POP3 is the most common method for retrieving e-mail with ISPs, but you can also use the POP3 method with a GMail account.
If you use the POP3 method, you do not have to log into a GMail account in order to retrieve your messages. Message can be downloaded using any e-mail client, but these instructions specifically address setting this up with Thunderbird.
First log into your GMail account and make sure that POP is enabled. After you log in, click the Settings link in the top right corner of the screen.
Click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Make sure that in the POP Download section is says in Green letters, “POP is enabled.” If it doesn’t, then select whether you want all of your messages to be downloadable just from now on, or if you want to download all messages still on the server since you opened the GMail account. You can then select how you want GMail to handle the messages on the server after they have been downloaded to Thunderbird. We almost never log into GMail, so the best choice is Delete GMail’s Copy. You can also opt for storing copies of all of your messages with GMail. Click Save Changes.
Next, use the standard method for configuring an e-mail account in Thunderbird.
- Select Account Settings from the Tools menu.
- Click the Account Actions button found below the list of accounts and select Add Mail Account
- The Mail Account Setup dialogue box should pop up. Enter the name that you wish to appear with your e-mails, the full GMail e-mail address (email@example.com), and the password to your GMail account. Click Continue.
- If you are using a current version of Thunderbird, it will poll GMail and fill in the proper settings for both incoming mail and outgoing mail via SMTP. If you want to use POP3 for incoming mail, make sure that the POP radio button is selected. Click Create Account.
That’s all that there is to it. Thunderbird has really made it simple to connect to a GMail account.
We find the GMail servers to to be faster and more reliable than any of the ISP mail servers that we have used.