How to use Thunderbird's Send Later add-on

If you'd like to add a send later feature to Mozilla Thunderbird, it's just an add-on away.

How to use Thunderbird's Send Later add-on If you'd like to add a send later feature to Mozilla Thunderbird, it's just an add-on away.

Google started the trend of composing emails and then making use of a scheduled send feature. There's a good reason for that. Sometimes we want to craft our business missives and send them at optimal times. Should you send an email to a client or coworker in the middle of the night, that email could get buried in an inbox of other communiques. So why not compose it and hold off the sending until the start of business the following day?

Mozilla's Thunderbird does not have this feature baked in, though it should. Instead, to get a send later option, you have to add a third-party add-on. 

Let me show you how to get this tool installed and then how to make use of it.

SEE: Choosing your Windows 7 exit strategy: Four options (TechRepublic Premium)

What you'll need

The only thing you'll need is an instance of Thunderbird (version 32.0a1 and up). 

How to install the Thunderbird Send Later add-on 

In order to install the add-on, point your web browser to the add-on site and click Download Now. Save the .xpi file to your Downloads directory. Once the file is saved on your local drive, open Thunderbird, click the menu button, and then click Add-Ons | Add-Ons. In the resulting window (Figure A), click Extensions.

Figure A

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The Thunderbird Add-Ons page.

Click the gear drop-down and select Install from file (Figure B).

Figure B

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Installing an add-on from file.

Navigate to the Downloads directory and select the newly-downloaded .xpi file. Once the add-on has installed, you must restart Thunderbird to complete the installation.

Usage

Using Send Later isn't quite as initiative as one might think. The good news is that it's not at all challenging to use. In order to call up the Send Later dialogue box, you either have to click File | Send Later (in the composing window), or the Ctrl+Shift+Enter keyboard shortcut (again, while in the email composing window). 

When the dialogue appears (Figure C), type precisely when you want the email to be sent in the Send At text area (in the form of "8:00am Friday" or "8/30/2019 08:00"). If you don't want to send the email at a specific time, you can opt to click one of the pre-defined periods at the bottom of the box (15 minutes later, 30 minutes later, or 2 hours later), and even make this a recurring email (minutely, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly).

Figure C

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Specifying when to send an email.

When you click a predefined time, the email will be automatically saved for sending at the specified time. However, if you opt to use the Send At feature (where you specify a time), you must click the Send Around button (above the predefined times). 

When you use the predefined times, the email to be sent will be placed in the Outbox. When you opt for a custom time, the email is placed in the Drafts folder. You do not need to do anything more to these emails, as Send Later will auto-magically send them at the specified time.

And that, my friends, is how you can add a send later feature to the Thunderbird email client. This should be considered a must-have for Thunderbird power users and business users who know an email arriving at just the right time can be the difference between it getting read promptly, and getting lost in a deluge of missives.

Also see

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Image: Mozilla