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how to fix 2fa with icloud and thunderbird

  • 6 replies
  • 15 have this problem
  • Last reply by CheechGe

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Just wanted to post how to fix 2step authentication with icloud as all the posts I have read are incorrect or have mistakes. 2 Factor Authentication won't work with Thunderbird, so 2Step Authentication is required. 2FA is only for Apple devices.

1. login to icloud using this link: -

2. sign in to your Apple ID account page. In the Security section, enable 2step authentication This will take you through the first stage of the setup, instructions here -

When you have enabled step you will then have to wait few days for apple to setup the account for 2step authentication, they will send you an email warning you this has been requested. After a few days apple will send you an email confirming this is now ready.

4. Next sign in to your Apple ID account page. In the Security section, following onscreen instructions to generate app password, this will send an sms code to your mobile phone confirming your identiy. When this is completed, it will log you out and each time (via web browser) send an sms code to your mobile. Now proceed to create an app specific password.

You can generate an app-specific password, sign in to your Apple ID account page. In the Security section, click Edit > Generate Password. Process wil take you through setting up the app-specific password, so app name will be thunderbird, and it will generate a recovery key and password for you.

Learn more about app-specific passwords.

Hopefully when this is all done, will take a 3-5 days to get setup.

in Thunderbird the settings should be

SERVER SETTINGS IMAP - port 993 username will be just first part of your email so joebloggs (NOT connection security: SSL/TLS Authentication Normal Password

OUTGOING SERVER SMTP SERVER (Select icloud smtp settings) server name: PORT 587 Connection Security: STARTTLS Authentication Method: Normal Passwrod Usersname: Joebloggs (your username without

The password for your email will be only your app-specific password key that was generated early.. nothing else.

When your logging in to icloud via the web browser, it will be your original password plus sms code sent to your mobile. The app-specific password key is only for thunderbird.

I hope this helps those that had problems, it caused me weeks of issues to sort out.

All Replies (6)

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so the process is.

1. activate 2step authentication wait few days for apple. 2. activate app-specific password this requires enabling sms identify code to your mobile and then you can generate an app-generated password for thunderbird. 3. setup thunderbird with app-generated code, nothing else. Your original password is only used via web, not via thunderbird.

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NOTE - before you begin all the steps ensure you have your mobile and alternative email setup in your icloud account.

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OK - I've followed the instructions above to the letter and I still get an error message. Please see my attachment for further details.

Just to clarify, The password which I copied and pasted into the Thunderbird Mail Account Set up dialogue box was the Two Factor auto app generated (16 character) password created from my Apple ID account.

My problem also exists when I try to set up iCloud with eM Mail and Opera Mail clients as well. Is there something wrong with my set up? I am currently using Windows 10 Enterprise on a 10 year old Dell Inspiron laptop. Please let me know if you require any additional information.

Modified by mozillapat

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Can anyone answer my query above please or is it one for the Apple Forums???

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Thanks, kikstart2. It worked for me. I had already set up two step verification so I skipped that. One thing I had to do differently: to get to generate an app-specific password I had to click on (Apple ID) Manage, not Security.

I can log into iCloud on the web with either my permanent email address or my address, but in an email client (e.g. Thunderbird) only the address works. That was my first mistake.

mozillapat mentioned two factor authorization. Non-Apple apps can't use two factor authorization and must use two step verification instead. They are not the same. I set up two step verification in the iCloud website.

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I am having the same or similar problem after I enabled 2FA on my gmail account. I am not using any Apple devices IF I logon on the gmail with Firefox everything works fine.

IT seems like after I hit send on an email TB can not save the email to the Sent folder. Responding to the Retry message causes TB to stay in a loop and has to be forced out.

Once I turned off 2FA the problem disappeared. It appears that I can create this at will so if anymore information is needed Just let me what is needed and how to go about getting it.