Server Settings

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After an account has been set up, you can set settings and configurations for it. The first choice, Server Settings, enables further customization and modification of the settings for the incoming (POP or IMAP) server.

Server settings you can modify include those you initially configured, as well as a number of new settings.

Check for New Messages at Startup

When this is checked, each time Thunderbird starts all incoming email accounts are checked for new messages. This option is on by default, and most users leave it turned on.

Check for New Messages Every 10 Minutes

Email comes at anytime; there is no schedule or appointed time for email to arrive. You can check frequently for new email using the interval specified in this option. If the time interval is too short, it could affect your system's performance; if it's too long, you might wait longer than necessary for emails. Again, the default (check every 10 minutes) seems to work well for most users. However, if you frequently receive time-critical email, you might want to set the interval to a smaller value, say 3 minutes. Regardless of the setting, you can tell Thunderbird to check for new emails at any time.

Automatically Download New Messages

If this option is turned off, Thunderbird displays a message that you have new email but does not get the email or headers. If you don't see the new messages in your folders, this option is turned off. Virtually all users turn on this option.

Fetch Headers Only

Instead of fetching the entire message, Thunderbird can be instructed to retrieve only the message headers. The body of the message remains on the email server. You can then examine the header fields, such as Subject and From, to determine whether you want the see the message (download it) or just delete it. This option is usually turned off, but users with slow connections should consider turning it on.

Also see the options under Disk Space, where you can choose to not download messages that exceed a certain size or download only a portion of large email messages.

Leave Messages on Server

If you check email from several computers, you might choose to leave your messages on the server. This option enables you to retrieve the messages later during another email session or on a different computer.

The most important consideration is your server mailbox's maximum size. If your mailbox grows too large, you might lose new emails that are refused with the message Mailbox full.


If you routinely leave email messages on your server, you can create a filter that deletes emails that are older than a certain age or that moves the older emails to a local folder.

Empty Trash on Exit

The Trash folder, where everything you delete goes, can be emptied manually or every time Thunderbird closes. I prefer to manually empty the trash, which is the default option.

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    Firefox and Thunderbird. Beyond Browsing and Email
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 245

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