuntu 64 and also Thunderbird as my email client of choice.

    Your blog entry was number 1 on Google and fixed my problem in a jiffy.

    Top man – thanks a lot!


    John Goodwin

  13. Immolo says:

    Finally a way to fix this without all the good practice rubbish you get when you ever ask for help with this. Thanks for the tip!

  14. Tamer Yousef says:

    I needed this badly, thanks!

  15. HM2K says:

    Very useful tip, thanks.

  16. Hey thanks, this has always bugged me as well and now I can reply to messages the normal way xD

  17. funkybee says:

    Thnx a lot! This tip was really helpfull to me.
    I think Thunderbird must have this reply-on-top option by default.

  18. Keith Pape says:

    hey thanks for the tip – you showed up at the top of the google search i did – i’ll definitely come back

  19. John says:

    Thanks for the info on how to correct this!

  20. Chris says:

    Thank you for your help!

    This article was created in 2005. Why does Thunderbird STILL make this the default?

  21. Frank says:


  22. Nate says:

    Thanks so much. This really ought to be the default. It’s an email reader, not a newsgroup reader.

  23. Jimi says:

    T H A N K Y O U .

  24. Tim says:

    Awesome tip. Thanks!

    Hey Thunderbird developers, make this DEFAULT!!!!! Also make dragging an attachment into the body a default too. :)

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