How to Install Thunderbird

List of sections on this page:


2.0 How to Install Thunderbird

Installing Thunderbird is a quick and straightforward process. To begin installing Thunderbird, perform the following steps:

Step 1. Double click ; the Open File - Security Warning dialog box may appear. If it does, click to activate the following screen:

Figure 1: The Extracting status progress bar

After the Thunderbird files have completed extracting themselves, the Welcome to the Mozilla Thunderbird Setup Wizard window appears.

Step 2. Click to activate the Mozilla Thunderbird - Setup Type window.

Step 3. Click to accept the default settings and activate the following screen:

Figure 2: The Mozilla Thunderbird - Summary screen

Step 4. Click to start the installation process. The Mozilla Thunderbird - Installing progress status window appears. After the installation process is complete, the following screen appears:

Figure 3: The Completing the Mozilla Thunderbird Setup Wizard screen

Step 5. Click to complete the installation process.

Tip: Thunderbird will automatically launch itself if the Launch Mozilla Thunderbird now check box is enabled, as shown in figure 3 above. To open the program in the future, either double click the Thunderbird desktop icon, or select > Programs > Mozilla Thunderbird > Mozilla Thunderbird.

2.1 How to Disable the Global Search and Indexer option in Thunderbird

Warning: The Global Search and Indexer feature in Thunderbird must be turned off to optimize its performance. Depending on the quantity and size of your emails, it may reduce the speed of your system, by continuously and unnecessarily over-writing of information to your hard drive. As your hard drive becomes increasingly full, it will slow down many unrelated system operations.

To turn off the Global Search and Indexer option, perform the following steps:

Step 1. Select Tools > Options in the Thunderbird console to activate the Options window.

Step 2. Click to activate its associated tab as follows:

Figure 4: The Options window displaying the Advanced tab

Step 3. Click the Enable Global Search and Indexer check box in the Advanced Configuration section to disable this option as shown below:

Figure 5: The Advanced Configuration section

Now that you have successfully disabled this option, you are ready to register an email account in Thunderbird.

2.2 How to Register an Email Account in Thunderbird

The Import Wizard - Import Settings and Mail Folders window only appears the first time you install Thunderbird.

Step 1. Uncheck the Don't import anything option so that it resembles the following screen:

Figure 6: The Import Wizard - Import Settings and Mail Folders

Step 2. Click to activate the following screen:

Figure 7: The Mail Account Setup window

Step 3. Type in your name, email address and password in the corresponding text fields; click the check box to disable the Remember my password option so that your screen resembles figure 7 above.

Step 4. Click to activate the following screen:

Figure 8: The Mail Account Setup window with the IMAP - Access folders and messages from multiple computers option enabled

IMAP and POP: Descriptions and Usage

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Post Office Protocol (POP) are two different methods used to store and receive emails.

  • Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP): When using IMAP all your folders (including Inbox, Drafts, Templates, Sent, Trash and all other folders) reside on the email server. Therefore, you may access these folders from a different computer. All messages will reside on the server and initially, only the email messages headers or title bars (containing information like the date and time, message subject, name of sender, etc.) are downloaded for display on your computer. Full messages are downloaded when you open them. Thunderbird may also be configured to store copies of messages from all or some of the folders on your computer, so that you may work with them offline (that is, without using an Internet connection). In IMAP when you delete emails or folders, you do so on both your local computer and on the server.

  • Post Office Protocol (POP): When using POP only the Inbox (a folder into which new incoming messages are delivered) resides on the server; all other folders are located on your local computer only. You may choose between leaving messages in the Inbox folder on the server after you have downloaded them to your computer, or you may delete them from the server. If you access your email account from a different computer, you will only be able to view messages in the Inbox folder (new messages, and old messages which you have not deleted).

Step 5. Click to create your account, and activate the Thunderbird console with the email account displayed in the All Folders sidebar at left as follows:

Figure 9: The Mozilla Thunderbird main user interface displaying the newly created gmail account

Note: To add another email account, select File > New > Mail Account... to activate figure 7 in this section, and repeat step 3 to step 5.

After you have successfully registered your email accounts in Thunderbird, the next time you open the main user interface, you will be prompted to enter your password for each account as follows:

Figure 10: The Mail Server Password Required window

Note: Although password recording or 'remembering' features are generally not recommended from an internet privacy and security standpoint, Thunderbird does support a Master Password feature. This feature enables you to use one password to protect any passwords related to your different accounts, entered during the setup process. For more information about this feature, please refer to section 3.3 How to Configure the Security tabs in Thunderbird - The Password tab.

2.3 How to Register Blogs, News Feeds and Newsgroup Accounts

To create and register an account for blogs, news feeds and newsgroups, perform the following steps:

Step 1. Select > File > New > Other Accounts to activate the Account Wizard > New Account Setup window.

Step 2. Check either the Blogs & Newsfeeds or Newsgroup account option, and then click to activate the following screen:

Figure 11: The Account Wizard - Account Name window

Step 3. Click to activate the following screen:

Figure 12: The Account Wizard - Congratulations window

Step 5. Click to complete the account setup process, and return to the Thunderbird console.

Now that you have properly configured Thunderbird for optimal usage, please proceed to the following section How to Configure the Security Settings in Thunderbird.