3. Mozilla Messenger (Mail/News)

3.1. Can I install just the mail program, not the rest?

Only the browser can be installed stand-alone. Messenger, Composer and ChatZilla cannot be installed without the browser. You may try, however, our new standalone mail client in development, Mozilla Thunderbird.

3.2. How do I make Mozilla my default mail program?

The first time you run Messenger, it should ask you if you want to make Mozilla your default mail client. If you answered no and later decide you would like it to act as your default mail client:

  • Windows, Mac: go to Edit | Preferences | Mail & Newsgroups and check Use Mozilla Mail as the default mail application.

    If you still have problems with mailto: links under Windows, go to Start | Settings | Control Panel and open Internet Options. Under the Programs tab, select Mozilla 1.4 Mail from the drop-down list next to E-mail:.

  • GNOME (Unix/Linux): Open the Control Panel. Go to Document Handlers | URL Handlers. Put mailto in the left text field, and gnome-moz-remote "%s" in the right one. Then put the following text in ~/.gnome/gnome-moz-remote (create the file if it does not exist):

 fileid=absolute path of Mozilla install directory/mozilla
  • KDE 3 (Unix/Linux): Open the Control Center and go to Network | Email. Under Preferred Email Client, enter:

absolute path of Mozilla install directory/mozilla --mail
3.3. Can I use a different mail program with Mozilla?

Windows, Macintosh: To make Mozilla use another mail program, type about:config in the browser’s Location Bar. Right click (option click on Mac OS) and choose New | Boolean. Type network.protocol-handler.external.mailto for the name and true for the value.

This will open the system default mail program when you click on an e-mail link in Mozilla.

GNOME, KDE (Unix/Linux): This is not yet possible in GNOME or KDE, but work is in progress to make Mozilla for Unix compliant with the X Desktop Group Standard as it is finalized.

3.4. Can I open Messenger (Mail/News) in a tab in the browser?

Enter chrome://messenger/contents/messenger.xul in the Location Bar of a tab. You can bookmark this tab, including as part of a group bookmark.

Note: This is unsupported. Odd things may happen, e.g., all of Mozilla closing when you close the tab.

3.5. Can I access my Netscape WebMail or Hotmail accounts through Mozilla Mail/News?

No. Netscape WebMail and Hotmail use proprietary protocols. To access WebMail directly through an e-mail client requires you to use Netscape 6+ with AIM; to do so with Hotmail requires either Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. There is also proprietary shareware available that will let you do the same thing.

You can access your WebMail account on the Web at http://webmail.netscape.com/, or Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com/. If you use Microsoft Messenger, clicking on the appropriate link will open your default browser and take you to your inbox.

3.6. Is Mozilla Messenger susceptible to e-mail viruses?

Mozilla Messenger will not allow a virus or worm to execute automatically. You can see what attachments have been sent to you without a virus being able to execute, and you would have to save a file to your system and deliberately run it before it could cause any harm.

JavaScript is switched off by default for mail and news, so an e-mail cannot run script code just by being opened.

As with any mail program, take proper caution before running any file that you receive in e-mail. Appropriate anti-virus software should also help keep you safer.

See the supplementary tutorial on Junk Mail Control for more details.

3.7. How do I import e-mail messages from another mail program?

Open Mozilla Messenger (Mail/News) and go to Tools | Import, which will bring up a dialog to guide you through the process.

See our Getting Started with Mozilla tutorial.

3.8. How do I export e-mail messages to another mail program or computer?

Mozilla’s mail files are in the standard plain text mbox format, which almost all mail programs can use or import. Many proprietary mail programs have a function to import from Eudora, which also uses the mbox format; this function should read your Mozilla mail files properly.

Your mail files are inside your profile (see User Profiles), in the Mail and (if you use IMAP) ImapMail folders. Each mail folder (Inbox, Sent, etc.) is stored as two files – one with no extension (e.g. INBOX), which is the mail file itself (in mbox format), and one with an .msf extension (e.g. INBOX.msf), which is the index (Mail Summary File) to the mail file. Tell the other program to import mail from the file with no extension.

If you want to transfer a mail file to another Mozilla profile or another installation of Mozilla, simply put the mail file into the other installation’s Mail folder.

3.9. Does Mozilla come with a spellchecker?

As of version 1.4.1, Mozilla has a spellchecker included by default—there is no need for a third-party plug-in.

You can download spellchecker dictionaries in various languages at MozillaCafe.

3.10. Is there a mail notifier in Mozilla?

The Windows version of Mozilla includes mail notification. It starts running in the background when you first open Mozilla Messenger (Mail/News), and it continues checking for mail periodically after you have closed the Messenger window but with Mozilla still running. Mail notification displays a new mail icon in the system tray when new mail has arrived. You cannot run mail notifier without Mozilla running.

Mail notification preferences can be found at Edit | Preferences | Mail & Newsgroups.

3.11. Does Mozilla Messenger include a calendar function?

A calendar is in development by the Calendar project. It will be based on existing calendar standards: iCalendar, iTIP, and iMIP.

This is a very early beta, and the design has yet to be finalised. Testing builds are currently available for Windows and Linux (Macintosh help is wanted). Help in programming for the calendar is greatly welcomed.

3.12. How do I use S/MIME, PGP or GnuPG to send and receive signed or encrypted messages?

To use S/MIME, open Mail/News and go to Edit | Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings | account name | Security. You can set which certificates to use with each account for digital signing and/or encryption.

Hooks to PGP or GnuPG are not yet included in Mozilla, but are under development at Enigmail.

3.13. How do I make newsgroup names appear expanded, not abbreviated?

Type about:config in the browser’s Location Bar and then change mail.server.default.abbreviate to false.

3.14. How do I read or post ROT13 in the newsreader?

A development ROT13 tool is available from XULPlanet.

3.15. How do I set up multiple SMTP (outgoing) mail servers?

Open the Edit menu and choose Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings. Choose Outgoing Server (SMTP). Click Advanced. Click Add to add new SMTP servers.

To set the outgoing server for an account, in the Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings dialog, choose Server Settings under the account. Click Advanced, choose a server, and click OK.