Register Thunderbird Portable with Default Apps or Default Programs

thunderbird iconMozilla® Thunderbird is a freeware email client that has lots of features, including quick message search, customizable views, support for IMAP/POP, RSS support, etc. Mozilla Thunderbird®, Portable Edition is the popular Mozilla Thunderbird email client bundled with a Launcher as a portable app. is a popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works from any synced cloud folder (DropBox, Google Drive, Box, etc), from your local PC on an internal or external drive, or on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, memory card, portable hard drive, etc) moved between PCs.

The portable version of Mozilla Thunderbird lets you store your email and address book on a removable drive so that you can take the data with you wherever you go.

In this article, we’ll see how to add or remove Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition to Default Apps/Default Programs in Windows.

Register Thunderbird Portable with Default Apps

To add Mozilla Thunderbird Portable mail client to Default Apps:

  1. Download the following script. Or copy the VBScript code to Notepad and save the file as thunderbirdportable.vbs

  2. Move the script file to the same folder as ThunderbirdPortable.exe for it to work.
    thunderbirdportable.vbs same folder
  3. Double-click thunderbirdportable.vbs to run it.
  4. Type REGISTER and click OK to add Thunderbird Portable to Default Apps or Default Programs. Once done, the script launches Default Apps or Default Programs automatically.
    thunderbird portable add to default apps
  5. Select “Thunderbird Portable” from the list (even if it shows as the current default mail client) and set it as the default.

Editor’s Note: The script makes modifications to your current user profile registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) only. It doesn’t register the DLLs using RegSvr32.exe as it requires administrator rights, and registering the modules using RegSvr32.exe might affect the settings in other user accounts. For this reason, the above script registers the DLLs manually under HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

(To remove Thunderbird Portable from Default Apps, rerun the script, and this time, type UNREGISTER and click OK.)

You can run the script non-interactively

To register or unregister Thunderbird Portable silently (non-interactively), you can use the following syntax:

wscript.exe D:\ThunderbirdPortable\thunderbirdportable.vbs -REG
wscript.exe D:\ThunderbirdPortable\thunderbirdportable.vbs -UNREG

You can even create desktop shortcuts for the above commands.

See Also

I hope that was useful. If you’re looking for a similar script for other portable apps, pls let’s know in the comments section below.

One small request: If you liked this post, please share this?

One "tiny" share from you would seriously help a lot with the growth of this blog. Some great suggestions:
  • Pin it!
  • Share it to your favorite blog + Facebook, Reddit
  • Tweet it!
So thank you so much for your support. It won't take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right below. :)

Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

2 thoughts on “Register Thunderbird Portable with Default Apps or Default Programs”

  1. Thank you so much for this! I use the portable version so I can take my email with me on trips, but use it as my default at home.

    One problem: Now, when I try to open a “mailto:” link in Firefox, a new instance of Thunderbird Portable tries to start running, which can’t happen because I’ve already got it open. Why doesn’t it recognize the running program?

    Again, thanks!


    Sorry, this seems to have fixed itself after rebooting my PC. Now it works exactly as expected.

    Thanks again!


Leave a Comment