Thunderbird Account Deletion

  griffon 56 13:43 21 Aug 2007

Hi Everybody,

I've recently set up Thunderbird with a new account thro' changing ISP's, whilst retaining an old account with the previous ISP.

In order to get round an apparent impasse I set up a 'Special Account' with no identities associated with it. It has the same name as the old account but is shown separately in the list and although I don't want it now I can't get rid of it.

When it is highlighted the 'Remove Account' button is greyed out, whereas with both the new and former accounts the button is live. How do I get rid of it?

Both the normal old and new accounts are working properly but one can be confused with the 'Special Account' because of its name.

Being the sole user of this PC I have Administrator powers so I ought to be able to get rid of it. My new ISP is of no use in solving the problem because, on its own admission, it doesn't know anything about Thunderbird.

Any thoughts?

  P1d 14:05 21 Aug 2007

Is the account to be deleted set as the default account? If so, it will not let you delete it. Click on the account you wish to keep and click on "set as default", then highlight the account to be deleted and the delete button should now be available.

Hope this helps.


  griffon 56 17:44 22 Aug 2007

Hi Pld,
I should have said that the list from which I want to delete the rogue account is the one called up by clicking 'Account Settings' under 'Tools' in T'bird.

There are 2 accounts which it is possible to set as default and they can both be removed by clicking the 'Remove' button no matter whether they are the default account or not. Incidentally, is the account the default account when the 'Set as Default' button is bright or when it is greyed out? It could mean either thing.

The unwanted account, when selected, has only one choice, 'Add Account' and the two other buttons, 'Set as Default' and 'Remove' are both greyed out.

Does that help in solving this problem?

  DieSse 18:37 22 Aug 2007

Is this account also your SMTP account? - it shouldn't be, but if it is that may stop you deleting it.

  DieSse 18:39 22 Aug 2007

"Incidentally, is the account the default account when the 'Set as Default' button is bright or when it is greyed out?"

If an account already is the default account, the button is greyed out - as to press it would have no meaning.

  griffon 56 12:30 24 Aug 2007


Thanks, it's obvious isn't it? except to one who matches in life TotallyBraindead's Forum moniker.

As it happens the irritating account does carry the SMTP server. How it got it I don't rightly know, except that in desperation last week when I was trying to get a second email account on another ISP running, I was a bit careless in entering info into setup wizards. To complicate matters in the middle of it, I downloaded and installed an update to Thunderbird which has differences to the earlier one. How do I change the SMTP server to the new account?.

As a self-taught computer user I've blundered along hoping that luck and logic would see me through, and during the process I've noticed that a server is not always on an external machine. I assumed that the SMTP server was on my machine and that its port would always be available to whatever client was active, so it didn't matter whether it was TalkTalk or AOL or BT was the ISP, emails would go OK and their receipt was governed by whatever POP3 server was delivering the mail.

Nevertheless I think that many of the basic functions for which we use computers are far too abstract and unintuitive in setting up. Does anybody remember what a nightmare it was to set up AVG 6 as a proxy server? and there are many others, you've only to look at the Hints and Tips pages of this Forum and of every other computer mag to see that people have solved ordinary problems only by the use of extremely devious processes. Why do software writers, and especially Microsoft, do it? To keep it in the family, to create an arcane and black art understood by only a few who profit from it? Probably.

Anyhow, a few words of wisdom on how to get rid of the unwanted account and attach its SMTP server to the right one would be very welcome.

  DieSse 13:19 24 Aug 2007

What you need to do is set up the SMTP server to your new ISPs settings.

The new ISP should tell you somewhere what the actual parameters are. The SMTP sever is a computer at your ISP, through which outgoing emails go (and the POP3 server is alo at your ISP, and is the one that your incoming emails are handled by).

So your ISP prvides you with the settings, which you put into TBird.

Be aware that if you get an email via an old ISPs servers, and you do a "Reply" email clients will try and reply via the old ISPs SMTP server, sometimes. To correct that, you look at the "From" line at the top of the reply, and change to the new ASMTP server.

  griffon 56 14:15 25 Aug 2007

Thank you DieSse, reading what you say has made me realise that I have put the new account's SMTP server name in the 'Outgoing Server' details of the old account.

All my emails go by this but because of the new extra address I receive emails on both accounts where either people haven't changed in accordance with my info email, or the incoming mail is junk and spam which I hope I will get rid of in this way.

The whole story is that I have had a dial-up account for which I paid monthly for extended coverage and have just gone over to BB. This month is the last of the paid dial-up and in a rash moment I agreed with the suggestion of the operator who was taking my cancellation phone call to allow the account to continue as a 'Pay as you go'. I don't think I'll bother with it tho', it looks as tho' it will be a nuisance to have to keep checking the old account in case someone has used it. If I close it it will make them get off their lazy backsides and use the new account.

Thanks for your advice.

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