How to Change an Email Password in Mozilla Thunderbird

Keep your email account secure

Changing your email password every once in a while is a simple way to ensure your digital communications remain secure. It also prevents your account from being accessed automatically with a previously saved password.

Mozilla Thunderbird returns an error when it tries to fetch mail or deliver an email you've written if your saved password doesn't match the server's current password. You can update your expired password in Thunderbird through its Password Manager store. You can also delete old passwords that are saved for your account. We show you how.

These instructions apply to Mozilla Thunderbird version 60 and newer.

A person clicking Enter New Password button on Thunderbird Mail
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

How to Change an Email Account's Password in Mozilla Thunderbird

Here's how to update the password Mozilla Thunderbird uses to log in to an email account (using POP or IMAP for receiving and SMTP for sending):

  1. Change the password to your email account.

    We have guides to changing passwords for Gmail, Yahoo, and Windows Live Hotmail.

  2. Close Thunderbird then re-open it.

  3. Select Get Messages in the Mozilla Thunderbird main toolbar. Depending on your Thunderbird configurations, the program may automatically attempt to get new mail as soon as you launch the application.

    The Get Messages button
  4. You should receive a login-error alert, along with a pop-up window where you can enter your new information.

  5. Enter the new password for your email account.

    A new login screen in Mozilla Thunderbird
  6. Select OK or Next. Your account should synchronize like normal.

In some circumstances, your incoming and your outgoing email use different sets of credentials that are individually managed. If this is the case, repeat the steps we listed above for your outgoing (usually called SMTP) account.

How to Edit Passwords in the Password Manager

Mozilla Thunderbird remembers the login credentials for each email account you use. You can use the program's password manager to edit this information. Here's how:

  1. Open the Thunderbird Menu and select the Options (three lines) menu.

    The Options menu
  2. Choose Options.

    The Options command
  3. Select Security > Passwords > Saved Passwords.

    The Save Passwords button
  4. Right-click the email server you want to edit and select Edit Password.

    If the Edit Password option is grayed out, select Show Passwords.

    The Edit Password command
  5. Type the new password into the field, then press Enter.

    The Password field
  6. Select Close to return to the previous screen.