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I use Thunderbird with two sets of dictionaries: English and Spanish. In the spell checker menu I find about 30 localized dictionaries (all Spanish-speaking countries, and for English: US, England, Canada).

It's quite annoying that every time I need to look for the single proper dictionary, I see all this heap of other dictionaries (useless for me).

Is there any way to remove the unused dictionaries from the menu and leave 2 or 3 that I really use?

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The solution I found is delete unused dictionaries from /usr/share/myspell/dicts.

*.dic and *.aff files, and leave only the three languages I use: en-US.dic, en-US.aff, es.dic, es-ES.dic, es-ES.aff.

Backup the whole directory before delete anything.

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What I did:

  1. Deleting the dictionaries symbolic link in /usr/lib/thunderbird/
  2. Installing the dictionaries manually (Tools > Options or Edit > Preferences, then Composition, and click on Download More Dictionaries).
  3. Adding a dpkg-divert rule to prevent the link to be restored each time Thunderbird is updated.

From a command line, type:

sudo rm /usr/lib/thunderbird/dictionaries
sudo dpkg-divert --add /usr/lib/thunderbird/dictionaries

And then install the dictionaries you want in Thunderbird as explained above.

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According to, there are two locations:

  1. /usr/share/hunspell/
  2. /home/me/.thunderbird/o5sgu7z7.default/extensions (o5sgu7z7 will be different in your case)
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