Account Settings

Users occasionally ask how to find where to change account settings. This is made harder than it need be in Thunderbird by the fact that there are two distinct menu systems, and it's quite possible that you cannot see either of them.

On top of that, when you do find a menu, the entries in it will vary according to which Operating System you are using. The screenshots in this article were taken on a Linux system, where "Preferences" is used instead of the "Options" that you'd see in Windows.

This article describes the alternative menu layouts:

Menu differences in Windows, Linux and Mac

If you don't have the traditional menu across the top, you can make one appear using the folowing.

  • Press F10  and then View and then Toolbars, or;
  • Press alt+v+t. This means press and hold the alt key down, then tap in succession v and then t.

This will show the Toolbars option, where I'd recommend you select Menu Bar and Mail Toolbar if they are not already enabled.

Now you have the Menu you are equipped to make use of pretty much all the guidance you can find on the web. You can now go to account settings via Tools|Account Settings (Windows) or Edit|Account Settings (Linux).

There is a newer alternative - the Application Menu, which uses a three-bar icon similar to those used in the Chrome browser and Android devices. This will be on your Mail Toolbar, so if that toolbar was disabled, up till now you might not have been able to see it.

The Application Menu gives you another way to go to Account Settings.

  1. Click the Application Menu button;
  2. Hover over Options;
  3. In the pop-up menu, select Account Settings.

There are two more ways to get to the Account Settings panel. Both require that you can see a list of your accounts at the left. If you don't see this list, in the main Menu go to View|Layout and select Folder Pane. In the Application Menu, Options|Layout and select Folder Pane.

You can select an account in the left hand pane, and the Accounts Central page will appear, where you can select View settings for this account.

Alternatively you can right-click an account and then select Settings in the pop-up menu.

When you have the Account Settings panel open, you have access to several useful functions via the button at the bottom of the pane listing your accounts. The default label for this button is Account Actions, though it will change to reflect the last activity you did with this button.

The Account Actions button gives you access to various functions for managing your accounts. But one of these actions, the adding of a new account, can also be found via the two menus.

In the main menu, go to File|New and then you can add several different accounts, calendars, contacts and so forth.


In the Application Menu, these options are counterintuitively offered under New Message.