Thunderbird email client

Thunderbird logo

Thunderbird logo

I really struggle with using GroupWise here at Boise State. I don’t like their search feature, it seems slow, and maybe it’s just me, but I’m tired of it. I’ll be looking forward to getting Google Apps at Boise State, but it looks like for faculty that will still be some time off.

So, how do I deal with that? I’m using Thunderbird, a great email client that works with our GroupWise account. I access my mail through IMAP, which is a much more sophisticated protocol than POP3. Everything is synchronized between Thunderbird and GroupWise. This means that if I create an email folder on Thunderbird (an email client that resides on my computer and others), that same folder is created on GroupWise. And of course, vice-versa.

To get started, first you’ll need to download and install Thunderbird (it’s cross-platform, of course) at

Next, you’ll need to configure Thunderbird to work with your GroupWise account. Here is the info on how to configure Thunderbird for GroupWise at Boise State (and if you need help, call OIT’s help desk):

That’s all there is to it and you can then use Thunderbird, a much more streamlined and sophisticated email client than GroupWise (of course that’s my opinion!)

If you’re wondering what to do about your calendar, I have some ideas on that. Next post.


2 thoughts on “Thunderbird email client

  1. Barbara,

    I enjoy using Thunderbird too. It is a great mail client. One important aspect to remember is you loose the easy calendar collaboration using an IMAP connection to GroupWise. I look forward to your options for the calendar. If you don’t use your calendar to schedule appointments with the campus community, we will be introducing an opt-in option to the Google Apps assessment for Boise State Faculty and Staff. Please stay tuned to BroncoBytes for the announcement (

    Peter J.


  2. Thanks for writing, Peter. Yeah, I know what you mean about the ease of using GroupWise calendar for scheduling campus stuff, especially for doing busy searches. I definitely want to opt-in to the Google Apps assessment . . . as will probably most of the people in our department. Yes, keep me posted and I’ll be happy to help out.



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