Bike Bob’s Factoid-Free* Potpourri  - Home


Disable AND Remove

"Test Pilot"

in Thunderbird


If you're using Mozilla's Thunderbird e-mail client, take note:

It includes -- enabled by default -- a type of spyware called "Test Pilot." 

Test Pilot supposedly "reports" back what/how users do in/with Thunderbird.

Presumably, Test Pilot is likely not as bad as Carrier IQ

(which logs users each and every keystroke, etc.)  

Test Pilot effectively is spyware, though.

Test Pilot first appeared in version #9 of Thunderbird. 

You can check your current version of Thunderbird

by clicking "Help" in the toolbar

and then choosing "About Thunderbird."

Here's what you can do to avoid

Test Pilot's phone-home “performance” reporting:

  In Thunderbird, click "Tools," and then choose "Add-Ons."  

Make sure the “Extensions” category is open, and then scroll down to "Test Pilot."

 You then need to perform TWO operations on Test Pilot: 

First, click on "Disable," then "Restart now." 

Second, after Thunderbird re-starts,

go through the same above process,

but this time finally choose "Remove" (Test Pilot);

and then, close and restart Thunderbird one more time.

Just in case, in the future,

with each successive Thunderbird version upgrade,

I'd be on the alert and double check Add-Ons (again, via "Tools")

to see if Test Pilot sneaks back in again.

BTW...once you have removed Test Pilot,

it's still "made available" as a stand-alone add-on

that you could choose to reinstall.

(Yeah, I'm going to voluntarily choose to be spied upon!  -- Bike Bob)


Suggested Add-on Extensions for Thunderbird


You can download the free Thunderbird e-mail client program from Mozilla at this URL:

You can find additional free add-on extenstions for Thunderbird at this URL:

Adblock Plus – Block ads, banners, tracking, and more.


Manually sort folders - Allows you to manually sort your folders in the folder pane of Thunderbird or automatically sort them.


Account Colors - Associates colors with account names and identities. These colors are then applied to items in the folder tree, message list and message headers.


Sender Name - Show the sender's & recipient's display names (and any address book attributes) in the thread pane.


Gather the senders ! - Select all the mails in a directory sent by the selected authors.


Allow HTML Temp - Allows to have HTML temporarily allowed in the currently displayed message by only one click. When switching to another message, it'll be shown automatically again in plain text or simple html mode (if this is your default mode).


AddressBookTab - Adds a button that can be put in toolbars and that open the address book in a new tab


Mailbox Alert - Allows you to specify, for each separate mail folder, a message, sound and/or a system command for new mail.


Correct Identity - Ever sent mail from the wrong email address because you forgot to select correct identity in compose window?


Close tab on ESC - Closes a Mozilla Thunderbird tab when pressing the Escape key.


Get all mails - provides a button for the mail toolbar to get mails for all accounts.

Make Thunderbird Mark Messages as Read After You Reply - (Jan 9, 2012 - by Rick Broida, PCWorld)