Not Receiving Emails in Thunderbird? Here are some of the troubleshooting advice to fix it.
Thunderbird is an email client. It’s free, it’s open-source, and it’s cross-platform, meaning it can work in Mac, Windows, and even Linux. Due to such properties, Thunderbird is one of the most popular email clients. Being free doesn’t limit it’s functionality at all; and the added benefits of third-party extensions can help get more out of it.
However, it’s major job is to allow you to send, receive, and manage emails. If one of which stops working, it stops being of any use. And it’s commonly seen, not just with Thunderbird but with many other email clients, that users are not receiving emails as expected in Thunderbird.
Troubleshoot – Not Receiving Emails in Thunderbird
Today, we are taking a look at the issue not being able to receive emails in Thunderbird and what you can do about it.
There can be several reasons why Thunderbird cannot receive emails. Some of them are just obvious but easy to miss improper settings while setting up the account. They are easy to fix. But some of them are not so obvious and you might have to dig deeper to get to the root of some of those issues.
Let’s take a look at them now.
POP & IMAP Settings
Make sure all the settings while adding the email account were correctly entered. Check if the values/properties in Thunderbird match that of the actual email provider. Check if IMAP, POP setting in Thunderbird, or other protocols are correctly set.
Check your email provider server status. Sometimes, their servers can be down or may be they are having some technical problems. They are often resolved after some time. You can also check with your administrator if you are on the corporate servers to see if the problem is from the server side, and not from Thunderbird side. Also, check if the internet is running fine. Even extreme slow speed can sometimes result in not being able to receive emails.
Devices & Locations
Log in to your email account from other locations, such as we-based interface, your android or iphone, etc. and see if the problem persists. If you can receive email there, that most certainly means that your account configuration is the cause.
Did you recently change the password of your email account? If so, Thunderbird (and neither does other clients) doesn’t instantly log you out of your account. It will show logged in but there wouldn’t be any error or activity. Therefore, some users forget that they changed the account password. If that’s the case, you need to update it on Thunderbird as well so it can connect with the servers without issues. Open ‘Tools’ –> Preferences –> Edit Preferences –> Go to ‘Security’ –> ‘Passwords’ –> ‘Saved Passwords’ –> Click the account and then click ‘Remove’. Now restart Thunderbird and it will automatically prompt you to enter the password. Enter the new password correctly to instate the connection with the servers.
Updates & Patches
In newer versions of Thunderbird, the issue can be caused by Logjam patch included in recent updates. This is across all Mozilla products including Firefox browser. If your email provider doesn’t support this, it will cause issues while connecting with the client. Most modern and popular email providers like Gmail supports this, but other lesser known and personalized email services may not. Unfortunately, there is nothing can be done with this issue except updating the email provider with this important security update. A temp fix is to disable it by using an add-on called “Disable DHE”. But it does not recommend at all since it puts your data at risk from hackers.
Often times, antiviruses can be the cause for not being able to receive new messages since they might mistake them for viruses. You need to uninstall or temporarily stop your antivirus to make sure if that’s the issue. If you start receiving emails after enabling your anti-virus, you can add Thunderbird to the safe application so it won’t mistakenly consider your emails as viruses.
If you are receiving some of the emails and not others, check the filter settings. Sometimes, they can be extreme and might mis-file certain messages that are not otherwise junk or spam. Check your filtering options in both email provider and in Thunderbird.
Server Space Limits
The allowed space on your servers might have been over the limit. With providers like Gmail and Outlook.com, this won’t be the case anytime soon since they offer a large space. But with corporate servers, it can be. You can either delete old emails, archive them, delete large attachments, or export them to a file. Here is more info on what to do if your mail server is over the allowed space limit.
After applying these methods, you will hopefully start receiving emails in Thunderbird. If the problem persists, the last two options is to re-install Thunderbird completely from scratch and to rebuild the entire database.