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Configure a new Thunderbird Account

+ Overview:

Once you have received your new account information, you will need to configure Thunderbird to work with your email account. Since a lot of the information is pre-configured for SCLS email accounts, the setup is rather quick.

Note: These are the directions for configuring Thunderbird a brand new email account. These are not the directions for migrating from Eudora to Thunderbird.

+ Have your account information before you begin:

Your account information, including your password, was either faxed to your library or sent to you through Delivery. Make sure you have your account information when you set up Thunderbird.

If you do not like your current password, you can change it by going to the following website

If you have difficulties setting up your new Thunderbird account, contact the Help Desk.


+ Create Your New Thunderbird Account:

+ Create Your Thunderbird Account: Create Your Thunderbird Account Movie

  1. You must close out of any other Thunderbird accounts that are open before you begin.
  2. Click on the Windows Start button and select Run.
  3. Type in "thunderbird -p" (omit the quotes).
  4. Click the OK button. A screen similar to the following will appear.
    Thunderbird Choose User Profile window
  5. Select Create Profile from the Thunderbird - Choose User Profile window. A Create Profile Wizard screen will appear.
    Thunderbird Create Profile Wizard 1st Screen
  6. Click Next
  7. In the Enter new profile name field, type in your First and Last name if this is a person's profile, or type in something meaningful if this is a "business" account, e.g. "Bounced Email".
    Thunderbird Profile Wizard Second Screen
  8. Click the Finish button.
  9. A Thunderbird - Choose User Profile window will appear. Close this window by clicking on the "X" in the upper right hand corner.

    Note: You will need to go into and close Thunderbird a few times during this process. This is necessary.
  10. Again, click on the Windows Start button and select Run
  11. If it's not already there, type in "thunderbird -p" (omit the quotes).
  12. Click the OK button.
  13. In the Thunderbird - Choose User Profile window, highlight the profile that you just created in the previous step.
  14. Click the Start Thunderbird button.
  15. A Default Client window MAY appear. (You may not see this screen.)
    There should be a checkmark in front of the:
    1. E-mail field
    2. Always perform this check when starting Thunderbird field

      Thunderbird Setup part 1

    3. Click on Set as Default
  16. The Mail Account Setup wizard will then launch. The first screen asks if you need to set up an email account. Click on Skip this and use my existing email.

    Thunderbird Setup part 2

  17. In the "Your Name" field, enter your name as you'd like it to appear on the email, e.g. "Jane Doe"
  18. In the "Email Address" field, enter your full email address from the setup sheet.
  19. In the "Password" field, enter the password from the setup sheet.
  20. If you do not want Thunderbird to remember your password, uncheck the Remember Password box.
    Thunderbird Setup screen 3
  21. Click the Continue button. Thunderbird will now search for the rest of the setup information for our email server.
  22. Thunderbird gets most of the settings correct, but there are a couple that have to be changed. Click on the Manual config button.
    Thunderbird Setup part 4
  23. Under Authentication on the right hand side of the Incoming: and Outgoing: lines, click on the pull down box and select Encrypted password

    Thunderbird Setup part 5
  24. Click Done
  25. A warning message will then appear. Click the checkmark for I understand the risks and click on Create Account.

  26. If you entered your account information correctly, Thunderbird should now open and begin downloading your email.

+ Define how Thunderbird will behave when launched: Define Thunderbird Launch Behavior Movie

  1. Exit Thunderbird by clicking on the File menu option and selecting Exit.
  2. Click on the Windows Start button and select Run.
  3. If it's not already there, type in "thunderbird -p" (omit the quotes).
  4. Click on OK.
  5. In the Thunderbird - Choose User Profile window, highlight the profile that you just created in the Create Your Thunderbird Account section and select Start Thunderbird.
  6. A Default Client window MAY appear. (You may not see this screen.)
    There should be a checkmark in front of the:
    1. E-mail field
    2. Always perform this check when starting Thunderbird field
      Thunderbird Setup Set as Default
    3. Click the Set as Default button

+ Configure Thunderbird:

+ Prevent antivirus software from quarantining your entire "In" box. Prevent Antivirus Software from Quarantining Entire In Box Movie

Although each message in a mailbox appears to be separate, each message is actually stored in one large file. If your In box received a message that includes a virus and your PC's anti-virus software is configured to quarantine virus files (like it should), it is possible that your entire In box (and all the messages in it) will get quarantined.

You can decrease the likelihood of this scenario by configuring Thunderbird to download new messages as separate temporary files before they are associated with the larger In box. Messages that are considered "bad stuff" are then individually quarantined. To configure this behavior:

  1. Pull down the Tools menu and choose Options. An Options control panel will open with category icons across the top.
  2. Select the Privacy icon.
  3. Select the Anti-virus tab.
  4. Check the box labeled Allow anti-virus clients to quarantine individual incoming messages.

  5. Click the OK button.

+ Configure Thunderbird to compact your email: Set Thunderbird to Compact Your Email Video

If your mail folders are not periodically compacted, they can grow very large and may cause erratic program behavior. Thunderbird can be configured to compact folders for you automatically.

  1. Click on Tools, select Options and then the Advanced category icon.
  2. Click on the Network and Disk Space tab.
  3. There should be a check mark beside the Compact folders when it will save over field.
  4. Change the setting to 2 MB

  5. Click the OK button.

+ Configure Thunderbird so that your replies occur above the message (optional): Configure Thunderbird Reply Setting Video

By default, when you reply to an email in Thunderbird, it will jump your cursor down to the bottom of the email thread. Most folks prefer to start reading their email at the top of the thread. Here's how to reconfigure Thunderbird so that your cursor jumps to the top of the email thread when you reply.

  1. Click on Tools and select Account Settings.
  2. In the left hand pane, single click on the Composition entry.
  3. In the right hand pane, in the Composition section, click the down arrow associated with the Automatically quote the original message when replying subsection.
  4. Select the "start my reply above the quote" option.
  5. Click the OK button.

+ Change how long Thunderbird leaves mail on server: Set Leave Mail on Server video

By default, Thunderbird is configured to leave mail on the server for 14 days. If you need to increase this, please do not increase it past 21 days. You cannot remove the checkbox from the number of days either. Doing so will cause your email to get slower and eventually stop working.

The rest of this section will guide you as to how to make the necessary changes. You can choose to disable the "Check for messages every" setting if you don't want Thunderbird automatically checking your email but do not make any other changes in this section without first contacting the Automation Help Desk. To configure Thunderbird to leave email on the server:

  1. Select the Tools menu and choose Account Settings.
  2. Double click the Server Settings entry in the left hand pane.

    In the right hand pane:
    1. There should already be a check box in front of Leave messages on server
    2. Define the length of time email is to remain on the server in the For at most section. The length of time should not exceed 21 days.
    3. Do not uncheck the For at most option and just choose the "Until I delete them" option.
    4. (Optional): Activate Empty Trash on Exit if this works with your organizational needs.

      Thunderbird Leave Mail on Server

  3. Click the OK button.

+ Filter out Junk mail:

No one likes to have to deal with junk mail. There are two tiers of protection to separate you from junk email/spam: SpamAssassin on the email server and filters associated with the email software on your PC.

If you want to decrease your chances of receiving junk mail in Thunderbird, you'll need to set up at least one spam filter in Thunderbird (details follow). Setting up a spam filter in Thunderbird is a two-step process: activate Thunderbird's Junk folder and then create a filter to send spam to the newly created Junk folder.

After you've created the junk filter, you will need to "train" Thunderbird as to what is Junk and what is "good stuff". Training Thunderbird to correctly identify junk is beyond the scope of this configuration document. After you've completed this document, please see Training Thunderbird's Junk Filter on how to train Thunderbird to correctly identify and process spam.

Activate Thunderbird's Junk folder Active Thunderbird's Junk Folder Movie

  1. Right click on Local Folders and select New Folder .
  2. In the Name: box, type in Junk

    Create Junk Folder

  3. Click the OK button.
  4. Note: The Junk folder may first appear at the bottom of your folder list with a folder icon but should move to the proper place with a flame icon the next time you start Thunderbird. You don't need to restart Thunderbird now.


Create a Spam filter Create SpamAssassin Filter Movie

  1. Click on Tools
  2. From the drop down menu, choose Message Filters
  3. Click on the New button
  4. At the top, enter SpamAssassin in the Filter name box
  5. In the For incoming messages that section, click on the first dropdown box and choose Customize.
    1. Enter X-Spam-Flag in the "New Message Header" field
    2. Click Add
    3. Click Ok
    4. Now choose X-Spam-Flag from the first dropdown box.
    5. "Contains" should already be selected in the second dropdown box
    6. Type in the word YES (all in caps) in the third field
      Top of Filters window
  6. In the Perform these actions section:
    1. Click the first dropdown box and select Set Junk Status to
    2. Junk should now automatically appear in the second dropdown box
    3. Click on the + sign to the right of this row
    4. Move Message to should automatically be selected in the first dropdown box in the second row.
    5. Select the Junk icon located below the "Local Folders" entry in the second dropdown box of the second row.
      List of Folders
    6. You will now see Junk on Local Folders listed in the second dropdown box of the second row.
      Bottom of Filters Window
    7. Click on OK
  7. You should now see "SpamAssassin" in the Enabled filters list.
  8. Exit the Message Filters window by clicking on the 'X' in the upper right hand corner.
  9. Exit Thunderbird by selecting the File menu option and then Exit.

A general guide to creating Thunderbird filters is covered in the document "How to create an email filter in Thunderbird". Use this document as a frame of reference if you want to redeploy some of the same types of filters in Thunderbird as you had in Eudora.

+ Create a shortcut on your desktop to your new Thunderbird email account: Create Thunderbird Shortcut Video

Here's how you can create a Thunderbird shortcut that will open your Thunderbird account.

  1. Double click on My Computer
  2. Double click on Local Disk (C:)
  3. Double click on Program Files After you do this, you may or my not see a screen that reads “These files are hidden”.  If this screen does appear, click on the text associated with “Show the contents of this folder” on the left side of the window.

    Show Program Files

  4. Double click on Mozilla Thunderbird
  5. Right click the Thunderbird.exe file and select Create shortcut. A message will appear that Windows cannot create a shortcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead?
  6. Click the Yes button
  7. Exit the Program Files window by clicking it's 'X' in the upper right hand corner.

+Rename the desktop Thunderbird shortcut to match the name of the Thunderbird account you just created : Rename Thunderbird Shortcut Video

  1. Locate the Thunderbird shortcut on the Windows desktop that you just created. It will be labeled "Shortcut to thunderbird.exe"
    Thunderbird Shortcut
  2. Right click the Shortcut to thunderbird and select Rename
  3. Give the shortcut a meaningful name, e.g. “Jane’s email” or “Bounced Email”.
  4. Press the Enter key when you’re done.

+ Configure the new Thunderbird shortcut to launch your specific email account:

Accurately identify the name of the Thunderbird account Identify the Thunderbird Account Name Video

  1. Click on Windows Start, Run and type in “thunderbird –p” (omit the quotes) in the Open field. Click OK. The Thunderbird – Choose User Profile window will appear.
  2. Drag the “…User Profile” window to a corner of your windows desktop so that you can also see the Thunderbird shortcut that you just created.

Configure the new Thunderbird shortcut to launch your specific email account:
Configure a Thunderbird Shortcut to Launch a Specific Account Video

Before you begin, take a close look at the picture associated with this section. It may help clear up any questions that may arise as you work through these steps.

  1. Right click the Thunderbird shortcut that you just created.
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click and release your mouse button anywhere in the Target field on the Shortcut tab. This is just to get an active cursor in this field.
  4. Press the End key on your keyboard. This will move the cursor to the end of the text in the Target field.
  5. Press the Space Bar on your keyboard one time to insert a single space.
  6. Type in “-p” (that’s a hyphen and then the letter ‘p’). Omit the quotes when you type this.
  7. Press the Space Bar on your keyboard one time to insert a single space.
  8. In quotes, type in the name of the User Profile that you created in the Thunderbird – Choose User Profile window – just as you see it.
    Path for Thunderbird shortcut
  9. Click the OK button
  10. Click the Exit button in Thunderbird – Choose User Profile window. Failure to do this will cause your Thunderbird shortcut test (next section) to fail.

Verify that your Thunderbird shortcut works: Verify the Thunderbird Shortcut Works Video

  1. Double click on your new Thunderbird shortcut.
  2. Verify that the new Thunderbird shortcut opens your email.
  3. If you did not activate Password Manager during setup, you’ll be prompted for you email password. Otherwise, Thunderbird should open automatically.

+ Verify that your new Thunderbird email can actually send and receive mail:

Now that you’ve set up your new Thunderbird email, let’s make sure it works by sending yourself some email and see if you receive it.

  1. With Thunderbird open, click on the Write icon in the Toolbar
    Send Button
  2. Type in your complete email address (including the in the To field and press the Enter key. Note: Any new (to Thunderbird) address appears red until the address is completely typed in or is recognized from the address book that was imported.
  3. ************************
    Important Note
    Whereas Eudora permitted you to send email internal to SCLS without the suffix, Thunderbird will not. You only have to do this once with each email address in order to “train” Thunderbird to include the suffix.

  4. Type “Thunderbird email test” in the Subject field
  5. Type in the word “Test” as the Body of the email.
  6. Click on the Send icon
    Sending Test Email
  7. A window may or may not pop up asking you how you want to send the message (Plain text and HTML, Plain Text only or HTML only). Just click the Send button.
  8. Click the Get Mail icon on the Toolbar.
  9. You should receive the message that you sent yourself in your Inbox
    Test Email
  10. Contact the Help Desk if you run into problems with either sending or receiving mail.

    Note: If you had “Leave mail on server” configured in Eudora, you will receive these emails again in Thunderbird the first time you check your mail. As you weed through these emails, be careful to identify which mail is a duplicate and which is new.

  11. Exit Thunderbird if the verification test was a success.

+ Create a unique folder in My Documents for email-related files: Create Folder in My Documents for Email Related Files Video

  1. Click on Windows Start button, select Documents and then My Documents
  2. Create a uniquely named folder where you will store all of your e-mail-related files:
    1. Right click your mouse, select New and then Folder
    2. Type in a name that will be unique to all users of this PC and include the word “mail” in the name, e.g. JanesMail or JimsMail
    3. Press the Enter key after you’ve named the folder.
  3. Double click on the folder that you just created.

Welcome to Thunderbird!

You may see this Default Client window every time you open Thunderbird. However, until your migration mentor says that the migration is complete for your library, the boxes for "Email" and "Always perform this check when starting Thunderbird" should remain checked.

Thunderbird Default Client Window

After the migration is completed for all email accounts at your library, this window should disappear.