Thunderbird Email Encryption Settings

Most of the e-mail applications we use today have the encryption feature built-in. On some e-mail clients, this option is enabled by default. If needed, you can disable and modify the encryption settings as per your need. Encryption is a process of encoding your e-mail message into an understandable recipient format. In short, the encryption option does not allow unknown users to access your e-mail message.


To modify the encryption settings on the Thunderbird email client, follow the instructions given below.

  • Step 1:Firstly, you have to download the add-on Enigmail and install it on Thunderbird.
  • Step 2:Enigmail is nothing but an extension that helps you to access the OpenPGP encryption function on Thunderbird.
  • Step 3:Download the Enigmail extension.
  • Step 4:Launch the Thunderbird application.
  • Step 5:Click the Tools tab.
  • Step 6:Select the Add-ons option.
  • Step 7:Click the Install button.
  • Step 8:Choose the downloaded extension file and click the Open button.
  • Step 9:Now, the Enigmail extension process will begin. Wait for it to complete.
  • Step 10:Once it is completed, restart Thunderbird.
  • Step 11:Now, you can see a new top-menu entry.
  • Step 12:Click it and choose the OpenPGP option followed by Setup Wizard.
  • Step 13:To continue the extension setup process, click the Yes button followed by Next.
  • Step 14:You will be prompted to set up some encryption-related settings.
  • Step 15:Set them as per your needs.
  • Step 16:If required, create a passphrase to protect your account’s private key.
  • Step 17:After configuring the extension settings, review the changes and click the Next button.
  • Step 18:If any error message is displayed on the screen, then reconfigure the extension settings.
  • Step 19:Click the Finish button if no error message is displayed.

Set up the OpenPGP encryption rules

  • Step 1:To do it, open OpenPGP from the Thunderbird menu.
  • Step 2:Click the Edit Per-Recipient Rules option followed by the Add button.
  • Step 3:Now, a dialog box prompting you to enter your email address will appear on the screen.
  • Step 4:Enter the e-mail address to which you wish to apply the OpenPGP Rules in the top field of the dialog box.
  • Step 5:Select the Is exactly option from the Apply rule if the recipient drop-down menu.
  • Step 6:Set other rules as per your desire and click the OK button.
  • Step 7:Now, your Thunderbird application is ready to send an encrypted email message. To know how, follow the instructions given below.
  • Step 8:Open the Thunderbird application.
  • Step 9:Compose a new e-mail message.
  • Step 10:You can find the Encrypt Message option at the top of the screen. Click it.
  • Step 11:When prompted, enter the passphrase in the given field and click the Send button.

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