Read Exchange mail using IMAP in Mozilla Thunderbird for Linux

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Configure a new account

These instructions are for configuring Mozilla Thunderbird for Ubuntu to connect via IMAP to your Indiana University Exchange email account. For alternative options, see Configure your IU Exchange email if you haven't yet been migrated to Exchange Online.

Thunderbird for Ubuntu uses an Account Wizard to help you configure your email account(s). The Account Wizard should start the first time you launch the application. If it doesn't, from the Edit menu, select Account Settings, and then click Account Actions and choose Add Mail Account.

When the Account Wizard starts:

  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 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. Make sure that IMAP is selected next to the "Incoming" settings, and then click Manual Setup.
  4. In the "Account Settings" window that pops up, click Server Settings, which should be located under your IU email address.
  5. In the "Server Name" field, enter .
  6. Next to "Port", make sure 993 is entered.
  7. In the "User Name:" field, make sure your IU username is entered.
  8. On the right, under "Security Settings":
    • For "Connection security", select SSL/TLS.
    • For "Authentication method", select Normal password.
  9. On the left of the "Account Settings" window, click Outgoing Server (SMTP).
  10. Select the default server listed here (e.g., and then click Edit.
  11. In the "SMTP Server" window:
    • Next to "Description", enter an informal label for the server (e.g., IU SMTP). This field is not required.
    • Next to "Server Name:", enter
    • Next to "Port:", enter 587.
    • Next to "Connection Security", select STARTTLS.
    • Next to "Authentication Method", select Normal password.
    • Next to "User Name:", enter your IU username.
  12. Click OK to exit the "Account Settings" 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 expansion arrow 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 your IU Exchange mailbox has folders 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 expansion arrows next to the parent folder to view them.
  3. When you're finished, click OK at the bottom.

The folders will be listed under "Inbox"; you may have to click the expansion arrows to see them.


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 If you have problems sending mail from your IMAP mail client.

This is document bcuc in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-07-16 15:32:28.

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