Add Email Account to Thunderbird

To add an email account into Thunderbird, some versions of Thunderbird popup the dialog for you to input, some not. To standardize into a single process, we will not entertain the dialog box. After all, there are a number of additional configuration to do.

This section guides you on how to add email account to Thunderbird the classical fashion way.

Prepare Storage Location

Under ZORALab process, we want to ensure all data is within out known control and locations. Hence, before starting to add an email account, we prepare the storage location for Thunderbird. ZORALab recommends to create folder for the following paths:

WINDOWS: d:\Thunderbird\YourAccountName
LINUX  : $HOME/Thunderbird/YourAccountName

Enable Menu Bar

If your menu bar is not enabled, you should enable it by now.

enable menu bar

Add Email Account

The next thing is to open Tools > Account Settings.

open account settings

Select Add Mail Account

When the menu is shown, select Account Actions at the bottom left and then select Add Mail Account.

add mail account

Obtain App Specific Password

By 2019, major email service providers (e.g. Gmail, ZOHO, ProtonMail, etc.) all had implemented 2-factor/2-step authentication with its App Specific Passwords system for enhancing security countermeasures.

Hence, in all our email account guides, whenever we mention password, we strictly refer to App Specific Password. If your email service provider does not provide such security feature, there are only 2 options left:

  1. Use your normal email password but change it periodically.
  2. Raise the security feature request to your service provider.

obtain app specific password from service provider

Fills in Email Credentials Form

Once you got your password, you may fill in the email credentials in your Thunderbird.

  1. Name - the email display name you want it to appear in every sending email.
  2. Email - The email address you want to add.
  3. Password - The password needed to authenticate your email account.

filling email credentials in new account

Perform Manual Configurations

Now, select Manual Config to set some security configurations. You need to check a few settings:

  1. Port Number
  2. SSL type

By today’s standards, these should be the recommended settings:

Once done, you will need to run Re-test. If everything is good, press Done to complete the integrations.

If everything is successful, you should see your IMAP email settings available in your account panels. Do not exit but see the next step.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In today’s Internet technology, you MUST use SSL over anything else. SSL is meant to encrypt and secure your data in transit between your email server with Thunderbird.

Hence, if you cannot enable SSL connection, you should not connect your email account with thunderbird. Contact your service provider.

NOTE: your service provider may alter the port number. Hence, you should look into its documentations and seek out its SSL settings.

configure new account connection settings

Configure Signature Settings

There are some signature settings to configure for normal user usage. You need to:

  1. Select Composition & Addressing.
  2. Select below my reply (above the quote) for “and place my signature to” option.

configure new account connection settings

Configure Data Location

Now, we need to configure the data location we prepared earlier. There are 4 steps:

  1. Select Server Settings inside your account.
  2. At the content panel to the right, scroll down and find the Local directory and then select Browse.
  3. Find your data directory prepared earlier (example: d:\Thunderbird).
  4. Select your account directory (example: YourAccountName).
  5. Select Select Folder and that’s it.

configure account data location settings

Accept and Restart Thunderbird

Once done, you:

  1. Can press OK to complete the process. You will be prompted to restart Thunderbird.
  2. Proceed to press Restart.
  3. Upon returning, you email is ready to use.

restart thunderbird with new account settings