Thunderbird & POP3 (Hotmail and/or Gmail)

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Thunderbird & POP3 (Hotmail and/or Gmail)

Postby intodis » 17 May 2009, 21:06

The great thing about Thunderbird as an email client is multiple email accounts can be setup and their folders can be separated by account. Add to this it is possible to get Hotmail and/or Gmail accounts configured using POP3/SMTP (or for Gmail IMAP).

This is how to do it...

  1. Open Thunderbird if the New Account Setup wizard doesn't appear then open it from the menu Edit/Account Settings and then click the Add Account button.
  2. Choose to add a Email account.
  3. Set Your Name however you want recipients to see your name when they receive an email from you, e.g. John Doe.
  4. Set your Email address to you full hotmail address, e.g.
  5. Click Next to move to the Server Information page.
  6. With POP3 chosen, set the Incoming server to
  7. Unchecking the Use global inbox will keep your account emails in separate folders.
  8. Click Next to move to the User Names page.
  9. Set the Incoming User Name to your hotmail full email address e.g.
  10. Click Next to move to the Account Name page.
  11. Change the Account Name to whatever you want to reference the account in Thunderbird e.g. JohnDoe@hotmail or whatever...
  12. Click Next to see the account summary information page. Note the Outgoing/SMTP information my not be correct but we will set that up in a minute. Click Finish to create the account.
  13. Back in Account Settings lets change a few things to correct and complete the account setup, like correcting the POP3 port and protocol, add an SMTP account and even where the mail files will be stored.
  14. Under the new account select the Server Settings options.
  15. Change the Port number to 995.
  16. Change Use Secure Connection to SSL.
  17. In the Server Settings configure as you wish, but if you want to move the folder where the emails will be stored, e.g. to a location that is backed up ... then initial uncheck the Check for new messages ... options, set these as desired later once the account is setup properly.
  18. Check Leave messages on server and Until I delete them, this means that accessing you Hotmail web interface will remain in sync when you delete messages in Thunderbird. However messages deleted in the Hotmail web interface will remain in Thunderbird.
  19. Now use the Browse button next to Local directory and change the directory that you can backup e.g. /home/john/backup/email/JohnDoe@hotmail. This can be any folder you like, and you may need to create it.
  20. Under the new account select the Composition & Addressing options.
  21. It is handy to change the Automatically quote the original message when replying Then to Start my reply above the quote.
  22. At the bottom of the accounts list select the Outgoing Server (SMTP) options.
  23. Add a new SMTP account.
  24. Change the Server Name to
  25. Change the Port to 587.
  26. Change the User Name to your full Hotmail address e.g.
  27. Change the Use secure connection to TLS.
  28. And click OK.
  29. Select you New account options. The node above the Server Settings.
  30. Change the Outgoing Server (SMTP) to the - option you just added.
  31. Click OK to close and save the account settings changes.
  32. Before trying to download the emails restart Thunderbird this will ensure Thunderbird uses your folder location you defined for the backup ...
  33. Now download emails.
  34. Now you can go back into the account settings and change the Check for messages ... settings.



Gmail is very similar to above hotmail instructions with only a few minor settings changed if using IMAP.
  • Email addresses will be
  • For incoming settings instead of POP3, choose IMAP (if imap. Needs to be activated in your gmail web interface).
  • Instead of for the incoming server use (if imap).
  • For incoming imap use Port 993.
  • All other steps are as above, but with gmail replacing hotmail or live ...
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