Mozilla Thunderbird overview


Mozilla Thunderbird is a free open-source mail client and RSS reader made by the organization that produces the Mozilla Firefox web browser. You can use Thunderbird to check your DreamHost email as an alternative to webmail.

This article explains how to configure Thunderbird with your DreamHost email.

View the Email Client Configuration article for further details on the settings and terminology used in these instructions.

Setting up Thunderbird

  1. Download and install Thunderbird.
  2. On the top left, click the File menu and select New > Existing Mail Account....
    The Mail Account Setup page appears.
  3. Enter the following settings:
    • Your full name: Enter the name of the user you’re setting up. This shows in the message 'From' details.
    • Email address: Enter the full email address for your user.
    • Password: Enter the email password here. (The password is case-sensitive so make sure you enter the password exactly as it was created.)
    • Remember password: You can check this box so Thunderbird doesn't prompt you to enter the password in the future.
  4. On the bottom right, click Continue.
    Thunderbird automatically detects your mail settings and displays some settings options.

    IMAP or POP

    IMAP is recommended. View the Email protocols and port numbers article for further details.


    Depending on your choice to use IMAP or POP, this should be either:

    • or


    This is always:


    Thunderbird automatically configures secure ports during this setup, however, you are able to adjust them as needed at any time. View the Secure settings section below for details.

    Thunderbird offers you options to connect to address books and calendars.
  5. Click one of these options to configure, otherwise, click Finish to complete the setup.

Secure settings

Thunderbird automatically configures your address to use secure settings. This means port 993 IMAP and 465 for the outgoing server.

View the following article for further details on optional security settings.

To confirm these settings:

  1. On the top left, click Thunderbird > Account Settings.
    A new tab opens displaying a list of email addresses.
  2. Under your email address, click the Server Settings option.
    The settings for this address display. Here you can view and adjust settings as needed.
  3. At the bottom of the list, click Outgoing Server (SMTP) to view the email's outgoing settings. 

Viewing message headers

Thunderbird refers to the full message headers of a message as the "source". In some cases, you may need to retrieve the full header (or "source") details of a message.

To view the full header details of a message:

  1. Click the message to view its content.
  2. On the top right corner of the message, click the More dropdown.
  3. In the dropdown options, select View Source.

This opens a new window with the full header details of the message.


Some of my IMAP folders do not display

If you are not seeing a folder, you must manually subscribe to it.

  1. In the left pane, right-click your email address.
  2. From the pop-out menu, select Subscribe.
    The Subscribe window displays listing the default folders to which you are already subscribed.
  3. Check the box for the folder you wish to subscribe to.
  4. Click OK to save.

You can also do the following to make your IMAP folders appear in Thunderbird:

  1. On the top left, click Thunderbird > Account Settings.
  2. Under your email address, click the Server Settings option.
  3. In this section, click the Advanced button.
  4. Uncheck Show only subscribed folders.
  5. Click OK.

    What if I still do not see the folder?

    In the left pane of Thunderbird's main window, click the triangle icon to the left of the email address. Collapse and un-collapse the account you edited.

    This makes Thunderbird re-read all of the folders on that account.

Troubleshooting certificate mismatch errors

View the following article for instructions on how to resolve any SSL certificate mismatch errors:

See also

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Article last updated PST.

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