Thunderbird – Setting Up Email With IMAP Protocol


There are some benefits to setting up these accounts as opposed to POP. This protocol allows you the versatility of synching your email whether you are sending or receiving via a webmail login or whether you sending or receiving via an email program. For instance, you can have your client program set up at home and at work and if you have set up your email account on both to use the this protocol then your sent and received messages will be synched. It’s convenient.

You always have the option of downloading your emails to your local computer but then you’ll lose that capability of synching since the two computers (the one at home and the one at work) are synched by the servers. One of the drawbacks to utilizing this protocol is that it does take up disk space on your server.

Seek for a web hosting company that allows you plenty of disk space since disk space is inexpensive these days. There is one other drawback for shared hosting servers which is mentioned below. When there are several email accounts set to use this protocol and the accounts are set to check to the server for new messages at a greater frequency, say, 30 minutes this can result in 500 error pages. The only way is to kill the process Ids which I will show later using Cpanel. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s show you how to set up your account.

1. First, download the Thunderbird program by googling ‘thunderbird mozilla’. It’s a free and robust program and works well with Vista, XP, Mac OSX and Linux and in several languages. What more could you ask for?

2. Open the program. Click on “Tools” then “Account Settings” in the Menu Bar at the top of the program.

3. In the “Account Settings” click on the “Add Account…” button on the left-hand side.

4. A window titled “Account Wizard” will display. Simply click the “Next” button.

5. Type your name and email address in the appropriate fields then click the “Next” button.

6. IMPORTANT: Select the “IMAP” setting rather than the “POP” setting. In the “Incoming Mail Server” field type “” (without the quotes). You may have to contact your server administrator to obtain your incoming mail server. Then click the “Next” button.

7. In the “Incoming User Name:” field type in your email address then click the “Next” button.

8. In the “Account Name” field type in your email address then click on the “Next” button.

9. Click the “Finish” button.

10. Highlight your email address by clicking on the it which is visible in the left-hand side of the window.

11. Click on “Server Settings” then change the value from “10” to “30” in for the field “Check for new messages every”. I now found out that if you are a server administrative set this to a much higher value such as “360” which means check for new messages every 6 hours rather than every 30 minutes. The reason is that (for some reason) there tends to be many imap processes running and they tend to linger around. This in a linux system (which I believe is Centos). I found this out with one of my web hosting accounts with bluehost.

If you set up many email addresses as I did for one client of mine the mail servers were being checked for new messages every 30 minutes and the result was many process Ids that ended up on occasion triggering the server to display all accounts (all web sites) associated with this web hosting account to display 500 error pages. There is a resolution to this problem on the site located under Cpanel tutorials.

Alternatively, you can probably set up a separate mail server on a separate domain but a tutorial for another day. If your clients wish then can manually check for their emails. I would only set the field “Check for new message every” to 30 for those individuals that really need and cannot be bothered by checking for new messages manually. This is just a forewarning if you set this field value too low.

12. Click on “Composition & Addressing” which is a sub-section. Click on the drop-down menu below the line “Automatically quote the original message when replying” as illustrated. Then select “start my reply above the quote.”

13. Now click on “Offline & Disk Space” in the left-hand side. Checkmark “Make the messages in my Inbox available when I am working offline” and “When I create new folders, select them for offline use” as illustrated.

14. Click on the “Junk Settings” on the left-hand side. Checkmark “Trust junk mail headers set by”. You may leave it select at “SpamAssassin”. And checkmark “Move new junk messages to:” Leave the rest at default settings.

15. In the left-hand side scroll down and select “Outgoing Server (SMTP)”. Then on the right-hand side near the top click on the “Add” button as illustrated.

16. Do the following:

i. In the “Server name” field type “[outgoing mail server name]”. On some servers the outgoing mail server is different. I find this to be the case with home ISP. Contact your server administrator for this information if are you uncertain.

Ii. In the “Port” field type change the number to “26”. Most home ISP disable port 25 due to spam so port 26 is used.

Iii. In the “User name and password” field type in your email address. Then click the “OK” button.

17. On the left-hand side, select your email address. You may have to use the scroll bar and scroll upwards. Then click on the drop-down menu as illustrated and select “[your email address] – [outgoing mail server name]”.

18. Now you’ll be able to retrieve your messages. Click on “Inbox” for your email account. A box will display asking for your password. If the box does not display then simply click on the “Get Mail” button as illustrated.

19. Sending email: when you send email from Thunderbird you may, at times, receive a display as follows. Simply click the “OK”. Create a new email message now to test if everything functions correctly. Send an email to yourself.

20. The first time you attempt to send an email you will receive a display asking for your password. Type in your password and checkmark “Use Password Manager to remember this password”.

21. Click the “Get Mail” button to test if you received your test message.

The Thunderbird mail is a free, robust program that is suitable on multiple platforms: Mac OSX, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Linux. There are also several useful plug-ins that allow much greater flexibility such as synching with Google Calendar. I’ll be posting more articles on the use of plug-ins in later articles.


Source by Victor Kimura