Email Setup: Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, cross-platform and feature-rich email program. It is a good choice for those using different operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux). Thunderbird supports the traditional POP protocol and the newer IMAP protocol to retrieve messages. The key difference between those two access protocols is where email is stored and where it is accessible.

When email is retrieved using POP, it is deleted from the mail server and will only be accessible on the computer where it was downloaded to. This mode is a good choice for users with slow Internet connections and those accessing their email offline. Conversely, with IMAP email messages remain stored on the mail server and can be accessed from another computer or using WebMail. Mail stored on the mail server counts against your web storage quota.

Installing Thunderbird

First, download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. Follow the steps at this URL to install Thunderbird.

When Thunderbird is started for the first time, it will automatically prompt you to add a new email account (see step 1 below). To add an account at a later time, choose Tools > Account Settings, then press the Account Actions button on the lower left and choose Add Mail Account. On Linux, the Account Settings option is under Edit Menu.

Setting up Thunderbird using the Mail Wizard

Step 1: Email Address and Password

Step 2: Mail Server Settings

Typically the wizard can determine the mail server settings automatically. If you do not get two green bullets next to the Incoming and Outgoing server entries, verify that the settings are as shown below.

Step 3: Advanced Mail Settings (optional)

Several additional configuration settings can be done to get the most out of Thunderbird. Popular configuration changes include: