Mozilla Thunderbird 3 is currently available as a release candidate. This suggests that the final version of the desktop email client will be released rather sooner than later.
One of the biggest changes between Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird 3 is the way new email accounts are created.
Note: Newer versions have been released, and the method outlined below applies to all of the new Thunderbird releases.
Email users needed to setup the email account manually in Thunderbird 2 which has changed to a semi-automated process in newer versions of Thunderbird.
To get started, select File > New > Existing Mail Account from the menu at the top. Note that you may also create new email accounts in new versions of Thunderbird directly from within the interface. Select Get a new Mail Account instead if you want to create a new one.
The best case for setting up an email account in Thunderbird is that you only need to fill out three different parameters of which none are related to mail server host names or ports.
As you can see it is only necessary to fill out a name, email address and password in the beginning. Name can be anything, while the email address and the password need to be correct of course.
Thunderbird will now automatically try and discover the incoming and outgoing mail servers. This includes ports and security settings.It supports quite the range of services including Gmail for example so that you don't need to enter technical information to add the account to the mail client.
The information is displayed on the same screen and a green light indicates that the discovery was successful.
It is now up to you to either accept the discovered settings, edit them right away or opt for a manual setup which will lead to the same email setup options that Thunderbird 2 offered to its users.
The information that you need, incoming and outgoing server, ports and security, is usually provided by the mail service. If you cannot locate the information there, contact support as they will provide you with the data.
Edit allows you to edit parameters like the username, incoming server, incoming mail protocol, port and security settings on the same screen. These can be directly verified by Mozilla Thunderbird so that you know if they are okay or not.
The mail server discovery works very well for popular email providers such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. It can happen that Thunderbird does not find settings. This happens often if mail accounts are hosted on private servers or by lesser known email providers.
The only option that is then available is to select manual setup to configure the email account so that it can be used in the email client.
We have published information on setting up Pop3 or IMAP accounts for popular email providers:
Thunderbird makes it very easy to setup email accounts especially if they are hosted by popular email providers. Users do not have to hunt down the mail server settings on the email providers website anymore since they are automatically discovered by Thunderbird in best case.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.