Thunderbird Outgoing Email Problems

Thunderbird Outgoing Email Problems

It is clear that several people are having problems with an outgoing email with Mozilla’s Thunderbird. Most outgoing e-mail problems are related to improper SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) configurations. Sometimes an ISP’s server configuration changes. Sometimes the user may not select the proper SMTP server for an account. In this post, I will attempt to cover some of the most common configurations that I find in the hope that one of them will work properly with your particular email server or ISP (Internet Service Provider).

The first part of this article begins with the post Outgoing Email Problems with Thunderbird. You might want to check that out for some background information.

I will start with some of the common SMTP configurations that I see. If you use a major ISP and your configuration is different, please post the name of your ISP and the configuration details in the comment section. Also, if you know of a publicly accessible page where the ISP offers configuration information, please post that as well.

Let’s get started.

First, the Thunderbird configuration section for SMTP server settings can be found at:

  1. Select Account Settings from the Tools menu.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the list if e-mail accounts.
  3. Select Outgoing Server (SMTP).

The section that you want is at the top of the right-hand side.

Highlight an SMTP account and click the Edit button, or if you want to add a new account click the Add button. The SMTP Server dialog box will pop up.

The Description is not important, but if you configure multiple SMTP accounts it would be a good idea to enter a description. The Server Name and the User Name are the two important areas to focus on. You will need to get this information from your hosting company or ISP. The account name is usually just the primary account name from your ISP. That is the name to the left of the @ in your primary e-mail address. With some ISPs it is important to use the primary account name and not necessarily the account name for the individual e-mail address you are using.

You do not need to set up separate SMTP accounts for each e-mail address if you have multiple e-mail accounts set up with the ISP. In fact, most ISPs allow you to run all of your outgoing e-mail through their SMTP servers, so if you find that one SMTP server works well, try selecting it for each of your e-mail accounts.

Typical AT&T SMTP Configuration in Thunderbird

  • Enter the SMTP Server Name. There are many variations of this, depending upon which AT&T e-mail service you are using. You will need to get the correct server name from your AT&T service provider.
  • Make sure that “Use name and password” is checked.
  • Use the full e-mail address for the primary account.
  • AT&T e-mail uses a secure connection. Click on the SSL radio button. The Port will change to 465 when you click the radio button.

AT&T Support Info: How to verify At&T email Settings.

Typical Cox.net SMTP Configuration in Thunderbird

  • Enter the SMTP Server Name. Cox uses different SMTP servers for different geographic regions in the USA. Get the proper SMTP server name by contacting Cox.
  • Make sure that “Use name and password” is checked.
  • Use the account name for the primary account. Thunderbird will prompt you for the password the first time you send e-mail.
  • Cox does not use a secure connection. Leave the No radio button selected.

Typical GMail SMTP Configuration in Thunderbird

  • Enter the Gmail SMTP Server Name.
  • Make sure that “Use name and password” is checked.
  • Enter your account name. If the e-mail address is [email protected], the account name is my account name. Thunderbird will prompt you for the password the first time you send e-mail.
  • Gmail uses an encrypted connection. Make sure that the SSL radio button is selected.

A Very Important Final Step

Do not forget that if you set up an additional SMTP server configuration, you must select it in the Account Settings for each e-mail account you want to run through that server. Right-click on an account name and select properties to view the Account Settings. You may also have to clear the password assigned to an account when you switch SMTP servers. Follow the instructions in changing Thunderbird passwords to do so.

I found a page in the page in the Mozilla’s Thunderbird support section that includes links to set up pages with several popular ISPs. You might want to take a look at Creating accounts in Thunderbird for popular email providers to see if they have the configuration information that you need.

Some Additional Notes

  • Always get the proper outgoing email configuration information from your hosting company or ISP.
  • Don’t rule out the possibility that your PC might be causing the problem. Try temporarily disabling your virus software and firewall to see if either of these systems is blocking outgoing e-mail.
  • If possible, set up multiple SMTP configurations so that if one fails, you can switch to another. I run most of my mail through my Cox SMTP server because I have found it to be more reliable than AT&T. However, both accounts have gone down periodically. Mail servers run into problems just like any other server. Sometimes the customer service people that you call are completely unaware of any issues with server downtime.
  • If you are using a Yahoo account for e-mail, be aware that Yahoo changed their system configuration a while ago. See the following page for more information: Yahoo Outgoing E-mail Problems with Thunderbird.

One thought on “Thunderbird Outgoing Email Problems

  1. Pingback: Arya Stark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.