Some thoughts on setting up Thunderbird, the email client from Mozilla. (Hint: I recommend it.)

If you are struggling with managing multiple email user accounts, or having difficulty with the user interfaces of web based email accounts, then you should consider using Thunderbird. (Plus, frankly, the ads that Yahoo! puts on their web site are awful and embarrassing.)

Thunderbird comes from Mozilla, the same people that bring us Firefox. I tried using it years ago, but the integration with Yahoo! mail and Gmail seemed more difficult at that time. This time, it was fairly simple.

You download and install Thunderbird from here. Once you do, select the option to create new accounts. I wanted to set it up with my Yahoo! and Gmail accounts, and to do this all I needed to do was provide my name, userid and password, and Thunderbird set up the rest. (If I recall, one time you needed to have the SMTP/POP settings, etc., but now Thunderbird figures out all that at least for Gmail and Yahoo! You may need to do more work if your email comes from your ISP, but that should be straightforward information to acquire.)

I would like to hear your feedback, but it was a simple process for me. Two problems I did have, though, that you should be aware of:

  • Spam! With Yahoo! mail, if you have a free account, it will download your spam as well as your regular mail. This is something I discovered as I clicked on Get Mail. I went and cleared my spam (which was being downloaded) and then it was fine. If you have a paid account, there is apparently an option to prevent this from happening. (More information on this here.)
  • 2 factor authentication. With Gmail, I had two factor authentication turned on. If you do too, you will need to generate a special password in order for Thunderbird. (More information on that here.)
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