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Note: The Google Team recommends the Gmail web interface which is always available as a backup.

Please note that setting up Thunderbird requires two (2) phases, as described below.

*This configuration was done on Thunderbird 24.3.0, however the server settings will be the same for all versions of Thunderbird. (The interface will vary)

Initial Setup

When you first start up Thunderbird after a clean install, you will see the following screen. Click Skip this and use my existing email.

Enter your information

  • Your Name: Your name as you want it to appear on outgoing messages.
  • Email Address: Your existing Berkeley Lab email address (e.g. youraddress@lbl.gov).
  • Password: Your LDAP password.
  • Click Continue.

Interrupt this screen and click Manual Setup.

Enter the Server Information:

Incoming:

  • Incoming (Server Type): IMAP
  • Incoming Server Hostname: imap.gmail.com
  • Port: 993
  • SSL: SSL/TLS
  • Authentication: Autodetect (Will change to Normal Password automatically)

Outgoing:

  • Outgoing (Server Type): SMTP
  • Outgoing Server Hostname: smtp.gmail.com
  • Port: 587
  • SSL: STARTTLS

Username: Put your full user name (You must put the @lbl.gov): youraddress@lbl.gov

When done, click test and then done once Thunderbird verifies settings.

Additional Settings

Complete these steps before using Thunderbird with Gmail.

 

  1. Do not "Place a copy in: Sent" - When you use Gmail, any mail you send is automatically kept in the "[Gmail]/Sent Mail" folder.

    a. Navigate to: Tools > Account Settings > Copies & Folders. Under "When sending messages, automatically:" uncheck "Place a copy in: Sent"
    b. Unsubscribe from the "Sent" folder. Instructions are below.



  2. Understand Gmail Subfolders: The first thing to know is the Gmail creates some default system IMAP folders. You can see this listed under the Gmail folder. You can read more about these system folders at special Gmail subfolders in your IMAP mail app

  3. Redirect the draft folders: If you use the Gmail web interface, drafts are stored in the special Gmail system folder called Drafts. We recommend you configure Thunderbird to also use the same draft folder. This will provide a consistent view between Thunderbird and the web interface. You cannot make this change until you have successfully logged Gmail with Thunderbird. Once you have, navigate to Tools > Account Settings > Copies & Folders. Under "Keep message drafts in:" you should select Other > [Gmail] > Drafts.



  4. Turn off smart folders: It is best to not view Thunderbird with smart folders. Select View > Folders > All to view a complete and more straightforward list of folders.


  5. Redirect the trash folder: redirect the trash folder under Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings.  Under "When I delete a message" select [Gmail] > Trash.


  6. Unsubscribe from unused folders: Since you are no longer using the system folders that Thunderbird would use, you can unsubcribe from those folders so they do not appear. Right click the name of your profile and select Subscribe...


    Uncheck the boxes for the drafts and sent not located in the Gmail subfolder.

  7. Setup automatic email address completion using the LBL LDAP Directory:LDAP Directory Setup for Email Apps
  8. Set Gmail as the default Thunderbird account:
    1. Go to Tools > Account Settings
    2. Select your LBL Gmail account
    3. Click the Set as Default button at the bottom of the list of accounts
    4. Quit Thunderbird
    5. Open Thunderbird, you will see your LBL Gmail account at the top of the list

Optional Settings and Tips

  • Profile specific settings: You may have other settings in your old Thunderbird profile that you may want to set in your new Gmail profile. Common settings include configuring the profile to (1) check for new messages at startup, (2) set replies above the text, and (3) copy over your signature or vcard from your previous profile.
  • Replying to inline attachments: Change Thunderbird to allow replies to be shown inline. This mimics the behavior of Thunderbird 2. Configure this behavior under  Tools > Options > Advanced > Config Editor and change "mail.reply_quote_inline" from false to true.
  • Configure sending in the background: This is an optional setting you could consider to avoid waiting for messages to send. This setting makes Thunderbird send email in the background, thus freeing Thunderbird for other tasks so you don't have to wait while it sends. To make this change go into Tools > Options > Advanced. Click on Config Editor and confirm the warning box. Filter for the value "mailnews.sendInBackground" and change this from false to true. Then close the Config Editor and restart Thunderbird.

 

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IT Division Help Desk: (510) 486-4357, http://help.lbl.gov