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This article is intended to answer frequently asked questions quick and easily. We suggest you first have a look for your problem here since this could easily save some of your time to get an answer. If there's a question we haven't included yet, don't hesitate to ask (e.g. on IRC)

If you're either running a nightly build (that is: experimental build including changes that didn't make it into the latest release version) or have a rather unusual question anyways, make sure to have a look at the 'Not so FAQ'.


Using Instantbird

Supported protocols

With version 0.2rc1, Instantbird supports the following protocols by default: AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Groupwise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MySpaceIM, Netsoul, QQ, Simple, XMPP, Yahoo and Yahoo JAPAN. Other protocols can be added via an extension (Facebook chat available, outdated since Facebook supports XMPP chats now).

How do I use AIM, MSN, Yahoo! or any other protocol?

Use the Account manager (accessible from the Tools menu) to add the account of the appropriate messaging service.

Can I keep both Instantbird and my previous messaging client on my computer?

Absolutely yes! Instantbird and other clients can coexist without causing any trouble.

Where can I get extensions and themes (add-ons)?

Extensions and Themes can be downloaded from Instantbird Add-ons.

Is Instantbird creating logs of my conversations and chats?

Yes, Instantbird is creating log files by default. Use the settings on the Privacy pane in the Options dialog to configure it to your liking. If you like to have a look at the files themselves, use the Show log folder... button on the same pane.

Location of the log files

The name and path of the log folders are created as follows: <path to profile>\logs\<protocol>\<buddy or chat>\<session>, while the path to profile depends on your operating system and can be read from the table below:

Operating system Profile folder
Windows 2000, XP, Vista (*)%appdata%\Instantbird\Profiles\<insert your default profile name here>
Mac OS X~/Library/Application Support/Instantbird/Profiles/<insert your default profile name here>
Linux and Unix systems~/.instantbird/<insert your default profile name here>

(*) Dear Windows users: just copy the path and paste it into the adress bar of your Explorer. It will expand the %appdata% to the correct path on your computer.

Downloading and Installing

Where can I download Instantbird?

We provide Instantbird for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You can get the latest version of Instantbird here.

How to install?

To install Instantbird, just decompress the folder and run the executable to launch the application.

Please note that installing a new version of Instantbird will not overwrite your existing profile. You won't lose any of your accounts or chat history, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available.

How to remove?

You can remove Instantbird simply by removing the Instantbird folder.

Removing Instantbird won't remove your accounts, chat history, extensions or other add-ons. This data is stored in your profile folder, which is located in one of the following locations depending on your operating system:

Operating system Path to profile
Windows 2000, XP, Vista (*) %appdata%\Instantbird
Mac OS X~/Library/Application Support/Instantbird
Linux and Unix systems~/.instantbird

(*) Dear Windows users: just copy the path and paste it into the adress bar of your Explorer. %appdata% is an environment variable which will expand to the correct path on your computer.

Any version of Instantbird that you install after removing Instantbird will continue to use the data from this profile folder.

What about my old Extensions and Themes?

Extensions installed under old versions of Instantbird may be incompatible and/or require updates to work with the new version. Please report any issues to the maintainer of the extension.


How is Instantbird licensed?

Instantbird is licensed to you under the terms of the GNU GPL license version 2.0 or later. However, most of the source code is also licensed with the Mozilla tri-license (MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1).

The developers

Who makes Instantbird?

We are currently a small team, but we hope that a lot of people will contribute to this project in order to make it better. See this page for a list of some of the people who have contributed to Instantbird.

Special thanks to the libpurple developers and the Mozilla contributors. Instantbird would never be possible without their great work. What can I do to help?

Simply install it and talk about to your friends to help the community to grow.

Also we need help from developers and testers to provide as much feedback as possible to make Instantbird even better. Please read these notes and the bug filing instructions before reporting any bugs to Bugzilla. You can also give us your feedback through #instantbird.

Why haven't you responded to the mail I sent you?

Please use bugzilla for bug filling, or go to the irc chan if you want to chat with us. We get a lot of email and your email may get lost.

Where's the Instantbird source code?

A tarball of the Instantbird source code is available for download. The latest development code can be obtained by following these instructions. Please follow the build instructions.

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