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Message: "Thunderbird can't update to the latest version."

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Hello

I quite often get this message: "Thunderbird can't update to the latest version. Download a fresh copy of Thunderbird and we'll help you to install it."

1. Do I need to keep downloading 'latest versions'? 2. Is this the same as software updates - which, presumably, are essential? 3. What happens if I don't download this 'latest version'? Would there be security issues or something? 4. If I don't need to download/install anything is there a way of preventing this?

CONCERNS I'm pretty wary of downloading/installing anything. What would worry - and annoy me - most would be losing my familiar Thunderbird if some new download went and plonked itself all over it! Thereby deleting/obliterating/altering a lot of the features that I'm accustomed to using.

Trouble is, if I ignore this message, or select 'not now', it tediously continues to ask if I want this download/installation to 'make changes to my computer'.

Hello I quite often get this message: "Thunderbird can't update to the latest version. Download a fresh copy of Thunderbird and we'll help you to install it." '''1.''' Do I ''need ''to keep downloading 'latest versions'? '''2.''' Is this the same as software updates - which, presumably, ''are ''essential? '''3.''' What happens if I ''don't'' download this 'latest version'? Would there be security issues or something? '''4. ''' If I don't need to download/install anything is there a way of preventing this? CONCERNS I'm pretty wary of downloading/installing ''any''thing. What would worry - and annoy me - most would be losing my familiar Thunderbird if some new download went and plonked itself all over it! Thereby deleting/obliterating/altering a lot of the features that I'm accustomed to using. Trouble is, if I ignore this message, or select 'not now', it tediously continues to ask if I want this download/installation to 'make changes to my computer'.

Chosen solution

Funnily enough most of the update drama comes from anti virus products interfering. So I guess whilst ever you have the security software you have not it will probably be an issue. What is that anyway?

I do not recall if the update failure offers a download link, but if it does it will be safe. also going to getthunderbird.com will always resolve to the official download for your locale based on your internet address.

You can always explicitly go here and download your chosen locale (and there is a UK one). There is not for this forum, en_US is just English language here

You could realistically go from one major release to the next without updates and rely on your anti virus to keep you safe. But I do not recommend it. Here is a link to security vulnerabilities that have been fixed. If you are hesitant about downloads, that is probably enough to frighten you. I is also why updates are so frequent, vulnerabilities are being found all the time by researchers. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/known-vulnerabilities/thunderbird/#thunderbird91.4.1

Note the asking to make changes indicates the update has started, and answering anything but yes aborts it so it just starts again latter. You must answer yes at that prompt.

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Chosen Solution

Funnily enough most of the update drama comes from anti virus products interfering. So I guess whilst ever you have the security software you have not it will probably be an issue. What is that anyway?

I do not recall if the update failure offers a download link, but if it does it will be safe. also going to getthunderbird.com will always resolve to the official download for your locale based on your internet address.

You can always explicitly go here and download your chosen locale (and there is a UK one). There is not for this forum, en_US is just English language here

You could realistically go from one major release to the next without updates and rely on your anti virus to keep you safe. But I do not recommend it. Here is a link to security vulnerabilities that have been fixed. If you are hesitant about downloads, that is probably enough to frighten you. I is also why updates are so frequent, vulnerabilities are being found all the time by researchers. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/known-vulnerabilities/thunderbird/#thunderbird91.4.1

Note the asking to make changes indicates the update has started, and answering anything but yes aborts it so it just starts again latter. You must answer yes at that prompt.

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So, as I understand it, these download offers from Thunderbird are to do with software updating (so as to make things more secure and virus-proof).

I'd always thought, though, that these software updates just happened automatically, without having to ask me, the user, and not having to 'offer' itself.

Anyway, thanks again, Matt for your help.

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The statement that security software is getting in the way of updating Thunderbird doesn't seem to really cover it. Many many applications seem to be able to keep themselves up to date in spite of this. Examples even include other Mozilla products (firefox). My notepad++ can update itself, so can VLC, Chrome, WinSCP and more.

The call out to having to manually download and install an updated version being suspect is valid. Security professionals go to great lengths to train people not to just download things. Security minded people will do it, and know how. However, from a community perspective, it would be best practice to make these updates as accessible to the user community as possible.

I've now had this issue come up with several versions of Thunderbird, and with several different security suites. I keep expecting that the next manually installed version will have the fix for this.

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Re the Message: "Thunderbird can't update to the latest version."

Thank you for your reply Saphire2.

However, when I click on 'Download Thunderbird' nothing happens, except that I'm taken to here: https://www.thunderbird.net/en-GB/ No download happens, or not any that I can see. I feel like I've been taken to a 'cul de sac' instead!

Along with this message is always 'We'll help you download it'. Er.... what 'help'?


QUERY: 1. Should I just wait and see if this latest version will download itself automatically? . . (Though I'm getting fed up with this message coming up every time I go to my emails, and wish I could find a way to shut it up!).

QUERY: 2. How can I be sure that any new version of Thunderbird won't go and alter/remove any of the current features that I like and am accustomed to?

QUERY: 3. If I found it had altered/removed features that I liked etc, could I ever get these re-instated?

Many thanks if anyone can simply answer these 3 queries for me!

Modified by Catherine Barber UK

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Hello again.

Well, this issue must've resolved itself somehow as I'm no longer getting that persistant message to download the update of Thunderbird.

Can't remember/not sure what I did, or didn't do.


I want to find and thank 'Toad-Hall' who gave me a marvelously detailed reply - but he doesn't appear to be in this thread, and I'm not sure how to find him.

Also I want to apologize for taking so long to respond to Toad-Hall, after all the time and trouble he went to to give me this reply - which I'd like to keep as a guide.


Anyway, can this issue now be noted as resolved - I can't find where one does that, either!

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I just read over this thread again and would offer one last bit of advice. Check in Preferences that your update setting is to automatically install updates, not to check and let you choose.

In preferences search for update, it will locate the preference. The setting is probably already set, but felt you should have a look just to make sure.

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Hello Matt, and thanks once more!

I've attached two screenshots showing what was already in both my Firefox Updates and my Thunderbird Updates - though actually, the settings appear to be the same. (I'd thought that Thunderbird was no longer part of Mozilla or Firefox, or whatever?).

I don't remember if I put these settings in, or not.

All forever confusing to a non-computer geek such as myself!

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Catherine Barber UK said

though actually, the settings appear to be the same. (I'd thought that Thunderbird was no longer part of Mozilla or Firefox, or whatever?).

Thunderbird has always been built on the same "foundation" as Firefox. What Mozilla used to call the Geko engine and now just refers to as the Mozilla platform. That is too the point that significant amounts of the program source code is actually shared, the same source files are compiled at build time in both programs. Add to that the fact that Firefox has a fairly large developer team from which the smaller Thunderbird team quite unashamedly copies features and concepts and remarkable similarities abound because of it. It can be confusing if you dwell on it, but the important part is to be sure which application you are in, not what they share under the hood with regards to layouts or code. They are two completely independent programs.

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So I had a similar request, which I complied with.

I then installed the 'update' which was 91.06

I then got that message about my profile.

How can a newer version of the program exist, and make changes to my profile, when I supposedly have just updated to the latest program.

When I go into my downloads folder though, I see that I had previously downloaded 94.0b.3 - where did that come from??

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Carrying on, I uninstall Thunderbird 91.06 and install 94.0, and I still get this message.

I've backed up my old profile, which has information on 6 email accounts, going back 12 years, and is about 26 GB deep. I need to get into these accounts, and I use the historical data frequently, as we have long running projects. How will creating a new profile help me to get back into all my existing emails.

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