Thunderbird on Windows is a versatile software in its own category. It is by and large an email client, but there are also other features like news client, RSS feed client, Chat client, and more. The best things about Thunderbird on Windows & Mac, especially when compared to other popular clients, are that it is a free and open source software. It is developed by Mozilla foundation, the same foundation that developed an enormously popular web browser called Firefox. In fact, Thunderbird is modeled after Firefox itself and few of the Firefox “vibes” are easily visible in Thunderbird email client as well.
In 2012, Mozilla dropped the development efforts to just security and maintenance, while allowing the community to take over development of any new features. That was back when Thunderbird was not as big as it is today. However, they later announced that Thunderbird as a project will be operating under the Mozilla’s subsidiary called MZLA Technologies Corporation.
If you have decided to use Thunderbird as your email client, this post will help you quickly get started. Below are simple instructions on how to download, install, and use Mozilla Thunderbird.
Thunderbird on Windows
Note that it is a cross-platform application that is available on Mac OS X (10.9 or higher), Windows 7 (or later), and Linux. However, this post is specifically about Thunderbird on Windows.
- Download the setup file from the official website: www.thunderbird.net
- Open the .exe installer/setup file. Follow the installation wizard to install it on your computer.
- Click “next”
- Choose either ‘Standard’ or ‘Custom’ installation. Custom installation offers few choices to users, such as selecting the installation location or directory
- There will also be an option to make Thunderbird your default email client.
- Finally click “Install” and then “Launch” to launch the application after the installation is complete
- When you launch ‘Thunderbird’ for the first time, you will automatically get a dialog box to set up your email account that you want to use.
- Enter the name for the email account
- Your email address
- Password for that email account
- For users adding some dedicated email account, you can click on ‘Manual Config’ to enter the details such as incoming and outgoing server hostnames, ports, SSL types, and authentication types
- For auto-config, click “Continue.” Thunderbird client will automatically find all the configuration and will show it to you. For instance, for Gmail accounts, Incoming server hostname will be imap.gmail.com, and so on.
- Click ‘Done’ to add your account. It will take a few minutes to authenticate the credentials. For several email services, like Gmail, you may get additional dialog boxes that requires user’s permission to allow to connect to the servers. Click “Allow.”
Congratulations! The email account has now been added to Thunderbird on Windows. You can check all the mailbox folders on the left pane.
By default, the UI and settings will be set up as follows:
- The left pane will show the folders inside the email account you just added.
- The far-right pane will also show the events from the calendar
- As it is based on the Firefox’s structure, you will also find a few things resembling a web-browser. For instance, when you double-click an email, it opens up in a new tab. In fact, there are a lot of ways you can navigate around the Thunderbird’s UI using ‘tabs’ system.
- Thunderbird’s default setting is to download all the messages to the computer, which takes up space. If you think the total size of all the messages in your email account is not too high, you can leave it as it is. Otherwise, you can change the time period that you wish to download emails from, like only for last 30 days, or some other time period.
Thunderbird on Windows is a very versatile and feature-rich application. The article above is just the basics to get you started. In upcoming articles, we will be looking into depth how you can customize the interface and settings to suit your needs better.