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Unable to Link Thunderbird to Yahoo(Imap) on Mac(Catalina)

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  • 1 has this problem
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  • Last reply by atErik

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Unable to setup Thunderbird with Yahoo Imap... see screenshots below

The yahoo email address and password are correct... I've got some online hits implying that there is a security problem and that Thunderbird will NOT work with Yahoo Hopefully that is not true... Any help/tips appreciated

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Try to generate an app pasword from your yahoo account and see if with that specific password it will work. More details in yahoo page: https://en-global.help.yahoo.com/kb/new-mail-for-desktop/SLN15241.html?impressions=true

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Hi n.hiramatsu, TB (Thunderbird) works fine to access Yahoo account mails, etc.

While you create account in TB, also login into yahoo mail via a regular web-browser, click on your name > click on "Account Info" > select "Recent Activity" > scroll down to "Apps connected to your account":

you will see 3rd-party app lists that have permission to access your yahoo account: ( in above, in my case "thunderbird" is already added there, but in your case it will appear later, after below steps are done ) keep that window at that state, go back to TB & start create yahoo account, when TB appears in yahoo's 3rd-party app lists, then select "ok"/"allow" if that any "ok"/"allow" is shown next to TB.

Please delete incomplete yahoo accnt from both imap/incoming & smtp/outgoing sections in Thunderbird (TB), Reboot TB , & try to create yahoo account again in TB from beginning...

in TB main-menu > File > New > Existing Mail Account:

after pressing "Continue", you should see:

press "Manual Config" button, then you'll see these (make sure it has OAuth2):

press "Done" button, then you'll see a popup window (or a new tab) opened-up, & URL bar has yahoo website address, there Yahoo will ask you to login:

then enter Yahoo account's password:

Yahoo will or may display info that Unusual Account Activity has occurred in your yahoo account, So you have to verify/authenticate to yahoo that you are the account's actual owner & in control , in my case i have chosen to use the option "Approve from Phone" to verify via Yahoo-Mail app which is pre-setup/configured by me in my mobile phone.

in your mobile phone's Yahoo-Mail app, you will receive a yahoo push/xmpp notification with info Who+Where+What is trying to access/sign-in to your Yahoo Account , select "Yes" if you were trying to signin from TB/Thunderbird: in above the "virtual gecko" is the TB (Thunderbird) . i have obscured/changed my actual IP-Address, etc into a random one, etc.

then in TB (Thunderbird), you will receive final ("OAuth2") notification to Permit/Allow 3rdparty app Thunderbird to access (that is: Read & Write) into your Yahoo Mail account , click/select the "Agree" button, then you will see yahoo account is finally added into your TB , yahoo mail's inbox in TB has began to obtain emails from Yahoo servers, etc:

if you want to check Yahoo Mail account settings : goto TB main-menu > Tools > Account Settings > choose YOUR YAHOO MAIL account in left-pane / left-column, f.e: emlAdrs@yahoo.com:

and to view SMTP settings, goto bottom side & select "Outgoing Server" option, then in right-side you will see the emlAdrs@yahoo.com mail , select/click that, to view config info:

main point is, to access yahoo account, instead of choosing "Normal Password", user have to choose "OAuth2" as "Authentication Method" in TB. then a web-browser window/tab SHOULD/MAY appear, with a webpage from Yahoo website , once you login, & approve/permit TB there , then TB will be allowed to access yahoo mail account. If after permitting TB, yahoo webpage shows you a CODE NUMBER, then copy that code & paste it into TB's appropriate box, & do "Next"/"Ok"/etc button ).

if you have setup your yahoo mail in a Yahoo-Mail app inside your mobile OS (Android/iOS), then you will see that Yahoo-Mail app is asking you to confirm that you've just tried to access your Yahoo account via TB, then press/select "Yes"/"Ok" etc there, or else access will be denied. If you have Yahoo-Mail app in your mobile device, then in your computer (where you're setting-up the TB), there you don't have to open a web-browser tab & login/access yahoo there.

Yahoo basically uses their own Mail app to get a ( 2FA type of ) confirmation from you, before allowing access to other email-client software, like Thunderbird (TB), etc. Very good security protection.

hope these info help you or other users with similar issues.

Modified by atErik

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PART-2: (Yahoo - OAuth)

(please see PART-1 in above/earlier post) ... • in Thunderbird = TB , user have to allow cookies from specific yahoo sites, & OAuth related sites, please goto this webpage & find my answer at bottom side, (please upvote my Q+A both, inside the above linked webpage, if its helpful/useful).

• if you enable/allow ALL cookies, then unwanted/tracking cookies from unwanted sites/domains/servers will also be stored in TB, to avoid that, you should allow cookies only from very specific & needed sites/domains/servers/URLs, • to allow/enable only specific cookies in TB, check this webpage & find out How to goto TB main menu > Preferences/Settings/Options > Privacy > "Web Content" > [Exceptions] button > Cookie-Exceptions settings/config page, • and then begin to TYPE+ADD+ALLOW specific site-addresses/URLs/domains/servers, one by one, which are shown in EXCEPTION LIST inside Yahoo section, inside that Cookie-Exceptions settings/config page , choose "Allow"-button after typing each site/domain/server/URL , to allow COOKIES only from those specific sites/domains/servers/URLs , then "OAuth2" (authentication method) can work better, and unwanted cookies can also be avoided too.



PART-3: (Yahoo by using app-pass-key) • Yahoo can also be accessed via using app-specific special codes , instead of using the main/master/primary password, in that way, main/master/primary password remains safe. main/master/primary password should not be used for anything else other than sign-in/login into Yahoo's web mail access website.

aka = also known as . auth = authentication . TB = Thunderbird . App = Application.

• I suggest to use App-Password (AP) aka Approved-App-Password (AAP) aka Secure-Mail-Key (SMK) aka App-Key (AK) aka Mail-Key (MK) aka Approved App Key (AAK) aka Third-Party App Key (TPAK) etc etc pass-key aka pass-code , instead of using OAuth2. • goto Yahoo web mail access website & sign-in/login, & goto here to generate/create an App-Password code/key from Yahoo website, for TB email-client app. • when you will use App-Password-code in TB , then you will have to use it as a password in Yahoo mail-account's password field in TB. • also change this yahoo mail-account settings in TB : TB main menu > Tools > Account Settings > select yahoo mail-account > select "Server Settings" > change from "OAuth2" auth-method, into "Normal Password" auth-method. • and before specifying App-Password-code in TB , you have to delete earlier password from Saved-Passwords list, from here: TB main menu > Options/Preferences > Security > Passwords > [Saved passwords] button > then click on column header "Username" to sort based-on username to find yahoo account easily , find specific yahoo account > click-on "Remove" button to delete Saved Password. • (it is better if you exit TB & restart it) • then click on "Sent" or other folder for that specific yahoo mail-account in TB , and TB will ask you to specify password, specify App-Password-code. • click on "Inbox" or other folder. • yahoo access thru TB will begin to work . ( if Yahoo sends you notification prompt in your mobile Yahoo-Mail app to find out if its indeed you who is accessing Yahoo from TB, then select Yes to approve the TB app . if Yahoo sends you verification code , then provide that code to Yahoo to verify that its indeed you who is accessing Yahoo from TB app )


More info: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbird-and-yahoo#w_important-changes-to-authentication-method-notice , 2

Modified by atErik

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