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Thunderbird Email Login Passwords

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I updated T-bird to 78.6.1. after being nagged for a bit to do so. Prior to this version (only a couple or 3 versions back), I discovered that the saved email usernames and passwords located in Tools > Options > Privacy & Security > Saved Passwords > Saved Logins, required that I enter my computer User password if I wanted to copy a password from Saved Passwords. I always wondered why this info was so easily accessible, and was quite pleased to see that T-bird had addressed the issue.

Sadly, when I updated to 78.6.1, I found that that feature was gone. I've always considered this one of T-bird's weaknesses, and is one of the reasons I password my computer. Why was it removed after so little time?

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I asked and was informed the reason was due to this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636511#c0 which was due to an issue like this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636312 Person apparently starts computer and it opens straight to desktop, no user account. But gets asked for password. And https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636466 where user was being asked for smart card. Issues where people do not know what password is required and difficulties with autofills etc etc. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636032 This bug seems to be quite specific that the issue is in Firefox. Asking for password seems to have confused users as to what password is required or has not taken into consideration the wide range of password types.

However, I have also found a bug reporting issues who were using Thunderbird: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1669533

So it would seem, if a simple case of entering the eg: 'Windows User Account/MS Account logon password' then it worked ok. But clearly a lot of people were confused to see a 'Windows security' asking for a password when user was trying to access 'Show Passwords' in 'Thunderbird'.

Obviously, what might seem to be a good and safe option, has not catered for all situations.

Whilst it might seem very obvious to those who determine the language content when trying to let everyone understand what is required, it is not so simple as there are a lot of people who do not necessarilly understand the lingo. I have an older relative who frequently will get confused by passwords. They did not realise they had a mail account password because it has been automatically for a long time. They thought the password to logon to see desktop was the password to access email. the word 'webmail account' was an alien terminology because they click on Thunderbird icon and it shows emails. They have no concept of any other method. They have also sometimes given out the password of computer when needing to authenticate access to bbc iplayer because they did not understand what password is used. Some people do not understand the words 'Windows security logon credentials' or similar, they only know it as 'the password you type when you start up computer'.

So it would seem, if you have a more simple system of logon to computer to see desktop and understand what is required, then it will work ok to enable that preference.

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I don't know whether it was removed in TB78.6.1, I'd doubt it. But I never used that functionality. In any case, TB would only prompt you for the OS account password, if no master password has been set up. The sole purpose of the master password is to protect account passwords Thunderbird has remembered. So just set a master password (or primary password, as it is called now). http://kb.mozillazine.org/Master_password

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Located some info about issues in Firefox and so it was disabled. This appears to have passed on to Thunderbird, although I'm not sure the reasons.

Menu app icon > Options > General scroll to bottom click on 'Config Editor' button and accept the warning. Noticed : signon.management.page.os-auth.enabled is now set to 'false' by default Setting to 'True' means asked for OS User Account password to see 'Saved Passwords'.

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christ1 said

The sole purpose of the master password is to protect account passwords Thunderbird has remembered. So just set a master password (or primary password, as it is called now).

I have never used the master (or now primary) password feature before. Perhaps I will consider it...

Toad-Hall said

Noticed : signon.management.page.os-auth.enabled is now set to 'false' by default Setting to 'True' means asked for OS User Account password to see 'Saved Passwords'.

Yep...found it. And it is indeed set to 'false.' I toggled the setting to 'true' to make sure that was the feature I was trying to describe and it is.

Toad-Hall said

Located some info about issues in Firefox and so it was disabled. This appears to have passed on to Thunderbird, although I'm not sure the reasons.
When you say, "this appears to have 'passed on to Thunderbird,'" do you mean the same issues in FF were found in T-bird associated with this feature? Or the disabling of the feature was applied to T-bird also because of the issues discovered in FF?

Thanks

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Chosen Solution

I asked and was informed the reason was due to this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636511#c0 which was due to an issue like this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636312 Person apparently starts computer and it opens straight to desktop, no user account. But gets asked for password. And https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636466 where user was being asked for smart card. Issues where people do not know what password is required and difficulties with autofills etc etc. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1636032 This bug seems to be quite specific that the issue is in Firefox. Asking for password seems to have confused users as to what password is required or has not taken into consideration the wide range of password types.

However, I have also found a bug reporting issues who were using Thunderbird: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1669533

So it would seem, if a simple case of entering the eg: 'Windows User Account/MS Account logon password' then it worked ok. But clearly a lot of people were confused to see a 'Windows security' asking for a password when user was trying to access 'Show Passwords' in 'Thunderbird'.

Obviously, what might seem to be a good and safe option, has not catered for all situations.

Whilst it might seem very obvious to those who determine the language content when trying to let everyone understand what is required, it is not so simple as there are a lot of people who do not necessarilly understand the lingo. I have an older relative who frequently will get confused by passwords. They did not realise they had a mail account password because it has been automatically for a long time. They thought the password to logon to see desktop was the password to access email. the word 'webmail account' was an alien terminology because they click on Thunderbird icon and it shows emails. They have no concept of any other method. They have also sometimes given out the password of computer when needing to authenticate access to bbc iplayer because they did not understand what password is used. Some people do not understand the words 'Windows security logon credentials' or similar, they only know it as 'the password you type when you start up computer'.

So it would seem, if you have a more simple system of logon to computer to see desktop and understand what is required, then it will work ok to enable that preference.

Helpful?

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Wow...my apologies for having somehow missed this last post.

Toad-Hall said

So it would seem, if you have a more simple system of logon to computer to see desktop and understand what is required, then it will work ok to enable that preference.

Thank you, @Toad-Hall, for all the info. While I did not read all of it, I did read enough to come to the conclusion that the issue is as you have offered above, in addition to people mixing up two different operations - 1) master password feature, and, 2) entering one's OS user ID to protect the "Saved Passwords" for email in T-bird, and it seems to me that whatever the problem was in FF, may not hae actually ever exist in T-bird.

I will admit that I had disabled the feature after reading that it was believed a similar issue existed in T-bird as it did in FF. I returned to the forum today, however, to find again where to navigate to enable/disable the request for the OS user ID so that I could re-enable it... that's when I discovered your post.

Thank you again for you time and all the info.

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