Brief History of Thunderbird
Thunderbird is an easy-to-use and local email application available in-browser and on Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. Since its inception, Thunderbird has been managed by Mozilla Messaging and the Mozilla Corporation. Multiple resources are still being hosted by Mozilla.
Although Thunderbird acquired its subsidiary in 2020, the application has had shaky prospects for many years. With uncertain times since 2012, Mozilla dropped the email app and uncoupled it from its Firefox service back in 2015. But Mozilla brought back support for Thunderbird in 2017.
As per the Litmus Email Analytics data, the email client only captured 0.5 percent of the opened email across various devices for the first quarter of 2019. Although the share increased from 0.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, Thunderbird fell behind Apple Mail (7.9 percent) and Outlook (9.2 percent).
With all the uncertainty coupled with performance issues, the app’s development has been unstable. The instability has led to various problems in the application usage and error fixes. Note that app-wide errors need developers for a proper solution. But other common issues on the client side are relatively easy to fix. Some common problems and their solutions have been listed for user convenience below.
Thunderbird Troubleshooting: Common Thunderbird Email Problems
Despite the simple and highly efficient nature of Thunderbird, users may occasionally face a few performance issues and errors. Let’s take six common Thunderbird email problems and their solutions into consideration.
Email Account Setup Issues
While setting up the email account, some users may face operational issues like Thunderbird not connecting to the server. You can quickly fix the problem as follows.
How to Fix
1. Check Password
First, check if you’re using the correct password by logging into your account via the webmail interface. For example, if you have a Gmail account:
- Go to gmail.com.
- Type your email address and then your password.
- If you’ve input an older password, Google will prompt you to reset it.
- You can reset your password by clicking the “Forgot email?” message.
2. Check Server Settings
If your password is correct or you set a new one and problems persist, go to Thunderbird and launch the Server Settings. You can find them following this path:
- Click on the email account that experiences issues.
- Under Options click on Account Settings.
- Select Server Settings in the left-hand tab.
To make sure you have the correct server settings, take the following details into account.
- Have the domain name (e.g., mail.example.com) after the server name, which is Mail.
- Make sure Port is 993 for IMAP or 995 for POP.
- Set the Connection Security to TLS/SSL.
- Use the user’s full email address as a User Name.
- Use the Password as an Authentication.
- The server doesn’t support encryption.
The Server Doesn’t Support Encryption
You may get a warning regarding the server not supporting encryption due to some security issues. This issue can leave the server communications more vulnerable to hacking attempts.
How to Fix
1. Change Settings
In the warning, you’ll see the Change Settings button. Click on it and do the following:
- Change the security connection to SSL/TLS.
- Change the authentication method to “Normal password.”
- Change the port to 993.
After changing the settings, save them and re-launch Thunderbird.
2. Choose a Different Email Provider
If modifying the settings does not solve the issue, you can also choose a different email provider that will offer a more secure connection.
You’re Unable to Send or Receive Messages
Thunderbird might stop sending or receiving messages for several reasons. It could be an issue with the server settings, your antivirus program, or your internet service provider. Let’s check each case.
How to Fix
1. Check IMAP Settings
You need IMAP to receive messages. To check the IMAP settings:
- Click on the email account that experiences issues.
- Under Options click on Account Settings.
- Select Server Settings in the left-hand tab.
Make sure you’re using the 993 port, SSL/TLS connection security, and “Normal” password.
2. Check SMTP Settings
You need SMTP to send messages. To check SMTP settings:
- Go to Account Settings like in the previous step.
- Click “Outgoing server” in the left-hand tab.
Make sure you’re using the 587 port, “None” in connection security, and “Normal” password.
3. Whitelist Thunderbird in Your Antivirus Software
If your server settings are fine, it’s probably the case that your firewall or antivirus doesn’t trust the Thunderbird version or any new updates.
Whitelisting the email tool also fixes the issue for many users. In Windows Security:
- Navigate to Settings.
- Select Update & Security and choose Windows Security.
- Access the “Manage settings” option after clicking on “Virus & threat protection.”
- Go to the “Add an exclusion” option via “Add or remove exclusions” and select Thunderbird.
For Windows Firewall:
- Type the word “firewall” in the Windows search box.
- Select the “Allow an app through the firewall” option.
- Click on the “Change settings” button.
- Add Thunderbird to the list after hitting the “Allow another app” button.
If you’re using another antivirus program, please consult with its Help section for specific guidelines. The process should be similar though.
4. Rollback Thunderbird
Thunderbird 78 and higher versions need enhanced TLS security standards. So, with Thunderbird email not working correctly, the primary reason may be that your service provider does not support the newer TLS network encryption protocols. Hence, users will be unable to send or receive emails.
The solution for this issue can lie in simply rolling Thunderbird back to an earlier version. You can find an earlier release here. To get to a previous version:
- In your current version, go to the menu > Preferences and scroll down to Updates
- Turn off automatic updates by switching your preference to “Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them.”
- Uninstall Thunderbird without deleting any profiles and databases.
- Download a version that came earlier than Thunderbird 78.
- Install the downloaded version.
Your accounts should appear in Thunderbird after launching. If you deleted Thunderbird together with the database files, simply log into your accounts again.
5. Contact Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
On specific ports, such as port 25, few ISPs tend to block your outgoing emails. If you can’t send emails, then switching to another port is recommended.
You can also contact your ISP for any further help. For example, if you use Gmail, check the Google Dashboard for any status updates, in case it experiences downtime.
You’re Unable to Delete Messages
If you cannot delete messages in Thunderbird, it may be caused by a corrupted trash folder. Also, sometimes Thunderbird may freeze when deleting messages – in this case, try relaunching the app.
How to fix
The simple solution is to create a new trash folder after deleting the old corrupted one. Follow these steps to resolve the issue:
- Access the troubleshooting information for the Profile Folder from the Help section of the menu button.
- Click on the Open Folder option from the Application Basics section.
- Now close the Thunderbird app.
- Go to your file manager and open the Mail (or ImapMail) folder per your affected account type (POP or IMAP).
- Remember to open the folder with an incoming mail server name like pop.googlemail.com or imap.googlemail.com.
- Select the Trash.msf and Trash files and then delete them. These files may be named Deleted or Bin in some accounts.
- As a final step, Restart the Thunderbird app on your system.
That’s it! The trash folder will be renewed, and you will be able to easily delete your mail messages.
Thunderbird Freezes or Works Slowly
Users may face Mozilla Thunderbird freezing, not responding, crashing, or hanging due to configurations or other systematic issues. These issues can be quickly resolved in the following ways.
How to Fix
1. Update Thunderbird
Quite often, an outdated Thunderbird version causes issues, and Thunderbird may freeze on Windows 11. First and foremost, users can fix the freezing or slow running issues by updating Thunderbird. Follow the steps listed below:
- Run the Thunderbird application.
- Visit the Help menu.
- Choose the About Thunderbird option.
- The software automatically checks for any updates after a window opens.
- Select Restart Thunderbird to update once updates are ready to install.
2. Try Running from Safe Mode
You can use Safe Mode to troubleshoot issues and reset settings. To launch it:
- Press the Alt (Option) key and click on the Thunderbird icon to launch it.
- If it’s already running, you can switch to Safe Mode by selecting “Restart with Add-ons disabled…” in the Help menu.
- When the Safe Mode dialog appears, click on “Continue in Safe Mode.”
3. Disable Add-ons
You can also fix the issue by disabling the add-ons from Safe Mode. Do the same actions as in the previous step, but in the dialog, check “Disable all add-ons” and press the “Make Changes and Restart” button.
4. Reinstall Thunderbird
If your Thunderbird installation is corrupted, then Thunderbird issues may occur. No need to worry. This can be easily fixed in most cases by reinstalling the Thunderbird application.
Remember that specific registry entries or files can be left behind by applications despite uninstalling. Those files can cause some future issues, so it’s advised to remove them as you encounter them.
5. Check Email Configurations
- Go to the Tools menu and select the Account Settings option.
- You can also select Account Settings from the application menu.
- Once in the Account Settings, choose the Server Settings from the left pane.
- Ensure that you have correct Thunderbird login information in the right pane, and that should do the trick.
IMAP Server Error Message
Thunderbird IMAP problems usually occur due to the configuration of the IMAP server (such as Courier-IMAP), which may be configured to only allow a certain number of connections per IP address.
How to Fix
1. Reduce the Number of Connections
An IMAP server error can be quickly resolved by reducing the number of connections. To do so:
- Select the Tools option from the menu and then choose Account Settings.
- Under the appropriate account, select the Server Settings.
- Click on the Advanced button.
- Once Configuration Dialog pops up, change the maximum number of server connections to cache value to three or less.
Upgrading your Thunderbird to a 68.3.0 version or higher should fix the error on its own.
If an issue is not listed above, you can also search for a solution by visiting the FAQ section at Mozilla support. You can also ask a question or look for similar queries already posted on the support forum of the Thunderbird community. If nothing else works, then try to contact Mozilla over Facebook.
Unfortunately, Thunderbird doesn’t have a number you can call. Any phone numbers you find online are to third-party support centers.
Still Experiencing Troubles with Thunderbird?
A once-in-a-while issue is fine, but what if you’re constantly troubleshooting Thunderbird? In this case, it’s high time you check out other email clients. One potential choice can be Mailbird.
Mailbird is more than just an email client. It helps users schedule as well as manage communications and tasks in addition to emails. And it has human support instead of just an FAQ section.
Mailbird helps migrate all your accounts onto one platform without signing up for a new array of services and new accounts. Mailbird is an email client for Windows that can easily use functionality for effectively managing multiple email accounts. Some key features include:
- Unified Inbox – Connect all your email accounts and use them as one. This means you can search across all accounts, manage emails, and apply other email features to all connected accounts without the need for complicated filters.
- Email tracking – Make sure that all recipients have opened your email and you’re all on the same page about its contents.
- Unified Calendar – Make sure you keep track of deadlines and events. This is especially useful if you send meeting invitations from different accounts. Like with the Unified Inbox, you can view and manage all calendars in one place so you won’t overlap meetings or overschedule.
- Integrations – Boost productivity and communication with third-party app integrations, such as Asana, Slack, Google Workspace products, and more.
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Importing Thunderbird to Mailbird
If you want to import all your accounts to Mailbird, then follow the simple steps listed below:
- The first step is to make sure you are trying to import the account not yet added to the Mailbird platform. After clicking the Mailbird menu button from the top left, click the Settings option. Next, select the Accounts tab.
- Click on the Add button in the accounts tab.
- Click on the Import button.
- Choose the specific account you want to import.
- Just enter your password next.
- After clicking Continue, wait until the import process is over.
There you go! Your account will be transferred without any hassle.
It’s important to note that the Thunderbird email problems discussed above often lead to functionality and performance inefficiencies. Considering that Thunderbird development has been unstable for a few years now, you should expect to experience issues regularly. It can be annoying to many users when an issue persists, even though most issues can be easily fixed. Save yourself the annoyance and try a new email client. Download Mailbird for free to make sure it fits your needs.
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How do I fix my Thunderbird email?
You can fix your Thunderbird email issues by adequately setting up an email account, choosing the appropriate provider, looking into incoming and outgoing email issues, disabling add-ons, solving freezing issues, and solving IMAP server errors.
Why is my Mozilla Thunderbird not working?
One of the primary causes may be antivirus or firewall software preventing Thunderbird from delivering your valuable messages. Simply disabling the tools will serve the purpose.
Is Thunderbird email still supported?
Thunderbird is an open-source app, but it’s no longer upgraded and supported by Mozilla. There are various quality alternatives (e.g., Mailbird) present in the online sphere.
Why does Thunderbird keep freezing?
Thunderbird often freezes or hangs due to antivirus interference, problematic settings, or some program or service interference.
What should I do if I can’t connect to the mail server in Thunderbird?
If this happens, first try to log into your account through a web browser. Then, restart the Thunderbird app and try to re-login.
If this doesn’t work, you can also try enabling access to less secure apps via the security settings of your email account in the webmail interface. Or try adding Thunderbird as an exception in your antivirus program.
- Check SMTP Settings. ...
- Check IMAP Settings. ...
- Check if Firewall or Antivirus is Causing the Issue. ...
- Whitelist Thunderbird While Using Windows Security. ...
- Whitelist Thunderbird While Using Windows Firewall. ...
- Update Your Thunderbird Application. ...
- Check Server Space.
On July 6, 2012, Mozilla announced the company was dropping the priority of Thunderbird development because the continuous effort to extend Thunderbird's feature set was mostly fruitless.Why is Thunderbird not loading new emails? ›
If you have stopped receiving new messages and emails on your thunderbird account, the culprit is usually the firewall or the antivirus software. Open the interface for the antivirus or the firewall on your computer. Click on the menu and select Help. Then click on the button for Troubleshooting the Information.How do I reset Thunderbird email? ›
Go to Tools|Account Settings. The Account Settings page will appear. At the bottom there is a button labelled Account Actions. This will reveal a small menu including an entry to Remove Account.Can I reinstall Thunderbird without losing email? ›
If you have a backup of your Thunderbird Profile, you can reinstall Thunderbird without losing emails. Copy the thunderbird profile folder from an external storage device or cloud storage service and paste it into Thunderbird's default location after the installation is complete.Is there an alternative to Thunderbird email? ›
We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Thunderbird, including Microsoft Outlook, Spike, Mailbird, and eM Client.What is happening to Mozilla Thunderbird? ›
It's a modernized overhaul of the software, both visually and technically. Thunderbird is undergoing a massive rework from the ground up to get rid of the technical and interface debt accumulated over the past 10 years.Will Thunderbird lose access to Gmail? ›
Google recently announced that as of May 30, 2022, access to its accounts (including Gmail) from "less secure apps" will be disabled. This includes access from apps using the username/password combination, which includes Thunderbird accessing a Gmail account using IMAP.Is Thunderbird still good? ›
Thunderbird is a tried and true free open-source platform. It can offer you enhanced security and customization features. It is a great tool that can help organize and streamline your email use. Before choosing an email client, you should access your email needs.Why is Thunderbird frequently not responding? ›
Causes of Thunderbird Not Responding
The cause might be a stale profile lock that was left after Thunderbird crashed. This means Thunderbird didn't close properly or correctly clean up temporary files. Additional processes are running in the background and Thunderbird is confused, frozen, and unable to open.
Check for problematic add-ons
Thunderbird crashes can be caused by add-ons. Does Thunderbird still crash when it is started in Safe Mode? If not, an add-on may contain a bug, or it may not have been updated to be fully compatible with an updated version of Thunderbird.
Clear your Cache: clear and delete any old messages causing the issue. Disable add-ons: disable any add-ons you may have installed in thunderbird to see if this resolves the issue. Reset your account: this will set all the settings in your account to default and might help the issue.How do I uninstall Thunderbird and reinstall it completely? ›
- Go to the Windows Start menu and select Control Panel.
- Click on Add or Remove Programs.
- Select Mozilla Thunderbird from the list of programs.
- Click Remove. This will launch the uninstall wizard, which will guide you through the rest of the process.
You can configure Thunderbird to delete old messages in every folder in Mozilla automatically. What is useful for the Trash folders is also great for RSS feeds, for example. Right-click the desired folder. Select Properties from the menu.How many emails can Thunderbird handle? ›
The number of messages in a folder is limited to 4 billion (2^32 in a 32bit counter). The maximum size of a single message is currently also limited to 4GB. Folder space/size limits depend on whether you are using mbox or maildir storage format.How many emails can you have on Thunderbird? ›
You can create unlimited number of email aliases within each individual Mail Account profile that you've created in Thunderbird. Each alias essentially refers to another mailbox within Thunderbird itself.Why does Thunderbird keep re downloading emails IMAP? ›
If you are using IMAP, there have been reports that Thunderbird may repeatedly attempt to download the same messages if its copy of the folder has reached the file size limit for your file system. FAT32, for example, has a file size limit of 4GB.Should I use Thunderbird or Gmail? ›
If email is all about simplicity for you, Google's Gmail is probably the right way to go. Both Google and Microsoft have honed a streamlined email experience. However, if your email life involves a bit more complexity, Mozilla Thunderbird is an email platform that may suit some of your more specific needs.Which is better Thunderbird or Outlook? ›
Thunderbird plays nice with multiple mailboxes
So if you have different emails for work and home, or whatever reason, you can bring them together in Thunderbird and organise them all accordingly. By comparison, Outlook is really only friendly with, well, Outlook mail addresses.
Thunderbird — Release Notes (102.12. 0) — Thunderbird.
If you are using Google supplied “app passwords“, Thunderbird version 91.8. 0 and newer will make that conversion for you. Further, Gmail accounts do not work with Thunderbird 31 and older because they do not support Google's OAuth (implemented in bug 849540).What is the difference between Mailbird and Thunderbird? ›
Thunderbird uses filters to get rid of spam. Users can customize filters, choose actions for different senders or email subject lines. Mailbird limits the number of accounts to only premium users. Thunderbird users can have as many numbers as possible accounts, there is no limitation.Will Thunderbird work with Gmail after May 30? ›
Thanks. Google has announced that after May 30, 2022 third-party apps that log into google with account name and password (which I assume includes Thunderbird) will no longer be able to do so, as they will enable 2-step verification.Is Thunderbird email client discontinued? ›
Is Thunderbird discontinued? No, but it isn't supported by Mozilla as a developer and funder. Back in 2014, Mozilla Corporation decided to stop working on Thunderbird and hand it off to the community. However, even though they are not updating this client anymore, Mozilla Foundation still supports it.Where does Thunderbird store your emails? ›
Windows: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles. Mac OS: ~/Library/ thunderbird.What year Thunderbird is the best? ›
If you want the most desirable model based on rarity, the first generation 1955 Ford Thunderbird is the best. However, because it is the first model and almost 70 years old now, it is not the most advanced unless you look at a restored model. The most advanced Ford Thunderbird is the 11th generation 2003 model.How much does a Thunderbird cost now? ›
Prices for a used Ford Thunderbird currently range from $6,495 to $54,000, with vehicle mileage ranging from 60 to 175,620.Why is Thunderbird so slow lately? ›
A: There are a few possible reasons why Thunderbird might be running slow. These can include too many stored emails, a large mailbox size, a slow internet connection, many add-ons installed, corrupt profile data, an outdated processor, insufficient RAM, etc.How do I clear the cache in Thunderbird? ›
The cache can be cleared from Tools/Options/Advanced/Network & Disk Space, but as far as backup, you only need to backup the Thunderbird folder, located at C:\Users\''username''\AppData\'''Roaming'''\Thunderbird The cache folders are in subfolders of the C:\Users\''username''\AppData\'''Local'''\Thunderbird folder, and ...Why does Thunderbird use so much memory? ›
If Thunderbird memory usage is more than expected by hundreds of megabytes (MB), then perhaps one or more folders (internally a database) are not being closed, or some other bug. Please : Get a diagnostic log of Thunderbird activity with MSGDB:5,timestamp using logging instructions.
- Outgoing Authentication: We recommend Normal password.
- Outgoing SSL: Your preference. ...
- Outgoing Port: 587.
- Outgoing Server Hostname: smtp.mydomain.com.
- Incoming Authentication: We recommend Normal password.
- Incoming SSL: Your preference. ...
- Incoming Port: 110.
To stop Thunderbird from asking for password every time you send an email, do this: In Thunderbird, click Tools, Account Settings, and in left pane, click "Outgoing Server" Click Edit. Under "Security and Authentication" DESELECT "Use name and password" Click OK and again OK.
If your email has got out of sync with the server you can fix it by tapping the "Refresh All Mail" button. This will fix the issue if it is related to the email client using out of sync in some way.What causes emails not to download? ›
The unstable internet connection can also force you to experience the issue- “This Message Has Not Been Downloaded from the Server.” Low data bandwidth or unstable data connectivity prevents the app from fetching messages properly. Sometimes the anti-spam filter becomes a reason behind the failed download problem.Why aren't all my emails downloading? ›
Ensure Automatic Email Sync Is Enabled
The simple solution would be to enable the auto-sync option in your email app. The app should then automatically look for new emails and let you know when a new message arrives. You can enable auto-sync from the Settings menu of your email app.
For IMAP accounts, Thunderbird can automatically compact the Inbox when you exit: click "Tools —> Account Settings —> [account name] Server Settings", and check "Clean up ('Expunge') Inbox on Exit." If you check "Empty Trash on Exit" it will empty and compact the Trash folder when you exit.How do I repair Thunderbird installation? ›
- Turn off automatic mail checking in Thunderbird as a precaution. ...
- Right-click the folder you want to repair and select Properties from the menu that appears.
- Go to the General Information tab and select Repair Folder.
- Select OK.
Navigate to “C:/Users/YOUR USER NAME/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/YOUR PROFILE/YOUR THUNDERBIRD ACCOUNT,” where “YOUR PROFILE” is eight random letters and numbers followed by “. default,” and “YOUR THUNDERBIRD ACCOUNT” is the Thunderbird account name under which you are recovering deleted emails.Is it better to delete old emails? ›
Deleting Emails Lowers Your Carbon Footprint
It takes energy to run your computer. It takes power to use the internet. It takes an enormous amount of energy for internet providers and email services to continually store all that data.
Should you delete old emails? Yes, it will free space for new important messages, attachments, and files. Deleting old messages will also help keep your inbox clean and organized.
It is not stored in Thunderbird. This means it does not use up space on your computer for storage. It also means you cannot view any of those emails without internet access to the server. The emails are stored on the server.How do I reset my Thunderbird view settings? ›
Hold Shift when you launch TB, check 'Reset toolbars and controls', then click 'Make changes and restart'.
Thunderbird is an easy-to-set-up email application loaded with great features. It also connects directly to various providers such as Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo.How do I clear my Thunderbird cache? ›
The cache can be cleared from Tools/Options/Advanced/Network & Disk Space, but as far as backup, you only need to backup the Thunderbird folder, located at C:\Users\''username''\AppData\'''Roaming'''\Thunderbird The cache folders are in subfolders of the C:\Users\''username''\AppData\'''Local'''\Thunderbird folder, and ...How do I clear filters in Thunderbird? ›
Go to '''Tools|Message Filters''' You'll get a window with a drop-down box where your accounts appear, and listing all the filters for the selected account. Choose the appropriate account and then edit, disable or remove the offending filter.Is Thunderbird still a good email client? ›
Thunderbird is a tried and true free open-source platform. It can offer you enhanced security and customization features. It is a great tool that can help organize and streamline your email use. Before choosing an email client, you should access your email needs.Should I use pop3 or IMAP in Thunderbird? ›
Of the two protocols, IMAP is the much more convenient option - as well as the recommended option - when you need to check your emails from multiple devices, such as from a work laptop, a home computer, or a tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device. With IMAP, you can access your emails anywhere.