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Cannot receive Thunderbird incoming email from AOL provider beginning Aug 27, 2022 - "The server does not support the selected authentication method"

  • 23 replies
  • 4 have this problem
  • 121 views
  • Last reply by vvchamb

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I use Thunderbird email on my Windows 11 computer. My ISP for this is AOL. As of yesterday, 27 Aug 2022, I can not receive email and get this error message "The server does not support the selected authentication method. Please change the "authentication method" in the "Account Settings/Server Settings". My server settings are set to the AOL requirement of OAuth2 and have been working fine until yesterday. My Thunderbird was upgraded to 102.2.0 about the time that I noticed the email problem. Only the incoming server is affected; I can still send outgoing mail. I have the same problem on a second computer that is running Windows 10. Thunderbird on that computer was also upgraded to 102.2.0. How can I fix this issue?

Update 29 Aug 2022 - The above quoted error message from the server goes away if I change the Authentication method for the incoming server to "Normal Password" instead of "OAuth2". When I provide my AOL password (which is valid because I am able to log directly into AOL email) I get this message "Sending of password for user vvchamb did not succeed. Mail server pop.aol.com responded: [SYS/TEMP] Server error - Please try again later." About a year ago AOL required me to change the authentication from Normal Password to OAuth2 and this has worked until the latest Thunderbird upgrade.

I use Thunderbird email on my Windows 11 computer. My ISP for this is AOL. As of yesterday, 27 Aug 2022, I can not receive email and get this error message "The server does not support the selected authentication method. Please change the "authentication method" in the "Account Settings/Server Settings". My server settings are set to the AOL requirement of OAuth2 and have been working fine until yesterday. My Thunderbird was upgraded to 102.2.0 about the time that I noticed the email problem. Only the incoming server is affected; I can still send outgoing mail. I have the same problem on a second computer that is running Windows 10. Thunderbird on that computer was also upgraded to 102.2.0. How can I fix this issue? Update 29 Aug 2022 - The above quoted error message from the server goes away if I change the Authentication method for the incoming server to "Normal Password" instead of "OAuth2". When I provide my AOL password (which is valid because I am able to log directly into AOL email) I get this message "Sending of password for user vvchamb did not succeed. Mail server pop.aol.com responded: [SYS/TEMP] Server error - Please try again later." About a year ago AOL required me to change the authentication from Normal Password to OAuth2 and this has worked until the latest Thunderbird upgrade.

Modified by Wayne Mery

Chosen solution

Sept 8 9:26AM - just installed 102.2.2 and immediately received all my AOL email from 5PM Aug 26 to today. Thunderbird seem to be working perfectly again. Thank you!

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All Replies (20)

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is your account a legacy Verizon one by any chance?

The error message is the standard Yahoo one for those using normal password without an application password. So it may be you need to generate one.

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Matt, thank you for responding. Yes my account is a legacy Verizon one and had been running on AOL for several years as vvchamb@verizon.net ever since AOL took over the old Verizon accounts. About a year ago AOL issued instructions for changing the incoming server settings to "pop.aol.com" and the Authentication method to "OAuth2" instead of "Normal Password". The outgoing server was changed to "smpt.aol.com" with Authentication method "OAuth2" instead of "Normal Password".

I made these changes and my email continued to work perfectly until about 8 days ago. When I clicked on "Get Messages" that morning, the server error message I reported above immediately popped up. I checked to be sure that the settings had not been changed - they had not. The only change that had occurred was the update to Thunderbird 102.2.1 which happened automatically and was announced in a message on my Thunderbird screen. My outgoing mail still works - I just can't receive mail.

Modified by Wayne Mery

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What happens if you remove the password or oauth token for the account(s) at Settings > Privacy > Saved Passwords ?

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I have never stored passwords there but I guess the system adds them. I removed the two that were there and now I still can't receive mail and I also can't send mail, which I could do before. When I try to send mail the AOL website pops up and asks me for a password.

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Further, when the AOL website pops up (after I have removed the stored passwords), when I enter my AOL mail password I'm asked to allow Thunderbird access to my email and once that is done I can again SEND messages from Thunderbird but still cannot receive them.

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oauth tokens will always be stored.

Was a token removed, or a password?

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Two lines were removed - both were tokens.

After I entered my AOL password in response to the AOL website that popped up when I tried to send a message, I was able to send mail and I noticed that ONE line had been replaced in the saved password file, I assume for sending mail.

But there is no second line, which I assume has the password/token for receiving mail. Interestingly, the token I have to put in the setting is OAuth2 but the token the system puts in the saved password file is oauth.

Modified by Wayne Mery

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vvchamb said

Further, when the AOL website pops up

FWIW, This is an OAuth login prompt, not a website as such.

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vvchamb said

But there is no second line, which I assume has the password/token for receiving mail. Interestingly, the token I have to put in the setting is OAuth2 but the token the system puts in the saved password file is oauth.

I think one token hands both smtp and pop.

Had you restarted Thunderbird? If not, try that.

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Yes I just restarted Thunderbird and the first thing that pops up is the Error message about the server not supporting the authentication method.

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FWIW, is this tied to this bug? https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1782250 they appear similar, since Verizon is administered by AOL.

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The note from David with a link to a possible software bug sounds exactly like my problem. Especially since I have a second computer on which Thunderbird was also updated recently, after which that computer and user now have the same email problem I have. So is there a solution? I love Thunderbird want to continue using it.

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What exact version did this start with?

  • 102.2.1 which shipped August 31?
  • 102.2.0 which shipped August 23?
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Wayne - for me it must have been 102.2.0 because I first had trouble on August 26. I got email that AM, then the notice that my Thunderbird had been updated after which I could not receive mail. I don't know what version I was running before this 102.2.0 as the updates are automatic and I don't really pay much attention.

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Wayne - Found my Thunderbird update history in the Troubleshooting tab: 102.2.1 on 1 Sept 12:30PM 102.2.0 on 26 Aug 4:01PM 91.13.0 on 24 Aug 3:30PM. Last email received 26 Aug 3:22PM

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Thanks for the excellent information. The developer indicates https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1782250#c33 should fix this. It will be on beta this week and hopefully shortly later on 102

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Thank you Wayne! I will be glad to be a test case if needed. This is the first time in all the years I have used Thunderbird that I have created an account and posted, but I have found solutions to other problems in the database several times. You folks provide a greatly needed and wonderful service.

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Reinstall 102.1.2 from http://archive.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/102.1.2/ and wait for 102.2.2 to come out

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Sorry Wayne, bad news. I installed 102.1.2 as you suggested. As soon as I opened Thunderbird I got the same server error message as before. I then checked the About and verified that I was really running 102.1.2. (My update history does NOT reflect this; the last update it shows is 102.2.1 on 1 Sept. I'm guessing that since this was not an "update" it was not recorded). Based on my update history, the last "good" version I had must have been 91.13.0. My history shows 102.2.0 as the next version I had - I never had any 102.1 version.

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The fix is in 102.2.2 hence why Wayne said wait for update.

Alternative advice Wayne mentioned in another post: Try https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/candidates/102.2.2-candidates/build1/win64/en-US/Thunderbird%20Setup%20102.2.2.exe which fixes that bug. Take the defaults when installing so that it installs on top of your currrent thunderbird program directory.

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