Thunderbird (How To) Configure Modern Authentication (OAuth2)

This document describes how to configure your UWM Microsoft 365 email account in Thunderbird using OAuth2 (Modern Authentication).

Note: These instructions assume you are running a version of Thunderbird 77.0b1 or later which supports OAuth2 modern authentication.

Configure Thunderbird for Microsoft 365 Outlook

Launch Thunderbird to bring up the main Thunderbird interface. If you have other accounts configured, you can navigate there by clicking on Local Folders on the lefthand side.

Select Email under the Setup Another Account section in the main window.

On the Mail Account Setup window, enter information into the available fields as follows:

  • Your name: Your name as you'd like it to appear
  • Email Address: Enter

    Important: do not enter your password on this login screen. Only enter your email address and name.

Click Continue

Thunderbird should automatically discover and fill in the server settings necessary for your account:

  • Protocol
  • Incoming
  • Outgoing
  • Username

Click Done to confirm the creation of your account.
Note: Now if you try to navigate to the Mailbox that was just added, you will be prompted to enter in your password. If this happens, hit cancel.

Navigate to Account Settings > Server Settings > Security Settings > Authentication Method and select OAuth2 from the Authentication Method dropdown.

Navigate to Outgoing Server on the left-hand panel of the account settings screen.

Select the Office365 (Microsoft) smtp server and click edit on the righthand side

Change the Authentication method to OAuth2 to the following and then click OK:

  • Description: Office365 (Microsoft)
  • Server Name:
  • Port: 587 (default)
  • Connection Security: STARTTLS
  • Authentication Method: OAuth2
  • User Name:

Now, when you attempt to view your inbox, instead of being prompted for your password by Thunderbird, you will be redirected to authenticate through Duo (faculty/staff) or Microsoft MFA (students).

After authenticating in step 10, the setup is complete. Email data will take some time to sync. BE PATIENT.

Important: Please complete these steps before using your Thunderbird user.

Reconfigure folder mapping:

Users configured using Microsoft Exchange protocol use different folders for some of the primary mail folders. For consistency, we highly recommend that you configure Thunderbird to use these same folders. This will make it less confusing if you also use the web user for Office 365 or a different desktop user that is using the Exchange protocol.

  • Right-click on your Office 365 account and select "Subscribe..." from the drop-down menu.

  • Place a check-mark within the box next to each of these folders: "Drafts | Deleted Items | Sent Items".
  • Click Subscribe button.

  • Click OK button.
  • Right-click on your Office 365 account and select "Settings..." from the drop-down menu.

  • Under your Office 365 account, select "Server Settings".
  • Within 'Server Settings | When I delete a message' section, select "Move it to this folder:" and use the text box next to this setting to select the "Deleted Items" folder.

  • Under your Office 365 account, select "Copies & Folders".
  • Within 'When sending messages, automatically | Place a copy in:' section, select "Other" and use the text box next to this setting to select the "Sent Items" folder within your Office 365 account.
  • Make sure "Drafts" folder is selected within your Office 365 account under 'Drafts and Templates'.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Restart Thunderbird

Disable the adaptive junk mail controls:

Office 365 server side junk/spam filtering is already enabled for all Office 365 accounts.

  • Right click on the email address you just configured in the left-hand pane.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Click Junk Settings from the left-hand option pane.

  • Uncheck the box for Enable adaptive junk mail controls for this account.

  • Click the OK button.

Remember: Thunderbird cannot access the Office 365 Global Address List (GAL). Therefore, you may still need to access the Campus Directory (Whitepages) to find the person you are searching for.

KeywordsModern Authentication, thunderbird beta, thunderbird, office 365, o365, m365, microsoft 365, smtp, server, sent, configure OAuth2, oauth2, whitepages, outlook, email, user   Doc ID109671
OwnerHelp Desk K.GroupUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created2021-03-15 16:04:14Updated2023-07-13 15:39:00
SitesUW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Feedback  14   8