Webmail Access for Mozilla Thunderbird

Finally, an extension to Mozilla Thunderbird which allows access to webmail! (One of the oft-most requested feature enhancements of the email client. Hooray for extensibility!)

The Web-Mail extension creates a platform which other extensions use to integrate web based email accounts into Mozilla Thunderbird. POP is the only protocol supported, this means Thunderbird can only download emails.

Currently supported via extensions: Hotmail (and MSN), Yahoo and Lycos. A step-by-step setup guide is available.

Update 2005-04-11: Thanks to hints below I've found the option to add webmail accounts in File > New > Account... Any documentation (general or otherwise) on what providers can be accessed by default?

Update 2005-10-04: This extension broke with the Thunderbird 1.0.7 update. (Re)installing 1.0.6 should bring everything back to good. Be advised that older versions of the client lack security updates found in 1.0.7.

» posted by jonathan on April 10, 2005 at 05:49 PM


Thunderbird already supports (a) WebMail format - I've been using it to connect to several IMAP servers for ages now.

# posted by Phil Moore

Wow, this is a real deal clincher for me, I've had to stick to using Outlook because I don't want to run two mail programs for checking my hotmail account and pop mail. Unfortunately one major problem still remains, Thunderbird imports outlook e-mail incorrectly. Instead of the original HTML for e-mail messages I get this text-soup! None of my newsletters display as they should and all my archived mail from years ago is no longer in a readable format! Please tell me how I can get Thunderbird to import outlook e-mails as they should be, I want to move off of Outlook!

# posted by Kroc Camen

Are you sure your TB is setup to display messages in HTML format correctly? How about newly received ones, same?

# posted by funtomas

I've been able to do this without an extention
and even use the providers smtp for a while now
so what does this bring to Thunderbird

# posted by Cameron Smith

Phil, which webmail formats does Thunderbird already support?

Cameron, what webmail provider are you accessing now using Thunderbird?

To answer your question: This extension bring Hotmail, Yahoo and Lycos downloading capabilities to Thunderbird, as pointed out above.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

@funtomas {
Are you sure your TB is setup to display messages in HTML format correctly? How about newly received ones, same?

I ticked the relevant option for HTML e-mail before importing. Newly received e-mails come through fine but all my old imported e-mail are text only / mush!?

# posted by Kroc Camen

I've been using Thunderbird with IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) for a few web-based e-mail accounts (such as my University e-mail and several other accounts.)

There's also been Hotpop (http://www.boolean.ca/hotpop/) around for a while which works for Hotmail in Thunderbird. Although I've never used it myself, and I'm sure a dedicated TB extension is going to be better :)

# posted by Phil Moore

Blah, too little, too late.


MrPostman has been doing the webmail-to-pop3 gateway conversion for me for months. It's written in 100% multi-platform Java, so it runs without modification or tweaking in Mac OS-X, Windows, Linux, Unix, you name it.

1. Single program works on all operating systems with Java 2 available.
2. Itīs Open source (GNU GPL)
3. Friendly developer community
4. Scripts-based. There's an ascii, human-readable script for each webmail service supported. This means that every time the webmail providers fiddle with their web pages' layout, there's no need to touch or release a new build of the program, just an updated script is
needed (and you can fix it yourself if you enjoy parsing html :).
5. Easy, idiot-proof install. Just double click on the .jar installer file (windows), or "java -jar mrpostman-install-xxx.jar" in others.
6. Can be installed to run as a "service" transparently on every boot on WinNT/2000/XP.
7. Mailing lists to get support.
8. Works great and fast with the new Java 5, just tested it.

Why doesnīt the Thunderbird team spend some time fixing the real bugs before continuing to add features?.

# posted by Jose Garmendia

"MrPostman has been doing the webmail-to-pop3 gateway conversion for me for months."

I've used Mr. Postman. Nice program. The difference with the Webmail extension, however, is that it only uses system resources when Thunderbird is open -- unlike Mr. Postman, which will generally remain running at all times.

"Why doesn't the Thunderbird team spend some time fixing the real bugs before continuing to add features?"

The Thunderbird team didn't create the Webmail extension.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

Should like to try Thunderbird to get my mails and let OE go, however, I am not'literate' on the computer and am not relly sure I could handle this being new to Mozilla Firefox. I hve read all the Blogzilla (?) until my eyes feel backed out:-)

Is there any manual or whatever that I could get to familiarize me with how Thunderbird works and other?

# posted by Anne Dakmak

Anne, official Mozilla Thunderbird instructions can be found at http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/.

# posted by Jonathan Horak


# posted by Gypsy Phil

Gypsy Phil, Gmail offers POP access [1] now.

1. http://gmail.google.com/gmail/help/about_whatsnew.html

# posted by Jonathan Horak

if i download webmail extension will i be able to access my thunderbird email if i'm away from my computer ?

# posted by marita

I have a related niggle that will be fatal to this software unless i can resolve it .

I am sending email and i get a popup notice telling me that the recipient is listed as "doesn't support html" even when they do .
I have only just installed thunderbird yesterday and have selected no html/text only preferences .. Igf you can point me through this i'm staying .. i really do not want to go back to Outloox Depress

# posted by aaron

Marita: Installing the Webmail extension won't enable you to access email in Thunderbird away from your computer. The extension simply allows web-based email to be accessed in Thunderbird.

Aaron: Check the Thunderbird address book entry for the person you are attempting to email. There's an option that reads "Prefers to receive messages formatted as..."

# posted by Jonathan Horak

Thank you , Jonathan.

worked like a charm .. i have also found that i can go
Tools/Options/Composition/Send Options
and set the text format to send in HTML eveertime .

Loving it . its the next step for me and i am inspired .

# posted by aaron

My sincere apologies .. i found the offending item in Windows mouse options itself . Could not work out why Mozilla should be acting so badly .. the stress blinded me .

# posted by aaron cadell

This is fantastic -- am using to get my yahoo mail and it works perfectly. Very slick and thank you so much!!

# posted by jess

Help. Webmail extension will not install. Keeps saying it is not compatible with Firefox. Running Firefox v1.0.4

# posted by goft

Webmail is a Thunderbird extension, goft, and therefore won't install in Firefox.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

i tried the webmail extension for lycos.at, but it does not work! can access lycos.at only via freepops!
need advise.

# posted by smwl

Webmail isn't compatible with lycos.at. Not sure what advice there is for me to give... Contact the developer maybe?

# posted by Jonathan Horak

is it possible to get the messeges from folders other than inbox of hotmail? it seems impossible.

# posted by zeng

Installed WebMail extension to download hotmail messages to Tbird. Worked great for a month. For the last two days, when I've tried to get hotmail messages, I've been getting an error message: "Sending of password did not succeed. Mail server locahost responded: negative vibes." To my knowledge, I have made no changes nor added any programs which might account for this error. Any ideas?

# posted by Wynn

Wynn, read the — currently — last comment on this page:

# posted by Jonathan Horak

Thanks, Jonathan. Turner's solution has me up and running again.

# posted by Wynn

Hi...just installed webmail extension. I can get it to log into hotmail server but it will not download any new messages. Any suggestions? Thx.

# posted by Calvin

Calvin, do you have any emails in your inbox with large attachments? I usually move these into a subfolder as Webmail often "chokes" on them in my experience.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

Thanks for the note. I did indeed figure it out earlier today. I was using the incorrect smtp gateway for local isp. (It was a bit squirrely since I'm also setting up an email acct. from my university.)

Thanks again.

# posted by Calvin

I am interested in knowing whether msn accounts are compatible with thunderbird. If they are not, can you explain why? I must admit I just learning this stuff, so please keep it simple.

thank you

# posted by Terry

Terry, MSN accounts should be compatible with Thunderbird. If you face issues when attempting account setup, consider asking your questions here: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewforum.php?f=39.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

Hi ppl, was wondering if anyone could offer a little advice
I've installed the TB Webmail and Hotmail extensions, and everything appears to work, except that no hotmail messages are ever actually downloaded! The status bar says "Receiving: message 1 of 106" and then just.....stops!

I have read around on the subject, and it's definitely not timing out. TB works fine with other "real" POP accounts so I'm completely stuck....considering going back to Outlook Express!!! Nooooo! Any help would be much appreciated, many thanks :)

# posted by Luke

Luke, read my comment to Calvin (the one about large attachments) above. Let me know if that note helps.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

hi I would like to try this site out I have been trying to reach my bosses email address which is typed as followschriswilson@telus.net I think its hotmail because it dose not let me acess it from netscape intrenet can you help me set up hotmail email thank you. shonna

# posted by shonna

i just got webmail and i think its fantastic for getting my mail from hotmail. only problem is i cant actually send any emails. i think this could be due to the fact i used hotmail popper before hand. Now all the details are stuck. for instance my smtp server is on localhost and port 25 etc. What do i need to change in order to send emails. P.S. i think its also affecting my recovery of emails from Hotmail

# posted by laurence

Running Windows XP (fully updated), TB 1.0.7 (latest) with Webmail extension 0.3.4 (latest) & Hotmail extension 0.4.3 (latest) to access my MSN mail account. No luck. All I get is the now infamous "Sending of password did not succeed. Mail server locahost responded: negative vibes." Have tried changing to Port>1024, no effect. Have modifed the prefs.js file as suggested in FAQ:


No effect.

Any ideas?


# posted by Roy

Can you access ThunderBird from another computer that doesn't have ThunderBird already downloaded and installed without having to install it???

# posted by anil

"Sending of password did not succeed. Mail server locahost responded: negative vibes." is what i get too. I did have it working but when my computer crashed i had to reinstall and now it does not work. help me!!!!

# posted by Ronin

you need to try to find the old install file for 1.06.

1.07 WILL NOT run webmail, you will get the 'negative vibes' comment

# posted by confused.brit

The 1.0.6 version can be found at:


# posted by Lynxy

Oh my god. you're right! Now my hotmail and gmail are all accessible from 1 single place. thank YOU!

# posted by me

hi, this extension seems to be working very well while downloading my emails, but i cant seem to send any. On the Outgoing Server (SMTP) tab, my server name is set to localhost, port 25, use name and password is checked, and use secure connection is set to no. Is there anything i can do to fix this problem. When i actually try to send an email, it says:

Sending of message failed.

The message could not be sent because connecting to SMTP server localhost failed. The server may be unavailable or is refusing SMTP connections. Please verify that your SMTP server setting is correct and try again, or else contact your network administrator

# posted by Ozone

you might need to set it to a different port. Apparently ISPs have been known to block certain ports. I changed mine to another port, friend told me the # who has his site hosted by the same server. Don't know where he got the # from, either from ISP or from our host. You will just have to check with both.

# posted by Stupify

How can i check what the port number is with my ISP? Anyone else have any ideas? Thanks for any help!

# posted by Ozone

I hope development is continuing with this extension...

I am now running Thunderbird 1.5 RC1 and this extension is broken. Are there any quick fixes available? Please fix for the latest version of TB....

# posted by Jim

Well I have both hotmail and the yahoo extentions, downloaded 1.06 TB tried to update the extentions.. Still no luck. My hotmail is working fine but my yahoo gives the "sending of password did not succeed, negative vibes". Problem is it worked before but now it doesn't anymore.. tried all of the tips here, any other idea??

# posted by Jelle

goft and others having trouble installing extensions, save the extensions to your hard drive; then navigate to them from within ThunderBird. I had the same trouble....now trying to fix the 'negative vibes' issue.

# posted by breeze

Wooohooo! The best program of all time! I downloaded TB 1.0.6 after uninstalling 1.0.7 and all my Hotmail is there! I didn't even have to mess with installing extensions or setting up the account again.

# posted by breeze

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# posted by winning poker hands

Hi, where can I find webmail ext., hotpop ect. for Mac OSX to run my hotmail under thunder bird? Thanx

# posted by andreas

is it ever going to be fixed to work with 1.0.7?

# posted by andy

Andy, I can only imagine the answer to your question is "yes". I'll add a note to this entry when the extension is updated.

# posted by Jonathan Horak

Any prospects for a Tb 1.5 compatible version? (when Tb finally gets to 1.5, that is! :-)

# posted by Mark Payne

when I try to logon to mozilla it just says timed out. on my husband's login it works. how can i fix this please.

# posted by Steve

The webmail extension works great for me, but I can't send hotmail messages out.. and the faq on their main page offer no help.. Has anyone been able to send hotmail emails out from thunderbird?

# posted by sid32

thanks to whoever put the tip about version 1.0.6- now my hotmail works!

# posted by Paul

thanks jonathan.

# posted by andy

To all who where wondering if there was/is a version of WebMail for Thunderbird 1.5, go to the forums for this great utility at mozilla.org. Toward the end of the discussions there are new links for versions that DO work with TB 1.5!

# posted by Jim

1.5 still gets that stupid time out error every time you check mail. Yawn.

# posted by Fred

When I install webmail, it says its not compatible with FireFox. I know the reason why but, how do you install it then? Thanks!

# posted by Carrie

Hi Carrie,

Webmail is a Thunderbird extension, not Firefox.

Therefore, you use Thunderbird to install it, not Firefox.


yashoda dulal

# posted by Yashoda Dulal

First, I am newbie, however, I do believe many would enjoy a clear answers to these quesitions.

How do enter a http:\\email server address into Thunderbird?

Lastly, Would do get yahoo mail using Thunderbird?


# posted by Joe

Is there any way to make the Webmail extension work w/a generic webmail client (say Squirrelmail) as well as the proprietary clients that are listed on its home page?

# posted by Seth

installed webmail and hotmail extensions, updated it, but still can't access hotmail from TB1.5

went through a new account set up, still won't work

says sending of username did not succeed. Mail server local host responded: undefined is a unspported domain

# posted by Bill

How do I get my msn account to be recognized by Thunderbird? What server name do I put in?

# posted by Stephen

Still won't work with TB 1.5 .. same idiot msg "Sending of password did not succeed. Mail server locahost responded: negative vibes."

what is that supposed to mean ? well i think using Outlook 2003 is better that going back to TB 1.0.6 !!

# posted by Anas

I can't seem to get the extension installed on Thunderbird. It will only download for firefox, then say it can't be installed because it is not compatible. What am I doing wrong?!?

# posted by Christine

I noticed a couple of posts where there seemed to be some confusion regarding installing TB Extensions. When I first started using TB I had exactly the same problem, and the answer was surprisingly tricky to find. Just double-clicking a TB xpi extension will attempt to install it in Firefox - which will spit it out. The best way I've found is to open the Extension Manager window in TB, then drag and drop the link to the TB Extension into it. Seems to work fine for me.

# posted by Pete

I've been having the same problem already noted above - namely, I can't seem to send emails. Every time I get the following error:

Sending of message failed.

The message could not be sent because connecting to SMTP server localhost failed. The server may be unavailable or is refusing SMTP connections. Please verify that your SMTP server setting is correct and try again, or else contact your network administrator

Has anyone conclusively figured a way around this?

# posted by Pete

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