Section 161. Organize Incoming Mail

161. Organize Incoming Mail


154 Get Your Email

You won't have Thunderbird up and running for very long before you start pondering the universal problem of managing all that mail. In 155 Find a Message , you learned to sort your mail and to search for a particular message. In 160 Handle Junk Mail , you learned how to enable Thunderbird's automatic junk mail handler to manage most if not all of your incoming junk mail. Still, what should you do with messages from your department head, email from your kid's teachers , personal email from friends and family, and so on? One way to tackle the problem is to delete email after you've read it, unless you're sure you'll need to refer to it again. Messages you keep can then be organized into special folders. You can even set up filters that handle some of this organizing for you automatically. For example, you can have emails from Uncle Bill and Aunt Judith automatically routed into the Family folder.


Filter A set of instructions that tells Thunderbird what to do with particular pieces of incoming mail.

Click Delete

If a piece of incoming mail was interesting but not important enough to keep, delete it by selecting the message and clicking the Delete button on the Mail toolbar.


Deleted messages are moved to the Trash folder for that particular email account, where they are kept until the trash is "emptied." To do that, select the email account from the Folders list, choose File, Empty Trash . To have Thunderbird empty the Trash folder for an account every time you close the program, choose Tools, Account Settings , select the Server Settings page for that email account, and enable the Empty Trash on Exit option.

161. Organize Incoming Mail


Compact email folders from time to time to reduce their size , expecially after deleting or moving a lot of messages. Select a folder (such as Local Folders ) from the Folder list on the left, and then choose File, Compact Folders .

Choose File, New, New Folder

To create a new folder in which to place specific messages, select the folder into which you want this new folder placed from the Folders list on the right side of the Thunderbird window. Then choose File, New, New Folder (or New Subfolder ). The Create New Folder (or Subfolder ) dialog box appears.

Type New Folder Name and Click OK

Type a Name for the new folder. Then verify that the Create as a subfolder of list box shows the folder into which you want this new folder placed and click OK . The folder appears in the Folders list.

Move Messages

Now that you have a folder for specific messages you want to organize, select the message(s) you want to move into the new folder and then drag and drop them on that folder in the Folders list.

Choose Tools, Message Filters

To create a filter to automatically organize specific types of incoming mail, choose Tools, Message Filters from the menu. The Message Filters dialog box appears.


If you've received a message you'd like to use as a basis for a filter, select that message and, in the message header that appears just above the message text, click the From address. From the shortcut menu that appears, select Create Filter from Message . The Filter Rules dialog box opens, and the sender's email address is copied to the criteria section described in step 8.

Select Account

From the Filters for list, select the email account for which you want to set up this filter. I wanted the filter to apply to both my email accounts; because both accounts are included under Local Folders , I selected Local Folders from the Filters for list.

Click New

Click New to create a new filter. The Filter Rules dialog box appears.

Identify Message Type

Type a name for the new filter in the Filter name box. Then set criteria that identify the type of message you want filtered. First, choose either Match all of the following or Match any of the following criteria. In the list boxes, make selections that identify the message type. For example, if you want to filter messages that come from a specific individual, select From in the first list, Contains in the second list, and type all or part of the person's name from the third list.

Click More to add more criteria as desired. For example, you might want to filter messages from your boss that contain the word meeting in the subject heading.

Set Rules and Click OK

In the bottom part of the Filter Rules dialog box, you tell Thunderbird what to do with messages that meet your criteria. You can have the messages moved to a specific folder, copied to a folder, labeled, deleted, prioritized, or marked as junk. You can make multiple selections here; for example, you can have a message moved to a folder and labeled Important . Click OK to create the filter. You're returned to the Message Filters dialog box.

Run Filter

To run the filter now on existing messages, click Run Now . Messages that match your criteria are identified, and the action you selected is taken. The filter you just created is automatically run against any incoming messages from this point forward.


In the Filter Rules dialog box, you can create a folder into which Thunderbird will copy or move the matching messages by clicking the New Folder button, entering a folder Name , and selecting a folder into which you want it placed from the Create as a subfolder of list. 2, Firefox, and Thunderbird for Windows All in One
Sams Teach Yourself 2, Firefox and Thunderbird for Windows All in One
ISBN: 0672328089
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 232
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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