How to set up Thunderbird to send and receive your Gmail

This guide will take you step by step through the process of setting up the email app Thunderbird to send and receive your Gmail.

Note: this guide uses screenshots from Thunderbird in Windows. If you’re using macOS or Linux you’ll have absolutely no trouble at all following along – Thunderbird is nearly identical across all operating systems.

  1. In order to use Thunderbird to send and receive email using Gmail, the first thing you have to do is enable IMAP for your Gmail account. Sign in to Gmail in your web browser and click the Settings button at the top of the page, and then See all settings. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and then locate the IMAP access: section. Finally, select the Enable IMAP option. When you’re done, click the Save changes button.
  2. the Gmail enable IMAP section of the Settings

  3. Now launch Thunderbird. The Set Up Your Existing Email Address wizard will launch.
  4. the first screen of the set up a new email account Thunderbird wizard

  5. Use the provided spaces to enter your name as you’d like it to appear on your outgoing email messages, your Gmail address and Gmail password. Once you’ve done that, click the Continue button.
  6. the user information screen of the Thunderbird setup wizard

  7. Thunderbird will contact a configuration server and retrieve all of the additional information it needs. Make sure that IMAP (remote folders) is selected and then click the Done button.
  8. a confirmation screen

  9. A window will open up and take you to a Google sign-in page. Enter your gmail address and then click the Next button.
  10. a google authorization page prompt

  11. Enter your password and then click the Sign in button.
  12. a google authorization page password prompt

  13. Click the Allow button to give Thunderbird permission to access your Gmail account.
  14. granting Thunderbird permission to Gmail

  15. After you grant permission for Thunderbird to use your Gmail, it will start to download your Gmail messages and folders.
  16. thunderbird downloading gmail messages
    click to enlarge

  17. Finally – you can now send and receive your Gmail emails using Thunderbird. That’s it!
  18. an email message displayed in Thunderbird
    click to enlarge


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2 thoughts on “How to set up Thunderbird to send and receive your Gmail”

  1. corey williams

    thanks for that help i needed screen shots haha i tryed other sites but thay whent on about stuff i couldent find…. but anyhow thanks for the help!

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