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Strollin' around
Status: New idea

From time to time I receive Emails from friends with QR-codes containing geolocations.

It would be great if Thunderbird would have an option to decode the content of such a QR-code, e.g. after hovering with the mouse over it.

A left mouse click on such a QR code should open the contained URI in the application set forth for the scheme in it, e.g.

  • for https://... open the Web browser with the associated URL from the QR code,
  • for mailto:.... start writing an email to the mail address from the QR code,
  • for geo:... start the map application at the geo position given in the QR code.

a right mouse click should copy the QR code's content to the clipboard.

Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for submitting an idea to the Mozilla Connect community! Your idea is now open to votes (aka kudos) and comments.

Strollin' around

Of course EPC-QR codes would be another application for QR codes in received Emails.

Strollin' around

On Linux systems you might use zbar-tools to implement it. It also decodes DMC and other barcode types.

Making moves

I would like such a feature for attachments. I receive some bills as PDF with a QR-Code inside. It would be nice if Thunderbird would detect it and tag a mail as bill and show me the receiver in the QR-Code

For details of this QR-Codes:


New member

For me, this seems a bit out of scope. For what is worth, can do this by taking a screenshot.

New member

Nice idea! To my understanding, it would be the minimal way to decode QR codes and provide the textual representation, in a textbox or copied to the clipboard. It would be even better if a contained link was handled by the standard mechanism - any scheme (like geo:) should be linkable to an application of the user's choice.

Making moves

@wisperwindPersonally I do not know what currently for mozilla in-scope is.

The current technological evolution seems steering in a way where new data get analyzed in a way never done before. In terms of Mailing, in my humble opinion, mails you get should be processed for check valid data to prevent to fall for evil tricks and get a proper overview and find data if you search for them. If you add handicapped accessibility even more should be done.

On that point of view, I don't see this request to be out of scope.

I'm curious what the Thunderbird devs think about that subject.

Strollin' around

The ability for Thunderbird to scan and read a QR code would be helpful, but I suggest caution. Here are quotes from a Google search about QR codes and malware.

"While they record the scanning location, time, and operating system used, they don't collect any personal information and cannot be hacked. But QR codes are only as safe as the links they contain, and while mobile devices can't generally get viruses, QR codes can be used as a backdoor for other mobile threats."

"In January 2022, the FBI released a warning that cybercriminals may tamper with QR codes to direct victims to malicious websites."

"Scanning a malicious QR code could put malware on your phone, give bad actors access to your accounts, and more."

"QR codes can also download malicious software onto your device such as malware, ransomware, and trojans."

"Cybercriminals could easily embed any malicious or even phishing URL in the QR Code for exploiting consumer identity and personal information or even for monetary benefits."

"QR codes are more than a convenient way to pull up a URL, they actually are able to transmit personal data like a phone number or email address, along with how often the user might be scanning the code in question."


4 steps you can do to make sure you are safe when scanning a QR Code.

1. Use a QR Code Scanner with built in security

2. Use a security application (app) with a built in QR Code scanner

3. Use an antivirus app

4. Download a app that provides a preview to each code before it opens a webpage

5. Backup your information

6. Common sense, use it"

Making moves

Even more important, that athunderbird integrate a QR-Code reader. That way Thunderbird could checke the content an information about it. That would create more attention. Than simply scan a Code with an app on phone. Also it is possible for the spam Filter to check links and other Content.