How to Change an Email Password in Mozilla Thunderbird

An envelope being sent between two secure devices.

 Getty Images/Westend61

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

Mozilla Thunderbird, for example, returns an error when it tries to fetch mail or deliver an email you have written, if your saved password doesn't match the server's current password. Update your expired password in Mozilla Thunderbird through its Password Manager store, and you can also delete old passwords that have been saved for your account.

This procedure has been tested to work with Mozilla Thunderbird version 60.

Change an Email Account's Password in Mozilla Thunderbird

To update the password Mozilla Thunderbird uses to log on to an email account (using POP or IMAP for receiving and SMTP for sending):

  1. Change the password to your email account in the email service's web interface.

  2. Close Thunderbird then re-open it.

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

  4. Click Enter New Password when you receive the login-error alert.

    Thunderbird Mail login-warning screen.
  5. Type your email account's new password in the dialog box. Check Use Password Manager to remember this password.. If it's not checked, Mozilla Thunderbird will not retain the old password or save the new one.

    Thunderbird server password box.
  6. Click OK. 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, you'll have to repeat the steps we've listed above for your outgoing (usually called SMTP) account.

Accessing the Password Manager

To inspect, modify, or delete the credentials stored in the Password Manager, open the Options menu then select Options. Select the Security tab then click or tap Saved passwords.