UWaterloo Email - Thunderbird

This is a guide for setting up the Mozilla Thunderbird email client with your UWaterloo.ca email.


  • Currently, Thunderbird cannot authenticate using a hardware key (such as Yubikey) for 2FA. See bug 1784982.
  • This will set up Thunderbird like a regular IMAP client. You will have to, for example, curate your own address book.

Key (non-obvious) steps

  1. Set the incoming server to outlook.office365.com and the outgoing server to smtp.office365.com
  2. Set the authentication method to OAuth2

"OAuth2" does not become an authentication option until you set the server.


Install Thunderbird

On Arch: sudo pacman -S thunderbird

On Debian: sudo apt install thunderbird

On Fedora: sudo dnf install thunderbird

From Flathub: flatpak install flathub org.mozilla.Thunderbird

On macOS/Windows: Download Thunderbird from https://www.thunderbird.net/

Set up Thunderbird

Open Thunderbird. On first run, Thunderbird should ask you to set up an existing email address.

Fill in your information, using your @uwaterloo.ca email address. Click Configure manually.

Thunderbird Account Setup menu with the information filled in. The mouse is about to click "Configure manually"

First, set the hostnames.

Incoming server:

  • Hostname: outlook.office365.com

Outgoing server:

  • Hostname: smtp.office365.com

Thunderbird Account Setup Manual configuration with the Office365 hostnames specified

The hostname needs to be set for you to choose OAuth2 as the authentication method. Now fill in all the information.

Incoming server:

  • Protocol: IMAP
  • Hostname: outlook.office365.com
  • Port: 993
  • Connection security: SSL/TLS
  • Authentication method: OAuth2
  • Username: <your email address@uwaterloo.ca>

Outgoing server:

  • Hostname: smtp.office365.com
  • Port: 587
  • Connection security: STARTTLS
  • Authentication method: OAuth2
  • Username: <your email address@uwaterloo.ca>

the settings as described above

Click Re-test to check these settings. Click Done to attempt to log in.

Thunderbird will now open a web view with a login page asking you to sign in to your University of Waterloo account. Enter your password and click Sign in.

a login dialog

Complete the Duo two-factor authentication.

Duo 2FA with the authentication code entered

If this is your first time connecting Thunderbird to your account, Microsoft will ask if you want to grant permission for it to act as a third-party app. Accept this request.

In the Thunderbird Account Setup menu, click Done again to try to log in. This time, you should log in successfully.

Account successfully created


How to Configure Thunderbird for Office 365 Using IMAP (Oauth2)

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Topic revision: r3 - 2023-04-21 - V3CNA
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