How to Set Up Gmail in Thunderbird

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Thunderbird is a desktop email client from Mozilla, a nice free alternative to Microsoft’s Outlook. You can easily set up gmail in that if you prefer desktop email apps.

This article is a step by step guide to setting up gmail in Thunderbird. You can also setup your Google apps account ([email protected]) in the similar way.

1. Sign in to Gmail ([email protected]) or your Google apps account ([email protected]).

2. Click on “Settings” given at the top right.

3. Open “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab. Select “Enable IMAP” option. Click on “Save changes”. (Read our guide on POP and IMAP to know more about those settings.)

set up gmail

4. Download Mozilla Thunderbird and install it on your computer.

5. Open it and go to Tools –> Account Settings.

set up gmail in thunderbird-account

6. Under “Account Actions” drop down (given at the bottom left) select “Add mail account”.

set up gmail account

7. Enter your name in the given box. Provide your email address and password in the required field and click on “continue” button.

thunderbird-set up gmail

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8. Thunderbird will automatically try to configure your settings for your mail account.  While testing I found that Thunderbird automatically finds settings for Gmail account, but it is unable to find settings for Google apps account ([email protected]) . To fill the correct setting manually, click on “Stop” button given on the right.

account-setup in thunderbird

9. Now click on “Manual Setup” button to fill the settings manually.

manual setup

10. Now enter the settings manually. Check the screenshot given below for the correct settings for Gmail.

smtp server

11. Click on Outgoing Server (SMTP) given on the left pane. Select the (Default)  from the list and click “Edit” button. A small SMTP Server window will appear. Now enter the settings as given in the below screenshot. Replace “[email protected]” with your own email address.

SMTP server

12. On the left pane, click on the first option, i.e. name of your email ([email protected] in my case). On the right side, fill your email address in the “Account name” field. On Outgoing Server (SMTP) drop down select the server setting you configured in step 11. Click on OK.


That’s it. Now click on Read Message link on the right. Thunderbird will check all the settings and download all your mail instantly.

thunderbird mail client

Now you can use Gmail right inside the Thunderbird mail client. You can compose new mail, send mail, move mails to folders, star the mails, search for mails and do much more.

You could also set up gmail under POP instead of IMAP, but we prefer IMAP and recommend the same.

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Show archived comments (10)

Archived Comments

  1. Aditya Kane says:

    I was using Thunderbird previously but when I changed over to Windows 7 I stopped. I like using Live Mail. I guess configurations are pretty much the same for both.

    • Himanshu says:

      @Aditya I haven’t tried it yet. I think it would work well but not sure. Why don’t you try it out and report back here? Thanks. :)

  2. trae_z says:

    many thanks for this, proved very useful to me. my testimonial here:

  3. Markus says:

    Very nice. Here is also some thoughts and tips here:

  4. banjo kid says:

    I just let Thunderbird configure and it works great just like it did with a pop server and the smtp server for out going works great also . thanks for the instructions, it made my day

  5. Wmnmary says:

    Very clear and understandable. Thanks, so much better than alternate imaginings of a “Tech” that does not know, but will not admit. This is very clear…

  6. Legolas says:

    It is not working for me on Windows 7-64 bit

  7. Jennifer Howard-Smith says:

    It’s not working for me either. And I have the effin cursed windows 8 64 bit. I f***ing HATE windows 8. Everything is so much harder to configure on it. It’s never automatic with me now. I have to google all the manual configurations with everything that I install on this stupid laptop now.

    This is the message I got “Enter your password [email protected]” wtf??? I followed the directions to a tee and my email address has two @ symbols in it and all this other crap. I will start ALLLLLL over and try to figure it out. But I have already been working on this for over an hour. This is effin stuuuuuuuupid. This should be simple. I might just go back to using Incredimail. I NEVER had stupid issues like this with it. >:(

  8. llanyort says:

    goto google. remove 2 step recovery AND AND AND make sure you TURN ON to LESS SECURE ACCESS. worked like a charm.

  9. llanyort says:

    also password in not encrypted.