Setting up Email Client for IMAP Access
In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up the free Thunderbird email client for IMAP access to a domain name email that we had created.
If you need to still create an domain name email, follow the instruction in our previous tutorial here for creating the email account using the webhost cPanel.
The difference between POP and IMAP is that the former is an one-way communication between the email client and the server. With POP, the email client download the email from the server; and depending on the server settings, the email often is deleted from the server as the email is downloaded. So if you later check mail from another device, the email will not be on the server since it has downloaded already.
IMAP on the other hand is a two-way communication where the emails are maintained on the web host server. Your email client is like a view to your mail server on your webhost. IMAP is more convenient when accessing your mail via multiple devices because IMAP leaves all of your messages on your webhost server. Messages that have be read/deleted/replied will show as such on the server as well as your email client. POP does not perform this coordination.
Configuring Thunderbird Email Client for IMAP Access
The steps are different for different email clients. An email client can be Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, or another other software that can access emails on the server. Your webhost usually can help you with this. For example, Hostmonster.com has 24×7 phone support that will gladly talk you through over the phone.
In this tutorial, we will use the free email client Thunderbird 3.1.7 as example.
First will have to obtain the email settings from our webhost by following these steps.
1. On the same “Email Accounts” page in cPanel, click the “Configure Email Client” menu for your newly created email…
2. And you will see some technical configuration settings that you should input into your email client.
So the setting that we want to jot down are the ones highlighted in red above.
3. In Thunderbird, go to “
Tools -> Account Settings” and select “
Add Mail Account” from the “Account Actions” …
Thunderbird is able to support access to multiple email accounts.
4. Next it will ask for the name, email address, and password for that email address…
The name is the display name that is shown to the recipients of the email you send out from Thunderbird.
5. Click the “Continue” button and Thunderbird will try to guess the incoming and outgoing mail server settings. Usually, these are not the exact settings that we had wrote down eariler, because Thunderbird usually guess the non-ssl settings. We want the SSL settings that we had wrote down. So we click “Edit” to set the incoming server settings to be the one we had noted.
6. We may not be able to set the outgoing mail settings at this time. But we will edit them in a later step. For now, click “Create Account” after making sure the incoming mail settings are correct. If the “Create Account” button is disabled, click the “Re-test configuration” button.
7. You will see that your newly created email account is shown in the Account Settings now ..
8. We now configure the outging server settings by clicking on “Outgoing Server (SMTP)”, selecting the email address, and click “Edit”.
Once you have set the outgoing mail settings as noted earlier, click OK to the various dialogs to save.
9. If you go back to the Account Settings dialog, there are more email settings in Thunderbird that you should go through to check if they are your preferences.
Click on the main email account setting as shown …
and make sure that the reply-to and the outgoing server is correct.
11. For Thunderbird Server settings, I have …
12. For the “Copies & Folders” settings, I like to put the folder as “Local Folders” …
13. For composition and addressing setting, I like to set my reply above the quote …
14. If you want to filter out junk mail manually (because sometime spam filters make mistake and filter out good emails), then you can uncheck this box in the Junk Settings…
15. Not much adjusting needed for “Synchronization & Storage” setting, or for the “Return Receipts” setting, or for the “security settings”.
16. Test your email account to make sure everything is working by sending an email to yourself from yourself or from another email account. The first time you send from this account, Thunderbird may prompt you for password …
If you don’t want Thunderbird to prompt you every time, you can checkmark to Use Password Manager to remember it for you.
Make sure you test both sending and receiving. There are a lot of variability in server configuration for email handling, and the settings on Thunderbird have to be set accordingly. If it doesn’t work, try adjusting some of the settings and try again.
When using IMAP, it may want to download all your emails and folder to be available for offline use. You can control which folder it downloads. For example, if you only care about the “inbox”, then you can select the “Synchronization & Storage” setting and click “Advanced” to checkmark only the “inbox” …