A POP Un-Birthday Gift: Global Inbox

Do you have multiple POP accounts and need a neat and tidy way to manage them by using a single inbox? It just must be your lucky day, because Thunderbird's Global Inbox feature does exactly that. The great thing about Global Inbox is that you don't necessarily have to use it for all your POP accounts. Here's the deal:

  • Use Global Inbox for POP accountsFolders are not displayed in the folders paneLocal Folders shows a single set of folders. All POP mail for those accounts is stored and managed in one folder directory structure, as shown in Figure 10-8.

    Figure 10-8. Thunderbird with Global Inbox turned on.

  • Do not use Global Inbox for POP accountsInbox and a set of folders is displayed in the folders pane for each POP account, as shown in Figure 10-9.

    Figure 10-9. Thunderbird with Global Inbox turned off.

A good companion for Global Inbox is the Managing multiple identities feature, which is discussed in the next section.

Changing to Global Inbox After You Have Already Set Up Your Account

It is possible to modify an existing POP account to use the Global Inbox feature. To do this, go to Tools | Account Settings | Server settings and click the Advanced button. Click Global Inbox and then click OK. Restart Thunderbird, and you should no longer see the non-Global Inbox listed in the Folders pane. The next time you retrieve your mail, the mail from the prior account should be channeled into the Local Folders Inbox.

Be Mindful of These Things When Switching to Global Inbox

If you initially set up your account without Global Inbox (and it contains messages in both the inbox and folders) and you want to enable it later, you should copy or move the messages to your local folders prior to setting the Global Inbox preference. If you don't do this, the account that you had previously set up won't show up, and you will have to navigate back and undo the setting in order to see those messages. Thunderbird does show you a warning dialog box that reminds you of this fact when you make the switch to Global Inbox. You should also see the next section for a list of other factors you should consider when changing your inbox account settings.

Storage Considerations for Global Inbox

If you set up your POP account to use Global Inbox, you can manage where your mail is stored by going to Tools | Account Settings | Server Settings and clicking Advanced. A dialog box launches that allows you to define where you want to store the mail. If you don't want the account you are setting up to use Global Inbox, you must select either Inbox for this server's account or Inbox for different account.

  • If you want an account to have its own folder directory, select Inbox for this server's account.

  • To group an account under another account folder's directory, select Inbox for different account.

The final preference applies only if you are using the shared folder directory. If you check the box that says "Include this server when getting new mail," Thunderbird checks that account for new mail when you click the Get Mail button.

Here are some other factors you might want to consider when changing Inbox Account Settings:

  • Check your Copies and Folders settings Tools | Account Settings | Copies and Folders.

  • Check your Junk Mail filtering settings Tools | Junk Mail Controls.

  • Check your filters Tools | Message filters. If you are using filters that funnel messages into any of the folders for that account, and you change an account to Global Inbox, you should either disable or delete the filters or change the location of the filter destination folder.

  • Check your Saved Search folders.

Tip: Restart Thunderbird When You Change Global Inbox Account Settings

If you change account settings for Global Inbox, it is good practice to restart Thunderbird before downloading any new mail. Why? If you fail to do this, these messages might be routed to their old location, such as the inbox of the individual account rather than the Global Inbox.

Changing a Global Inbox Account Back to a POP Account

At some point you might decide that you want to change your Global Inbox account back to a POP account. To do this, go to Tools | Account Settings Server settings and click the Advanced button. Select the dialog that says "Inbox for this server's account" and then click OK. After Thunderbird is restarted, a separate POP account should display in the folder pane. Any messages sent to that account should no longer be directed to the Local Folders but should be routed to that account.

    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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