Setting up Chat Accounts in Mozilla Thunderbird

Access your chat accounts all in one place

Chat Icon with Watercolor Patch

Enis Aksoy / Getty Images 

Some people chat only via Google. Some discussion channels are on IRC, and some chat rooms are built on XMPP. Other conversations take place on Twitter.

Mozilla Thunderbird can talk to them all in addition to helping you manage email messages.

Setting up accounts with various protocols, services and servers is relatively easy, and Mozilla Thunderbird brings conversations from all your accounts together in a simple, unified chatting window.

Add and Setup Chat Accounts in Mozilla Thunderbird

To set up a new chatting account in Mozilla Thunderbird:

  1. Select Tools > Account Settings in Windows or macOS or Edit > Account Settings in Linux from the menu bar in Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Click Account Actions beneath the accounts list.
  3. Select Add Chat Account from the menu that pops up to open the Chat network screen.
  4. At this point, choose one of the options: Twitter, Google Talk, IRC or XMPP and follow the instructions below for whichever option you choose.

How to Add a Twitter Account

  1. Click Twitter in the Chat network screen and click Continue.
  2. Enter your Twitter username under Username and click Continue.
  3. Optionally, type an alias for the account in conversations under Alias. The alias is used by you in conversations, and only you can see it.
  4. Optionally, to track keywords and get a message when one of them is mentioned on Twitter, click to expand Twitter Options and enter the keywords you want to track under Tracked keywords. Separate the keywords with commas but no spaces.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Check Connect this account now.
  7. Click Done.
  8. In the Twitter authentication window that appears, make sure your Twitter username appears over Username or email.
  9. Type your Twitter password over Password. You can leave Remember me unchecked; Mozilla Thunderbird will still be able to log you into Twitter automatically.
  10. Click Authorize app.

How to Add an IRC Server and Account

  1. Make sure IRC is selected in the Chat network screen and click Continue.
  2. Type your username at the IRC server under Username. Many IRC servers let you make up a username without registering separately.
  3. Enter the IRC server under Server.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Type the password for your IRC account under Password. If you don't need a password to log on to the IRC server or want Mozilla Thunderbird to ask you for your password every time you connect to the server, you can leave the Password field blank.
  6. Click Continue again.
  7. Optionally, enter the name you want to appear in chats and conversations when you post something under Local Alias.
  8. Optionally, flip open IRC Options to specify a different server port, SSL for an encrypted connection and other settings.
  9. Click Continue.
  10. Now click Done.

How to Add an XMPP (Jabber) Account

  1. Click XMPP in the Chat network screen.
  2. Enter your XMPP account's name next to Username.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Type your XMPP account's password under Password.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. If you want a different name than your XMPP username to appear in chat transcripts, type the desired alias under Alias. Only you will see this name.
  7. To specify the XMPP server, expand XMPP Options and enter the XMPP server name under Server. Optionally, set the server port under Port.
  8. Click Continue again.
  9. Click Done.
  10. Click OK.

Don't Add a Google Talk Account

Google Talk was shut down in 2015, so don't bother setting up one of these accounts. It's unclear why this is still even an option in Thunderbird.

You can now chat with contacts and in chat rooms right inside Mozilla Thunderbird.

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