WebApp Tabs

Thunderbird should be your communications home for the web, but that doesn’t include just email and newsgroups, there are also social networks, RSS readers, web-based IRC clients. Even if all you want is email and newsgroups you may need to access these in different ways, like Gmail or Google Groups.

This extension allows you to configure a set of WebApps for easy access within Thunderbird. Each WebApp will open in its own tab in Thunderbird’s main window where it should work exactly as if it was in Firefox. Once you’ve installed the extension go to its preferences from the add-ons manager and configure the set of WebApps you want. It comes with some defaults set up for you to try.

There are a number of other extensions for opening webpages in Thunderbird, these are the features that this extension has that I couldn’t find anywhere else:

  • Clicking a link in a WebApp will either open the link in a tab in Thunderbird if the link is to one of your WebApps or your default browser if it is to somewhere else
  • Spellchecking works correctly in all appropriate text entry fields in pages
  • When the WebApp is loaded the page masquerades as Firefox since many sites (Google notably) send simpler versions to unknown browsers
  • Fully restartless, install the extension without needing to restart Thunderbird

Download the add-on from addons.mozilla.org or see the source code at GitHub.

If you’re having problems please file an issue with the tracker at github. Try to include what webapp you were using and what you were doing that triggered the problem.

Edit: Turning off comments here as people keep trying to report bugs through them. That’s great and all but I generally need more follow-up info to figure out what is going on so please file an issue on github if you’re seeing problems.

27 Responses to WebApp Tabs

  1. Pingback: Oxymoronical » Blog Archive » WebApp Tabs, version control and GitHub

  2. geo says:

    On install, tells me not compatible with Tb 7.0.1. Then clicking Options hangs Tb.

  3. geo says:

    Oops, just saw requires Tb 8. Sorry!

  4. Mossop says:

    Oops yes I meant to make that more obvious in the description, hopefully Thunderbird 8 should be official this week.

  5. Mardeg says:

    Will I need to uninstall the Thunderbrowse extension first to avoid breakage/conflicts?

    • Mossop says:

      I would guess that there wouldn’t be any conflicts, but I haven’t tested with any other extensions at this point.

  6. Thanks for great add-on! Maybe one suggestion. What about “switch to tab” when application is opened and user wants to open such application’s tab again?

    • Mossop says:

      After discussion it appears this is a problem immediately after installing the add-on but it can be fixed by restarting Thunderbird. I’m hoping to figure it out and fix it for the next release.

  7. knoffhoff says:


    tried it and it looks great! There is only one thing: Javascript is disabled in my Thunderbird, but for the WebApps I have to enable it, otherwise browsing is not really comfortable in these days. Is it possible to implement that Javascript is only activated for the tabs of WebApps, and is still disabled when I read my mails? I would really appreciate this to minimize security risks.

    With best regards

  8. Asa says:

    I installed it in the nightly build and I don’t see tabs. Am I missing a step or is it busted on the trunk builds?

    • Mossop says:

      Someone else was having problems in nightly builds too but I haven’t yet tested it on a nightly to see what might be going wrong.

  9. Bubo says:

    In Tb 9.0.1 The tabs appear to be to be missing the icons and are therefore invisible unless actually hovering over. Tooltip still appears.

  10. Bubo says:

    Appears to have fixed itself

  11. alta88 says:

    declaring const Cc etc makes this fail with every other extension doing the same thing. in Tb9, back doesn’t work (alt-left).

  12. I love this plugin it’s really useful. It took me a little while to figure out how to use it… sites you add to preferences appear as buttons at top right, click them and the webapp tab opens.

    One suggestion… I had to unzip the .xpi and modify the install.rdf file to enable it for Thunderbird 11 (beta). I have had no trouble using the extension with this version of TBird, it would be great if you could package a quick release to enable easy installation with current versions.

  13. Ken Saunders says:


    When I click on an internal link within a site, all is well.
    When I click on a link in a site that leads to another site, it does load the tab, but I also get prompted to launch Firefox.

    Any suggestions for a fix?

    Using WebApp Tabs 2.1, Thunderbird/11.0, Windows


  14. Kathryn says:

    Could you consider adding an icon for Google Voice? Thanks. Great App BTW.

    • Mossop says:

      The extension uses whatever icon the website provides, Google Voice seems to work nicely for me, what do you see?

  15. Ka says:

    Off topic. What a lovely image. Thanks for your work in many open source areas. I found your LRGeocode. Oh to be so organized!, wow; it is my daily pursuit. Best wishes.

  16. Mash says:


    When I sign-in to the Google+ or Gmail, it automatically opens chrome and continued to load in Chrome. Any ideas how to stop this? It’s ok with twitter etc.

    • Mossop says:

      Yeah there is a bit of a problem with some sites like Google that direct you to a new address for logging in (mail.google.com for example may send you to accounts.google.com). The extension sees this different address as a different site so opens it in the default browser. I’m trying to come up with a solution but the problem becomes hard when you have multiple Google sites in your list of webapps.

      For now I find that just closing the problem tab and re-opening it gives you the login page just fine.

  17. Malte Harder says:

    Somehow it doesn’t work with Google Docs at all and Google Calendar cannot load the Task list, which is very weird (I assume it’s not the same problem as you described above).

  18. Andrew Bushnell says:

    I love this adding, but I find that when using both the default Google+ that is provide OR http://docs.google.com when I click on the webapp tab to launch them in thunderbird, I find all I get is a tab labeled “redirecting..” and then my firefox browser launches… any idea how to fix this so it embeds in the tab in thunderbird.. Facebook tab works just fine…

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