Thunderbird on Mac - Exchange Email Setup


  • How do I configure my Exchange account using the Thunderbird email client for Mac?


  • Employee
  • Exchange account
  • Mac
  • Thunderbird


Thunderbird is an open source email client produced by Mozilla. This software offers an alternative to Outlook and the Outlook Web App that some users may prefer. These instructions were tested in Thunderbird version 24.1.1 and may differ for other versions. Additionally, the full version of Outlook and Outlook Web Access are both recommended over Thunderbird for users who prefer to have built-in functionality for calendaring, folder management, and access to the global address book.

Caution: You cannot send mail from Thunderbird through while using the OSU VPN server. If you use Thunderbird and the VPN, see:


  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. Go to Options and click on Account Settings
  3. Under Account Actions on the bottom-left, select 'Add Mail Account'
  4. Fill in the Name field (This part is just a matter of personal preference)
  5. Enter in your into the Email field and type in your password below.
  6. Click on the 'Continue' Button on the bottom-right and Thunderbird will attempt to automatically detect your server settings. This process usually fails so you may need to enter the following information manually:
    • Incoming settings:
      • Select IMAP from the drop down menu
      • Type in the server hostname box
      • Select 993 from the Port drop down menu
      • Select SSL/TLS from the SSL dropdown menu
      • Select Normal Password from the Authentication dropdown menu
    • Outgoing settings:
      • Type in the server hostname box
      • Select 587 from the Port drop down menu
      • Select STARTTLS from the SSL drop down menu
      • Select Normal Password from the Authentication drop down menu
    • Username field:
  7. Once finished, all of the settings should look like this:
  8. Now click the Advanced Config button. This will open up the Thunderbird settings window shown below:
  9. Select the Outgoing Server option from the left-hand menu
  10. Make sure the outgoing server you just created (will be called is set to default and selected
  11. Click the Edit button
  12. Remove everything in the User Name field and put in your ONID user name instead:
  13. Click OK when you are finished, then OK again to close the main settings window
    • Note: When you attempt to send your first email message, Thunderbird will prompt you for your ONID password. Enter that in and you should be good to go.

It may take a while for Thunderbird to download your mail if you have a large mailbox or slower network connection. If your mail doesn't appear at first, give it some time to catch up. After a few minutes your mailbox should load.


For assistance, contact the IS Service Desk.



Occasionally, either during an initial install of Thunderbird, or after an ONID password reset, the user may experience their folders mysteriously vanishing. This is due to a feature called folder subscription being reset (either wholly or partially). This can be easily addressed by the following steps:

  1. In the left window, click on the user's email address. This will open up mailbox settings in the right window.
  2. Scroll down to Advanced Settings, find "Manage Folder Subscriptions". This will open up a new window with a list of every folder that the user's account has access to.
  3. Click on the folders that the user would like added.
  4. Click "Subscribe"
  5. Wait for all of the folders to download to the client. This can take a significant amount of time depending on the size of the folders being downloaded.
  6. Depending on the number of folders being added, some of the downloads won't actually start. Repeat steps 2-5 until all required folders are added.


Article ID: 45913
Mon 1/8/18 9:01 AM
Mon 3/30/20 3:43 PM