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How Do I? Common Procedures:

General Email Questions:

(This FAQ page appears in Thunderbird when you Exit (not minimize) and then re-open Thunderbird -- or click Thunderbird's "Go" [menu]-- "Mail Start Page" button.)

How to reset your default email.

Several of you may have noticed that the Microsoft Windows Update process occasionally "steals" control of your email away from Thunderbird and gives it to Outlook. When this happens, "send page" or "send file" type commands cause Outlook email to open instead of Thunderbird, preventing you from completing the send transaction.

If you are having problems sending an email attachment from Word (or Excel), or from your desktop, your email may have been hijacked. Follow these steps to restore Thunderbird as your primary email program:
  1. Open your Start Menu
  2. Select "Programs" and click to run the "DefaultMail.exe" program.
  3. Click on the "Run" button - (if asked).
  4. Select "Mozilla Thunderbird" in the list. (both check boxes should be ticked)
  5. Click on the "Apply" button.
  6. Click on the "OK" button (in the "Success" -- "Done" window).
  7. Click on the "Exit" button to close the program.
  8. Done!
You might have to run these steps again in the days following the second Tuesday of the month, as this is the day that Microsoft releases their piratical "updates".

Where do I set my UAF RADIUS, VPN and fnxxx account passwords?

UAF offers several web pages for managing your University (non Facilities Services) logon accounts.

  • For UA RADIUS ("VPN") accounts: https://yukon.alaska.edu
    when changing passwords: your VPN user account should look like this "fnxxx@ua". For assistance in changing this password call 474-6564, UAF Help)
  • For your fnxxx@alaska.edu email account try https://mail1.uaf.edu:20000/ and enter your fnxxx account name and current UA password

How do I set/clear my vacation reply message?

Using Internet Explorer, log into your FS Outlook Web Access page at http://fs.uaf.edu (Remember, your email password is different from your normal Windows logon password.)

On the Web Access page, click on the "Options" button (lower left corner) and then check mark the "I'm currently out of the office" button. You can also add and auto reply message in the text box, if desired. Save your changes by clicking on the "Save and Close" button just above.

What is my IP address?

Click here for your IP address Your IP address is a number that uniquely identifies your computer on the internet and is composed of four numbers in the range 0 through 255 and separated by a period. This number is extremely useful to us when trying to troubleshoot/ repair many problems with your computer.

File Attachment Size Limits

We limit the size of incoming and outgoing messages to 15 MB, including attachments.

  • Please be aware that most files will grow to 150 to 200% of their original size when attached to an email message. For example, a 10 MB file that grows to 16 MB as an attachment, will not get thru our email system.
  • If you have large amounts of data to transfer, contact us at 474-7346 for alternatives such as Webshare. Alternately, if you have multiple files to send, and you reach the message attachment size limit, try dividing the files between several outgoing emails.
  • Finally, as a "housekeeping" measure, and to conserve disk space: Delete unnecessary or redundant messages from your "Sent" folder after sending.

How do I make Thunderbird show the recipients in the Sent folder?

To change the columns for a folder, look for the Column chooser button button just above the scroll bar. Clicking on this button will open a menu where you can select or deselect the various columns to customize your folders to your preferences. For example, selecting "Recipient" will add a column that displays the recipient of each e-mail in your folders.

How do I set Thunderbird to start my reply at the top of the message?

In Thunderbird, open the "Tools" menu and select "Account Settings..." Under your account on the left, click on "Composition and Addressing." On the right you should now see a box labeled "Composition" which contains a few options, one of which is a drop-down menu; using that menu select "start my reply above the quote." Click the "OK" button and Thunderbird will now start your reply above the quoted original message automatically.

How to use Thunderbird's Junk Mail Controls

Before using Thunderbird's Junk Mail Controls, it is necessary to "train" the filter to recognize and distinguish the spam you get from the legitimate e-mail you get. To do this, simply click on the dot in the Junk column of your Inbox for every junk message you receive.
Marking Spam
NOTE: It is important that you unmark any legitimate e-mail you receive that Thunderbird may erroneously think is junk!
After a message is marked, you can delete it as you normally would; alternatively, if you have a large amount of junk in your Inbox, you can click on Tools[menu]-- Delete Mail Marked as Junk in Folder to send all of your spam to the Trash, then empty your trash (File[menu] -- Empty Trash).
After a few days, Thunderbird will be marking spam with almost 100% accuracy, with next to 0 false positives (legitimate mail marked as junk); once you are here, you can turn up Thunderbird's Junk Mail Controls to automatically send your junk mail to the Junk folder.

Why am I getting these e-mails returned that I never sent??

All modern viruses (and most spammers) forge the address in the "From:" portion of email they send - a technique called "spoofing". Doing this disguises the actual source of the message, making it more likely to be opened by the recipient. The spammer will use e-mail addresses harvested from an infected computer's address book, or web pages on the internet, or simply generate a random email address. This means that they may even use YOUR email address as the sender's address!
What this means for you is that you will occasionally receive an e-mail that says it originated from you (but did not), or will receive a message saying that an email (that you didn't send) is being returned to you. Since there's nothing you or we can do about the actual source of these messages, simply delete any such message you receive.

What's this "DELETED0.TXT" attachment?

Our e-mail server is configured to remove potentially dangerous attachments from e-mails that you receive. These attachments are then replaced by a file called "DELETED0.TXT". This file is perfectly safe to open and contains the name of the file that the antivirus server deleted.

Where is my email "File" button?

The handy Netscape Messenger "File" (File selected message) button is available in Thunderbird, but is not displayed by default. To turn it on: right click the Thunderbird button bar and select "Customize". Locate the File button icon in the window that opens, and drag and drop it on the Thunderbird toolbar. Click on "OK". Done!

Who is workwalt? itcrew? And why has he been using my computer?

He's us, your Information Technology support staff. While you were away, we logged in to upgrade the software on your computer. Be sure to enter your own username and password to log on.

.zip File Attachments

While Zip compressed files are a great way to share large files over email, they are also a prime way of spreading viruses. (Nearly 99% of the zip file attachments entering our email system are infected with a virus.) To protect our users, our email server routinely removes any .zip attachments from our email messages.
It is possible to send and receive zipped files thru our system by renaming the files before sending. For example, to send a .zip file called "filename.zip", rename it to "filename.z";, then attach and send as usual. In your message, instruct your correspondent to rename the received file to "filename.zip". Then it will open automatically when double clicked.
To receive zipped files, reverse this process. That is: Your correspondent must rename their zip files to ".z"; instead of ".zip" before attachment. After receiving them, you must rename them to ".zip" if you want them to open automatically when you double click on them.
In short, attachments with the file name extension ".zip" are blocked, files with the extension ".z" are not blocked.