Office of Information Technology

Using Thunderbird with an email account


Download the Thunderbird email client application from and install it. On Windows, run the Installer you've downloaded. On Mac OS X, open the disk image you've downloaded and copy Thunderbird to your Applications folder.

Launch Thunderbird. The first time it launches, you'll be presented with a wizard which will help you configure your account. Enter the following values for "Set Up Your Existing Email Address"

Your name: Enter your name.
Email address: Enter your email address, using your NetID to start, e.g.:
Password: Enter your campus NetID password
Click the [Continue] button See green checkmark with the message: "Configuration found for a Microsoft Exchange server"
Click the [Configure manually...] button, leaving IMAP Protocol option selected Incoming and Outgoing columns will appear
Select Authentication: OAuth2, in both columns, then click the [Done] button You will be redirected to the Illinois NetID authentication page (Shibboleth)
Use your email address as your username and your campus NetID password, then click the [Sign in] button NetID Center 2-factor authentication (2FA) screen will be shown
Choose your NetID Center 2-factor authentication (2FA) option to complete sign in See "default client" integration screen
Click [Set as Default] button See Inbox email being populated in sidebar on the left
To see all folders: right-click email address above your Inbox and choose Settings; select Server Settings on the left and click the [Advanced...] button on the right; uncheck "Show only subscribed folders" so you can see all folders and click [OK] If all folders don't show up in the side bar, you may need to close and reopen the Thunderbird app
Optionally, to compose messages in plain text instead of HTML: from Settings (accessed above); select Composition & Addressing on the left; uncheck "Compose messages in HTML format" so you can compose all messages as plain text, instead Send a test email message, preferably to your alternate/personal email (like a Gmail) address or to an available associate's email; then immediately reply to your [NetID] account, to confirm that the flow of email is working in both directions, as expected

Configure Manually

If you need to enter any of the [Configure manually...] details yourself, they should be set to:

Protocol: IMAP SMTP
Port: 993 587
  Authentication:   OAuth2 OAuth2
Username: [NetID] [NetID]

For further info or assistance, please contact us at

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