I use Thunderbird 3 on Vista. I use it for 3 POP accounts. When I start work in the morning, all three accounts are checked at the same time, and all emails are being loaded simultaneously. I think Thunderbird is quite slow in general, and this behaviour makes it even worse. At least it makes me feel so.

Can I tell Thunderbird to check the accounts and load the emails one after the other?

  • how come my Thunderbird checks email accounts one after another, unlike all email accounts simultaneously as in your case? – Boris_yo Feb 17 '12 at 18:38
  • Well I asked for Version 3, Thunderbird now is at Version 10. Thus, it might be that the behavior is different now. However, I now only have 1 account left in my Thunderbird (new job), so I can't check if it changed for me. – Martin Feb 20 '12 at 9:33

Not directly, at least as far as I know. You could select only one to be updated at startup, and then either refresh the others manually after the first loads, or let them be updated according to schedule.


I wouldn't worry too much about how this aspect affects the speed of Thunderbird, but the easiest way to set Thunderbird to check the POP accounts at different times is to tell one to check for mail every 5 minutes, the second to check every 6 minutes, and the third to check every 7 minutes (or something like that).

Something else you can try to speed things up: if you don't do searches all that often, and don't mind waiting a little longer when you do, go to Tools, Options, Advanced, General, and turn off "Enable Global Search and Indexer". See if that speeds things up noticeably.

  • I'll try the latter. I think this could help me, bacause I think (for example) the index of account 1 is already built while the second and third account are still being downloaded. – Martin May 22 '10 at 6:18

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