How to Get Thunderbird to Start with Windows 11

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Thunderbird doesn’t have an in-built option to start automatically on Windows 11 or Windows 10. This can be an inconvenience for those who rely on Thunderbird for emails and want it ready as soon as their computer boots up. However, there are workarounds to set Thunderbird to launch automatically when you log into Windows 11. This guide will show you how to do just that, making sure Thunderbird is up and running right from the start. We will cover different methods to achieve this, catering to varying levels of technical comfort and preferences.

Also see: Where is the Startup Folder in Windows 11/10 for All Users

How to Get Thunderbird to Start with Windows 11

Method 1: Copy Thunderbird’s shortcut to Windows 11 Startup folder

The simplest way to get Thunderbird to start with Windows 11 is by adding a shortcut to the app in the Windows Startup folder. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Find the Thunderbird executable file, typically located in C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird or C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Right-click on thunderbird.exe and choose Create shortcut. A shortcut will be created in the same folder, or on the desktop if you don’t have the permission to create shortcuts in the program files directory.Create Thunderbird shortcut to start automatically in Windows 11
  3. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog. Type shell:startup and press Enter. This opens the Startup folder, which is the place where shortcuts to programs you want to start with Windows should be placed.Open startup folder via Run command in Windows 11
  4. Drag the shortcut you created for Thunderbird or copy and paste it into the Startup folder.Copy Thunderbird's shortcut to Windows 11 Startup folder

By following these steps, Thunderbird will automatically start up every time you log into Windows 11. This method is effective for users who prefer a quick and easy solution without going into complicated system settings or configurations.

Interesting read: Windows 95, 98, XP, 7, 10 and 11 All Startup Sounds

Method 2: Using Task Scheduler to schedule Thunderbird to open automatically on startup

To automate Thunderbird’s startup with Windows 11, Task Scheduler is an excellent tool. This method is a bit more advanced but offers flexibility, especially if you want to control additional parameters of the startup process. Here’s a summarized guide to set it up:

  1. Search for ‘Task Scheduler‘ in the Start menu and open it.Open Task Scheduler Windows 11
  2. Right-click on the Task Scheduler Library and select ‘New Folder’. Name it something like ‘Startup Apps‘.Use Task Scheduler to manually force startup apps
  3. Select the new folder and use the Actions menu to choose ‘Create Basic Task‘.Create Basic Task in Task Schedule for Startup Apps
  4. Name the task and provide a description.Using Task Scheduler to schedule Thunderbird to open automatically on startup
  5. Choose ‘When the computer starts‘ as the trigger for your task.Auto Start Thunderbird with Windows 11
  6. Choose ‘Start a program‘ and then use the Browse button to navigate to Thunderbird’s executable file (thunderbird.exe).Start Thunderbird automatically on Windows 11 startup
  7. Go through the details and click ‘Finish‘.

Once these steps are completed, Thunderbird will start automatically with Windows 11. This method allows for more control and is particularly useful if you’re comfortable with basic task scheduling concepts.

Linked issue: Windows Task Scheduler Service Started then Stopped

Method 3: Using Windows Registry

Using the Windows Registry to add Thunderbird to your Windows 11 startup involves creating a new entry that tells your system to launch Thunderbird each time you log in. This method is more technical and should be used with caution.

Before proceeding, it’s important to understand the risks involved. The Registry Editor is a powerful tool that controls important aspects of your operating system and installed applications. Incorrect modifications can lead to system errors, application crashes, and in extreme cases, render the system unbootable. It’s highly recommended to create a system restore point before making any changes. This provides a safety net, allowing you to revert your system back to a previous state in case something goes wrong. If you’re not comfortable with these risks or unfamiliar with the Registry Editor, consider using the previously mentioned methods (Startup folder or Task Scheduler) which are safer and easier to manage.

Now, if you choose to proceed, here’s how you can add Thunderbird to the startup sequence in Windows 11 via the Registry Editor:

  1. Press Win + R, type regedit, and press Enter. This opens the Registry Editor.Open Registry Editor
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
  3. This path contains entries for programs that start up with your user profile. Right-click in an empty area in the right pane. Select New > String Value.Force an app to auto start on Windows startup using registry
  4. Name this new value something descriptive, like Thunderbird.
  5. Double-click on the new value.
  6. In the Value data field, enter the full path to Thunderbird’s executable (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe").Set Thunderbird to start with Windows 11 via Registry Editor
  7. Ensure the path is correct and includes the .exe extension.
  8. Click OK to save the new value.
  9. Close the Registry Editor.
  10. For the changes to take effect, restart your computer.

After these steps, Thunderbird should start automatically when you log into Windows 11. It’s crucial to follow these steps precisely and only edit the specific values mentioned. If you’re not comfortable with these steps, it’s better to use one of the previous methods described.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, setting Thunderbird to start with Windows 11 is a common task for users who rely on this email client for their daily communications. Most users typically opt for simpler methods like placing a shortcut in the Startup folder or using the Task Scheduler, as these are straightforward and involve less risk. The Registry Editor method, while possible, is less commonly used due to the potential risks involved.

Most issues with getting programs to start automatically are usually caused by incorrect file paths or misconfiguration of settings. To resolve these, users often double-check the file paths and settings they’ve input. For those who are less tech-savvy, sticking to the more user-friendly options like the Startup folder ensures a hassle-free experience.


Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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