messages

The messages API first appeared in Thunderbird 66.

Note

When the term messageId is used in these documents, it doesn’t refer to the Message-ID email header. It is an internal tracking number that does not remain after a restart. Nor does it follow an email that has been moved to a different folder.

Warning

Some functions in this API potentially return a lot of messages. Be careful what you wish for! See Working with Message Lists for more information.

Permissions

messagesMove

Copy or move your email messages (including moving them to the trash folder)

messagesRead

Read your email messages and mark or tag them

messagesDelete

Permanently delete your email messages

Note

The permission messagesRead is required to use messages.

Functions

list(folder)

Gets all messages in a folder.

Parameters

folder

Return type (Promise)

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

continueList(messageListId)

Returns the next chunk of messages in a list. See Working with Message Lists for more information.

Parameters

messageListId

(string)

Return type (Promise)

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

get(messageId)

Returns a specified message.

Parameters

messageId

(integer)

Return type (Promise)

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

getFull(messageId)

Returns a specified message, including all headers and MIME parts.

Parameters

messageId

(integer)

Return type (Promise)

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

getRaw(messageId)

– [Added in TB 72, backported to TB 68.7]

Returns the unmodified source of a message as a binary string, which is a simple series of 8-bit values. If the message contains non-ASCII characters, the body parts in the binary string cannot be read directly and must be decoded according to their character sets. Use getFull(messageId) to get the correctly decoded parts. Manually decoding the raw message is probably too error-prone, especially if the message contains MIME parts with different character set encodings or attachments.

To get a readable version of the raw message as it appears in Thunderbird’s message source view, it may be sufficient to decode the message according to the character set specified in its main content-type header (example: text/html; charset=UTF-8) using the following function (see MDN for supported input encodings):

/**
 * Decodes a binary string using the given encoding format and returns a
 * JavaScript string. Produces mangled output if used with anything but a binary
 * input string.
 */
function decodeBinaryString(binaryString, inputEncoding = "utf-8") {
    const buffer = new Uint8Array(binaryString.length);
    for (let i = 0; i < binaryString.length; i++) {
        buffer[i] = binaryString.charCodeAt(i) & 0xFF;
    }
    let decoder = new TextDecoder(inputEncoding);
    return decoder.decode(buffer);
}

Parameters

messageId

(integer)

Return type (Promise)

string

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

listAttachments(messageId)

– [Added in TB 88]

Lists all of the attachments of a message.

Parameters

messageId

(integer)

Return type (Promise)

array of Attachment

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

getAttachmentFile(messageId, partName)

– [Added in TB 88]

Gets the content of an attachment as a DOM File object.

Parameters

messageId

(integer)

partName

(string)

Return type (Promise)

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

The most simple way to get the content of an attachment is to use the text() method of the File object:

let attachments = await browser.messages.listAttachments(messageId);
for (let att of attachments) {
    let file = await browser.messages.getAttachmentFile(
        messageId,
        att.partName
    );
    let content = await file.text();
}

query(queryInfo)

– [Added in TB 69, backported to TB 68.2]

Gets all messages that have the specified properties, or all messages if no properties are specified.

Parameters

queryInfo

(object)

[author]

(string)

Returns only messages with this value matching the author. The search value is a single email address, a name or a combination (e.g.: Name <user@domain.org>). The address part of the search value (if provided) must match the author’s address completely. The name part of the search value (if provided) must match the author’s name partially. All matches are done case-insensitive.

[body]

(string)

Returns only messages with this value in the body of the mail.

[flagged]

(boolean)

Returns only flagged (or unflagged if false) messages.

[folder]

Returns only messages from the specified folder. The accountsRead permission is required.

[fromDate]

(Date)

Returns only messages with a date after this value.

[fromMe]

(boolean)

Returns only messages with the author’s address matching any configured identity.

[fullText]

(string)

Returns only messages with this value somewhere in the mail (subject, body or author).

[headerMessageId]

(string)

– [Added in TB 85]

Returns only messages with a Message-ID header matching this value.

[includeSubFolders]

(boolean)

– [Added in TB 91]

Search the folder specified by queryInfo.folder recursively.

[recipients]

(string)

Returns only messages whose recipients match all specified addresses. The search value is a semicolon separated list of email addresses, names or combinations (e.g.: Name <user@domain.org>). For a match, all specified addresses must equal a recipient’s address completely and all specified names must match a recipient’s name partially. All matches are done case-insensitive.

[subject]

(string)

Returns only messages with this value matching the subject.

[tags]

– [Added in TB 74]

Returns only messages with the specified tags. For a list of available tags, call the listTags() method.

[toDate]

(Date)

Returns only messages with a date before this value.

[toMe]

(boolean)

Returns only messages with at least one recipient address matching any configured identity.

[unread]

(boolean)

Returns only unread (or read if false) messages.

Return type (Promise)

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

update(messageId, newProperties)

Marks or unmarks a message as junk, read, flagged, or tagged.

Parameters

messageId

(integer)

newProperties

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

move(messageIds, destination)

Moves messages to a specified folder.

Parameters

messageIds

(array of integer)

The IDs of the messages to move.

destination

The folder to move the messages to.

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

  • messagesMove

copy(messageIds, destination)

Copies messages to a specified folder.

Parameters

messageIds

(array of integer)

The IDs of the messages to copy.

destination

The folder to copy the messages to.

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

  • messagesMove

delete(messageIds, [skipTrash])

Deletes messages permanently, or moves them to the trash folder (honoring the account’s deletion behavior settings). The skipTrash parameter allows immediate permanent deletion, bypassing the trash folder.

Note: Consider using move(messageIds, destination) to manually move messages to the account’s trash folder, instead of requesting the overly powerful permission to actually delete messages. The account’s trash folder can be extracted as follows:

/**
 * Returns the trash folder of the account a given message belongs to. The
 * accountsRead permission is required.
 */
async function getTrashFolderForMessage(msgId) {
    let msg = await messenger.messages.get(msgId);
    let account = await messenger.accounts.get(msg.folder.accountId);
    return account.folders.find(folder => folder.type == "trash");
}

Parameters

messageIds

(array of integer)

The IDs of the messages to delete.

[skipTrash]

(boolean)

If true, the message will be deleted permanently, regardless of the account’s deletion behavior settings.

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • messagesDelete

archive(messageIds)

Archives messages using the current settings.

Parameters

messageIds

(array of integer)

The IDs of the messages to archive.

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • messagesMove

listTags()

Returns a list of tags that can be set on messages, and their human-friendly name, colour, and sort order.

Return type (Promise)

array of MessageTag

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

Events

onUpdated

– [Added in TB 91]

Fired when one or more properties of a message have been updated.

Parameters for onUpdated.addListener(listener)

listener(message, changedProperties)

A function that will be called when this event occurs.

Parameters passed to the listener function

message

changedProperties

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

onMoved

– [Added in TB 91]

Fired when messages have been moved.

Parameters for onMoved.addListener(listener)

listener(originalMessages, movedMessages)

A function that will be called when this event occurs.

Parameters passed to the listener function

originalMessages

movedMessages

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

onCopied

– [Added in TB 91]

Fired when messages have been copied.

Parameters for onCopied.addListener(listener)

listener(originalMessages, copiedMessages)

A function that will be called when this event occurs.

Parameters passed to the listener function

originalMessages

copiedMessages

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

onDeleted

– [Added in TB 91]

Fired when messages have been permanently deleted.

Parameters for onDeleted.addListener(listener)

listener(messages)

A function that will be called when this event occurs.

Parameters passed to the listener function

messages

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

onNewMailReceived

– [Added in TB 75]

Fired when a new message is received, and has been through junk classification and message filters.

Parameters for onNewMailReceived.addListener(listener)

listener(folder, messages)

A function that will be called when this event occurs.

Parameters passed to the listener function

folder

messages

Required permissions

  • messagesRead

  • accountsRead

Types

Attachment

Represents an attachment in a message.

object

contentType

(string)

The content type of the attachment.

name

(string)

The name, as displayed to the user, of this attachment. This is usually but not always the filename of the attached file.

partName

(string)

Identifies the MIME part of the message associated with this attachment.

size

(integer)

The size in bytes of this attachment.

MessageChangeProperties

Message properties that can be updated by the update(messageId, newProperties) and that are monitored by onUpdated.

object

[flagged]

(boolean)

Message is flagged.

[junk]

(boolean)

Message is junk.

[read]

(boolean)

Message is read.

[tags]

(array of string)

Tags associated with this message. For a list of available tags, call the listTags method.

MessageHeader

Basic information about a message.

object

author

(string)

bccList

(array of string)

The Bcc recipients. Not populated for news/nntp messages.

ccList

(array of string)

The Cc recipients. Not populated for news/nntp messages.

date

(Date)

flagged

(boolean)

folder

The accountsRead permission is required for this property to be included.

headerMessageId

(string)

– [Added in TB 85]

The message-id header of the message.

id

(integer)

junk

(boolean)

– [Added in TB 74]

Not populated for news/nntp messages.

junkScore

(integer)

– [Added in TB 74]

read

(boolean)

recipients

(array of string)

The To recipients. Not populated for news/nntp messages.

size

(integer)

– [Added in TB 90]

The total size of the message in bytes.

subject

(string)

tags

(array of string)

MessageList

See Working with Message Lists for more information.

object

messages

(array of MessageHeader)

[id]

(string)

MessagePart

Represents an email message “part”, which could be the whole message

object

[body]

(string)

The content of the part

[contentType]

(string)

[headers]

(object)

An object of part headers, with the header name as key, and an array of header values as value

[name]

(string)

Name of the part, if it is a file

[partName]

(string)

[parts]

(array of MessagePart)

Any sub-parts of this part

[size]

(integer)

MessageTag

object

color

(string)

Tag color

key

(string)

Distinct tag identifier – use this string when referring to a tag

ordinal

(string)

Custom sort string (usually empty)

tag

(string)

Human-readable tag name

TagsDetail

Used for filtering messages by tag in various methods. Note that functions using this type may have a partial implementation.

object

mode

(string)

Whether all of the tag filters must apply, or any of them.

Supported values:

all

any

tags

(object)

Object keys are tags to filter on, values are true if the message must have the tag, or false if it must not have the tag. For a list of available tags, call the listTags() method.