Office 365, Email, Exchange, Thunderbird

This page contains information about how to connect to the Exchange email and calendar service using Thunderbird.


Thunderbird is a free, open-source product and there isn't a vendor for us to escalate to. We will try to help troubleshoot but in the end you might need to visit forums for solutions. This article is correct as of 3/11/2019 to setup an account from scratch. It isn't intended for changing settings when people are migrated. Customers will need to remove their account from Thunderbird and follow the steps below.  

If you run into trouble and are faculty/staff you should speak with your local IT pro about using officially supported email clients.

Thunderbird is available for several operating systems from (external link).

After downloading and installing it, follow these directions to configure Thunderbird to get your email from the Exchange system.

Configure Thunderbird for Email

  1. In the Mail Account Setup window, enter:

    Your name: Last name, First name (i.e. Smith, John)
    Email address:
    Password: Your AD password
    Remember password: (optional, your choice)

  2. Click Continue.

  3. The incoming address for Exchange 2010/2013 mailboxes is: via STARTTLS on port 143 with Normal Password Authentication
    The incoming address for Exchange Online (Office 365) mailboxes is: via STARTTLS on port 143 with Normal Password Authentication

  4. After your account has been created, go to the Tools menu and click Account Settings.

    Under your account settings, click Outgoing Server (SMTP), then Edit.Change the settings to match these:

    Description: SMTP-Illinois
    Server Name
    : for Exchange 2010/2013 mailboxes
    Server Name: for Exchange Online (Office 365) mailboxes
    Connection Security:
    Authentication Method:
    Normal Password
    User Name:

  5. Click OK.

  6. Thunderbird is now configured to connect to Exchange.

Request authorization from the Help Desk

If you are Thunderbird user on Exchange 2010/2013, you must request authorization to use SMTP to send email. If you have been migrated to Exchange Online you don't need to request authorization.

Because of a problem with attackers phishing for campus accounts and using the campus mail servers to send spam, the campus mail servers now require an extra layer of approval.

Contact the Help Desk to have your account added to the approved list before sending email via Thunderbird if you are on Exchange 2010/2013. 

Keywords:Exchange, email, calendar, Thunderbird, IMAP, SMTP, SMTP-Illinois, STARTTLS, Exchange, migrations, office 365, email   Doc ID:47659
Owner:Office 3.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-02-26 12:10 CDTUpdated:2019-03-11 11:52 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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