How To Use Thunderbird Email Client

Most of the people using worldwide Outlook or Outlook express as email client because it come together with Windows operating system. There are also many other email clients which are cheaper and sometime also better. Thunderbird is an Open Source email and news client from Mozilla, also known for the Firefox browser. This software is for free can be used for reading and sending e-mail, reading and posting to newsgroups and reading RSS feeds. Thunderbird is equipped with a junk mail filter, spell checker, a search function and has the ability to link tags to messages. Furthermore, the program can be expanded with add-ons. This program you can download separate or together with Seamonkey which also includes a browser and IRC client.

Setting up Thunderbird to retrieve and send email 

Thunderbird is available in more than 50 different languages and runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. First download Thunderbird and install it on your operating system. Once the programs is installed you have to set it up. Thunderbird makes it possible to set up multiple email accounts. If you open Thunderbird you must enter the correct data otherwise you can’t download your mail. To do this, go top of the screen to Tools –> Account Settings to open the wizard.

Thunderbird wizard

Select Email account and click on Next >

Thunderbird wizard 2

Fill in the Identity window of the wizard your name as you want it to appear in your emails. Actually you can enter here anything you want, I recommend using a name that anybody can recognize, use a normal running text. In the Email Address box enter your e-mail address.

Thunderbird wizard 3

In the Server information window, select POP if you want to retrieve the mail from the mail server and IMAP if you want to read the mail from the server. The incoming server is for every provider different:

  • Hotmail/Live account use
  • Yahoo! account use
  • Gmail account use

You can disable Use Global Inbox if you want to create a separate folder for this account.

Thunderbird wizard 4

In the User Name window Type exactly the email address which is given to you from the provider, for example, or Now click on Next to continue the wizard.

Thunderbird wizard 5

In the window Account Name name your account by individual, group, family, home or corporation. There are no limits. Click on Next and Thunderbird will test the configuration to receive emails.

Setting up Thunderbird to send email 

Thunderbird also supports multiple outgoing email servers. Actually, if you have multiple email accounts you can use one outgoing server. For example, you have a Yahoo account, Gmail and Live account, you can use one of the providers as outgoing SMTP server. Outgoing mail servers are automatically added to the list every time you add an email account in Thunderbird.

Thunderbird smtp server

Go to Tools > Account Settings, and select Outgoing Server (SMTP) on the left side to access the SMTP servers. Click on the Add button to create manually a new SMTP server. For every provider is this different, for example:

  • Hotmail/Live account use
  • Yahoo! account use
  • Gmail account use

Using the SMTP settings will affect all the email accounts.

Send and receive email with Thunderbird


Looking at the layout of  Thunderbird you will recognize that it looks the same as Outlook Express. On the top is a row of buttons: Get Mail, Write, Address Book, Reply (all), Forward, Delete and Print. To get the mail just click on the Get Mail button. By selecting Inbox on the left pane you can view your email. To reply a certain message click on the Reply button, write your message and press Send. Once you have read the email you can simply remove it from your Inbox by hitting the Del button on your keyboard. The deleted messages will end up in the Trash, to remove it complete from your computer go to the Trash and select the emails you want to delete and hit the Del button again.

The Write button will open a window where you can start writing a new email. While typing a message you can adjust the font, size and style. The Attach button makes it possible to insert a document or image. This button can be found in the Tools menu and it looks like a paperclip. In the Address Book you can add, remove or update your contacts. This is useful when you create a new email, in the TO box you can select a name from the Address book.

Some features of Thunderbird

  • Email Client Support. Thunderbird can be used for Yahoo, Hotmail, Live, Gmail, AOL accounts and much more.
  • Support for IMAP and POP. Thunderbird can receive email through IMAP and POP.
  • Spell check while typing. After typing your email Thunderbird is making a spell check.
  • Anti-phishing protection. Thunderbird blocks email that is related to fraud.
  • A powerful spam filter. Thunderbird has the ability to block incoming spam and delete them.
  • RSS support. To retrieve and display RSS feeds automatically. So you are always up-to-date.
  • Extensions to complete the functionality. Thunderbird has many extensions available.
  • E-mails labeling based on chosen criteria. Thunderbird can sort your mail automatically into groups based on self-selected criteria.
  • Support for themes. Thunderbird allows you to install themes which are available on the Mozilla website.
  • Advanced search filters. You can easily search through your email with comprehensive search filters.

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