This post is created to help our clients who need to manage their website domain associated email IDs & find cumbersome to frequently login into their official email id through browser. But it’s a general post for those also who want to setup Thunderbird to handle their too many different official email ids. Read below to know more.
Q: So, what is Thunderbird actually?
A: First of all it’s a free-to-download email managing application similar to Outlook.
Secondly, Thunderbird was developed & maintained by Mozilla which is also the company behind worlds most famous browser Firefox, so it’s pretty much very stable when it comes to meet the performance & quality features. Thunderbird is an email client which helps users to manage their emails directly from their desktop.It lets them sync their emails from server to and fro, and you can also send emails from the application itself. The good thing is that if setup properly it creates a copy of email which happens to reside on both desktop & on servers.
Download Thunderbird from Here
After downloading, run the setup. If Windows throws a security warning don’t worry, hit ‘Run’ & file extraction will be started. On setup window, click ‘Next’ then choose ‘standard’ and leave the checkbox as it is, click ‘Install’. After the installation finishes, if the ‘Launch Mozilla Thunderbird now’ is selected, it will run the application thereafter.
- First Way Of Setting Thunderbird : Non-SSL settings with auto configuration:
When Thunderbird starts, it will ask for system integration, although you can skip the integration & click ‘Email’ option under ‘Create a new account’ label (you can see that behind the system integration form in image below) but let’s go throw the flow.
Uncheck the ‘Always perform this check when starting Thunderbird’ checkbox, click ‘Set as default’. On the next screen, it will ask you to create new email address, instead click ‘Skip this and use my existing email’
It will take you to mail account setup form. Enter your name, your email address which you want to setup with Thunderbird & the password you use to login into that email. These email & password is what is generally provided by your web developers when they set up your website like “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
After entering all the details, click ‘Continue’ – the Thunderbird automatically starts configuring your email server settings which will eventually display two configuration setup options -IMAP (remote folders) Or POP3 (keep mail on your computer) and below which you will see incoming and outgoing server configuration option depending on the IMAP or POP3 selection. Choose IMAP, as it will create remote folders on your PC and all your emails will be copied to these folders from the email servers which will also be left on the hosted email servers as well. Read more benefits of using IMAP Here.
Until this point, Thunderbird fetch the right settings from the mail servers to setup your emails correctly, so you don’t have to click that ‘Manual Config’ button (as seen in the above image), you can just click ‘Done’ instead, still if anything does not work we can access manual Config later. After you click done, it will check your password & if everything is fine it will ask you to add security exceptions. Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal, Thunderbird tries to verify your email hosting servers so that it will make certain that you are not connecting to insecure or unknown servers. Basically the default settings of Thunderbird auto configurations use default “mail.yourdomain.com” which is a Non-SSL setting (not secure due to no server security certificates) to use IMAP & POP3 for incoming emails & SMTP for outgoing emails. So, here Thunderbird is just asking to get the security certificates which are not present for Non-SSL type. But what we are doing here is just one of the two methods of configuring our Thunderbird and this one is easy & mostly automated. What we do is, we tell Thunderbird to take this as an exception & store our choice. So, left the ‘permanent store this exception’ checkbox tick & click ‘Confirm Security Exception’ to move ahead.
See below a typical mail server’s settings for configuring email clients, it has clearly defined Secure SSL/TLS & Non-SSL Settings with different hosts.
The SSL (Secure Socket Layer) will actually prevent someone who is trying to snoop your web traffic to gain access to our internet data. Though most of the times our connection to routers are secure and all incoming and outgoing data is already taken care off by the routers, so using SSL/TLS makes sense only when our connections are insecure. If you think you should be using SSL to encrypt your outgoing emails, read on, we will do that as well.
Upon continue, Thunderbird will again check for password & if everything goes right, you will see your email id on the extreme left panel of the Thunderbird main window. Just click on ‘Inbox’ and it will start syncing the Inbox of your present email id. After again when you click the inbox, it will open some new folders just below it – like, ‘Trash’, ‘Drafts’, ‘Junk’, & ‘Sent’. Click one-by-one to sync them all.
Congratulations! You just setup your first email configuration on a desktop using Thunderbird. Now login to your email account through browser & see your emails also exist there. From now on every email sent or received will be present in both places, your desktop & your email servers. The good news is that you can configure more than one email in Thunderbird so just forget to log in through browser each time to check emails on different accounts. One more thing, you’re all emails on the right-hand side panel are by default in reverse date order, just click the ‘Date’ column to sort it in a current date wise order. Of course you can sort by ‘Subject’ Or sort by ‘From’ also (only one will work at a time), you can add more column field option by right clicking on any column field.
Prior to moving forward on how to setup new email account with SSL/TLS settings, let’s do one more thing – right click on your email name in Thunderbird left panel & click Settings from the menu. A new window will open, named Account Settings, below your email name there is an option ‘Synchronization & Storage’ click it, on the right hand side settings, uncheck “Keep messages for this account on this computer” & click ‘Ok’. Now that way, whatever message we will be creating & sending within Thunderbird, will also be in sync with the email servers.
How to configure Thunderbird with Secure SSL/TLS settings, read it in our next part Here