ARCHIVED: Read Exchange mail using IMAP in Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

On this page:

Configure a new account

To take full advantage of your Exchange account's feature set, configure ARCHIVED: Set up Outlook for Windows to access your IU Exchange account instead of following these instructions.
The IU Exchange Online environment does not support IMAP. See Configure your mail client for Exchange Online.

Thunderbird for Windows uses an Account Wizard to help you configure your email account(s). The Account Wizard should start the first time you launch the application. Choose Skip this and use my existing email. If the wizard doesn't start, from the main menu, hover over Options, select Account Settings, then click Account Actions and choose Add Mail Account....

After the Account Wizard starts, to set up Thunderbird to read your Exchange mail:

  1. In the "Mail Account Setup" window:
    • Next to "Your name:", enter your name as you want it to appear in the "From:" field of your outgoing messages.
    • Next to "Email address:", enter your Indiana University email address.

      If you are unsure of your exact IU email address, see Your IU email address.

    • Next to "Password:", enter your IU passphrase.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Thunderbird will now try to find the settings for your IU email account automatically. This process will most likely not result in the correct account settings, but let the process finish. When Thunderbird fails to find the correct settings, it will provide new fields to manually set up the account.
  4. In the "Mail Account Setup" window, next to Incoming, select IMAP from the drop-down list.
  5. In the "Server Name" field, enter .
  6. Next to "Port", make sure that 993 is entered.
  7. In the "User Name:" field, make sure your IU username is entered.
  8. For "SSL", select SSL/TLS.
  9. For "Authentication", select Normal password.
  10. Beneath the Incoming settings in the "Mail Account Setup" window, in the Outgoing row, complete the following settings:
    • Below "Server hostname:", enter
    • Below "Port:", enter 587.
    • Below "SSL", select STARTTLS.
    • Below "Authentication", select Normal password.
    • Next to "User Name:", enter your IU username.
  11. Click Done to exit the "Mail Account Setup" window.

Read and send mail

To read your mail, launch Thunderbird and find the account you just added in the Folders pane on the left. Under the account name, click Inbox; you may have to click the corresponding + (plus sign) to see the account's folders. If prompted, enter your IU passphrase and click OK to download your messages.

When you send mail, you should see the "Mail Server Password Required" window. Enter your passphrase, and then click OK. If you want Thunderbird to remember your passphrase, select Use Password Manager to remember this password before clicking OK.


If you have folders in your Exchange account that don't appear in Thunderbird:

  1. After following the steps above and making sure Thunderbird can download messages from your Inbox, right-click the account name in the folder list, and then choose Subscribe....
  2. Check the box next to each folder you want to access, and then click Subscribe.

    You may have to click the + (plus sign) next to "Inbox" to see all your folders; if you have subfolders, you will have to click the + (plus sign) next to the parent folder to view them.

  3. When you're finished, click OK at the bottom.

If you have difficulties sending mail from Thunderbird, try reducing the maximum number of server connections to cache to 1:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Account Settings.
  2. In the section for your IMAP account, click Server Settings and then Advanced... .
  3. Under "Maximum number of server connections to cache", enter 1.

To resolve other IMAP mail client errors, see ARCHIVED: If you have problems sending mail from your IMAP mail client.

This is document anid in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-04-13 08:32:48.