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  • Setting up Thunderbird Version 52 for OS X and Windows for Swarthmore Gmail
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As part of our migration to Google for email ITS is providing configuration instructions for previously supported mail clients.  ITS strongly recommends users make use of the web-based interface provided by Google rather than any client in order to take advantage of features specific to Google Mail.

If you are going to use a mail client, ITS recommends Mozilla Thunderbird.  Thunderbird is a free email client that can be downloaded from Mozilla.  Versions for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux are available.

Step By Step Instructions

If Thunderbird is NOT already configured on your computer

When opening Thunderbird for the first time you will be presented with an Account Setup Wizard.

  1. You will first be asked if you want to create a new account. Choose "Skip this and use my existing email"

  2. Continue with the directions for Steps 4-13 below.

If Thunderbird is already configured on your computer

  1. Pull down the Tools menu to and choose Account Settings
  2. If you have a Swarthmore account already configured, select your current Swarthmore IMAP account ( and choose "Remove Account" at the bottom of the page under Account Actions.
  3. Next, choose "Add Mail Account" at the bottom of the page under Account Actions.
  4. On the next screen you will be asked to provide your name and email address.  This name will be presented when people receive email from you, so you should use your proper name.
  5. For your email address, enter your Swarthmore username, followed by
  6. After clicking Continue, Thunderbird will auto-detect the server settings. Click Done.
  7. You will be directed to Enter your Swarthmore username and password. Click Login.
  8. (NOTE: If you are not redirected, you are using an older version of Thunderbird. Upgrade your Thunderbird to the latest version and start these configuration steps again on Thunderbird 38 or higher.)
  9. You will then be redirected to the Duo Authentication page. Authenticate with your preferred device/method.

  10. On the next screen you will be asked to choose an account to link Thunderbird to. Your Swarthmore account should be the only one listed - click on it to continue.
  11. The next screen will ask you to allow Thunderbird to read, send, delete, and manage your mail. Choose Allow.
  12. You will need to check your Outgoing Server Settings to make sure you can send mail from Thunderbird. Thunderbird should autodetect the correct settings for you, but just in case it did not do so correctly, they should look like the settings below.
    1. Pull down the Tools menu and choose Account Settings and select Outgoing Server
  13. If the Authentication Method is NOT set to OAuth2, you will need to change it. Click Edit. Choose OAuth2 from the Authentication Method drop down - everything else should stay the same. Click OK.

That’s it for configuring Thunderbird. You are done!