Recovering and changing password in Thunderbird is not really that difficult

Thunderbird, developed by Mozilla, is a simple, open source, multi-platform email application that is installed on a computer to send, receive, sort and search email messages. Internet service providers, web-based and corporate emails, all of these can be used with Thunderbird. By setting up an account with Thunderbird, you can access mails from multiple accounts at the same point of time. Data is stored on local drive or email server.


Thunderbird 5, the latest version, incorporates multiple features like message management, cross platform support, file format support, security, themes, junk filtering and internationalization & localization. When it comes to security, Mozilla Thunderbird is fairly impressive and offers security support for protecting email through digital signatures and message encryption using certificates including optional features like enabling only specific media types and disabling JavaScript.

Why Thunderbird?

Majority of free software are not always predictably designed that sometimes lead to 'not so user-friendly' situations. One such obvious highlight being the need to change an email account password. Firefox allows saving of website passwords. On revisiting these websites, Firefox enables automatic login by remembering and entering the user name and password for you. However, at any given time, this arrangement may become inaccessible or non-functional. This is where Firefox Password Recovery comes into picture. This feature enables you to access the actual passwords stored by Firefox browser and assists you in regaining all the saved information. It decrypts passwords protected with a master password and also allows you to retrieve email account passwords from Mozilla Thunderbird.

Recovering and changing passwords in Thunderbird

Thunderbird, unlike other email clients, doesn't provide a way for an user to enter server passwords while creating an account. It prompts for a password the first time it needs one and that is when you can checkmark the box to save the password using the password manager if you want Thunderbird to remember the password.

To retrieve or recover a password in Thunderbird: Open the email client Thunderbird, select Tools, Options > Security > Passwords > click on saved passwords button. This displays a list of email accounts with their saved passwords.

To change a password saved by the password manager, delete it, get a new password prompt for the next time it needs it and then save the password again. To change password, follow the instructions: select Tools, Options from the top menu > go to Security button > select the Passwords tab > click the Saved Passwords button > Check for the name of the email account that you want to change > highlight the account name and click Remove button. (This will allow you to re-enter the password the next time you try to access your mail) > Click OK button.

[NOTE: Thunderbird allows you to view your passwords by clicking on the Show Passwords button on the Password Manager window. It is therefore not a good idea to save passwords on any PC that is used in a multi-user environment such as an office. However, under such circumstances, it is highly advisable to use the Master Password feature.]

Master password needs to be set under password manager in the Firefox menu via Tools > Options > Security / Passwords.

Setting a Master password: Select Tools > Options > Security > Set Master password. [NOTE: Current master password needs to be provided before changing or removing the same for security reasons.]

Changing a Master password: Select Tools > Options > Security > Passwords > Change Master password [NOTE: This option is available only if a Master password has been previously set.]

Deleting a Master password: Select Tools > Options > Security > Passwords >Remove Master password.

Resetting a Master password: Select Tools > Error Console, paste the expression: openDialog("chrome://pippki/content/resetpassword.xul") and click on Evaluate button. [NOTE: Resetting will remove all stored password information.]

Thunderbird - The easy way

Unlike other email clients, Thunderbird has been made to be a fully user-friendly, customizable browser. Features like add-ons and themes make it more interesting and different from Outlook and Linux based clients. The other most popular client is Outlook only because majority of the email users have some experience with it and hence they tend to stick with what they know! While considering the fact that the corporate world loves the IE & Outlook with Microsoft Exchange combination, so do other internet miscreants but this does not necessarily mean that any other client is more secure.The biggest concern of an email user being security and retrieval or change of passwords for his/her accounts. Thunderbird provides significant contribution in maintaining a simple yet effective method in providing excellent solutions to these concerns in the most user-friendly way.

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