How to get Thunderbird to collect addresses from not-already-downloaded IMAP messages


I've created a new Thunderbird account to work with an IMAP account of mine on some mail server. I have all the message headers downloaded now, not all the bodies, and have read a couple of messages. Unfortunately, Thunderbird's 'Collected Addresses' only seems to include addresses from the few messages I've read or written, not from all messages whose headers have been downloaded.

  • Is there some configuration value I can change to make Thunderbird look for addresses in all of my headers?
  • Is there perhaps some 'manual' way to collect these addresses, say into abook.mab?

Best Answer

  • The Email Address Crawler Plugin might work. Note that the earlier version is no longer maintained. To use the updated version:

    1. Follow the direct download link. (Attention this is not approved by Mozila jet, see comment below)
    2. Start Thunderbird (v31.0 or greater).
    3. Open the triple-bar menu ().
    4. Click Add-ons.
    5. Click the icon beside the search text box to open a drop-down menu.
    6. Select Install Add-on From File...*
    7. Browse to the download location for Email Crawler.
    8. Select the file (e.g., emailcrawler-5.1.2.xpi).
    9. Click Open.
    10. Click Install Now.
    11. Click Restart Now.


    1. Right-click on any folder.
    2. Select Crawl folder for email addresses.
    3. Check To and From.
    4. Set Choose a [sic] addressbook as a target for the found addresses to Collected Addresses.
    5. Optionally, set Needed # of occurrences to 2 (to help filter invalid addresses).
    6. Click OK.

    If you want to use an approved Plugin from Moxilla Add-On Page, maybe the Email Address Crawler Plugin is a solution for you?

    EMail Address Crawler by CySlider
    Automatically fill your address books or send mass mails with e-mail addresses extracted from all your e-mails.

    It is a bit outdated, but there is stated by someone it that still worked in 17.0, so maybe it still works in Thunderbird 31