May 09

Mozilla Thunderbird Email Setup For Gmail Short Tutorial

I am often asked how to setup Gmail so that emails come into an email client rather than having to login to a website and people do not realise how easy an email account is to setup in Thunderbird as there is no need any more to know the incoming and outgoing servers and ports as Thunderbird does most of the work for you.

Mozilla thunderbird is a popular email client that can be used on both windows operating systems and MAC operating systems. Thunderbird is free and open source. As well as been used as an email client is can also be used as a news client. Thunderbird is ideal for those who want a very simple mail client that is fast and easy to use.

It is also a good alternative if you dislike or can’t use the Microsoft email clients like Outlook or Live mail.

The client can be downloaded from http://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/thunderbird/. Follow the installation instructions after download to install thunderbird to your system before proceeding with the rest of this tutorial.

Mozilla Thunderbird Logo

Thunderbird and Gmail Setup

Things you will need

  • Mozilla thunderbird installed on your system
  • Your Gmail email address
  • Your Gmail email password


Open thunderbird by double clicking the icon on your desktop after install. You will be presented with the following screen one (click to enlarge)

Thunderbird email setup 1In here we put the name we want to call the account. We have called our account test account as this is our Gmail test account. In email address put the full Gmail address you use and in password use the password you use to login to your Gmail account when you do it via the web.

Select remember password if you don’t want to put your password in every time you want to check your emails.





Thunderbird gmail setupOn the next screen after pressing continue you have a decision to make between IMAP and POP.

POPPost Office Protocol is the protocol used to collect email from an email server and is the basic download and delete service and they tend to leave mail messages on the server

IMAPInternet Message Access Protocol is a more complex and complete protocol for collecting and controlling mail. IMAP provided 2 way communication meaning anything you do in your email client will be reflected on the server. It is also considered more stable and easier to use on multiple devices.

It is recommended that you choose IMAP if available.

Thunderbird will then contact GMAIL for all the relevant server settings which could take up to 60 seconds and display them to you similar to the image below.

Manual config will allow you to alter settings should you have problems but in the majority of cases you should be able to complete the account setup by pressing Create account.

You should now see your Gmail account on the left hand side along with an inbox and that’s all there is to setting up a Gmail account on Mozilla Thunderbird.