Questions on reading GMail messages in TB

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 256
Joined: December 24th, 2004, 7:10 am

Post Posted January 4th, 2019, 10:49 am

Have read that one can read Gmail messages one's TB client. Have read some instructions for accomplishing it, but hesitate because it appears that it is necessary to replace the server name to Gmail and not my current Comcast server. If so what then happens to my messages from the Comcast server? Nowhere in the instructions does it mention the need to create a new account with the Gmail server? Am I missing something here? Would really appreciate a step by step explanation of how this is supposed to work.

Posts: 749
Joined: February 12th, 2005, 8:33 pm

Post Posted January 4th, 2019, 12:15 pm

Basically, you have two options.

1. Get rid of your Comcast account. This is generally not a good idea, because it means you won't be able to receive mail sent

2. Add a new email account
That way, it will allow you to receive and send mail through both accounts. In general, this is how you should do it.

Here is in a nutshell how to do it.

a. In Gmail (its web interface).
Click on the cogwheel (preferences), go to the "Transfer and POP/IMAP" tab.
Make sure that "IMAP Access –> activate IMAP protocol" is selected.
Also, if you use the 2-factor identification for Google, you either need to turn it off or create an application-specific password. Since I don't use that "safety" feature, I can't tell you more about it.
Finally, in the cog, click on HELP to see what are the account parameters to use to configure Thunderbird

b. In Thunderbird, press ALT to see menus, then select Tools –> Account Parameters.
Then at the bottom, click on Account Management –> Create a new email account
Then follow instructions to add a Gmail account.

c. If you prefer to mostly use your Gmail account from now on, simply click on the (new) Gmail account and select "Account Management –> Make as default account"

Good luck
Michel Gagnon
Montréal (Québec, Canada)


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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted January 4th, 2019, 12:21 pm

I don't know what you are reading so its hard to clear up any confusion in that document. However, its quite common to have multiple accounts in a profile, using Thunderbird. You can keep your existing Comcast account and add a Gmail one. For example I have 2 fastmail, 2 gmail, a comcast, outlook, yahoo, zoho and vivaldi account. In each case I just used tools -> account settings -> account actions -> add mail account to add the account, being careful not to select the "Get a new account" button (that wants to sell you an account rather than configure an existing account to work with Thunderbrid). I didn't do anything to the existing accounts.

See . Its easiest if you configure a Gmail IMAP account that uses OAuth2 for authentication. Using OAuth2 for "secure authentication" will popup a window for your password using your systems default browser. It requires cookies to be enabled for Cookies are normally enabled by default (Tools -> Privacy -> Accept cookies from web site is checked, and "Keep until" is set to "until they expire").

See ... figuration for more detailed generic instruction on how to add an account.

Posts: 256
Joined: December 24th, 2004, 7:10 am

Post Posted January 5th, 2019, 9:31 am

Thank you Michel and tanstaafl for your suggestions and guidance. Very helpful and directional.


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