Office 365 (Thunderbird) - Configure Thunderbird

Best Effort Support Only

This document contains instructions on using a non-Microsoft email client, such as Apple Mail or Thunderbird. Microsoft does not recommend these clients for use with Office 365, and there are often significant limitations in client functionality as a result.

Because of this, the DoIT Help Desk is only able to offer best effort support for these clients, and certain issues may require the use of a Microsoft client in order to be resolved. For more information on Office 365 client support, please see: Office 365 - Which clients/protocols will be supported?.

This document explains how to connect to the Office 365 service.

Important: At this time, we have not found a reliable Exchange/Active Sync plug-in which allows Thunderbird to connect to your Office 365 account via this protocol. These instructions will instead configure Thunderbird via IMAP protocol. Which means you will only have access to your mail.

Note: These instructions assume you are running the latest version of Thunderbird.

Configure Thunderbird for Office 365

  1. Launch Thunderbird. If you have no other accounts configured, you will be prompted to configure a new account. Otherwise, click on Thunderbird MenuDisplay the Thunderbird Menu button. Select Options | Account Settings | Account Actions | Add Mail Account.
  2. On the Mail Account Setup window, enter the following for each field:
    • Your name: Your name as you'd like it to appear
    • Email Address: -
      • NetID Account: Enter netid@wisc.edu
      • Service Account: Enter name_domain@wisc.edu\username_domain
        For multi-level domains, name@domain1.domain2.wisc.edu, use the following format: name_domain1.domain2@wisc.edu.

      Note: if you don't know whether you are attempting to configuring a NetID account or a Service account, please contact your domain administrator or the DoIT HelpDesk.

    • Password: Enter the password for your account
    account setup screen
  3. Click Continue
  4. Thunderbird should automatically discover and fill in the server settings necessary for your account seen below:
    mail account setup screen
  5. Click Done to confirm the creation of your account. This should take you to "Account Settings" screen. If you see your newly configured account in the left-hand column you can simply press the X in the top right of the window.
  6. Setup is complete. Email data will take some time to sync. BE PATIENT.

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

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Configure Access to the Campus Directory (Whitepages)

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

Use these instructions to configure the Campus Directory (Whitepages) within this client.