Users can access their webmail accounts with desktop clients like Mozilla Thunderbird 6 using either IMAP or POP3. We suggest IMAP.
IMAP is keeps all messages and folders on the server. In addition, IMAP idle is an optional feature of the IMAP protocol that pushes all new messages to Thunderbird as they are received by the mail server. Unlike POP3, IMAP offers two-way communication between your webmail mailbox and your email client(s). This means when you log in to the SmarterMail Web interface, actions you performed on email clients and mobile devices will automatically appear in the Web interface (and vice versa).
With POP3, the recommended protocol, your mail is saved in a mailbox on the remote server until you check your mail. When you check your mail, all of the mail is downloaded to your computer and is no longer maintained on the server. If you use POP3 and are traveling or check your mail from multiple locations, you will not be able to view any of your old mail because the messages only exist on the computer on which you originally received your mail. NOTE: If you have enabled Thunderbird to keep messages on the server, you will be able to access your messages and folders from any computer via the webmail Web interface or your mobile device.
Follow these steps to create an IMAP or POP3 account in Thunderbird 6:
Automatic Account Configuration
Setting up a new account with Thunderbird is easy. All you need to do is provide your user name and password for your email provider and your email address. Thunderbird determines connection details (such as ports, server names, security protocols, etc.) by looking up your email provider in a database that contains connection information for all the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs). After determining the provider of your account (as specified after the "@" symbol in your email address) Thunderbird can usually provide the account details.
Your computer must be connected to the Internet for Thunderbird to create your account automatically.
The first time you open Thunderbird after installing, you are prompted to create a profile. Next you will be asked to provide details about your email account in the dialog box shown below. The dialog box is also displayed when you add a new email account (File > New > Mail Account or via the Account Settings).
When you press Continue, Thunderbird will look up the email provider and attempt to determine the server settings. In the example below,the provider data has been used to fill in the account details and configure the services offered.
To complete account setup:
- Create Account: Press this button to create a new account.
- Cancel: Abort the automatic setup of the account.
- Manual Setup...: Manually configure the account. Thunderbird will create a new account with the details shown and then open the Account Settings dialog so that you can make further changes. (See Manual Account Configuration for help.)
After creating the account, Thunderbird will display the new account:
If your account cannot be automatically configured by Thunderbird, you must manually configure it. This is done via the Account Settings dialog, accessed from the Tools menu.
When you are configuring an email account, Thunderbird will often be able to do most of the configuration automatically. (See Automatic Account Configuration above for more information.) However, if you have a non-standard email configuration, you may need to configure your email client manually.
- First, open the Account Settings (Tools > Account Settings). Each email or newsgroup account that has already been configured is listed on the left side of the Account Settings dialog. These accounts correspond to the top-level folders displayed in the All Folderslist.
- Click the Account Actions button and select Add Mail Account.
- Enter your email account details and press Continue. Thunderbird will try to determine your account settings based on the domain portion of your email address (that is, the portion after the "@" symbol). Press the Stop button to abort the lookup, then edit the server names, port and IMAP/POP, and then press Manual Configuration to manually set up the account. Note that it's important that you set server names, port and IMAP/POP before clicking Manual Config. (Alternatively, you can allow the lookup to gather default account details and then manually change the settings later.).
Configure the outgoing server
Multiple email accounts can use the same outgoing SMTP server. Therefore, SMTP servers are created separately from email accounts. In the Account Settings dialog, in the left pane, select Outgoing Server (SMTP) from the bottom of the list. There may be an entry in the resulting list that was created when you entered your account details. Either edit that entry or add a new entry.
Description: Enter any description, ex. Corporate SMTP server
Server Name: Enter secure.myvcgmail.com
Port: Enter 25. Note, if your ISP is blocking port 25, you may need to enter 587
Security and Authentication
Use name and password: checked
User Name: Enter your full email address, including your domain name
Use secure authentication: Unchecked
Connection security: No change from Thunderbird default selection
After saving the information about the new outgoing server, select your new email account from the list. In the Outgoing Server (SMTP) field, select the SMTP server from the drop-down list. Other items on the page were automatically created when you entered the account details - alter and extend as necessary.
Click on the Server Settings option under your new account. Make sure the entries match your settings
After saving these changes you should be able to send and receive emails. Other aspects of account configuration are optional and self-explanatory.
This tutorial will show you how to configure a new account for POP access (rather than IMAP).
- Select Tools > Account Settings... > Account Actions > Add Mail Account
- Enter your username (your full email address, including your domain), and password
- Thunderbird will attempt to configure your accounts settings automatically using IMAP. Click Stop.
- Enter your account details as follows:
- Username: Enter your full email address
- Incoming: Enter secure.myvcgmail.com
- Outgoing: Enter secure.myvcgmail.com
- Select POP from the drop-down list to the right of the incoming mail server name (the row labeled Incoming:). This is important because if IMAP is selected you won't be able to change it to POP later!
- Incoming port number: 110
- Outgoing port number: 25
Thunderbird doesn't support converting a POP account to a IMAP account. Its possible to hack the files in the profile to convert the account, but its tricky and time consuming and requires knowledge most users don't have. Its much quicker and safer to create a new account and move the messages to it, and then delete the old account.