Sending and Receiving Messages on Thunderbird

Thunderbird Thunderbird Naposledy aktualizovaný: 01/09/2024 52% používateľov považuje toto za užitočné
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The Basics

As soon as you’ve set up an email account, you’re ready to start sending and receiving messages in Thunderbird. Here’s how to do it.

Sending a new message

  1. In the Thunderbird toolbar, click the + New Message button (labelled with a red 1 in the following screenshot). The Write window opens (also known as composition window).

  2. In the To field, type the email address of a person you want to send the message to. Press Enter or Tab after each address to turn it into a recipient item (also known as a recipient pill). You can also use the CC and BCC disclosure buttons or >> to add other types of recipients. After entering all recipients, press Enter again to move on to the subject field.

    For detailed information on addressing and using recipient items efficiently, please refer to the Addressing an Email article.


    Tip: Enter recipients faster with autocomplete
    When you send a message, Thunderbird will automatically save the email addresses of all the recipients in your address book. When you write a new message, Thunderbird will then autocomplete known addresses from your address book as you type them. Just press Tab or Enter as soon as the right address appears, or select one from the list of proposals – the address will be entered and you can enter another one. Learn more about efficient autocomplete searches in Addressing an Email.
  3. In the Subject field, type the subject of your message, then press Enter or Tab to move on to the message pane.
  4. Type and format your message in the message pane.
Tip: You can customize the appearance of your message with Thunderbird’s word-processing functions in the Formatting Bar above the message pane. You can easily apply text formatting or insert links, images, tables, or smileys e.g. '😁'. Thunderbird will automatically send formatted messages in HTML format and unformatted messages as plain text.
  1. Click the Send button, or press CtrlCmd+Enter.
Note: Thunderbird will save a copy of your sent messages in the Sent folder of your account.

Receiving messages

By default, Thunderbird checks for new messages every time you open the application. It will also automatically check again every 10 minutes, while the application is running. This behavior for both actions can be customized (see below).

To check for messages at any other time, click the tb115-official-getmessages-icon16x16 button in the toolbar.

Customizing how messages are sent and received

Get Thunderbird flying the way you want it! Many settings can easily be customized.

Automatically checking for new messages

Set how often you want Thunderbird to automatically check for messages:

  1. Click > Account Settings.
  2. On the accounts pane, click Server Settings beneath your account.
  3. Choose the time interval for checking in the Check for new messages every setting. If you don't want Thunderbird to check automatically, uncheck this setting.
  4. To enable or disable automatically checking for new messages at startup, check or uncheck Check for new messages at startup.


When you’re writing a new message, your work is auto-saved every five minutes, but you can make it more often, or less:

  1. Click > Settings.
  2. Choose Composition.
  3. Choose the time interval for auto-save in the Auto Save every setting. If you don't want Thunderbird to save automatically, uncheck this setting.

Sound alert for new messages

Choose your own sound alert for new messages:

  1. Click > Settings.
  2. Choose General.
  3. From the Incoming Mails section, choose Use the following sound file option.
  4. Click the Browse… button.
  5. Choose your sound file and click the Open button.
  6. You can preview the soundfile by clicking the Play button.

Marking messages as read

Thunderbird displays unread messages in bold type, marking a message read and in normal type as soon as you click on the message. If you don't like this behavior, you can change the time interval before Thunderbird marks messages as read:

  1. Click > Settings
  2. Choose General.
  3. Go to Reading & Display section.
  4. Choose the After displaying for … seconds option and set how long Thunderbird should delay before marking a message as read.


Configuring email accounts

When Thunderbird downloads messages, it uses the configuration on the Server Settings page of each email account. Each email address corresponds to one incoming mail server (either POP or IMAP). To change your accounts server settings:

  1. Click > Account Settings.
  2. On the accounts pane, click Server Settings beneath your account.

Thunderbird sends messages to the SMTP server that is assigned to the selected email account:

  1. Click > Account Settings.
  2. On the accounts pane, scroll down the account list. The last item is the Outgoing Server (SMTP). Click this item.
  3. Select a server from the list and click the Edit… button.
  4. Make your changes in the SMTP Server window, and click OK to save your changes and to close the window.

Next, the Outgoing SMTP server is assigned to each account:

  1. Click the account and select the desired server from the Outgoing Server (SMTP) drop-down list.

Each email account is listed in the All Folders panel on the left side of the Thunderbird interface. For information about manually configuring email accounts, see Manual Account Configuration. For information about automatically configuring new email accounts, see Automatic Account Configuration.

Downloading incoming messages

By default, Thunderbird will check your mail server(s) for new messages on application startup and then automatically as described earlier in this article. In addition to that, you can check for new messages manually at any time.

To get new messages for the currently selected account, you can use any one of the following methods:

  • Use the keyboard shortcut.
  • Right-click (control click on macOS) the account in the folder pane and select Get Messages.
  • From the menu bar:
    • Click the File menu.
    • Select Get New Messages for and click Current Account from the sub-menu (where Current Account is the account highlighted in the folder pane).

To get new messages for all accounts, you can use any one of the following methods:

  • Click the tb115-official-getmessages-icon16x16 button in the top left corner of Thunderbird's main window.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut.
  • From the menu bar:
    • Click the File menu.
    • Choose Get New Messages for and click All Accounts from the sub-menu.

Composing a new message

To compose a new message, you can use any one of the following methods:

  • From the Application menu button: > Create > Message.
  • Click the + New Message button in the Mail Toolbar.
  • In the Thunderbird menu bar, click the Message menu and select New Message.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut.

If an email (or newsgroup) account is highlighted in the Folder Pane, the message's From address will default to the selected account. If no account is specified, the From address will default to the first account configured in the Account Settings. Click the From drop-down list to select a different account.

For more details about adding and handling recipient items (aka recipient pills) in the addressing area, including more information about recipient autocompletion, please refer to Addressing an Email.

To insert a recipient from your address book, you can just start typing the person's name in the desired recipient field, for example the To field. A drop-down list will show all address book entries where the first or last name starts with the character(s) you entered, or entries where the string you entered exists. For example, if you enter se, anyone in the address book with the last name of Serrano, or Casey or the first name of Sean, or Jesse would be displayed in the drop-down list.

You can also drag and drop addresses from your address book to a new message. Simply open the address book, select the desired entry and drag it to the recipient area of the new message.

Replying to a message

To reply to a message, you can use any one of the following methods:

  • Click the Reply or Reply All button in the message header toolbar when the message is displayed.
  • Right-click the message in the Message List and select Reply to Sender Only (CtrlCommand + R), Reply to All (CtrlCommand + Shift + R) or Reply to List (CtrlCommand + Shift + L).

See Also


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