How to set up Thunderbird

The instructions and screenshots in this setup guide are for the latest version of Thunderbird, which you can download for free for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

Set up your email

  1. Open Thunderbird. The Welcome to Thunderbird dialog will appear. If it doesn't, select Local Folders in the sidebar on the left, then under the Create a new account heading in the page that appears, click the Email link.
  2. Click the Skip this and use my existing email button, at the bottom of the window.

  1. Fill in your name, email address and password:

    • Your name: The name people will see on the email you send.
    • Email address: Your full FastMail username, including the domain.
    • Password: Your FastMail password.

    Click Continue. Thunderbird will find the server settings.

  1. Click the Manual config button. In the Incoming row, change the port to 992.

  1. Click Done. Thunderbird will fetch the list of your folders and start synchronising your mail. If this doesn't seem to be happening, close and reopen Thunderbird; it sometimes gets stuck the very first time it tries to connect.

Adding your other email addresses

To use a different email address to your FastMail username:

  1. Open Thunderbird. Click your account name in the sidebar (just above the Inbox).
  2. Click View settings for this account.
  3. Click Manage Identities….
  4. Click Add….
  5. Fill in Your Name and Email Address with the name and email you want your messages to come from.
  6. Click OK to save the new identity. If you want it to be the default, click Set Default then close the identities panel. Click OK to close the account settings dialog.

You will now be able to choose the address you added to send messages from when you compose new messages in Thunderbird.

Set up your calendar

To add calendar support to Thunderbird, you need to install the Lightning extension. Once you have installed this, follow the instructions below to sync your calendars with your FastMail account. Lightning does not support autodiscovery of calendars, so you will need to repeat these steps for every calendar you wish to synchronise with FastMail.

  1. Open Thunderbird. The Welcome to Thunderbird dialog will appear. If it doesn't, select Local Folders in the sidebar on the left, then under the Accounts section click the Create a new calendar link.

  1. Select the option to store your calendar On the Network, then click Next.

  1. Lightning does not support calendar autodiscovery, so you now need to get the address of the calendar you wish to synchronise. To do this, log into your FastMail account and go to the Settings → Calendars screen. Find the calendar you wish to add to Lightning and click the CalDAV URL link. A popover will appear with the CalDAV address already selected. Press Ctrl+C, or select Edit → Copy from the menu bar to copy the address.

  1. Paste this address into the Location input, and select CalDAV as the Format above. If you want to be able to access your calendar offline, tick the Offline Support option. Click Next.

  1. Give your calendar a name and pick a colour. To avoid confusion, you probably want to give it the same name and a similar colour to that used in the web interface or other CalDAV clients. Click Next.

  1. After a moment, you will be prompted to authenticate. Fill in your username and password:

    • User Name: Your full FastMail username, including the domain.
    • Password: Your FastMail password.

    Tick the option to Use Password Manager to remember this password. Click OK.

  1. Click Finish.

Your calendar has now been added to Lightning and should synchronise with FastMail. Repeat these steps to add any other calendars in your FastMail account.

Set up your addressbook

Thunderbird does not natively support CardDAV synchronisation. You will need to install the SOGo connector directly or through Thunderbird's Addons Manager. Note that this requires Mozilla Lightning to work.

  1. Having installed the SOGo extension, open Thunderbird and go to the Address Book.
  2. Select NewRemote Address Book

  3. Set up the address book.

    1. Enter a Name: this is something to help you remember where the contacts come from.
    2. Enter the URL. The SOGo connector doesn't support autodiscovery so you will need to enter in the full URL.<username@domain.tld>/Default but substitute your account name for <username@domain.tld>. This needs to be all lower case.
    3. Enable periodic sync option: to automatically sync in the background, then you can select how often this occurs. Otherwise the application will wait for you to manually sync.
    4. Configure the notification options.

  4. Trigger a manual sync to kick it all off: Right click on your address book in the list, select synchronize.

  5. You'll note we haven't entered the password yet. You will be prompted to do so whenever Thunderbird synchronizes with the FastMail servers. You can select to use Password Manager which saves the password rather than you having to enter it each time on synchronization. Your username is your FastMail email address (all lower case), your password is your FastMail password.

  6. You are finished!

To access a business/family account shared address book, repeat the operation above, with the following settings:

Be aware that any pre-existing contacts already on your device do not automatically get copied back up to FastMail with the sync: you need to import them to FastMail first.