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Thunderbird - general account setup (for new mail servers) - updated 30Jan13

What future for Outlook Express? - none beyond XP

In short - there is no future, see a short description at Outlook - general setup. The technical (short) answer to replacing it is Mozilla Thunderbird!

Anyone who has business (OR personal) correspondence that is important to them for any reason should at the very least consider (perhaps every 2-3 years) keeping their incoming and outgoing e-mails on their own PC rather than solely using WebMail services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN etc. or even worse those provided by their Internet Provider - these on-line services often have no agreed service levels because very often they are free!

Trying to get anything but trivial actions from a free provider when certain events occur is a disaster and we have had enquiries many times from users of them asking if we can help! Typically there is little we can do retrospectively whereas we can provide excellent products and services to support e-mail activities, including our Zero-Spam, Zero-loss and Zero Administration! service to keep your e-mail pristinely clean and free of the scourge.


Getting into the 'account settings' - NB per account unlike Options!

The first steps are:

  1. Open Thunderbird and wait until any startup activity has finished (typically Send and Receive Mail)
  2. Select the Tools option from the action list just below the Window title bar (bright blue at the top of the window)
  3. then choose Account Settings... as shown to the right. This option is usually the second from the bottom in the 'Tools' list but the example shown has an extra TB Add-on.



In the panel on the left you will see a list of accounts - each (may only be one!) with a number of Headings beneath them - choose the Server Settings under the appropriate account.

When connecting to *our* servers then you should use very similar settings to those shown to the left with the obvious changes which are unique to you and your Account with us.

With the proliferation of high-definition cameras on mobile 'phones the settings for retaining e-mails on the server can become critical to ensure safe and reliable e-mail delivery.

Your mailbox *may* temporarily reject e-mails that would take you over your quota but Thunderbird has not yet deleted them from the server - probably due to the number of days it is set to keep them on the server before deletion. Note that *sending* servers *normally* re-try sending for a small number of days (3-4?) before they treat the sender's mail as undeliverable.

You *probably* also have another "Delete" option checked - "Until I delete them" My slight issue with the latter option is that it doesn't make it clear what it treats as 'Until I delete' - e.g. would moving from InBox to another folder count?

I now find out that there IS a method of making 'Move to other folder' be treated as 'Deleted from Inbox'

An update (Aug'14) - I searched for a definitive answer and it has been a "controversial" option - to allow users to choose if "moving" an e-mail counts as deletion from the InBox there is a setting which is best changed via an expert as there are many other options which can cause problems in Thunderbird. For anyone really interested in the topic - NOTE - THIS IS OLD (2012!): http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2630567


Outgoing mail settings

The place where your e-mails are stored on your PC is important for backup and recovery and ideally should NOT be on the same drive (letter - e.g. C: or D:) as Windows itself as it prevents good backup practices.

This decision is best made when initially setting up Thunderbird rather than days or weeks afterwards although can be done with remote support if needed but ideally a full systems backup would be made before that happens. Contact us via this web site (Contact us) for further details.


Again, if you are using our servers then your settings should be very similar to those shown.

The use of GMail as an (optional!) outgoing server can be useful for many reasons - including the automatic storage of outgoing mail in a webmail interface accessible whilst remote from your office.


I hope that has been useful. Any Comments, suggestions or corrections to: Contact us please. This would be especially useful if the software environment you have is different to mine and the headings, text or prompts are different.


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