-- Mike Gore - 2021-12-10

Thunderbird troubleshooting steps

Note - try each solution based on the symptoms you are seeing

Are you seeing a certificate warning for connect.uwaterloo.ca

10 Dec 2021 Mike Gore
  • As of the last few days every so often I am seeing the Add Security Exception popup from Thunderbird
    • It seems Thunderbird can not identify the site likely because the name does not match
      • Workaround Confirm it anyway (generally a really bad idea in general unless you know why)

Are you are frequently seeing a message that says "Checking mail server capabilities" in the status bar

  • From the Thunderbird menu at the top right open Preferences (might be options on a Mac)
    • Click on General on the left window pane
    • Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on Config Editor and continue past the warning
    • Scroll down until you find security.tls.version.min
    • Double click on it -> set the value to 1 (make sure you note the original setting) -> Ok the change Restart Thunderbird and try it again
    • Note: If this works to resolve the problem please let us know.
  • If it makes no difference then restore the value

Are you frequently seeing messages that says Timeout in the status bar

  • Open Account Settings -> Look under your email account on the left -> Server Settings (for your uwaterloo.ca account) ->
    • Advanced Button (lower part of sever settings frame)
      • Try lowering the default from 5 to 4, then if not working 3.
  • Restart Thunderbird and try it again
  • Note: If this works to resolve the problem please let us know. If it makes no difference then restore the value

Are you seeing an error message saying it can not save to the Sent,Drafts or Templates folder?

15 Dec 2021 Mike Gore - I have seen this happen over the last few days - we are getting active reports. We suspect IST is doing some kind of mail server updates

  • First step -Check if you are subscribed to the correct Sent folder: File Menu ->Subscribe -> Then see if there is more then one Sent folder of if it is not selected.
  • Open Account Settings -> Look under your email account on the left -> Copies and Folders -> When sending messages, automatically:
      • Other -> (your uwaterloo.ca account from drop-down) -> Highlight account in drop down -> click on arrow to the right to display folders -> Pick Sent
        • If this does not work try Sent-Items instead
  • Restart Thunderbird and try it again
  • Note: If this works to resolve the problem please let us know. If it makes no difference then restore the value
  • Other references - This is a common issue with several reasons and solutions
    • Do a Google search: Thunderbird Your message was sent but a copy was not placed in your sent folder

Do you have a problem where the Send button or Address book does not work

  • Note: These fixes only work if your Thunderbird is version 90 or above - and - you have had an old Thunderbird profile
  • Close Thunderbird
  • Depending on your OS
    • Windows PC: Go to Start > Search, enter %appdata%, and select Roaming. In Windows Explorer, select Thunderbird > Profiles. * Mac: Go to Finder > Go, press and hold the Option key, and select Library. Open the Thunderbird folder, then open the Profiles folder.
    • Linux: Profile folders are located in ~/.thunderbird//. If you use a third-party build from Debian or Ubuntu, go to ~/.mozilla-thunderbird.
      • Look for files ending with .mab or .na2 (For windows users you may have to enable show file extensions in Explorer view settings.)
      • Note: This will only be the case if:
        • If you see any of these .mab or ,na2 files create a folder to save them in and move them out of your profile
        • Why ? Thunderbird does update checks every time it starts and attempts to do profile updates - these legacy files can break Thunderbird
  • Note: If this works to resolve the problem please let us know

Setting up Thunderbird email account to work with connect.uwaterloo.ca

  • As of version 90 and newer Thunderbird will automatically detect the correct settings for your account - except the password method which need to be set to "Normal password"
  • Consult IST pages for current settings
  • IMAP server settings
    • Server name: connect.uwaterloo.ca
    • User Name: userid@uwaterloo.ca
    • Port: 143
    • Connection Security: STARTTLS
    • Authentication Method: Normal password
  • SMTP server settings
    • Description: CONNECT
    • Server name: connect.uwaterloo.ca
    • Port: 587 * Connection Security: STARTTLS * Authentication Method: Normal password * User Name: userid@uwaterloo.ca

Using multiple profiles - can also be used to debug profile issues frequently caused by Thunderbird update issues

This is also useful if you just wish to have separate profiles for work and personal use

Mail check interval

  • Thunderbird will normally default to a 10 minute check interval with the mail server for new email. If you are on a slow connection or have lots of messages and or filters you may want to increase that value to 15min or more.

Mail server timeout adjustment

  • Preferences -> General -> scroll to bottom of page -> Config Editor
    • Answer yes I will be careful bottom
    • Search for mail.server.server1.timeout - note the present setting - and try increasing to 60 from default
      • If this has no effect restore the value

Debugging - how to enable the Debug Log in Thunderbird

Note: Use these steps if you have have any connection or timeout issues.
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Topic revision: r6 - 2022-02-28 - MikeGore
 
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