Add a New Email account to your Thunderbird

This will probably be a quick how-to guide for today, because what I’m going to show you is quite simple. One of the first things that you will do with Mozilla Thunderbird is to add a new email account.

The first thing that you will want to do is go to the Tools menu and then select Account Settings… This will bring up that window, which will look something like this –

Thunderbird 1

Then, click the Add Account… button to start the New account wizard:

Thunderbird 2

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to be adding a regular email account, such as the one that you may get with your ISP account or with your own domain, so we’ll keep it on Email account, and click Next.

Thunderbird 3

The next screen is the “Identity” screen – where you put your name and email address. I’m not going to be making an actual email address, so I’m just going to use the example values wherever possible 😉

When you have everything filled in, click Next to proceed to the Server information screen.

Server Information

Here, you need to fill in the mail server settings that you were given by your administrator. Generally, you’ll be connecting to mail.{domain}, or pop.{domain}. You also can set up an IMAP account which is like using Thunderbird as a mail viewer only.

The other option you have is to put the mails into the Global Inbox, or not. If you choose not to, then the new account will appear as a new folder in your list of folders at the left side of the window. Otherwise, all the mail from this account will go into the “Global Inbox”, which can be found in the “Local Folders” section of the folder list.

I prefer to have all accounts’ mail come into separate folders, but your preferences may vary. Also, there is a note about the default outgoing mail server being used. Generally, you will want to leave that alone, unless advised otherwise. Most ISPs today will block you from sending mail on the regular mail ports through servers other than their own.

After you’ve verified all the settings on this page, click Next to proceed to the user names section.

User Name

Here, you will need to either leave these bits alone, or change them slightly by adding “@{domain}” to the end of it. Most of the time you can leave it as just “user”. Your administrator will generally let you know what you need to do here. When you’re set on these options, click Next to proceed to the Account naming.

Account Name

The Account Name is the name that is used within Thunderbird in the list of accounts, and if you have chosen to not use the Local Folders option, this will be what is displayed when the folders are collapsed in your folder list. Also, when you receive mail, the envelope in the corner will tell you that name of the account. When you’re set, click Next to confirm your settings.

Verify settings

Make sure that all the settings are correct, and you can click Finish to create your new account. If you need to make changes, click back to make the changes and then return here. There are a couple more things to mention in the mail settings for accounts. I’ll move over to my domain account to show you those. 🙂

All the settings that you’ll need to worry about are in the Server Settings panel in the server list. This is what it looks like –

Server Settings

The first parts are all from the information you gave to the wizard when you created the account – server name and user name. However, if you need to use a different port to the default one, you can change it there. Also, if your server is secure, there are options for the security settings there.

The Server settings that you have available vary the frequency of mail checking, downloading messages and message retention.

You can check messages on startup, and you can add the option to check messages every so many minutes.

The next setting, Automatically download new messages, is an important one to turn on – I didn’t, and was wondering why Thunderbird was saying there was a new message but there wasn’t anything in the folder – turns out I hadn’t turned that on!

Generally, if you download messages, you can leave fetch headers only off – it won’t really do much good anyway. 🙂

Leave messages on server – this is useful if you are in a position where you have to reply to emails via a webmail interface. That way, you can download the message to Thunderbird, and then you can reply to the message in your webmail, and maintain the conversation. You can set the length of time that you keep the messages on the server – I usually go for a range of anywhere from 1-30 days, depending on the account, however, there are some accounts where I will simply say to leave them on the server permanently (such as a Yahoo account or a Gmail account).

I hope that this guide helps you to get a new account set up in your Thunderbird so that you can improve your email communication. 🙂