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How to configure Thunderbird for IMAP email

This article was posted in: Email

This article assumes that you have already configured a mailbox using a Krystal cPanel account. To carry out the instructions in this article you will need the Manual Settings for your mailbox. You can obtain these in cPanel > Email Accounts by clicking on the More button next to your mailbox details, and selecting Configure Email Client.

There are two options for IMAP Hostname & SMTP Hostname

There are now two options for setting up your email client. Option 1 is preferred, but does have some prerequisites.

Option 1 - Use mail.your.domain for inbound and outbound mail server (IMAP Hostname and SMTP Hostname)


Your domain’s A record must be pointing to your Krystal hosting server. If your domain is registered with Krystal then this is likely the case.

You must have SSL enabled for the domain. Once your domain is correctly pointing to Krystal a free LetsEncrypt certificate will be issued automatically.

If you meet these requirements then you can use the format mail.your.domain for the inbound (IMAP Hostname) and outbound (SMTP Hostname) mail servers in the instructions below e.g. if your domain is then you would use as the inbound and outbound mail server names.

This option has the benefit of meaning that should you change hosting servers at any point you won’t need to re-configure any email clients. Once the DNS has updated for your new server A record the clients will continue to be able to send and receive email.

Option 2 - use the server hostname for inbound and outbound mail server

This option has no prerequisites. However, you should be aware that if you use this method, and at a later date change hosting servers you will need to re-configure any email clients.

If you are a reseller this would also impact all your client accounts.

Step 1

Start the Thunderbird application from the Start Button, or by opening it from the Desktop shortcut.

Step 2

Click the Create a new account link.

Step 3

Thunderbird may show a popup window asking if you would like to create a new email address. Because you have already created a mailbox within your cPanel account, you should skip this step. Click the Skip this and use my existing email button.

Step 4

Enter details:

  • Your name : enter your name as you would like it to appear to your correspondents.
  • Email address : enter the full mailbox address you configured in cPanel.
  • Password : enter the mailbox password (NOT your cPanel account password).
  • Remember password : ticked

Click the Continue button.

Step 5

Thunderbird will attempt to work out what your mail server settings are. However, the settings it guesses are usually no good for secure SSL email, so once you see the following screen, make sure that the IMAP radio button (1) is selected, click the Manual config button.

Step 6 - Entering correct server settings for SSL

On the Mail Account Setup dialog box, Your name, Email address and Password should be automatically filled in. However, the server details will most likely be incorrect. Enter the following :

  1. Incoming and Outgoing Server Hostname : enter your Home Server name.
  2. Incoming Port, SSL and Authentication : 993, SSL/TLS, Normal password (this should all be set by default.)
  3. Outgoing Port, SSL and Authentication : 465, SSL/TLS, Normal password (this should all be set by default.)
  4. Username : enter your full email address (this shold be set by default.)

Click the Done button.

That's it!

You should now be returned to the Thunderbird main window where you will find your new mailbox ready and waiting. For more information on how to use Thunderbird, please visit

Note : This guide was written using Thunderbird version 17. If you feel this guide is out of date, please let us know!

Step 7 - How to enable SSL if it is not already enabled

  1. Right click your email account in the account list, and select Settings... from the popup menu.
  2. Select Outgoing Server (SMTP) from the accounts settings.
  3. Select the correct outgoing server from the list.
  4. Click Edit...

The only things you will have to change here are

  1. Port to 25 (but 525 or 587 should work just as well if your ISP blocks port 25)
  2. Connection security to STARTTLS, and
  3. Authentication method to Normal password.

Click OK

  1. Now click on Server Settings as shown
  2. Ensure the Port is 143 (for IMAP) or port 110 (for POP3)
  3. Connection security to STARTTLS, and
  4. Authentication method to Normal password

Again, click OK - That's it - you are now setup for SSL secured email connections.

Step 8 - Problems with IMAP

If there were problems during the setup of your mailbox in Thunderbird, due to bad configuration, then it can sometimes have problems finding the correct IMAP folder namespace. If this happens, you should check that the Advanced server settings are correctly set. Under the mail account in question, click on Server Settings, and then on the right click on the Advanced... button.

Then, make sure that the Personal namespace is configured as shown. Then click OK to save your changes. Thunderbird may need to be restarted for the changes to take effect.