I love Thunderbird. It is both flexible, powerful and user-friendly. But, on Mac OS X, it has the nasty habit of saving a copy of all the opened attachments on the desktop leaving a messy trail… Can something be done about that ? You bet !
I said Thunderbird was flexible, didn’t I ? It is so flexible that it will let you edit tons of hidden parameters if you so wish. Those parameters can be found in the “Thunderbird” menu under the “Preferences” item. In the preferences window go to “Advanced”, then “General” and then “Configuration editor”. Be sure to read the warning that will appear and don’t do anything stupid…
Now for the grand finale, in the
about:config window that appeared, control-click (or right-click) anywhere and select “New” and “Boolean value” from the contextual menu that appeared. Then, paste in the following key name
browser.helperApps.deleteTempFileOnExit and select
true when prompted. Voilà! Now, all those temporary files will be cleaned up when you exit Thunderbird.
This has been tested to work in Thunderbird version 3 through 24.
Update : As pointed out by Loes in the comments below, it is also possible to have Thunderbird save the temporary files to another less intrusive location. Check out the original post titled Thunderbird 3 Litters Desktop on OS X for more information.