Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Mozilla Thunderbird IMAP Configuration

This page describes how to configure Mozilla Thunderbird so that you can access your EECS email using the IMAP protocol. For users who are familiar with Thunderbird and IMAP email, see the EECS Email section; otherwise, continue on this page.

Detailed setup information

Account Wizard

If this is the first time you have used Mozilla Thunderbird, you will be presented with the Account Wizard that will let you enter the most basic information about your email account. If you have used Thunderbird before, or if you would like to add your EECS email as an additional email account, select Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings from the Edit menu (or Tools menu depending on the version), then choose Add Account....

The first screen of the Account Wizard (New Account Setup) will prompt you about the type of account to add. Select Email account and then press the Next button. On the Identity screen, enter your name as you would like it to appear in outgoing email. For the email address textfield, enter your full EECS email address. For example if your EECS username is jruser, your full email address is jruser(at) Click the Next button.

On the Server Information screen, select IMAP as the type of incoming mail server, then set the incoming server name to and the outgoing server to Click the Next button.

The User Names screen will prompt you for the Incoming User Name and Outgoing User Name. The both the incoming and outgoing user names are your EECS username (e.g., jruser). Click the Next button.


The Account Name screen will prompt you for an account name for this email account. By default Thunderbird will display your email address. You can change the account name to anything as it is merely the display name for the account within Thunderbird. Thunderbird supports multiple email accounts, and each account must have a unique name. Click the Next button.

Finally, the Account Wizard will prompt you to download the folders for your email account. Click the Cancel button – additional configuration is needed to ensure that the new Thunderbird account functions correctly with the EECS email servers.

Account settings

After you have created the email account in Thunderbird, you will need to adjust some of the advanced properties to make things work correctly with the EECS email servers. To access the email account settings, select Account Settings... from the Edit menu (or Tools menu depending on the version). On the left side of the window, you should see your newly created account. Choose Server Settings from the list of settings.

In the Server Settings group, select Use secure connection (SSL) so that your password is encrypted before being sent over the network. Make sure that Use secure authentication is unchecked because this option is not supported by the EECS email servers. Note that you can also set the behavior Thunderbird will follow for deleted messages. By default, deleted messages will be moved to the Trash folder, but you can also have Thunderbird permanently delete a message as soon as you choose to delete it from within Thunderbird. If desired, Thunderbird can empty your Trash folder when you exit or clean up (i.e., expunge) your Inbox of messages marked for deletion.


Next, click the Advanced... button to set some advanced IMAP properties. The IMAP Server Directory should be set to INBOX as all folders are created as subfolders of INBOX. Also, make sure that Server supports folders that contain sub-folders and messages is checked.


If you are using the EECS SMTP server, select the Outgoing Server (SMTP) option (on the left side of the Account Settings window), then ensure that you are using SMTP with TLS (on port 25) or SMTP-SSL (on port 465).


Copies and folders

By default, Thunderbird tries to save every message you send to a "sent" mail folder. You can either set this to be a local folder on your hard drive or an IMAP folder. The advantage of the latter is that your sent mail is available to any IMAP client you use (such as EECS webmail). You need to either disable the saving of sent mail or set up a location where sent mail will be saved. If you would like to use an IMAP folder to save your sent mail, make sure you have a folder already created. Similarly, you may want to create a folder for storing draft emails that you are composing and saving for future completion.

After Thunderbird has downloaded your folders, return to the Account Settings window and select Copies & Folders (on the left side of the window). To save sent messages to an IMAP folder, check Place a copy in: and then choose Other. Select the default folder of Sent (or another IMAP folder if desired) from the drop-down menu.


Mozilla Thunderbird should now be set up to receive and send email. If you are experiencing any problems, please re-read these instructions and make sure your settings are equivalent to the ones described in this document. If your problems persist, please request help from the EECS IT Staff.



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