Problems Opening PDF Attachments in Mozilla Thunderbird

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Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email client that brings all your web, corporate and exchange mail through one central server that routes the mail directly to your desktop. Although Mozilla Thunderbird is not as popular as Microsoft Outlook (the most popular email client) it has a dedicated userbase. If you are having trouble opening PDF attachments in Thunderbird, there are a few root causes that could be affecting its performance.

Adobe Acrobat is not Installed

  • The most basic issue you may run into when trying to open PDF files in Mozilla Thunderbird is that you do not have the appropriate reader. Though this may seem like a simple step, if you have recently upgraded, changed, or restored your operating system, you may not have Adobe Reader installed anymore. To download Adobe reader, see the Resource section for a link.

Associations Need to Be Reset

  • If you have Adobe Reader installed, but you still can't open PDF files, your attachment associations may need to be reset. Associations can become mixed up after downloading add-ons or downloading software updates. To reset these associations back to default, go to the "Tools" menu and select "Options," then go to the "Attachments" menu and select the reset associations button.

Platform Add-on Needed

  • If you are using the Unix platform, you will need to install a special add-on in order to make Thunderbird compatible with PDF attachments. See the link in the Resources section to install the "Mime Edit" add-on. Then restart Thunderbird and go to the "Tools" menu. Select "MIME Edit" and then go to the "Edit" tab. Click on "New Type" and then in the "MIME Type" and "Extension" text boxes, type "PDF." Then press "open it with" and then choose the Acrobat program. Click OK and then restart Thunderbird.

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