Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email How to Access Gmail With Thunderbird Easily sync Gmail with Thunderbird and stop switching between inboxes by Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated on June 17, 2020 Email Gmail Yahoo! Mail Tweet Share Email Thunderbird is a free, open-source, cross-platform application for managing email, news feeds, chat, and newsgroups. One great feature of Thunderbird is that it can work seamlessly with Google Gmail, synchronizing messages between your local version of Thunderbird and your web-based Gmail account. Here's how to access Gmail through Thunderbird on your desktop. This article pertains to Thunderbird versions 38 and newer. Older versions don't integrate properly with the Google authentication process. Thunderbird is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other operating systems. BLOOM Image / Getty Images How to Configure Your Gmail Account For Thunderbird to integrate properly with Gmail, the first step is to enable IMAP on your Gmail account. IMAP is on by default on newer Gmail accounts, so check this only if you have an older Gmail account. On your computer, go to the Gmail site. In the upper-right corner, select the gear icon. Select Settings. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. In the IMAP access section, select Enable IMAP. Select Save Changes. How to Set Up an IMAP Account for Your Email Client After IMAP is enabled in Gmail, if necessary, set up a new IMAP account in your email client of choice. Here are the settings: Incoming Mail (IMAP) Server IMAP Server: imap.gmail.comPort: 993Require SSL: YesUsername: Your Gmail email addressPassword: Your Gmail email password Outgoing Mail (SMTP) SERVER SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.comPort for SSL: 465Port for TLS/STARTTLS: 587Require SSL: YesRequires TLS: Yes (if available)Require authentication: YesUsername: Your Gmail email addressPassword: Your Gmail email password How to Access Gmail With Thunderbird To access your IMAP-enabled Gmail account in Thunderbird: Open Thunderbird on your desktop. Select File > New > Existing Mail Account. In the Mail Account Setup dialog box, provide your Gmail account information (real name, email address, and password). Thunderbird configures the Gmail connection automatically. Select Continue. Sign in with your Google account. Thunderbird downloads your Gmail messages, and you can now access your Gmail on Thunderbird. How to Organize Gmail Folders Within Thunderbird In Gmail's IMAP implementation, labels become Thunderbird folders. When you label a message in Gmail, Thunderbird creates a folder with the same name and stores messages there. By default, Thunderbird shows all Gmail folders that you set up. To choose which Gmail folders to display in Thunderbird, you can change a few settings. In Thunderbird, go to the File menu and select Subscribe. Clear the check boxes next to the folders that you don't want to display in Thunderbird. Select OK. The unchecked folders don't display in Thunderbird. Thunderbird still downloads messages and makes those messages available in the All Mail folder. These messages also appear in the search results. Sync Gmail Contacts in Thunderbird To sync your Gmail contacts in Thunderbird, try an add-on such as Google Contacts or gContactSync. Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Messaging used to manage Thunderbird, but it's now a separate entity running on volunteer support. Mozilla still hosts many Thunderbird resources, however.