Configuring Mozilla Thunderbird IMAP       

For the following instructions, we will use a fictitious person. Please substitute your own personal information when you configure Thunderbird on your computer.

Full Name: Ned Nash
Ned’s e-mail address is:
Ned’s network username is: NEDN
Ned’s secure IMAP server at USC is: and uses port 993
Ned’s authenticated and secure SMTP server at USC is: and uses port 2525

  1. Open Thunderbird and select create new account

  2. Select Email Account and click Next

  3. Enter your name and e-mail address then click Next

  4. Select IMAP
  5. Enter for the Incoming Server
  6. Enter for the Outgoing Server and click Next.

  7. Enter your username in the Incoming User Name and Outgoing User Name fields and click Next.

  8. Enter a name for the account in the Account Name field and click Next then Finish

  9. On the menu bar go to Tools -> Account settings
  10. Select Outgoing Server (SMTP), select your outgoing asmtp server then click Edit.

  11. For the description enter USC SMTP server (or some other description to identify these settings to you later).
  12. Enter the following information for the following parameters:
    1. Server Name:
    2. Port: 2525
    3. Check the box for Use name and password. This is required.
    4. For User Name enter your network user id. (e.g. NEDN)
    5. Select the radio button for TLS. This is required.

  13. Then click OK.
  14. On the Account Settings screen, select the Server Settings screen for the account you just created (i.e.
  15. For Security Settings select SSL. This is required. The port number above should change to 993.
  16. For Server Settings select the options there as you like. Generally the defaults are adequate; however, you can read about the options for deleting messages in the section titled “Managing Deleted Messages” that comes later.
  17. For Local Directory the default is fine unless you know you want to store your Thunderbird profile some place else. If you do then make that selection. Do NOT click OK yet.

    Composition & Addressing
  18. Now select the Composition & Addressing screen. It is recommended to uncheck “Compose messages in HTML format”, but not required. This is your option.
  19. Also it is recommended to select, “Automatically quote the original message when replying” and to change the option to be “start my reply above the quote”
  20. The settings for Offline & Disk Space, Return Receipts, and Security are at the discretion of the user. Generally, the default settings are adequate to get started.

  21. Click OK when done
  22. Then in the Folders column click Inbox for the e-mail settings you have configured (e.g.
  23. It will then attempt to connect and prompt you for your password. Enter your password and click OK.
  24. For further assistance with Thunderbird on the menu bar go to Help -> Mozilla Thunderbird Help. You can also find additional help on the Internet through a web search engine such as

    Managing Deleted Messages
    By default, Thunderbird moves deleted messages to the trash folder instead of actually deleting them. This is so you can get them back if you delete something by mistake. However, these messages in the Trash folder still take up space in your mailbox, thus to really make them go away so you can reclaim that space, you must right click the Trash folder and then select Empty Trash.

    You can also change how deleted messages are handled. Instead of having them moved to the Trash folder you can choose two other settings, Mark it as deleted, or Remove it immediately.

    “Mark it as deleted” leaves the message where it is, but puts a line through it and a red “X” on it to mark it as deleted. It is now up to you to force the removal of these messages by right clicking the folder and selecting Compact this folder. You will have to do this for every folder that contains messages that are marked for deletion.

    “Remove it immediately” does just as the words imply. The message is removed and frees that space for new messages.

    You can select these various options for deleting messages from the menu bar by going to Tools -> Account Settings then choosing Server Settings. For the option “When I delete a message:” make your choice.


If you have any problems using these instructions, please contact the University Technology Services Help Desk at (803) 777-1800. You can also schedule an appointment in the iCARE Center at your convenience for additional support.