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Set up an IMAP email account in ThunderBird

How to configure your email account with the IMAP protocol for incoming emails

In this tutorial we are going to show you how to configure your email account in Mozilla Thunderbird using the IMAP protocol for incoming emails. 


This tutorial assumes you've already downloaded and opened Mozilla ThunderBird.


Step 1Accessing the Mail Account Setup window

In order to begin with the configuration of your email account you will need to click on File > New > Existing Email Account.




This menu item will bring the “Mail Account Setup” feature where you should fill the following options:


  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Password




Once you are done with these options please click on the “Continue” button so Thunderbird can try to fetch automatically the email settings for your email account.




Once the settings are fetched you will be presented with these and you will be able to verify them.


Step 2 Configuring the IMAP protocol 

Now that the settings for your email account are automatically fetched you will notice how the “Manual config” button will appear at the bottom of this window. Please click on that button so you can proceed with the manual configuration of the account.




You will be presented with the settings for “Incoming” and “Outgoing” emails along with the username that should be used for authentication in front of the mail server. Since the IMAP protocol is an incoming mail protocol you will need to modify the settings for the “Incoming” emails.

Please click on the first drop-down right next to the “Incoming” label and choose the “IMAP” item if it is not already selected since it is part of the default configuration.




Now that you have selected the correct protocol you will need to ensure that the “Server hostname” is the correct one. In order to do that you will need to understand how that hostname is related to your domain.



It is relatively simple – the hostname is where the substitution should be replaced with your actual domain name. If your domain is for example the hostname you will need to use is


Once you enter the correct hostname it is time to choose the correct port. The IMAP port is 143 and it should be automatically filled when you have chosen the IMAP protocol earlier. If it is not please choose it from the “Port” drop-down list.


The next item in the configuration is the SSL drop-down list. There you should choose “None” and last but not least you should configure the “Authentication” method which should be set to “Normal Password”.




Once you are done with these settings it is time to proceed witht he settings for the SMTP protocol. 


Step 3 Configuring the SMTP settings

On the second line of the displayed options you will find the “Outgoing” mail configuration.




To begin configuring that option you will need to set the “Server Hostname” first.



It is relatively simple – the hostname is where the substitution should be replaced with your actual domain name. If your domain is for example the hostname you will need to use is


Once you are done with the hostname, please configure the “Port” of the service. By default the SMTP service is using port 25 and you should be able to select it from the “Port” drop-down.




Then you will need to choose the SSL encryption for that protocol. Please choose the “None” option as there is no SSL encryption on the default SMTP port.


Last but not least is the “Authentication” method that should be used by the client when authenticating in front of the SMTP protocol. Please choose the “Normal Password” authentication method from the last drop-down list of the “Outgoing” configuration group.




The last thing you need to do is to simple press the “Done” button so the changes can be saved.


It is possible that you will be prompted with a security warning concerning the fact that your incoming/outgoing settings does not use encryption and here you should check the “I understand the risks” check box and then click on the “Done” button.




Congratulations! You have successfully configured your email account with the IMAP protocol for incoming emails!