Setting up Thunderbird to send/collect mail via POP3

  • This is a continuing problem - please see my previous post "POP3 on Vivaldi Mail"

    It seems I was premature when I marked my previous thread as "Solved" since I am still encountering problems in setting up Thunderbird to send/collect mail via POP3

    Using T-bird, I have sent test messages via other mail clients to myself at Vivaldi Mail (VM) and I can see these in the Inbox when I log to VM, using the Vivaldi browser.

    Problem 1.
    When attempting to collect mail using T-bird and POP3 settings, the T-bird action-indicator cycles endlessly, apparently waiting for a response from VM.

    Problem 2.
    When trying to send a message from Vivaldi inside T-bird to the smtp server at Vivaldi,net , the following problems arose --

    [2.1] With Port No, set to 587 (for TLS) I received following error message -

    An error occurred while sending mail. The mail server responded: 5.7.0 Must issue a STARTTLS command first. Please verify that your email address is correct in your account settings and try again.

    [2.2] With Port No. set to 465, connection simply hung after message "Connecting ---"

    I have used T-bird for years and have accounts with Gmail and another host so I don't think the problem lies in T-bird but I am not certain. Can anyone throw any light on this strange behaviour ?

    Many thanks and Best regards to all ---

  • These continue to work fine for me [verified again just now: sent myself test email in TB from non-V to V [sent ok, received ok]; replied to it [sent ok, received ok]:



  • Moderator

    Works for me. Tested minutes ago.

  • @gwen-dragon & Steffie
    Hi Steffie & Gwen-Dragon !
    I am sorry to bug you both with this silly problem. To Steffie -- thanks for the screen shots.

    [1] Re: "Server Settings" page --

    [1.1] My T-bird is set to use Port No 995 BUT my version of T-bird shows the Default Port No. as 110, which I know is long obsolete. My version of T-bird is 52.3.0 (64-bit). I know I accepted a routine up-grade to this about a week ago --- please note I am running Linux Mint (ver 17.3, 64-bit) so I am probably going to get a version of T-bird which is slightly non-standard--- I know Firefox specifically states "For Linux Mint" so I am sure T-bird will have been tweaked a bit, even if it doesn't actually say so.

    [1.2.] Re the Server Settings section
    I do not collect automatically but instead prefer to collect when I want to do this rather that have the machine interrupt my train of thought. However, this point is very minor and I don't think it is relevant to the present issue.

    [2] Re STMP page
    I have had real trouble with this. My first mail account (set up years ago) was with Gmail and so their STMP server is set as "Default" and I cannot get rid of that label. I was messing with this until 0200 hrs this morning and I know that for a short time, I got the Vivaldi mail A/C to choose the Vivaldi server but this setting is lost again this morning. I've only had about 5 hrs sleep so I'm not very bright this morning.

    To make all this clear --- I can select my setup for Vivaldi mail in T-bird at the top level. I then select "View settings for this account". The Server Settings page is as described above.

    When I scroll down to "Outgoing Server (SMTP)"-- is chosen by default and I can't change that.

    My feeling right now is that I've somehow got a corrupt installation of T-bird so I am inclined to delete this and re-install. I know I need to do this slowly and carefully so as not to lose all my saved mail and Address Book so I am not going to attempt it right now. I will check back in a few hours to see if you good folks have made any comments and then start on the problem again when my brain is fully functional. There is no hurry over all this --- I have functional email with my other A/Cs so adding Vivaldi Mail is very much a case of gilding on the lily.

    Thank you both for your thoughts and efforts --
    Best regards -

  • Moderator

    I check Thunderbitd 52.3.0 on my Mint 18.2 Cinnamon now.
    If i creat a new account for It detect correctly the server and settings. I only have to change IMAP to POP3.

    Port: 25 StartTLS

    Port: 110 StartTLS

    Sending and receiving works.

  • @gwen-dragon said in Setting up Thunderbird to send/collect mail via POP3:

    I check Thunderbitd 52.3.0 on my Mint 18.2 Cinnamon now.
    If i creat a new account for It detect correctly the server and settings. I only have to change IMAP to POP3.
    Port: 25 StartTLS
    Port: 110 StartTLS
    Sending and receiving works.

    Thank you for this reply. I have copied off your post so that I can easily check settings. I will try this later on today and report back in due course --
    Many thanks ---

  • My TB, standard from the openSUSE repos, is 52.3.0-1.3 [& 52.3.0-1.4 is now available in the repos, which will be mine too when i do my weekly update on Saturday].

    I suspect it's unlikely that your TB package itself is corrupt. Your TB profile might be dodgy. How about testing with a temporary clean profile [similar to the way we often advise people having funny V-browser issues to test with a clean profile]. If you have a standard installation then your TB profile would be similar to this:


    So move or rename it [oh, AND also profiles.ini from /home/steffie/.thunderbird] , then relaunch TB. It should then, i think, create a new virginal profile file & directory. In that, try to create your V-mail account. Important: remember to face NNE, have left foot off floor, close right eye, & hold breath, during that procedure, otherwise of course it can't succeed. Beware too of sunspots & eclipses... 😉

  • @steffie Many thanks Steffie !
    I am holding off on this work until tomorrow because I stayed up far too late friggin' with T-bird and so, today, my head feels full of cotton-wool. It's very easy to mess up doing these jobs when one is fully compos mentis but when one is only compos one-half, disaster lurks at every step.

    I particularly note your instructions in the last paragraph but, because of my eye-trouble, if I close my right eye, I can't see the bloody monitor at all so, I have a special dispensation from the consultant eye surgeon at my hospital --- provided I wear my tartan loin-cloth and tape a sprig of mistletoe behind my left ear. I am absolved from doing anything special with my eyes.

    Thanks again --- I'll work out a sensible experimental programme and then report progress in due course.

  • @hatrack To Steffie and Gwen-dragon --

    Progress Report --
    I today followed the excellent instructions by Steffie. I renamed my old "xx??xxdefault" dir and the file "profile.ini". I then completely deleted the old installation of T-bird, using Synaptic and I then followed this with a re-boot. I know we don't normally need to do this in Linux but, the time required is minimal and is well worth the reassurance that I have a clean environment for the re-installation. I then installed the latest version of T-bird (1:52.3.0) plus the T-bird locale-en and locale-en-gb language packs, again using Synaptic to ensure these operations were Kosher.

    I then had no trouble at all doing a manual install, setting up to run Vivaldi client, using Port Nos 995 and 587 repectively. This was then tested sending and collecting from other mail clients.
    I then re-installed my other mail client and then tested all possible combinations of sending and receiving between them from within T-bird. Finally, I copied over the "Mail" dir from the old "xx??xxdefault" dir into the new one which had been automatically generated during the installation of T-bird itself.

    I do not know why things went wrong but clearly, as Steffie suspected, my profile was corrupted somewhere. A valuable lesson was learned here. Out of curiosity, I have looked at both the original profile.ini and the xx??xxdefault dir. The profile.ini is trivial and nothing is wrong with that. However, I originally had AdBlock Plus installed (I cannot remember why now ! ) and this seems to have a slew of up-date files. I do not know if that is indeed the cause of the troubles but it is the only slightly odd thing that I can find.

    So --- all has worked out well at last and I thank you both for your patience in reading my bleats for help and for your excellent suggestions. I've done Tech Support (for scientific imaging systems) in the past before I retired. That was in the days of DOS 3 to 6 and OS/2, so I know what a thankless task it can be and just how much thought and effort goes into each answer.

    To Gwen, I don't know whether you want to move this and hook it up with my earlier post which I prematurely marked "Solved" --- I'll leave the disposition to you.

    Very best regards to you both ---

  • @hatrack That sounds pleasing, if it's now working ok for you. I strongly suspect that your original TB profile might still have been salvageable, given enough time & effort, but trying a new clean one was a quick belt & braces just to get going again. Am i understanding correctly; moving your original Mail directory into your new profile, did not then break your new profile, & still gave you all your historic emails? What about your calendar-data directory, for your Lightning data?

  • @steffie
    Hi Steffie !

    I thank you for your reply to my latest email and apologise for some sloppy writing which has confused us both. So, in clarification ---

    1. My old xx??xxdefault dir and profile.ini were renamed BAK_xx??xxdefault and BAK_profile.ini, rspectively.

    2. The installation of T-bird created a new dir called m5rcil9p.default and a new profile.ini plus one called "Crash Reports", which is not significant, right now.

    3. When I look at the top level .thunderbird I still find the old BAK_xx??xxdefault and BAK_profile.ini, in addition to the newly created stuff.

    4. Initially, the new m5rcil9p.default contained just the dir

    5. For years I have had two mail clients, free Gmail and a cheap US-based subscription service called which allows me to choose my visible "host_name" from their list of options and have up to 10 aliases on this, all feeding into the default A/C called <UsrName>@<host_name>.com.

    OK. I have become rather disenchanted with Google over the 12 (?) years since I first created an account with them and I am going to stop using this in due course and so, its usage is dwindling away. Since I was going through the process of re-installing T-bird, I decided to leave Gmail as web mail, instead of creating an A/C on T-bird. My subscription A/C is a very different animal. It only costs $20 per year, is very stable and (so far as I know) doesn't read my mail to then sell-on. I am gradually moving all my important traffic onto this.

    1. I therefore created a POP A/C in T-bird for which automatically created the dir in my new m5rcil9p.default dir.

    2. I then went back to my old BAK_xx??xxdefault and picked up the dir "Local Folders", which contained all my filed mail, which naturally, I want to keep, so I copied Local Folders into the dir called "Mail" my new m5rcil9p.default dir. This now contains three folders --

    Local Folders, and

    I do not use Lightning so there is no calendar data. However, in the cold light of a new day, I am annoyed with myself that I did not think to back up my old Address book before removing the old T-bird. I notice that the new T-bird has already generated an address book which has captured the names of the A/Cs used during my testing. I am hoping the old book is hiding somewhere in my old default dir but I haven't found it yet so I have a nasty feeling that I will have to recreate it. Fortunately, all my old emails have survived in "Local Folders" so I can do this but it will be pretty laborious. This matter of the address book is the only outstanding matter upon which I would appreciate your comments, if you will be so kind.

    I apologise again for my sloppy writing and also for the length of this reply but, since you asked the question, I felt courtesy demanded a fully-detailed reply. This explanation is expanded slightly (in the interests of clarity) and has been created from the notes I wrote to myself as I completed each step of the repair process. I hope you will see this as evidence of a careful worker, not a pedantic old fart.

    I thank you for your continued interest. Best regards --

  • @hatrack Cool bananas, sounds like you're getting there.

    Re the Address Book, this is a wild speculative semi-deductive guess, with a warranty of value equal to the paper on which this is written, but probably worth a try.


    I like your posts - nothing farty here!

    PS: Ooh, i suspect you should also grab history.mab .

  • @steffie
    Hi Steffie !

    I think we should probably get married because we are starting to think alike !

    When, this morning, I found that I had apparently lost my Address Book, I naturally searched for this and looked at the *.mab files in my old "BAK_xx??xxdefault" folder. I saw that they were apparently encrypted and quite large [abook.mab (3.9kB) and history.mab (17.3kB)] so decided that they might well be relevant, although I wasn't sure. Because I am "hurrying slowly" with this job I decided to hold off until I had your comments --- I didn't want to mess up the good results achieved so far by being impatient although, with that said, copying in a file and then testing could probably be undone if needed.

    I only have abook.mab and history.mab in my old default dir. so I copied these over to the new default folder where they were merged with files of the same name created during the new installation of T-bird. --- "Lo and Behold" --- I've got address books !

    I wish I had your encyclopaedic knowledge of T-bird although I've never actually needed it. I set up T-bird for myself, first in the Windows system I had on my home computer (Win2k if I remember correctly) --- before that I was using a dial-up system from Demon) and then on Ubuntu and Linux Mint, when I finally got fed up with MS. I've set it up also for a couple of OAPs who's machines I support but, in every case, the philosophy has been --- "You only have one A/C (with Gmail) and ---It ain't broke so don't fix it". The difficulties here with Vivaldi is really the first time I've ever needed to look closely at "the vitals" of T-bird.

    T-bird has run without any problems for years so it is pretty certain that I corrupted my profile in a clumsy attempt to add a Vivaldi A/C though I've no idea what I did. It is also interesting that T-bird continued to run with a corrupt profile. In terms of work, your fix of creating a new profile was trivial and I have actually spent far more time writing these reports than I did on the work itself. With that said, I hope these notes will be seen by others who are perhaps trying to address this problem and be useful to them. I most certaintly don't begrudge the time I've spent reporting --- at 80+ years of age, I'm hardly over-burdened with work.

    My thanks again to you and to Gwen-dragon. Lots of nice thoughts and good wishes.

  • @hatrack to Steffie
    I've just done a bit more cleaning up and testing on T-bird and I find that I've lost the filters I created over the years to automatically send spam to the bit-bucket.

    I hope I'm not imposing but --- do you know where these are stored in the ??default dir. ?

    Many thanks in advance ---

  • @hatrack The usual caveat -- this is another deductive semi-guess -- but these look likely possibilities [the .dat very likely, i suspect; the html maybe or maybe not]:

    Btw, I appreciate your kind words, but i mildly demur --- i don't really know anything much, just bits & pieces from poking around here & there.

    Edit: Oh, i've just discovered that there's a "msgFilterRules.dat" in each of my individual mail account directories too, so you might need to also copy yours across.

    Edit2: ...or maybe not. Those extra ones are each identical, have only 2 small lines in them, & are only 25 bytes [ie, i suspect these might be merely virginal defaults]. Cf the one i referenced originally, which for me is 3.1 kB & populated with numerous entries i recognise as mine.

  • Thanks Steffie

    It's 06-- hrs here in the UK so I should be in bed !

    I'll look at your sugestions a bit later on today and report.

    Thanks again ---

  • @hatrack
    Hi Steffie !

    Thank you again,

    I have now had the opportunity to look at my old BAK_xx??xxdefault folder but neither of those files are present. I am not absolutely certain but I think now that the bulk of my spam was arriving on the very old Gmail A/C but none (?) on the This makes sense since the latter account is relatively new (3 yrs, I think). After I decided early on in this work to leave Gmail as web mail, the old ??xxdefault dir for Gmail on T-bird was deleted when I de-installed T-bird, taking any filters with it..

    OK. I shall just have to create any filters I may need in the future from the tool in T-bird ("Create filter from this message ?"). This is no big deal since I will only have to do it once (when I decide that some particular email is to be treated spam).

    So, at last, we have reached the end of this saga. I note your demur regarding your knowledge of T-bird and I simply comment --- "Modesty is a becoming virtue".

    Thank you once again for all your efforts and support.

    Very best regards ---


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