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Configuring Thunderbird to receive mails on Mac

(22 Posts)
AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 09:44:22

All brought about by the hacking thing, annoyingly. All my mails generally get sent to an inbox run by my internet provider (I have three different accounts, two for work and a private one with the internet provider's own name). From there they are forwarded to Thunderbird and a global inbox. I somehow managed to configure all this myself years ago - and have plainly forgotten how.

So on Thursday my provider announces it's closed my e-mail account because of suspected hacking. We manage to get it repoened with a new password (after checking there were no viruses around), but that seems to have deleted all the configurations. All my mails are now arriving into the internet provider's inbox instead of being forwarded to Thunderbird - and for the life of me I can't work out how to do that. All the advice is about setting up a new account, but I don't want to do that - the accounts exist already, I just want to give in a new incoming server, since that info seems to have been deleted.

Outgoing mails are working fine from Thunderbird for all three mail accounts - it's just incoming mail that's the problem.

This is driving me bonkers. I depend on e-mail for my work and the provider's mail interface is the most user-unfriendly thing I've ever encountered.

I have an iMac running 10.8, Thunderbird 24.4.0.

I've got so desperate I've even started calling local Mac specialists, but they're presumably all so busy with hacking dramas right now that they're not even answering calls/mails. And this will be so easy to resolve, it just needs one clue to tell me where the incoming server info is found. Please anybody?

MissSmiley Mon 14-Apr-14 10:11:31

Your ISP should be able to tell you what to out in the account settings. I would contact them again. I gave same set up as you but mine are specific to my service provider (the name if their servers etc) so can't help i'm afraid.

Speak to technical not sales and make sure you egg someone who knows you are on a mac.

Good luck.

MissSmiley Mon 14-Apr-14 10:12:02

Sorry for typos on phone.

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 11:16:50

Thanks MissSmiley. Actually, this is really frustrating, but my ISP even has online instructions for how to configure the account for Thunderbird, but I think it must be Thunderbird for Windows because the screenshots don't match my Thunderbird version (and the online screenshots are about setting up a new account, not accessing and changing an existing one). I'm in Germany and Macs are used here by arty types, but not as well known as in the UK.

There is an e-mail technical support service for the ISP, but it's a whackingly expensive premium line (unlike the normal Internet helpline which is free) - in fact I don't even think I can access it from home as I ticked the 'no premium line numbers' setting. And there's a danger the helpline person won't know about Macs anyway. Hmm, I'll have to work this one out, you're right they might be able to help. And it's become clear at this point I'm going to have to pay to get it resolved.

I did get through to one of the freelancers offering system support, and he just said 'you need the change the password on Thunderbird too' (and then put the phone down) which seems radically simple, but I can't work out how to do that either. I can only see what the current passwords are, and TBH the new ISP password is given, not the old one, so that can't be the problem.

OK, off to see if I can actually get through to the ISP helpline...

prism Mon 14-Apr-14 11:51:24

Thunderbird is pretty complicated- you have direct access to every conceivable setting, so it can look confusing. However there are only really four things you need to know to set up email, and they are:

incoming mail server
outgoing mail server
username (which may be your email address or may not)

(there can be other issues like port numbers and authenticated SMTP but most of the time that's it)

In Thunderbird the incoming mail server is in Tools>Account Settings...> Server Settings. I'm not sure you need to change that, but if you do, that's where you do it.

The password (unlike any other email program I've seen) is controlled in Preferences, in the Thunderbird menu. Click on Security, and then "Saved Passwords..." where you will be able to see and edit them.

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 12:31:46

Prism, thanks.

When I click on Server Settings it only shows me the outgoing server(s). So I have no idea where I can find out if the incoming server is correct - but you're right, that shouldn't be a problem (why would that have changed).

When I click on Preferences, then Security, it shows me all my passwords (after a prompt), but there seems no way of editing them - double clicking doesn't work. And to be honest, what I don't understand is that the new password for my Internet provider is already given (I didn't enter that in Thunderbird).

I've just done a quick search of opinions on the ISP telephone helpline and the general view is that they're not worth the dosh and know nowt! Might risk it anyway, I'm getting a bit desperate.

Thanks again.

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 12:42:08

Have just confirmed that I can't access the ISP hotline because our connection won't permit premium line calls (ironically, even if they're going to that provider). Banning premium rate calls is generally a good idea, but right now it's pretty annoying.

throckenholt Mon 14-Apr-14 12:51:48

are you trying to set up thunderbird from scratch - ie setting up a new inbox for that account ? Or are you trying to reset an existing account on Thunderbird.

For what it is worth - the email is picked up by thunderbird connecting to the server rather than it forwarding it to thunderbird.

throckenholt Mon 14-Apr-14 12:53:13

any help ?

prism Mon 14-Apr-14 13:11:46

I think to edit the password you have to delete it and then check the mail, at which point it will prompt you for a new one. I'm a bit baffled about the server settings- there's "Server Settings" at the top, and "Outgoing server (SMTP)" at the bottom- the one at the top is the incoming one, though it may in fact be the same at the outgoing one. In Thunderbird you only enter the password when you check the mail, so if you haven't done that since it was changed, it's probably wrong.

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 13:13:31

throcken - no, I'm not trying to set it up from scratch at all. My Thunderbird accounts have worked perfectly for many a year. It's only since changing the password last week (or rather, having a password change enforced on me by my ISP) of my ISP global inbox that the mails aren't coming in. I really don't want to have to reconfigure the lot from scratch again - I just need to work out what needs changing on the existing accounts.

The site you linked too was something I had already viewed last week when this first happened (because it was the 'site viewed' colour) but I have just looked again now.

One issue is that on the Manual Configuration page you linked it shows under Account Settings a box with:
Your name:
E-mail address
and then a box for remember password.

Well, I can't find that box under Account Settings, which is surely key to the whole thing - that would allow me to retype the new passwords.

I can't believe I'm being so thick about this...

throckenholt Mon 14-Apr-14 13:16:51

Usually you click on get mail - and it tells you the password is wrong - you retype the new one and ask it to save (or replace - can't remember) and then it is fine.

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 13:23:27

throcken, you've done it, that was the problem. I closed Thunderbird, repoened, it asked me for the password, I gave in the new one, and Bob's a reasonably close relative.

I told you I was being thick....

throcken, I nearly ended up paying a professional loadsadosh to come round and fix this. Would you please let me donate 20 euros to a charity of your choice (by PayPal). I'm actually crying with relief by this point - am freelance and can't work properly without my mail contact.

throckenholt Mon 14-Apr-14 13:24:57

no problem - glad you got it sorted and it didn't cost a penny smile

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 13:32:45

Would you like to nominate a charity, then? If you can't think of anything offhand, I would choose something like UNICEF.

nannynick Mon 14-Apr-14 13:33:17

Have you located where the password is stored?
I think on MAC it is under Thunderbird, Preferences, Security, Passwords, Saved Password. Remove the password for the appropriate account. Then close Thunderbird.
When you next open Thunderbird it should then prompt for the password for the account.

Have you tried creating a new mail account in Thunderbird? Whilst you have an existing account, that presumably has the incorrect details and thus is not collecting mail.

Tools, Account Settings, Account Actions, Add Mail Account
Should then ask for your name, email address, password
Then click continue.
Then you should get a page for setting up Incoming and Outgoing mail servers.

throckenholt Mon 14-Apr-14 13:33:22

UNICEF is fine by me if that is what you want to do smile

nannynick Mon 14-Apr-14 13:34:26

Ah I was too late, you did it smile

AphraBane Mon 14-Apr-14 13:41:56

To be honest, I'm grateful to all of you for making suggestions, it was all part of the process of sorting it out. I sort of knew it had to be something really silly that I was ignoring.

Blooming Heartbleed bug - that was the reason my account got closed and password changed in the first place.

nannynick Mon 14-Apr-14 13:51:57

I know it is annoying... had to change my mail account password and my mobile then had issues connecting to the server, took a while to figure out that the mobile needed a completely different password (google application password).

NetworkGuy Thu 17-Apr-14 12:20:39

I would also consider having another (non ISP) mail account, and only use an ISP account for ISP-related junk mail, and use (say, Google or Microsoft mail) for any freelance work, so you not only have web access but can download mail into Thunderbird.

If not GMail or similar, then if you have your own domain, you may get mail account(s) included as part of the web hosting, so that's another option.

ISP-related mail is generally bad news, insofar as making it more awkward to switch, and the more contacts or (eg shop site) mailing lists you have with that mail address, the more effort it will take to switch and the greater the impetus to "just stay with them" for an "easy life" (at least until the day they have a mail server crash and you lose important work-related messages).

AphraBane Fri 18-Apr-14 16:45:05

NetworkGuy you're right that I should have another account as a back-up. However, the way I understand it, even if I change ISP I can keep this particular mail account - one is not dependent on the other. That's quite an important point because my ISP did balls up majorly recently (tried to convince us to go over to a different broadband system on a trial basis, then when it didn't work out for technical reasons initially tried to bind us into a contract for the old AND new systems. It took a threatening letter for them to back down and apologise.) So we're probably going to change provider at the end of this contract period anyway - but will be able to keep the mail address. But yes, I could keep it for junk only and set up a new account for passing on work related mails.

<bangs head in frustration> I do already have another mail account, via gmail, which I needed to set up my googledrive account. I could start gradually going over to that - thanks for the tip!

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