Thunderbird Explained: A Tutorial
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Download and Install

Navigating Thunderbird

Adding Email Accounts

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Downloading and Installing Thunderbird

First, make sure you are connected to the Internet. Open a browser and navigate to the Mozilla homepage, You will notice that the Mozilla website offers many products, including Firefox (see our Firefox tutorial located here), the Mozilla Browser, and others.  A link to the Thunderbird Homepage is located on this page. Follow this link.

The Thunderbird homepage ( is where you will find links to download Thunderbird, as well as up-to-date information about the program (including bugs and new versions).  The Thunderbird website should recognize your computer’s operating system (this tutorial assumes Windows XP) and provide a link to download the appropriate version of Thunderbird on this page.  If the version displayed on the website does not correspond to the operating system that you are using, follow the link that says other systems and languages and find the right version of Thunderbird for your operating system.  Download the installer to your desktop.

Once the Installer has finished downloading, double click the installer and the installation setup should begin.  Read the software license agreement and, accept it to click the next button and continue the installation.  Go ahead and choose the standard installation and click next.  Click next one last time and the installation will begin; once this is completed, launch Thunderbird and you will be able to import information from other email clients.  If you have been using another email client, now is the time to import your address book and other information.  Importing mail information may take some time, so please be patient.

Otherwise, choose not to import any settings from other mail clients.  Now you will be given the option to add accounts to Thunderbird. 

Start off by selecting the button to add an email account, and then click next.  Now you will be asked to enter your identity. Enter your name and your iSchool email address (your ischool username followed by ””) and click next. 

Now you need to enter the server information. The iSchool uses an IMAP server; therefore you should select the IMAP button as the incoming server (IMAP offers several advantages over POP; if you are interested in specifics, please visit and input “” into both the incoming and outgoing server. If you are not using an iSchool account, be sure and ask your provider, as not all providers allow IMAP or use the same mail server for both incoming and outgoing servers.  Now select the next button.

Now you must enter your username again. For iSchool students, this is your iSchool user name, the name that comes before the @ in your email address. For example, my email address is, and so my username is brazos. Not all email providers are set up this way, so be sure and ask your provider if you do not know your username.  Choose the next button once more.  Select a name for this account and choose next.   You are almost ready to begin using Thunderbird; verify that all of the information is correct before continuing. If something needs to be changed, choose the back button until you have reached the area that needs to be fixed and alter it accordingly.  Once everything has been entered, click the finish button. 

It should look like this:

Now you are given the option to use Thunderbird as your default Mail client. This means that whenever you click a link on a web page that prompts an email, Thunderbird will open up automatically to send that email.  Select the “do not display this dialog box again” button and choose yes or no.  You will now be prompted to enter your password - do so and click ok. 




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