- Open Thunderbird
- On the top menu bar, select Tools.
- On the tools menu, select Account Settings from the list on the left (near the top). Then select Server Settings.
- Look at the right-hand pane. Under the "Server Settings" heading you'll see "Server Type" listed. Your server type will be either "POP Mail Server" or "IMAP Mail Server."
- If your server type is "POP Mail server" then continue below. Otherwise skip to the section entitled "Modifying an Existing IMAP Setup."
(see the figure below for an example)
Pop Mail Server
The "big picture" here is as follows: We're going to create an additional account in Thunderbird that uses IMAPS instead of POP3 to talk to the mail server. Then we'll create on-line folders that mirror your local ones and transfer your saved e-mails (or portions of them if you choose) to the newly created on-line folders. We'll also modify the "Outgoing Mail Server" section in Thunderbird slightly. After that's done, we'll delete the POP account entry in Thunderbird and you'll be all done.
- In the Account Settings window, click the "Add Account" button. It's near the bottom on the left-hand side.
- In the "Account Wizard" screen that opens, verify that "Email Account" is selected, and click "Next >".
- On the Identity page, enter your name as you want it to appear in the "From" address of the e-mails you send. Then enter your PSU e-mail address and click "Next >".
- On the Server Information page, click the IMAP button and enter "imaps.pittstate.edu" (no quotes) in the Incoming Server blank. Then click "Next >".
- Verify that the first part of your e-mail address - the part before the @ sign - is entered correctly in the Incoming User Name blank on the User Names page. Correct it if needed. Then click "Next >".
- On the Account Name page, enter a descriptive name for this account. Then click "Next >".
- The Congratulations summary page will appear. Verify the information and click "Finish."
- The window will close. You'll now see the account you just created displayed on the "Account Settings" window.
- The option to turn on SSL isn't presented in Thunderbird's account setup wizard. We need to turn SSL on by adjusting the setting in the account we just created. To do that... on the Account Settings window - on the left, click on "Server Settings" for the account we just created.
- Locate and click on the round radio button labeled "SSL" in the "Security Settings" section of the Server Settings screen. When you do that, the value for "Port" on this screen will change from 143 to 993. Verify that the SSL button is selected and that "993" is displayed on the port value. Then click "OK."
- Proceed to the section entitled "Outgoing Server (SMTP)" below.
- On Thunderbird's main window, re-open the Accounts screen by clicking on "Tools" at the top, followed by "Account Settings..."
- On the left hand side of the Account Settings window, click on the bottom selection. The one called "Outgoing Server (SMTP)."
- A new section entitled "Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings" should appear on the right.
- Under this is a box with one or more entries listed. One of the entries will have "(Default)" at the end. Click on this "default" entry to select it. Then click on the "Edit" button to the right.
- A new window will open on top and in the center of the previous window. It looks like this:
in the SMTP Server window make the following changes:
- Change the description if you like. It really is there only for your reference. One possible suggestion for a description might be "PSU Secure SMTP."
- Change the Server Name to smtps.pittstate.edu (note the letter "s" in the first part of the name).
- If the box next to "Use name and password" isn't checked, check it.
- Enter the first part of your e-mail address in the "User Name" blank. For example, if your e-mail address is email@example.com, enter ssmith in this blank.
- In the "Use Secure Connection" section, there is a list of choices. They are "Never," "TLS, if available," "TLS," and "SSL." Click on SSL to select it.
- Now look back up and verify that the value in the "Port" blank changed to 465. If it didn't, click on the "Port" blank and replace the current value with 465.
When you're done, this window will look similar to the one below:
- Click on "OK" to close the SMTP Server window. The window will disappear.
- Click on "OK" to close the larger "Account Settings" window. The window will disappear.
With these steps complete, you should have a new e-mail account, in-box, and folder list in Thunderbird's main section. It should look something like the screenshot below:
In this example, the newly created account is called firstname.lastname@example.org. It shows an InBox, a Trash folder and nothing else. We need to establish a place to keep other standard folders like Sent, and Drafts - as well as online versions of any local folders that you'd like to have available from anywhere. In this example, the local folders Stuff, Other Stuff and Categorized Stuff are examples of these kinds of folders.
- Right click on "My Folders" under the new account. Select "New Subfolder". A "New Folder" window will appear.
Enter the folder name and click OK. Repeat this process until you have folders called "Drafts", "Sent", and "Templates". When you're done, the My Folders section should look like the example below:
Now we need to tell Thunderbird where these three special purpose folders are located.
- Click on the round radio button next to "Other:"
- Click on the downward pointing arrow on the right edge of the box beside the "Other:" label.
- Use the mouse to hover over the account name and wait till the next level menu appears.
- Hover the mouse pointer over "My_Folders" until the next sub-level opens.
- Hover the mouse pointer over the appropriate folder for the section you're modifying - Drafts, Sent, or Templates - and then click.
- See example below:
- When you're finished, the "Copies and Folders" section should look like this:
- Click "OK" to close the Account Settings window.
- In the left-hand column of the main Thunderbird screen, look at the icons representing the three special purpose folders. They all look the same - like generic folders. To fix this, collapse the entire account by clicking on the minus sign "-" to the left of the account name. In our example, you would click the minus sign to the left of email@example.com.
- The minus sign changes to a plus - "+".
- Now click the plus to re-expand the account.
- Notice that the icons representing the special folders you created now look "special" as in the example below:
Now we can go on to create some on-line versions of your personal folders. Although it is possible to move folders and e-mails, using the copy function is safer and recommended. Once you've verified that everything has been copied over just as you want, you can select and delete the old local folders later. There are two ways to copy folders and e-mails. One is very simple, but doesn't give you the opportunity to tidy up while you're moving things. The other takes longer, but would permit you to review the e-mails in your local folder(s) and decide which ones to place in your on-line mailbox.
Let's talk about the simple - shotgun method first. In the screenshot above, you see a folder called "Categorized Stuff." Under that folder are sub-folders - and even one sub-sub folder. E-mails could reside in any of these folders, at any level. You can move the whole she-bang by using the "drag and drop" method. To try drag and drop:
- Position the mouse pointer over a folder (Categorized Stuff in our example here).
- With the pointer thus positioned, click and hold down the left mouse button.
- Still holding the left button down, move the pointer up until it's over "My_Folders." You'll see the mouse pointer change from an international "Do Not Enter" symbol to a pointer with a little square below it as you move the pointer past other locations on the screen on your way to My_Folders."
- When the pointer is over "My_Folders" and the mouse icon appears as a pointer with a little box below it - release the left mouse button.
Thunderbird will begin to copy all the contents of this folder, including messages, subfolders, and so on, up to your on-line mailbox. Depending on the size and complexity of this task, it could take from a few seconds to an hour or more (if you're copying thousands and thousands of e-mails). When it's done, you'll have an exact replica of your folder structure and its contents in your on-line mailbox.
If you'd like to be a little more selective about what you copy, you can create the on-line version of a folder by hand, in advance. Then you can select only some of the messages in the local version of that folder to move to its on-line analog. This is not for everyone, but is a nice application that can be useful for import/export of message filters that you may have in place it is called Thunderbird Message Filter Import/Export. For more info click here.
You create on-line folders just like you created any local folders you have now: Position the mouse pointer over the "container" you want the folder to be created in, like "My_Folders". Right click and select "New Subfolder...". A window will open like the one below:
In the Name blank, give your folder a name. Under "Local Folders" we have a folder called "Other Stuff." Let's create the same folder in our new on-line mailbox. Type "Other Stuff" in the blank and click "OK." Now we have created an on-line version of your local "Other Stuff" folder.
To selectively copy the contents of the local Other Stuff folder to its online analog:
- Open the local folder
- Highlight one or more messages
- Right click over any highlighted message.
- On the pup-up menu that appears, hover the mouse pointer over "Copy to..."
- Follow along in the hierarchy, hovering the pointer over the desired account, container, sub-container, etc.
- When you reach the destination folder, left click on it.
Thunderbird will copy only the selected message(s) to the destination folder.
Repeat this process with all the local folders you'd like to make available on-line. All faculty and staff have an initial quota of 1 Gigabyte (Equivalent to a little over 1 billion typed characters) for the My_Folders part of your on-line mailbox. An additional Gigabyte is available just for your in-box folder. These allocations can be increased if there's a demonstrable need to do so.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Thunderbird is "quirky" about the process of copying e-mails from folder to folder. There's no question, if you have more than a small handful of folders to copy, you *will* experience this bug in Thunderbird.
Thunderbird will, for no discernable reason, stop copying folders. If you're using drag and drop, when you "drop" a folder, it will just fail to appear. If you're manually creating folders, Thunderbird will stop creating them, even though you're doing everything correctly.
To recover from this situation, just close Thunderbird completely, and then start it up again. You'll be able to continue migrating your folders. This may happen to you more than once. The recovery process is the same if the bug appears a second time.
If your current e-mail account type wasn't "POP3" then you are already using some form of IMAP. All the possible migration scenarios are beyond the scope of this document. However, a brief discussion of the concepts involved may be helpful. If, after reading the explanation below, you feel you need assistance, feel free to contact your computer technician.
Old IMAP Versus new IMAP
The original implementation of IMAP at PSU was and remains rather rudimentary. One of the largest drawbacks to the "old" IMAP setup is the inability to create folders within folders. The new IMAP setup permits you to categorize, sub-categorize and even sub-sub categorize your e-mails by "nesting" your mail folders many levels deep. The "Categorized Stuff" folder we used above is an example of a folder structure that isn't permitted using the old IMAP. With the old IMAP, the Category 1 and Category 2 sub-folders couldn't be contained inside the Categorized Stuff" folder. They would have to branch directly off of the My_Folders main container.
The solution to the nested folder problem was to install an updated IMAP program on the mail server. The "new" IMAP uses a completely different approach for storing folders. As such, on-line folders created with the old IMAP don't appear when using the new IMAP. The existing GorillaMail applications - SquirrelMail and @Mail are both configured to use "old" style IMAP folders for on-line storage. There's a replacement for both these webmail clients already up and running. More about that later. If you want to skip ahead, see the "New Webmail" section that follows the migration instructions for Micorsoft Outlook below.
A couple of migration tools are available to get folks who have old style on-line IMAP folders switched over to the new style storage method. One such tool is available in the "Subscriptions..." submenu that appears when you right click on the account name in the folder list. In addition to the "My_Folders" section, there is an "Oldstyle_Folders" section. Oldstyle_Folders is a bridge between the old IMAP and the new. Lots of stuff will appear under "Oldstyle_Folders" that are not e-mail folders at all. Everything in your home directory on the mail server shows up in the that list. You need to know exactly what the old folders are called, and where they live in your user directory to be able to use this "bridge" feature. However, once configured properly, it will permit you to simply drag and drop on-line folders from the Oldstyle name space to the My_Folders name space. A technician or someone at the GorillaGeeks help disk should be able to assist you. An on-site visit might be the easiest solution - depending on your comfort level with all these technical issues.
In addition to this kind of do-it-yourself migration tool, OIS has a conversion program that we can run to convert all your old style IMAP folders to the new storage method en-masse. Contact the GorillaGeeks help desk if you feel that such a wholesale migration would work best in your situation.
For assistance contact your Computer Support Technician
or the Gorilla Geeks Help Desk