Keep Thunderbird from Littering your Desktop

Thunderbird Mac users are familiar with the annoyance of Thunderbird putting attachments on the desktop when they are opened. Here’s how to put them someplace else.

By default, Thunderbird on the Mac puts a copy of each attachment you open from email on your desktop. This can be annoying if you like to keep your desktop orderly, but luckily it’s easy to change. Windows users don’t have to worry, Thunderbird puts the files in a temporary location by default.

You can change Thunderbird Mac to save attachments to your downloads folder, or you can set it to save it to a temporary folder that will be emptied out the next time you restart your computer.

1. In Thunderbird, select Thunderbird →Preferences.

2. Click on the “Attachments” paper clip icon.

3. On the “Incoming” tab, make sure the “Save files to” field is selected.

4. Click on the “Choose” button.

  • To save files to your “Downloads” folder:
    1. Select “Downloads” from the sidebar or navigate to it and select it.
    2. Select “Open.”
  • To save files to your temp folder:
    1. Press the Command-Shift and G keys all at the same time (the “Command” key is also known as the Apple or Windows key depending on the keyboard you’re using).
    2. Type “/tmp” (no quotes) into the box that comes up.
    3. Press “Go.”
    4. Select “Open.”

5. Close up the Preferences window and you’re all set.