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E-mail Program Recommendations

9 years ago

I have been using Thunderbird on several computers and really like it. All of a sudden, I can no longer log in from TB, but can with no problem from my browser. This problem has shifted from computer to computer...sometimes it works, other times it doesn't, and then it will often make all of the messages in my Inbox disappear. I am just weary of trying to make it work smoothly. Went to Mozillazine forum and they don't know what else to try other than a reinstall, which they say doesn't usually work.

Does anyone have any recommendations for an e-mail program that they like? I have tried Windows Live Mail but don't like that one.

Alienware 17 laptop, Win 8.1, IE11

Comments (31)

  • 9 years ago

    Well, you might not be aware that the people behind "Pale Moon" (a browser highly touted by Corrine and very, very much like Firefox -- I've been using it as my main browser for weeks now) also have a Thunderbird-like email client Fossamail. You could try that, since it will be nearly identical to TB, while still maybe being different enough (in its coding somewhere?) that it doesn't give you the problem that TB is giving you.

    But before even doing this, you may want to try a full-uninstall/re-install of TB. Is that what the other forum members suggested? (Some uninstalls leave the profile and registry items intact, so that they're there when you re-install. But if those places contain the problem you won't get far after re-installing. Or did the forums members, in fact, suggest the full uninstall?)

    To fully uninstall TB (profiles and all), you could use something like Revo Uninstaller and be sure to let it remove everything from TB in the registry and such. Then try your re-install.

  • 9 years ago

    I have used TB on three different desktops: XP Vista Win8.1 and across all three TB has been a very reliable and robust program. When you say that the "problem has shifted from computer to computer" me that is a BIG CLUE that somehow-somewhere the program is not configured properly or you are otherwise doing something wrong. I have never had to troubleshoot TB so I won't even try to guess what it is but I'm not filled with confidence that a simple change to another email client will help you. If you really can't figure it out and no local help is available, maybe you would be better served by just sticking to web mail.

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    It IS a very strange situation, indeed. And here's some more weirdness. None of the e-mails stay on the server...I double checked and everything was downloaded, per the settings. When I first started looking for a prog to replace WLM, I started using Outlook....but the e-mails were disappearing from the Inbox. I thought it was a problem with Outlook and even posted a query here on the forum. Never solved that issue, but disliking WLM more as time went on, I gave up on Outlook and thought I'd try Thunderbird. Then the same thing started happening! I had made TB the default and set WLM to NOT check automatically for mail....BUT...when I would open WLM to look at something in a folder there, it would check for mail on Startup and all my e-mails would show up. That's when all the messages in TB would disappear. When I realized this was happening, I opened Outlook, sent some test messages there and watched as they disappeared before my eyes when I opened WLM. Do you think maybe I'm incorrect about the mail staying on the server? Wouldn't I see it there when I go online to check?
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  • 9 years ago

    Thank you both for your responses. I hadn't heard about Fossamail and will check it out. I do have Revo so if it comes to that, I will use it to be sure I don't reinstall any corrupt files.

    And azinoh, I know you are smarter than I am, but I don't think I'm so bad yet that I have to resort solely to web least I hope not ;-) Without giving you all the gory details, I think maybe I'm back in business. I changed some settings on Kaspersky and TB is working on all 4 computers at the moment. I'm a little leery only because I thought I had done the same thing yesterday and it only worked for a while. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    I, too, have liked TB very much. I'm just curious, tho, have you ever had all the messages in your Inbox disappear? It's happened to me a couple of times and I have no idea what causes it. There is a setting that allows you to mark whether or not to "keep messages on the server" but I see that option only on the TB on my desktop under Server Settings. Do you know where I might find it on the others? Would that have any bearing on the fact that when I open TB in one of the other computers, SOMETIMES, the messages disappear from the original computer? I have it marked to leave them because I thought that might keep me from losing messages when they disappear. I have version 31.1.2 which is the latest TB update on all.

    Thank you both again for your help.

  • 9 years ago

    I did not like WLM at first, the tool bar had all of that junk on it like graphs, charts, etc., business stuff I guess. But after I discovered the quick access bar I set it up and found it to be as good as outlook express. You can drag or right click to add items to the QA bar and then minimize the ribbon. You need to give it another try, it is trouble free for me unlike gmail and yahoo. I route it through to my PC by setting up my cable account online, then Cox's pop and smtp on my PC. All I needed was cox's location for me. I can access it online or on my PC. I prefer on my PC. I had more trouble setting up email when it stopped coming with the PC than I have had with any new OS. I finally googled it and found cox's instructions, printed it out and no problem anymore.

  • 9 years ago

    I use only incredimail for yrs. and yrs. or since it first hit the internet on all of my PC's only the Free version and never had any problems, ever!! it has so many nice features, like stationary, animations, etc. etc.

  • 9 years ago

    If you are seeing the "keep messages on server" selection on one computer but not another, I would do an uninstall/reinstall...but that's just me. In addition, the settings to keep messages on the server for "number of days" or "until I delete them" should be the same for all. If they're not the same, that might be a factor. Even before I discovered the "keep messages on server" setting, I've never had messages disappear from my Inbox. Also...are you using POP mail on all the computers? Or did TB get installed on one (or more) as IMAP? This also better be the same on all the computers. I can well imagine problems resulting from the settings not being identical.

  • 9 years ago

    I route my email from the server to my PC and I leave the message on the server in case I lose one, never have but it's nice to know it will be there for awhile. It's deleted after so many days.

  • 9 years ago

    After more research, I think the option to "keep messages on server" only appears if it's a POP3. I have IMAP on the 3 laptops and POP3 on my desktop. The desktop has continued to work perfectly with TB, but as you said, it would probably be best if all computers were set up the same way, so will change it to IMAP.

    The newest laptop where I've had the trouble with TB will work for a period of time and then go back to being unable to sign in. It worked just fine from the time I installed it back on 9/26 until a couple of days ago. It didn't work this morning, now it's working again. I have not changed a thing. Very strange, but I, too, like TB and am not ready to give up yet. I'll continue to search for a solution and I will post if I can figure out what the problem is.

    Thanks again for your input.

  • 9 years ago

    I too have used the free version of incrediamil for years here too and no problems and contrary to what people on the internet say I never got any spyware from it. After all these years I understand it well and it runs 3 email servers just the way I like to stick with it. Mary

  • 9 years ago

    I've used Thunderbird for YEARS, way back when it was in the wee-number versions. Have never lost anything.

    The trick when trying to coordinate access to the same mail account across multiple computers is getting the settings right on all of them for exactly how you want it to work.

    IMAP is easiest, it replicates the server and client folders to each other within the account. I don't like to keep messages on the server long-term (I consider it a security risk if the server is hacked) ... so I move messages from the server-side folder(s) to Local Folders in Thunderbird for permanent storage on whichever is the "main" computer.

    POP3 with all of the setups keeping copies on the server also works but is not the best solution. Most hosted mail accounts have a storage/size limit on the server, which can be reached by keeping mail on the server if a large volume of mail is involved, or messages with large attachments. A way around that is that one of the computers (the "main" one) is not set to keep copies on the server, so that all messages are downloaded/cleared off the server when checked from that computer. The management issue then is that new mail checked from that computer is immediately downloaded/cleared so can't be received to the other computers that may be involved.

    Server-side storage space is not a concern with gmail and such that have HUGE storage space, but again there's the security factor of keeping personal info on the server for the long-term.

    Note that changing an account in Thunderbird between POP3 and IMAP requires deleting and recreating the account.

  • 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for the information. I found some instructions for changing from POP3 to IMAP, so will follow them.
    Thunderbird on my desktop, POP3, has been working flawlessly. The one I'm having trouble with is driving me crazy. When I logged in to the laptop this morning, it worked just fine...until early afternoon, when it started timing out again. Still not working at the moment. I tried turning the desktop off to be sure it wasn't interfering with anything, but it didn't help. Cannot imagine why it is able to log in sometimes and not others, but I'll keep researching.

  • PRO
    9 years ago

    With IMAP you are basically using TB to manage all your mail as it is held on the remote email server. TB sends commands to the server to tell it what to do - at the server - but in general, the mail stays on the server until TB sends a command to display it for reading locally, or to delete it there.
    Since all the email is held on the server it's convenient as you can get to it from any computer you own. Also, every time you check your email, you're not pulling down email that might have huge attachments because you're just viewing a list of what's in your Inbox on the server.

    With POP mail, in general, every time you check your Inbox, TB pulls down any new email to your local computer.
    The setting to leave email on the server is an "extra" setting which keeps a copy on the server so that you can also get to the already read email from other computers.
    But every time you check your Inbox, TB will pull down any new emails to your local computer.
    If I remember correctly, there is also a setting to delete from the server if deleted locally.

    I would think there could arise some problems if using both IMAP & POP for the same email acct. but I haven't quite figured out how that would be.
    In general it'd probably be better to run IMAP on all your computers, for several reasons.

    But your login problem seems to be a separate issue from anything to do with IMAP or POP.
    What happens exactly - do you get any alerts or messages when this happens ?
    Is there any chance you have an intermittent network connection problem ?

    This post was edited by kbarb on Tue, Oct 14, 14 at 10:55

  • 9 years ago

    TB tries to login and I get an error message that says either "Login to server failed" or when trying to send a message "An error occurred when sending mail. Could not get password". I've tried the suggestions on the TB forum like deleting the passwords and re-entering when asked but that didn't help.

    Yesterday afternoon, TB was fine on the desktop, as always, but did not work on the laptop. Then later in the evening, the laptop started working just fine. I logged off last night and when I turned the computer on this morning, it was still working....and has worked all day and right up until now. I have my fingers crossed. I don't believe I have an intermittent connection problem because throughout all of this, each time I was unable to log on to TB, I went directly to my mail on the server through my browser.

    Thank you for the information on how POP3 and IMAP work. I haven't had a chance to do it yet, but will change the desktop to IMAP.

  • PRO
    9 years ago

    Hmm, bit of a mystery then.
    I've had those kinds of logon/password problems starting way back with Netscape Mail, and in those cases I had to delete the acct and make another. Some kind of corruption had occurred in the acct settings.
    But in your case, it works sometimes and not others - so the problem seems a little different.

    Making another duplicate acct is easy enough, although if you're doing it for a POP acct., any email not still on the server will be lost, so you'd want to back it up.
    For IMAP it's not a problem as it's on the server anyway.

    You don't by any chance use both a wired and wireless connection do you ? Browsers can sometimes get stuck on one kind of connection. On one of my laptops that's always wired, I disabled the wireless because I wasn't using it anyway.

    Also, have you checked to be sure that you're using the most current mail and smtp servers for your ISP ? It's a bit of a stretch but worth checking.

    Btw, when you say "logon to TB" I think you mean logon to the mail servers, right ? Usually people don't logon to TB itself, unless I guess they have multiple users. Or perhaps that is an option that I don't use.

  • 9 years ago

    You are absolutely right...I should have said "logon to the server", not TB. As to the connection, I have only wireless. This laptop is only about 3 weeks old, so I believe the settings are current and it is the one that has been the problem. But guess has been working perfectly since Tuesday evening..and is still fine. I have no idea why and I have changed nothing...but I'm very glad :-) I have no idea if it will continue, but I'm hoping.

    Regarding the change to IMAP, I have 3 e-mail addresses set up through my server on the desktop and all 3 are now POP3 on that computer. Do I delete each account and then recreate it as IMAP? Will I lose the e-mails that have been saved under Local Folders?

    Thank you again and I will definitely post if I figure out what caused the problem or if it occurs again.

  • PRO
    9 years ago

    Let me check tonight to make sure and get back to you.
    I don't want to guess and have you lose email.


  • PRO
    9 years ago

    I think I'll have to check over the weekend - little bit busy around here.
    Hang on . . .

  • 9 years ago

    I've been reading this thread with some bewilderment. It's not clear to me why these days one wouldn't simply use a web-based email service. I long ago abandoned email clients precisely because of all these types of complications. Gmail, in particular, is a very powerful way to manage your mail, but I have also happily used Hotmail and Yahoo for more than 20 years. I access my mail wherever I am in the world, I don't lose anything, and I don't have to configure anything or have to switch browsers. And I can easily access any of my accounts from my computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

    Here is a link that might be useful: 6 Reasons to stop using email clients

  • 9 years ago

    For me I just don't like reading my mail online and much prefer having my mail sorted in a mail program and reading it from there. I can access my mail via, computer, tablet or phone all the same as using online mail by using my email client on those devices. Personal preference I guess. Mary

  • 9 years ago

    My WLM and Cox cable has never failed me except when Cox's system went down in a large section of the US. I had problems with gmail and yahoo when I used them for my disposable email.

    As far as having a lot of storage space, I clean out my email on the first of every month. If there is one I want to save I print it out.

  • 9 years ago

    Perhaps I would feel differently if I made heavy use of email...but I don't. So as far as the "6 Reasons" are concerned...I JUST DON'T CARE. TB does what I require and I'll use it until it does not. I have used both AOL & Yahoo for "disposable" email and it seems like 2-3 times a year they try to foist on the users their "new and improved" site which always means they've moved things-changed things-hidden things while generally trying to force as many ads on you as possible. No Thank You.

    I have TB running in POP on 2 desktops with settings to keep mail on the server for 14 days or until I delete. That is all the "syncing" I will ever need. I don't even own a cellphone or tablet and have no need for access away from home. My email is pretty much free of spam, but that's mostly because I don't do useless things like sharing cat videos with dozens of people or forwarding same to others when I receive them.

  • 9 years ago

    I use AOL in my mail program but once in a great while have to log in online and online it has not changed in ages. Have never seen AOL mail online change 2 or 3 times a year and I have used them for about 15yrs. I don't use the AOL software though just if I am on someone else's computer. I agree with yahoo though, it's the worst to use online and works so much better with a mail program. Mary

  • 9 years ago

    Have used Netscape/AOL, Comcast, and Gmail -- still have all three. No problems with any. Gmail is the most convenient and do not have to go through the "company news" screens to get to it. None were complicated. Just get on one of the sites, add user ID and password -- that's all.

  • 9 years ago

    I agree with kudzu, it would seem that root of the problem is the user's unusual approach and that has lead to the problems and complications. Nothing "has" to be done a certain way, I think the OP should try to simplify how they use email.

  • 9 years ago

    No devices for me other than a low end cellphone which I hate to carry. (My adult children insist, and it is not worth arguing over.) Just the desktops at home or work.

    At home a client is nice when you use dedicated Hotmail addresses like I do, family/friends, business, investment, forums, and a general use.

    I click on the TB icon on the Taskbar and they all download. Some of e-mails even self-sort into folders by message rules set up for my convenience.

    On the other hand, when away and I have Internet access it is no big deal to do one at a time. I don't take advantage of the Hotmail offering of forwarding e-mails between accounts for security purposes. My choice.

    Other than configured for the personal convenience, as Snidely said, I keep it simple. A life lesson I learned a long time ago, the more complicated you make things the more that can go wrong. But again, that's what is best for me.


    This post was edited by damccoy on Sat, Oct 18, 14 at 12:57

  • 9 years ago

    Have really enjoyed reading all your posts...some great information and suggestions. The 6 reasons to use online e-mail are very compelling.

    As to the problem I was having with one of my computers signing on to corrected itself. I did not change a thing and several days ago, it started working again and has continued to work just fine. Very puzzling.

    Again, thanks to all for the suggestions and the help.

  • 9 years ago

    As to the problem I was having with one of my computers signing on to corrected itself. I did not change a thing and several days ago, it started working again and has continued to work just fine. Very puzzling.

    Did your program do an automatic update at that time, perhaps, that put things back to normal?

  • PRO
    9 years ago

    bugsybanks :

    Finally get back to this . . . .

    re :
    "Regarding the change to IMAP, I have 3 e-mail addresses set up through my server on the desktop and all 3 are now POP3 on that computer. Do I delete each account and then recreate it as IMAP? Will I lose the e-mails that have been saved under Local Folders? "

    One thing . . . my "Local folders" only contain Trash & Outbox.
    All my other Inboxes, etc. are within separate acct folders.
    I.E., each other acct. contains an Inbox, Drafts, Sent, etc. - outside of "Local Folders."

    Anyway, there's a good chance that after you create an IMAP acct., the email that you have already downloaded using POP mail, and deleted from the server - won't show up in the IMAP Inbox. You'd have to import them back in.

    Just to be safe, I would export all your email first so that you have it as backup. Then make new accts as IMAP.
    See if everything looks correct, or if you need to import anything from the backup you just made.
    Finally, delete the POP accts.

    There is a really handy addon tool for TB : ImportExportTools

    (That page looks complicated, but the use of the tool is not)

    The two different ways to export using that tool are - (and you get to the choices by right clicking on "Inbox" or any other folder) :

    1) "Export folder" (w/ or w/o structure)
    This makes an Mbox file of everything that you export.
    It makes for just a few simple files that aggregate everything within the respective folders.
    So you will end up w/ one Inbox file, one Drafts file, etc.
    "Structure" just means you will keep the nested structure of the folders.
    The disadvantage is that you can't read them later w/o importing them back first (using ImportExportTools).

    2) "Export all Messages" (and choose "eml" format here)
    This exports each email as a .eml file - and you can identify and read each one separately later after exporting.
    So if you export 500 emails, you'll get 500 .eml files.
    You can batch import them though using ImportExportTools.
    And you can read them just by clicking on them individually.

    There's no harm in exporting both ways if you like.
    Just create separate folders so you can keep it all straight.
    Play around with it a bit until you get the hang of it.

    For all the people recommending this way to do email or that - this debate has been going on for years.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to each - it really depends on your needs. I wouldn't say that any one of them is "unusual" as someone commented - what's unusual to one is likely normal to someone else.

    Personally I use them all, and all for different purposes - no one method seems to work for every purpose.
    I do use web based email for the most part though.

    Hope that helped.


    This post was edited by kbarb on Mon, Oct 20, 14 at 0:42

  • PRO
    9 years ago

    Also, I forgot to mention . . . .

    If you make the IMAP accts and keep the POP accts temporarily, you might be able to to just drag anything missing from POP to IMAP.
    I'd still backup with ImportExportTools just in case.

  • 9 years ago

    not@bright...the last update was 9/26/14 so that wouldn't have fixed it. Very mysterious, but I'm so happy it still works.

    Kent...thank you SO MUCH for all the information. I will print it out and use it to make the change. The Import/Export tool sounds like a good one.

  • 9 years ago

    The current version of TB is v31.2 released on or about October 14th, and for me the update came through the About Thunderbird entry on the Help tab.


    This post was edited by damccoy on Tue, Oct 21, 14 at 9:53