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Moving Thunderbird Profile to New Computer

February 27, 2008 by debbie T | Firefox BrowserMac SoftwareThunderbird Email

For some reason, the last time I moved my Thunderbird profile, it didn’t work very well.

Firefox is very easy to move; I just drag the whole Firefox folder from my back up to the Library folder in Finder (Mac OS X). Thunderbird used to work that way as well.

I found this article explaining the proper way to move a profile:
Moving your profile folder

Make sure to also check out the article on how to start the profile manager too:
Accessing the Profile Manager

Thunderbird Identities & Gmail Pop Mail

March 28, 2007 by debbie T | Thunderbird Email

I love Gmail’s excellent spam filters, so I have been slowly forwarding many of my domain email addresses through my Gmail accounts.

Over the last couple of months, it has been a challenge to keep my accounts straight in Thunderbird, but I think I have finally figured it out.

Let’s start with this example. I use gmail for my personal mail. I forward two of my domain emails to this account, one being the email I use exclusively for shopping online.

I set up a new account in Thunderbird to download all mail from the gmail account, using pop.gmail.com as the incoming and smtp.gmail.com as outgoing mail servers. Make sure to use the appropriate ports and settings. Additional info on configuring Thunderbird is available on the gmail help pages.

This is where it gets a little tricky. Since I sometimes have to reply to certain emails using my domain’s shopping address, I set up a new “identity” in Thunderbird. This way I can reply using my actual shopping email, and not my gmail email.

Adding New Identity for a Thunderbird Account

  1. While in your account settings, click the button link for “Manage Identities.”
  2. Type name and email address into appropriate fields
  3. Choose your domain outgoing server from the pull down list – for example, disdatdesigns.com is my specific outgoing domain server name. To configure more than one outgoing server, please refer to the Mozilla help pages.
    screen shot of new shopping identity in Thunderbird
  4. There will now be two identities for the account. Both identities will be available on the pull down menu to choose as the outgoing email address when sending mail.
    screen shot of Thunderbird identities

There is a reason I am using my domain name and not gmail as my outgoing server.

Originally, my shopping identity was set up using the gmail smtp.gmail.com outgoing server. When I replied to an email, it defaulted to the shopping identity as the sender. Problem was, once the recipient received the email, it no longer showed my shopping email as the sender; it showed my gmail account as the sender.

Once the outgoing smtp outgoing server was changed to my domain’s server, it displayed properly with my domain’s email address.

NOTE: Some ISPs make it difficult to send out mail using port 25 with any other outgoing server address but their own. I had a brief problem with Comcast, but quickly figured out that as long as I sign into my comcast email account using Thunderbird, it would allow me to use any outgoing server for my other email accounts.

Gmail uses alternative incoming and outgoing ports, so you should have no problems with your ISP. Configuring Thunderbird to use these alternative ports can be tricky, but again, there is a detailed tutorial on gmail’s help pages.

Bottom line, gmail offers great spam filters, and large storage (awesome for online mail backup.) Once your email client is set up to receive gmail, it can be quite powerful.

Please don’t hesitate to post a question if something in this tutorial was difficult to understand.

Thunderbird – Adding a New Address Book

August 13, 2006 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareThunderbird Email

Since I switched to the Mac last summer, one frustration was working with Address books in the Thunderbird mail app.

My Windows address book(s) did not convert when I switched, and it wasn’t obvious how to better organize with new and separate address books. The default install included “Personal Address Book” and “Collected Addresses” but I wanted more. I tried right-clicking and looking at the toolbar buttons, but I just couldn’t find the answer.

Yes, after a full year of torture, I finally searched and found the answer today.

While in the Address Book window, choose File>New>Address Book

If it were a snake, it would have bit me!

Thunderbird Using the Address Book – MozillaWiki

NewsForge | Thunderbird 2.0 preview

August 2, 2006 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareThunderbird Email

Oh, I usually don’t drool over many beta apps, especially for something important like my mail app, but this one has me tempted. The Thunderbird 2.0 preview beta sounds delightfully delicious.

I use labels all the time, and now with the introduction of a tagging system (along with a new tag button on the toolbar) this could be too good to let wait! We’ll see!

Related articles:


Thunderbird Security

February 23, 2006 by debbie T | Thunderbird Email

I recently updated Thunderbird to version 1.5 and it includes a whole lot more security features.

I have always set Thunderbird to “Block loading of remote images” but it appears that a new feature to check for email scams is in place as well. Occasionally, I will receive an email that will prompt Thunderbird to display a little button to choose “this is not a scam.”

Today I found another security benefit for the Email Scam feature. I belong to a Designers email groups and occasionally I will help with a site check. The URL listed in the message was an IP address, and when clicked, Thunderbird displayed a window alerting me that someone may be trying to impersonate the web page I want to visit and do I really want to visit that link.

I think this is a great anti-phishing feature for newbies as well as more experienced Internet users, since we all need a little help sometimes.

Some additional benefits:

* Thunderbird is multi-platform: Mac, Linux, and Windows. When I converted from Windows to Mac, it was extremely easy to port over my mail.
* I can set how quickly (or slowly) Thunderbird will display a message as “read” – in Apple Mail, it irritates me that as soon as I click on a message, it displays as “read.”
* Thunderbird offers five label colors for message organization. Mail doesn’t offer this, and it’s one of the reasons I prefer Thunderbird.

I have been using Thunderbird for years, and although it has aggravated me on certain occasions (what software hasn’t?) I have not found any mail app that works as well for me.

Thunderbird RSS Aggregator

October 31, 2004 by debbie T | Content ManagementThunderbird Email

While I love using bloglines to read all my favorite blogs, I would eventually like to try using the Thunderbird built-in RSS reader.

Found a link pertaining to information and a fix for a memory leak.

Arrange Thunderbird Email Accounts

August 24, 2004 by debbie T | Thunderbird Email

I use several POP3 email accounts in my default profile in Thunderbird. It would be nice to customize the order of accounts, wouldn’t it? Well someone thought of a marvelous extension to do just that. I just tried it and it works great!

Mozilla Patch

July 13, 2004 by debbie T | Firefox BrowserThunderbird Email

Install new What Mozilla patch for Firefox and Thunderbird.

My Mail Disappeared!

May 7, 2004 by debbie T | InternetThunderbird Email

Yikes! I received one of those silly Win XP stop/dump messages right before shutting down last night, and upon re-booting this morning, I was greeted with an empty Thunderbird mail box. Don’t know if it was just coincidence, but I was in a panic! I did have a backup from a couple of days ago, but it would be a pain to retreive a few emails that were not included.

I took a look at my profile, and low and behold, all my folders seemed to be still intact, so I did some investigating and found this helpful web page. I believe I had a corrupt pref.js file because after I replaced my file, my files were back!


The morel of the story: ALWAYS ALWAYS backup your thunderbird files, and if you can create an extra back-up email address on your web account, do it! I have copies of all my emails forwarded to a backup account for two of my busiest email addresses. That way, if something goes wrong, I have copies online. Just make sure to delete the messages often, or they will be wasting space.

Additional Note: I just realized my address book is missing a lot of addresses. Thank God I keep backups of my addresses! I hope I can fix it.

Update on Address Book: I believe because the prefs.js file didn’t include my new address folders, it wasn’t recognizing them. I replaced the prefs.js file I had in my back up and all seems to be well again.

Thunderbird Profiles

May 4, 2004 by debbie T | InternetThunderbird Email

I think to better organize my emails, I need more than one profile for Thunderbird. Thanks to Becky for pointing out this info on the Mozilla Thunderbird FAQ