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Not able to log in to my email accounts at Zoho.com or gmail since July - "login to server imap.zoho.com with username xxxx@xxxxx.com failed" (1 gmail account and 4 zoho)

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  • Last reply by Matt

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I have been using Thunderbird email for numerous years.

At the end of June (2021) I started a summer-long vacation in another state, and prepared a laptop (Win 10) computer for the trip (with Thunderbird installed, of course.

Around July 5th I tried to peruse my email using Thunderbird on the laptop and was unsuccessful.... Zoho kept rejecting my email account password(s).... "login to server imap.zoho.com with username xxxx@xxxxx.com failed" (see attached)

I had the same issue with my account at gmail.com (Google mail) using Thunderbird. I have no other email accounts.

I assumed I had made some sort of mistake in the Thunderbird account settings on the laptop, but I had no way to compare the settings to my home computer (nobody there at my home and I was away on an extended trip)

Zoho was unable to assist me with Thunderbird. I assumed I did something wrong when I configured Thunderbird on the laptop and tried numerous parameter alterations without success.

I am able to access my email accounts at Zoho when I go to zoho.com directly, but compared to Thunderbird their interface is unwieldy and doesn't allow much screen space for email content (and, of course, I'm not able to save read emails to my Thunderbird local accounts).

I just returned from my extended trip and find that I now have the same issues on my home desktop computer, which was working fine when I left the last week of June. It (Thunderbird on my home desktop computer) also, rejects logins to my email accounts at Zoho and at Googlemail. Strangely, I can read new emails in the Thunderbird email accounts, but I am unable to reply to them or forward them.

The only logical explanation I can come up with is that an automatic update caused these issues. In fact, my home computer has a Thunderbird icon on the desktop that I'm not certain was there before (I keep most of my important program icons in program category folders on my desktop and in my quick-access bar at the bottom of my Win 10 desktop screen... so if an icon shows up on my desktop, I assume it is because of a product update). I am currently at Thunderbird 78.14.0 (64-bit).

I am trying to think of ways I can verify that an automatic update caused the issue.

I am able to log in to my email accounts by directly using zoho.com or google.com, but much prefer Thunderbird. I am hoping for suggestions as to why neither of my Thunderbird copies (desktop and laptop) are able to log in to receive email.

Thoughts and suggestions????

I have been using Thunderbird email for numerous years. At the end of June (2021) I started a summer-long vacation in another state, and prepared a laptop (Win 10) computer for the trip (with Thunderbird installed, of course. Around July 5th I tried to peruse my email using Thunderbird on the laptop and was unsuccessful.... Zoho kept rejecting my email account password(s).... "login to server imap.zoho.com with username xxxx@xxxxx.com failed" (see attached) I had the same issue with my account at gmail.com (Google mail) using Thunderbird. I have no other email accounts. I assumed I had made some sort of mistake in the Thunderbird account settings on the laptop, but I had no way to compare the settings to my home computer (nobody there at my home and I was away on an extended trip) Zoho was unable to assist me with Thunderbird. I assumed I did something wrong when I configured Thunderbird on the laptop and tried numerous parameter alterations without success. I am able to access my email accounts at Zoho when I go to zoho.com directly, but compared to Thunderbird their interface is unwieldy and doesn't allow much screen space for email content (and, of course, I'm not able to save read emails to my Thunderbird local accounts). I just returned from my extended trip and find that I now have the same issues on my home desktop computer, which was working fine when I left the last week of June. It (Thunderbird on my home desktop computer) also, rejects logins to my email accounts at Zoho and at Googlemail. Strangely, I can read new emails in the Thunderbird email accounts, but I am unable to reply to them or forward them. The only logical explanation I can come up with is that an automatic update caused these issues. In fact, my home computer has a Thunderbird icon on the desktop that I'm not certain was there before (I keep most of my important program icons in program category folders on my desktop and in my quick-access bar at the bottom of my Win 10 desktop screen... so if an icon shows up on my desktop, I assume it is because of a product update). I am currently at Thunderbird 78.14.0 (64-bit). I am trying to think of ways I can verify that an automatic update caused the issue. I am able to log in to my email accounts by directly using zoho.com or google.com, but much prefer Thunderbird. I am hoping for suggestions as to why neither of my Thunderbird copies (desktop and laptop) are able to log in to receive email. Thoughts and suggestions????
Attached screenshots

Modified by Wayne Mery

All Replies (19)

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Update history for my Thunderbird is attached

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inadvertently forgot most recent updates, see attachment

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Also refer to this other thread I started when I stopped hearing anything on this one (and when my Thunderbird went even more bonkers and showed only one of my five accounts but said there was no email in the account; there is lots of mail in that account, and in my other 4 accounts)... https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1359137

henceforth I will stay on this thread and cease posting to the other thread

I am an old guy, but I had a 25 year career in mainframe computer tech support and I'm a plugger (retired in 1994 and got my first PC).

I sure hope someone can help, I am at my wit's end after wrestling with Thunderbird for the past 5 months. I've used it for many years and its always been solid until now; I want to continue using it, I much prefer the Thunderbird interface to that of my email providers websites, but Thunderbird is currently useless to me.

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Quick check, do you have everything backed up? https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data#w_backing-up-a-profile

Next, do you run CCleaner? If you do, disable it or set it to not touch Thunderbird.

Some background information about passwords: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Password_rejected

Next, let's start over with stored passwords. Find your profile directory https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data then shut down TB, delete files logon.json, key4.db and cert9.db.

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No, I haven't backed up the profiles recently (I assume you mean did I back up prior to this problem) but they haven't changed in several years. Are you suggesting I back it up now?

In looking, I'm sad to admit I have been lax in taking backups... wish I had taken backups of all 3 computers before leaving on extended trip in June. As usual, things are always rushed just before a vacation.

All I can find are a backup of Thunderbird taken 2021 01 04 (had the same email accounts then, but local folders had changes from Jan to June); the latest backup of the sysres disk was done 2021/10/21 but Thunderbird was already bad almost 3 months by then), the previous sysres backup was taken 2021 02 14. I have a backup of the laptop sysres done 2021 03 13 but it won't have Tbird local folders (those are on my desktop computer)

However, as I've stated before, I have this same Thunderbird issue on 3 different Win 10 computers, 2 of which I hadn't touched since late last June when I left for extended summer vacation at my cottage (I'm retired), taking a laptop with me. One of those computers I left behind likely updated Thunderbird automatically when a friend went to my house and brought it up at my behest last August (so I could check Thunderbird settings on my newly-acquired laptop against that computer, because my laptop Thunderbird wasn't working properly); the third computer (a laptop) probably also updated Thunderbird when I brought it up upon my return from vacation in Sept, not realizing a Thunderbird update was a likely culprit.

Why do you suggest deleting files logon.json, key4.db and cert9.db? Password files? Could I just rename them in order to preserve them?

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Reply to Wayne Mery;

I was not able to find file "logon.json"

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Unbelievable... I set up Thunderbird for my sister on her Windows computer, probably 10 years ago. She lives in another state. She is now reporting the same issue I am having, apparently as of a recent Thunderbird update: her valid password is being rejected. Unlike mine, her email is hosted by Verizon. She also uses Apple products (iPhone and iPad, which I do not use); her email continues to work fine on those devices, but like me, she prefers to use Thunderbird.

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I should have mentioned that my sister's Verizon email is actually hosted by AOL (Verizon shifted all their email to AOL perhaps 5 years ago).

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AOL/Verizon changed authentication requirement. I think effective 7th December is the information supplied in this forum regarding the emails they sent out is correct. THey also issued data destroying instructions in the email which are best ignored. But that does not alter the fact users now need to either need to use oAUth2.0 or an application password (the latter required for verizon POP IIRC) as the authentication method.

In this instance to use oAUth the server used must be one of the AOL server names with the full email address used to identify the account as verizon as the username.

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Thanks for the reply, Matt. I haven't been able to pinpoint the issues and whatever I try results in failure.

I've been trying to fix this problem since last July, trying everything I can think of, and still haven't been able to solve my Thunderbird issue (the reason for this call for help). I have 3 computers that now cannot reach several of my email accounts. The same issue just hit my sister's Thunderbird (I did read your response above); her iPad and iPhone were not affected, she still receives her email on those devices without having made any changes (another reason for me to blame Thunderbird updates). But she, too, prefers to use Thunderbird.

My email vendors claim ignorance of Thunderbird and will not help; they may give a different answer to Edge or Mac users.

It may be time for me to call it quits and find another email interface and just mourn the loss of years of saved emails ...this server stuff has gotten just too complicated without help from the email providers. I even tried to bring up a fresh Thunderbird in a Win 10 virtual machine, letting Thunderbird connect to the email provider and ascertain the correct server settings; two accounts connected smoothly but no success on two others at the same provider and one at Gmail. Yet I can go to those email providers websites in Firefox and log in easily if I go incognito (so apparently there are residual cookies in Firefox causing problems, are there cookies in Thunderbird as well?).

As you said, there may be 13 million users of Thunderbird (including many non-techie users), but I expect that number is going to diminish rapidly if these changes in server authentication (dunno if that was my case with Zoho and Googlemail) keep taking down our email systems.

I was a mainframe systems engineer, and later, manager during a 25 year career (which ended in 2004, so I'm an old guy now). I tended to think of myself as a techie, helped a lot of customers with software and hardware problems, but this issue is baffling me.

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Ooops, I meant Windows Mail above, not Edge.

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I still have 2 email accounts at zoho.com that I have not been able to access via Thunderbird for nearly 6 months (I resolved the problem with my Gmail account); Thunderbird gives me a password error; 2 other zoho email accounts do work.

I can access those errant accounts using Firefox or other browsers (and using the same passwords I enter into Thunderbird when asked).

I have gone through all the settings in Thunderbird over and over again, ensuring that server (and other) settings specified for all 4 of my email accounts at Zoho.com are the same.

I have cleared cache on both Thunderbird and Firefox.

I have tried removing those 2 errant email accounts from Thunderbird and re-adding them again, but the result is still password rejection for those 2 accounts.

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BTW, in his prior post, Matt told me about an issue that might be related to my sister's problem with Thunderbird email logins: a change of servers (from Verizon servers to AOL servers); that turned out to be right on point. I may need to query Zoho to see if they've tinkered with their servers.

She worked with a tech person at AOL and then was able to log into her errant email accounts.

Her problems are what got me looking again at my server settings in Thunderbird. Strangely, she has 3 email accounts at Verizon but only 2 had a login problem (SFAIK Zoho hasn't changed servers). I need to find out whether/what changes the AOL support rep may have made to her Thunderbird definitions.

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I don't know why I am having to figure this out you should be volunteering this sort of thing what you ask for support.

So your domain, which is finally known, is a hosted domain and as such you have complete control over it. It is not like an google mail account where everything is set in concrete. The whole approach is different.

Your domain is apparently through wildwest domains https://au.godaddy.com/whois/results.aspx?checkAvail=1&tmskey=&domain=jagsnvettes.com, and the email settings this godaddy reseller provide for hosted domains are here. https://www.secureserver.net/help/server-and-port-settings-for-workspace-email-6949?pl_id=1387

You have apparently chosen to not use this and have instead chosen to use zoho, https://intodns.com/jagsnvettes.com for reasons I can not fathom. So DNS is configured for all mail to be sent and received through zoho.

So now I get to ask the obvious questions here. Have you undertaken all the steps specified by zoho here https://www.zoho.com/mail/help/dynamic-from-address.html#alink8 Without all that stuff setup, they will not allow you to use their service for those mail accounts. Have you checked recently, because it sounds like it would be a likely cause.

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OK, Matt, thanks for the response.

I'm old (closing on 83) so my short-term memory is bad; yesterday I set up a spreadsheet to compare the Tbird server parameters of my 5 email accounts, since I can't look at them side-by-side in Thunderbird Account Settings.

I am not a guru in internet communications/protocols. But it does seem to be a parameter issue. I have been fiddling with server parameters in my desktop computer over a few days now and managed to get 4 of my 6 email identities working. So very likely is a server definition issue; the fact that I lost access to the Thunderbird email accounts on 3 different computers simultaneously last July (2 of which were not even powered up until July and September, respectively) says something changed, but it wasn't my Thunderbird account settings that changed.

3 of my 4 Zoho email accounts are now working in Thunderbird on my desktop computer, but I haven't been able to get the 4th Zoho account working, nor my gmail account. I see no differences in the server settings for the 4 Zoho accounts.

So I've had minor success, but I'm currently stuck on those last 2 email ID's.

In both cases where I cannot access my account (1 at Zoho, 1 at Gmail), I am refused with an incorrect password; yet, I can log into those accounts using Firefox in incognito mode (but not in normal mode). I've checked and the passwords for those 2 errant accounts are not in Tbird's password safe.

One mystery is that Zoho lists/recommends a server different from the ones I'm using for my working accounts (currently imap.zoho.com); their recommended server (imappro.zoho.com) did not work for me when I tried it on my Zoho accounts, and I just now tried it again on my Zoho errant account, so I don't think that is my problem.

Gmail, on the other hand, logs me in automatically when I go there using my Firefox browser but I can't log in using Thunderbird.

I'd sure like to get those last 2 accounts working in Thunderbird.

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car-nuts said

OK, Matt, thanks for the response. I'm old (closing on 83) so my short-term memory is bad; yesterday I set up a spreadsheet to compare the Tbird server parameters of my 5 email accounts, since I can't look at them side-by-side in Thunderbird Account Settings.

Try using the troubleshoot information on the help menu. That is why you see so many requests on this forum for troubleshoot information that and anti virus products and add-ons just about sums up their general usefulness.

I am not a guru in internet communications/protocols. But it does seem to be a parameter issue. I have been fiddling with server parameters in my desktop computer over a few days now and managed to get 4 of my 6 email identities working. So very likely is a server definition issue; the fact that I lost access to the Thunderbird email accounts on 3 different computers simultaneously last July (2 of which were not even powered up until July and September, respectively) says something changed, but it wasn't my Thunderbird account settings that changed.

You are assuming that what the provider finds acceptable has not changed. My guess is it has. Hence the links I provided for you to work through the information the relevant bodies provide

Either use the server settings provided by the hosting provider or work through all the approvals that need to occur to use your wildwest mail server to send mail as you used to. My guess is that is where the issue is. It is becoming very uncommon for email providers to send mail for domains that are not under their direct control as you have been doing. SPAM has forced changes over the years. Once US internet service providers insisted users use their domains to send mail, not the mostly refuse point plank. The links indicate wild west have not yet gone that far. But eventually they probably will.

3 of my 4 Zoho email accounts are now working in Thunderbird on my desktop computer, but I haven't been able to get the 4th Zoho account working, nor my gmail account. I see no differences in the server settings for the 4 Zoho accounts. So I've had minor success, but I'm currently stuck on those last 2 email ID's. In both cases where I cannot access my account (1 at Zoho, 1 at Gmail), I am refused with an incorrect password; yet, I can log into those accounts using Firefox in incognito mode (but not in normal mode). I've checked and the passwords for those 2 errant accounts are not in Tbird's password safe. One mystery is that Zoho lists/recommends a server different from the ones I'm using for my working accounts (currently imap.zoho.com); their recommended server (imappro.zoho.com) did not work for me when I tried it on my Zoho accounts, and I just now tried it again on my Zoho errant account, so I don't think that is my problem.
Have you considered the problem may be other software?
Gmail, on the other hand, logs me in automatically when I go there using my Firefox browser but I can't log in using Thunderbird. I'd sure like to get those last 2 accounts working in Thunderbird.

Perhaps post the settings from your troubleshoot information. But Google can be said to require oAUth2.0 connections with cookies enabled from mail clients. Something that can be very adversely affected by security software with Nortons, McAfee and ccleaner being the longest frequently mentioned over the last 10 years. But kaspersky and Trend have largely replaced McAfee in the past 12 months..

One thing that I strongly encourage is to actually use the setting provided by the company you are connecting to. Those are the settings they claim to support. Others might work, but they are unsupported and may simply stop working without notice.

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By "troubleshoot information, I assume you mean the spreadsheet I made from my Thunderbird settings...

I'm enclosing the settings (taken from Thunderbird) for two accounts at Zoho. one works, the other does not (refuses the same password that works if I visit Zoho.com using Firefox). Two more Zoho email accounts have the same server settings as Wayne and work fine

For the account that doesn't work, I tried Zoho's recommended outgoing server settings as well as the ones I am using for the other 3 accounts that had worked fine for years (I also tried the newer "pro" server settings on the accounts that work, but then changed them back).

Zoho sent me an email complaining that I've disabled two-factor authentication; I assume that two-factor authentication is only applicable to manual logins using a browser, and I disabled it because of the issues I've had trying to log in using Thunderbird (in case it had any bearing; I assume it doesn't); its a pain in the butt to have my cellphone handy whenever I log into their website from a browser (wouldn't have to if I could get Thunderbird working again), and I'm constantly leaving my cellphone on the computer desk and walking away without it (its an old-guy thing).

I had been (before last July) logging into my Zoho and gmail accounts daily with Thunderbird.

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Not sure what troubleshooting info you think would be helpful to me. Some excerpts attached.

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car-nuts said

Not sure what troubleshooting info you think would be helpful to me. Some excerpts attached.

I was looking for troubleshooting information that would be helpful to me and you. If you can't find the words more troubleshooting information on the help menu, there is little hope of moving this forward. Ever.

This topic is full of images of bits and pierces, but no comprehensive over all information which the troubleshooting information would have supplied.

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