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How to setup Thunderbird’s Mail Accounts and Options

by Peter Tesar

This article is based on Thunderbird version 8. To send and receive mail, there must be an internet connection.

Mail Account setup

When starting Thunderbird, for the first time, the mail account setup wizard will guide you through the process. 
Fill in the required information.
Setup will then attempt to retrieve the incoming and outgoing server names and port numbers from the Mozilla database. If these are not correct, they can be changed manually.

Manually changing E-mail Accounts

To open a new account, go to:
FILE | New | Mail Account

To change an existing account, go to:
EDIT | Account Settings

To change the incoming address
arrow down to ‘Server Settings’
tab to the ‘Server Name:’ edit field. Type either
pop.domain or imap.domain
The corresponding port number must match.

To change the outgoing mail:
arrow down to ‘Outgoing Server (SMTP)’
tab to the default list and select the Edit button.

The outgoing server name might be:
smtp.domain or mail.domain
The corresponding port number must be correct.

Note: your ISP technical support can provide the correct server names and port numbers. You may also need to get the correct authentication and security values.

Customizing Thunderbird Options

To optimize Thunderbird, you may want to change some of the default options. 
A few important ones are listed below.

Personally, I prefer to have the message pane and startup welcome message turned off. I also have each message opened in an existing message window and having it closed when deleting or moving from it.

Initially, I had autosave turned on (for every 3 minutes). I soon noticed that when writing a new message, the focus changed every 3 minutes. Turning this feature off fixed the problem.

The message pane can be turned off (on the fly) with F8 or by unchecking the Message Pane in: VIEW | Layout menu.

F6 will cycle between the folder and the message lists.

In Thunderbird's Preferences (Orca+ctrl+space-bar),
in the Thunderbird page,
consider checking:
Automatically start speaking a page when it is first loaded.

Some options to consider changing are in the Edit menu. On entering Preferences and Account Settings, you will be placed on a list of primary tabs. The first, General, has only one tab page while Advanced has multiple secondary tabs. These secondary tabs are listed on the line below the primary list.

After highlighting a primary tab, tab once and if you hear the word ‘page’, you are on this secondary list. Arrow right through these secondary tabs.

Tab through the objects on the page to check or uncheck boxes, highlight choices or select buttons. Continue to tab to return to the primary list.

Returning later, to the EDIT | Preferences, will place focus on the last visited primary tab.

Here are some options of interest.

In EDIT | Preferences | General
show the start page in the message area
Play a Sound
the option to use another sound file

In EDIT | Preferences | Display | Formatting
font, size and colour

In EDIT | Preferences | Composition | General
Autosave every …
Confirm when using keyboard shortcut to send message
Check for missing attachments
Provide keywords that suggest that there should be an attachment
Font, size and Colour

In EDIT | Preferences | Composition | Addressing
Automatically add outgoing Email addresses to …
Highlight an address book: Personal, imported, Collected

In EDIT | Preferences | Composition | Spelling
Check spelling before sending
Enable spell check as you type

In EDIT | Preferences | Advanced | Reading&Display
Open messages in an existing message window
Close message window/tab on move or delete

In EDIT | Account Settings | Composition&Addressing
Compose messages in HTML format
Automatically quote the original when replying
Start my reply above the quote
and place my signature below the quote
Include signature for replies

!!End of Article.
how_to_setup_thunderbird_s_mail_accounts_and_options.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/11 22:47 (external edit)