Configure Thunderbird for Modern Authentication and MFA

Thunderbird can be configured to connect to Northwestern’s Outlook/Exchange in Microsoft365 using the following instructions. This setup is compliant with Northwestern’s Modern Auth and multi-factor authentication initiatives. It is provided as an alternative to Outlook Web Access for Linux users who otherwise do not have a non-web based mail client.

This content is provided as a courtesy to help Thunderbird users self-support. Please note: Thunderbird is not supported by Northwestern Information Technology, consequently we are unequipped to respond to Thunderbird-related questions. Northwestern Information Technology offers support for use of Microsoft Outlook for connection to Northwestern email accounts.  We can also help verify that you are able to access Microsoft 365 services, such as email, from your browser.

Primary support for Thunderbird is available from Mozilla and the Thunderbird community. Version 78.x or later is required.

1. Launch Thunderbird, and then click Edit and then Account Settings.


2. Click on the Account Actions dropdown, and then on Add Mail Account...

Account Actions


3. Type in your name and email address, uncheck Remember password, and then click Configure manually...

4. Complete the form using the following template as a guide.  Be sure to use your actual netid instead of “NetID”, below.

Setting Up Your Existing Email

 5. Click OK to confirm advanced configuration

Confirm Advanced Configuration

 6. Select OAuth2 from the Authentication Method dropdown.

  Confirm Advanced Configuration


7. Click on Outgoing Server (SMTP), then select, and click Edit...

 Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings


8. Type in a description, select OAuth2, and click OK.

SMTP Server


9. Ensure that the account is using the correct SMTP server:

Account Settings


10. This step is optional, but recommended.  It matches Thunderbird folders with those on Outlook/Exchange.

Choose Folders

Keywords:exchange thunderbird email MFA Microsoft365 Office365 O365 M365 mail   Doc ID:107663
Owner:IT Support Center .Group:Northwestern
Created:2020-12-08 09:35 CSTUpdated:2021-02-25 11:41 CST
Feedback:  11   2