Mozilla Thunderbird POP3 Auto Configuration

In the current version of Mozilla Thunderbird (3.1.2), there is a considerable amount of auto configuration checks done during the account creation process. These checks will default to the best options feasible for your mail server, such as using SSL over non SSL and to some users preference IMAP over POP3. For servers that offer both IMAP and POP as protocol options, IMAP will be chosen by default. Users who want to use POP3 instead of IMAP may find this auto configuration a challenge to work around. To use the mail client auto config and have POP selected do the following to create a new account:

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird
  2. Click on “Tools” then “Account Settings”
  3. On the “Account Settings” page that loads, click on “Account Actions” in the lower left corner of the window then click on “Add Mail Account”
  4. Enter your email account information in the “Mail Account Setup” fields and click continue. After this step Thunderbird will attempt to detect mail settings using the domain extension of your email address. The output will look something like the following:
    Incoming :  IMAP 143 STARTTLS
    Outgoing :  SMTP 25  STARTTLS
  5. To change from IMAP to POP3, click on the “Edit” button located just right of the “Username:” field and directly above “Create Account”
  6. The fields below will change to drop down options for those which it detects your server as having, check IMAP to POP3 and if desired STARTTLS to SSL/TLS, None, etc.
  7. Once you have made your new selections click on “Re-Test Configuration” located to the right of the “Username:” field.
  8. The new settings will be tested and “Create Account” will change from being grayed out to an active state, once that occurs click on “Create Account”
  9. You may be prompted to approve an invalid security certificate, this means the SSL/TLS security certificate installed in the mail server is self signed, expired, or otherwise not valid. A Valid SSL Certificate needs to be installed to avoid that message.
  10. Click “OK” and your all done.