Mozilla Thunderbird

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Mozilla Thunderbird is an open source mail client and RSS reader made by the organization who produces the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Quick Details

example.net is your domain name.

  • Email Address: user@example.net
  • IMAP Server (Incoming): mail.example.net (port 143 has optional TLS encryption, or use port 993 with SSL encryption)
  • SMTP Server (Outgoing): mail.example.net (port 587 has optional TLS encryption, or use port 465 for SSL encryption)
  • User: user@example.net
Note2 icon.png Note: If you prefer POP3 access, use port 110 for normal/TLS access, or port 995 for SSL access.


Setting Up Thunderbird

Note2 icon.png Note: In all the steps below, replace example.net with your domain name.


  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. From the File menu, select New, then Account...:
    Creating a new account
  3. In the New Account Setup screen, select Email account as the type of account, and click the Next button:
    New Account Setup screen
  4. In the Identity screen, enter your Name and Email address in the spaces provided, and click the Next button:
    Identity screen
  5. In the Server Information screen, select either a POP or an IMAP account. See POP3 vs IMAP for help with this decision.
  6. Enter your Incoming Server and Outgoing Server (mail.example.net) in the areas provided, and then click the Next button:
    Server Information screen
  7. In the User Names screen, enter your full email address (e.g. you@yourdomain.com .. the whole thing!), and click the Next button:
    User Names screen
  8. In the Account Name screen, unless you want a fancier name, just click the Next button:
    Account Names screen
  9. Finally, click Finish to exit the Account Wizard.
    Summary screen

Port 25 blocking

At this point, try sending a test message. If you receive an error, "Sending of message failed," your ISP may be blocking the default port 25. Instead, use port 587, via the following:

  1. From the. Tools menu (or the Edit menu in some versions of Thunderbird), select Account Settings...:
    Selecting Account Settings
  2. In the Account Settings window, select Outgoing Server (SMTP) and change your Port to 587, then click the OK button:
    Account Settings screen
  3. Click on Server Settings and on Advanced. Change Maximum Number of server connections to cache to 4 (according to IMAP: advanced account configuration on the Mozillazine Knowledge Base).
    Advanced Account Settings screen

Trouble Shooting

What security settings should I use?

  • You can use SSL connections for inbound and outbound email to protect your logon information and email contents.
    • This encrypts data between the Thunderbird client and the mail server.
    • Note: For email-receiving SSL settings, do not check the "Use secure authentication" checkbox - SSL is already secure, authentication is a legacy method.
    • Problem - The cert will be associated with a DreamHost domain (i.e. "*.mail.dreamhost.com") and not your domain.
      • Go to https://panel.dreamhost.com/ and log in.
      • In the upper right, click the link that says “Account Status”, then make note of your “email server”.
      • Edit your IMAP, POP and SMTP servers in the Thunderbird settings to: email-server.mail.dreamhost.com where email-server is substituted by the name of your email server. For example, if your e-mail server is homiemail-sub5, then try using sub5.mail.dreamhost.com when specifying a mail server.

Why am I getting a wrong password for username error when I try to get my mail?

The incoming port should be set to 143 not 587

Why am I still getting a wrong password for username error when I try to get my mail?

Your user name is not the user part of user@example.net. It is the full email address: user@example.net. (If you have a username that looks like m1234512, please replace it with user@example.net right away!)
to find out go to https://panel.dreamhost.com > mail > Manage addresses > show example.net > and you should be able to see your user@example.net email address in a table. Notice the column with a title of \
Email :Address
"Mailbox Name" Login
Disk / Max (%)
Then look at the row with the address and look for the "Login" it should be user@example.net

You are prompted with certificate errors even after permanently creating an exception

If you are using port 143 with STARTTLS security, try changing to port 993 with SSL/TLS security in the account's server settings. Dreamhost appears to be using different certificates on the different ports and the SSL/TLS configuration is the one using the *.mail.dreamhost.com wildcard certificate.

Some of my IMAP folders don't show on Thunderbird

Make sure that you have subscribed to them! Right click on the account in the left panel, and click "Subscribe..". Then tick the folders you are interested in.
Alternatively, go back to the "Advanced Account Settings" panel (Tools or Edit -> Account Settings... -> Server Settings -> Advanced... button) and uncheck "Show only subscribed folders". Click OK in each configuration panel to dismiss each the panels confirming their state. Then, using the triangle icon to the left of the account name in the account list of Thunderbird's main window, collapse and uncollapse the account(s) you edited. This should make Thunderbird re-read all of the folders on that account.

All of my folders look like they are subfolders of my inbox and I'd prefer to see folders as if they were siblings of inbox instead

Go back to the "Advanced Account Settings" panel (Tools or Edit -> Account Settings... -> Server Settings -> Advanced... button) and change the IMAP server directory to read "INBOX." (without the quotes). Click OK in each configuration panel to dismiss each the panels confirming their state. Then, using the triangle icon to the left of the account name in the account list of Thunderbird's main window, collapse and uncollapse the account(s) you edited. This should make Thunderbird re-read all of the folders on that account. The folders underneath inbox should eventually disappear and reappear as if they were siblings of inbox.

Some IMAP sub-folders are missing, even in the "Subscribe.." panel

This seems to be related to the way Thunderbird (miss)handles certain IMAP operations. To force Thunderbird to realize the problem, right click on the parent folder and create a new subfolder within. Make sure you use a folder name that doesn't already exist. Now you can use "Subscribe.." and the missing subfolders should appear.

My Trash folder appears inside a INBOX folder that is inside another INBOX folder

This appears as your Trash folder contained within a InBox folder that is inside your InBox:
InBox
InBox
Trash
The solution is to edit your prefs.js file which is at:
c:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\d2m5zmiu.default\prefs.js.
Exit Thunderbird and change the line:
user_pref("mail.server.server2.trash_folder_name", "INBOX\Trash");
to be:
user_pref("mail.server.server2.trash_folder_name", "Trash");
You can also just delete the line and Thunderbird will revert to the default Trash folder location.

External Links