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Resolved - Cannot set up an existing account.

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  • Last reply by Matt

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I have an existing Thunderbird account on my Windows 11 PC. I am now trying to open and access this same account on another PC with Windows 10.This is the message that keeps on appearing:

Unable to login in at server. Probably wrong configuration,username or password.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have an existing Thunderbird account on my Windows 11 PC. I am now trying to open and access this same account on another PC with Windows 10.This is the message that keeps on appearing: Unable to login in at server. Probably wrong configuration,username or password. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Modified by Suksan

All Replies (16)

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Well, one of your gmail accounts is not oauth2. That's my guess to your problem. Remove the password for that account and try again.

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You may have something here. On my Windows 7 Secuity Settings, Authentication method: Normal password.

Now I am so nervous here, had to purchase this old Fujitsu laptop with a compatible Windows 7 Motherboard, to see and access my email folders. This is a culmination of ten years, solely spent all this money to see, and get them back again. I can't possible afford to loose them,. So I need confirmation from someone, who's really an expert is seeting up an existing Thunderbird account, on another machine. Is there someone you could please refer my case to please?

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Suksan said

Thank you. Tried switching it didn't work. So what is the normal course of action, when this message appears, in trying to configure an existing account, on a new PC: Yellow warning sign: Unable to login in at server. Probably wrong configuration?

Disable or uninstall the anti virus program.

The error is a catch all because Thunderbird does not know why it can not get access. This is often because of anti virus products, either messing with the setup. (Norton Sonar drove me almost to drink) blocking Thunderbird on the device (software firewalls)

Normally the answer is to restart the operating system in safe mode with networking, that temporarily removes these problem products, but with the proliferation of laptops using wifi which don't get network access in safe mode it is becoming more difficult, hence get rid of the anti virus.

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Just been informed of the following, be grateful if there are those that can confirm the following please:

A direct copy/image of my current Windows 7 Thunderbird, which is held in a POP3 account, on a laptop, cannot be directly transferred to a new copy of Thunderbird, installed on my Windows 11 PC. Not possible, can't be done. Correct or not?

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Just been informed of the following, be grateful if there are those that can confirm this please:

A direct copy/image of my current Windows 7 Thunderbird, which is held in a POP3 account, on a laptop, cannot be directly transferred to a new copy of Thunderbird, installed on my Windows 11 PC. Not possible, can't be done. Correct or not?

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Suksan said

A direct copy/image of my current Windows 7 Thunderbird, which is held in a POP3 account, on a laptop, cannot be directly transferred to a new copy of Thunderbird, installed on my Windows 11 PC. Not possible, can't be done. Correct or not?

Utter rubbish would be my opinion. I do not actually encourage direct copy, as it can cause issues with Thunderbird versions. However there is a fairly simple copy process that works for those that use it in my experience.

It also helps if both versions of Thunderbird are the same. Updating your old device to the latest version you have downloaded and installed on the new one ensures there are no file incompatibilities that can arise as what this does to force feed Thunderbird the profile data without any chance of an upgrade to make profile changes. Given most major Thunderbird updates in the past couple of years have included significant modifications to how data is stored, having the versions the same is fairly important to prevent data loss.

  • Open Thunderbird, select more troubleshooting information from the help menu.
  • Select the open button for the profile.
  • Close Thunderbird.

The above ensures you are in the profile folder Thunderbird is currently using and can be used on both the install you are copying and the one you are copying to.

  • On your old device use Ctrl+A to select everything in the profiles folder (and sub folders), then Ctrl+C to copy it to a usb drivre or other common drive.
  • In your new device open the drive and use the Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C process to copy the content of the the profile you copied.
  • In the profile folder of your new install on windows 11 use paste to copy the files and folders into your current profile on the new device. This will start and prompt to replace a lot of files if you have it copying in the correct location, replace them all.

Now start Thunderbird. It should just run as it did on your old machine.

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Now what you are saying here is correct, thank you, and has been done already, and what's more Thunderbird is currently working on my Windows 11 PC.

So what's the problem and issue. On my Windows 7 original POP3 version on my laptop, I have countless folders and sub folders. It is this exact format that I wish to transfer to my new Windows 11 PC Thunderbird version.

On Windows 11 it is currently showing as:

Inbox (23671) Sent (1022) All Mail (23672) Important (8997)

How can I either transfer, or get all my original POP3 Windows 7 Thunderbird folders, to work and show up on my new IMAP Windows 11 version please.

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My problem with the missing folders is because my Thunderbird profile on the Win7 PC is setup as POP3 (i.e. all the messages/folders are stored on the local PC) and my Thunderbird profile on the Win11 PC is setup as IMAP (i.e. all the messages/folders are stored on the remote mail server)

Since the IMAP profile didn’t have any of the POP3 profile folders setup on the mail server, all the messages I transferred over where placed in their “default” locations.

So the six million dollar question is this, how can I transfer my POP3 messages from a Windows 7 laptop, to my Windows 11 PC please?

Modified by Suksan

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Thunderbird is the program and it is installed on Windows 10 computer. There is no such thing as a 'Thunderbird account'.

Everything below is only about the Windows 10 computer: Please start at the top and run through all the checks.

First make sure the 'Thunderbird' program is an allowed program, otherwise the 'Firewall will block Thunderbird's access to internet. The Firewall may the default Windows Firewall or it might be one used by an Anti-Virus software package you installed.

So Exit Thunderbird and access the 'Firewall' and make sure 'Thunderbird' is listed as an allowed program.

When this is done -Start Thunderbird.

As you are trying to add a gmail account, it will be needing to use Authentication Method 'OAuth2'. So you need to enable cookies. Second check - are cookies enabled ? It will not work if they are not enabled.

  • Check your settings... Preferences > Privacy & Security
  • Under 'Web Content' section
  • Select the checkbox 'Accept cookies from sites'

You are trying to create a 'mail account' for an 'existing mail account' which is a gmail email address. I'm not sure if you have already created it. If the gmail imap account displays in Folder Pane, then you have added it. So you do not need to add it again.

Third check : Can you logon to your gmail webmail account via a browser? This check is important because you need to know that the password you are going to use to create the mail account will work. Can you logon to gmail webmail account - if yes, then all is good and you know the password is correct. If no, then you need to use the 'Forgotten Password' link to regain access to gmail and get password set up correctly.

At this point you now know the correct password and verified it gets access to webmail.

Back in thunderbird... If you have not created a mail account for the gmail email address then do the following: Menu app icon (it has 3 lines) > New > Existing Mail Account

  • Enter your name
  • Enter the full gmail email address
  • Enter the Password you normally use if you want to access webmail account.
  • Select checkbox 'Remember Password' - it might be selected by default.
  • click on 'Continue' button

Thunderbird will automatically check for the server settings for an imap gmail account. click on 'Finish'. You will get prompted by google/gmail to enter password to allow Thunderbird to access the server. That password is the one you use to access the gmail webmail account.

Then gmail will issue an OAuth2 token which is auto saved along with the password and username in Thunderbird. The token is a long string of letters and numbers. Thunderbird has to use it to access the gmail account. You do not use it - it does not replace your normal gmail password. But in Thunderbirds Saved Passwords, you will see 3 lines, imap incoming, smtp outgoing and the oauth line. This is correct.

The settings for imap are: Incoming: Server Type: IMAP Mail Server

  • Server Name: imap.gmail.com
  • Port: 993
  • User Name: full gmail email address.
  • Connection security: SSL/TLS
  • Authentication method: OAuth2

Password when requested will be the normal password you use to access webmail account.

Outgoing Server (SMTP)

  • Server Name: smtp.gmail.com
  • Port: 465
  • User Name: full gmail email address.
  • Connection security: SSL/TLS
  • Authentication method: OAuth2

Password when requested will be the normal password you use to access webmail account.

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Suksan said

My problem with the missing folders is because my Thunderbird profile on the Win7 PC is setup as POP3 (i.e. all the messages/folders are stored on the local PC) and my Thunderbird profile on the Win11 PC is setup as IMAP (i.e. all the messages/folders are stored on the remote mail server) Since the IMAP profile didn’t have any of the POP3 profile folders setup on the mail server, all the messages I transferred over where placed in their “default” locations. So the six million dollar question is this, how can I transfer my POP3 messages from a Windows 7 laptop, to my Windows 11 PC please?

Please could you ask this question in a new question as it is off topic. This question is specifically about creating a new gmail imap account on your Windows 10 computer. Many thanks.

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This issue has been painstakingly, finally resolved:

https://www.askwoody.com

In fact I feel it is so important for others, that this solution should be posted on your site as a new topic. But I don't know what the etiquette is in doing so, and secondly just how to display it, in the exact same manner. Could you please come back to me on these points?

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I do not see the relevance, so perhaps you could explain it. I have considerable respect for Susan Bradly, but I do not see anything in that discussion other than this smart app control that could be relevant here. Please point out if I am wrong.

Thunderbird is a signed exe. It always has been and has some 20 million users. Sure that is not in the realms of Outlooks install base, but it is hardly unknown software that dropped out of nowhere. Are you suggesting the AI bit is just rogue and making false positives out of signed software and the management team needs to address the issue with Microsoft? Or is the software prematurely turning itself on prematurely? (what a sad world where software decides if it will work or not)

Because I really do not understand, except to know I want nothing to do with windows 11 as yet, if ever, as I am actively resisting subscription based software that pushes adds to me. I looked at this Smart app control and I think ghacks sums it up best. "Smart App Control unifies several Windows Defender's protections. Windows Defender is capable of blocking malicious apps from running, and users may enable support for blocking potentially unwanted apps as well. SmartScreen, another security component, blocks untrusted applications already. All of these are now unified in Smart App Control." https://www.ghacks.net/2022/03/07/smart-app-control-in-windows-11-explained/

So it is not anything new, just collecting old apps and making them one thing they can put a label on.

I await your reply. I would welcome the chance to document exactly what it is that is wrong with windows 11 that might cause failure of the new account sizard. But I can not get it from the link. I just need more explanations I guess.

This is not the forum to post your solution as a separate topic, in large part because it will never appear in a search engine query so no one is likely to see it, there is no place for that type of posting really.  

At this point, until I can determine what part of that page you consider to be the solution, I really doubt anyone else will get much benefit from it as it stands. Especially as I just don't understand why you are turning a discussion about windows 11 security, mostly on enterprises issues into, a solution.

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I was not suggesting anything per say, rather the fact that a positive outcome has been achieved, and perhaps for others they might be grateful for this insight.

For whatever reasons, we do not appear to be on the same page here, however I was only trying to be constructive.

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REgarding problem of trying to get access to the server: I've come across similar problems with people using Windows 11 and it has always been a problem with the Windows 11 security/Anti-virus and Firewall.

First the Firewall always need to be set up with Thunderbird as an allowed program. Others have discovered that if you exit all programs and restart computer in 'Safe Mode with Networking' and then start Thunderbird, it is possible to add accounts. The conclusion is there is something in Windows 11 security causing a block. Perhaps it is that 'smart app control' discussed at link.

So if you are using Windows 11 and know how to access this 'smart app control' and set it up to allow Thunderbird, then that information would be very welcomed.

Regarding the different issue of accessing old pop account files: My problem with the missing folders is because my Thunderbird profile on the Win7 PC is setup as POP3 (i.e. all the messages/folders are stored on the local PC) and my Thunderbird profile on the Win11 PC is setup as IMAP (i.e. all the messages/folders are stored on the remote mail server)

This involves the simple transfer (copy paste) of mbox files from an older pop mail account name folder into 'Local Folders' mail account, so they are visible in Thunderbird. Then you have the choice of putting them back on the server so they are now in an imap folder or leaving in Local Folders. If you need help with further info on that topic, it is best to put that in a new question.

Keep this question relating to the difficulty of creating accounts when using Windows 11.

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Moving Thunderbird Data to a New Computer - video.

This is all well and good, if you are fortunate enough to be transfering the same version of Thunderbird, but what if you are not?

Nobody at Support moz:lla came up with a solution, everybody to my mind were found wanting.

There is an excellent Support moz:lla video on this on Tube covering the first option here - Moving Thunderbird Data to a New Computer. However for those that are not so fortunate in trying to do this with a current version, may I respectively say, wish and hope, that someone could either update your site, or better still, create a follow up video covering how to do this with past editions.

Here are the details of how this transfer was done eventually, again:

https://www.askwoody.com Click on Questions: Browsers and desktop software – other Click on Cannot set up an existing account.

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Is this the topic you are alluding to. https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/cannot-set-up-an-existing-account/

I can not make heads of tails of the 97 posts back and forth.  I really am not interested in trying to find out any more.  I don't use windows 11 and have no desire to learn about it.  That it has issues with it's firewall and application control is apparently evident,  what I fail to understand it why you are not onto Microsoft for making a bad product.  Instead you are complaining third party software does not work because your operating system is actively breaking it.

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