Accessing Google Apps at USC using Thunderbird for Windows

This page provides instructions for configuring Thunderbird to use with your Google Apps at USC email account.

Setting Up IMAP Access

You will need to enable IMAP or POP access on your Google Apps at USC email account in order to check your email through Thunderbird. ITS strongly recommends using the IMAP protocol and provides configuration documentation for that protocol only. See the IMAP and POP Comparison page for more information.

  1. Go to and click Gmail.
  2. Click Settings at the top the Gmail page.
  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. Choose Enable IMAP in the IMAP Access section.
  5. Click Save Changes.

Using the Import Wizard

If you wish to migrate settings or messages from another email program, such as Outlook, Eudora or Outlook Express you may do so by selecting appropriate options in the Import Wizard. The wizard gives you the option to import settings and messages from your previous email program.

  1. Double-click the Thunderbird icon.
  2. Click Tools and then Import.
  3. Select Mail from the options to import only your mail or Import Everything to import your mail, address book, settings and filters and click Next.
  4. import_mail.png

  5. Select what type of file (Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, etc) you wish to import and click Next to automatically import your information.
  6. import_outlook.png

  7. To finishing setting up your account manually, select Cancel.
  8. imported.png

Setting Up a New Account

When you launch Thunderbird 3.0 for the first time, the Migration Assistant will launch. If you have previously set up Thunderbird on your computer, the Migration Assistant will automatically detect your account and set it up for you. ITS recommends that you go through the steps below to ensure that your account is configured properly.

To configure Thunderbird for your Google Apps at USC email account:

  1. Open Thunderbird and go to the Tools menu and select Account Settings.
  2. Click the Account Actions pulldown menu and choose Add Mail Account.
  3. Enter your name and USC email address and then click Continue.
  4. account_setup.png

  5. By default Thunderbird will attempt to automatically find mail server settings.
  6. Click Stop on the right to enter the settings manually.
  7. In the Edit Config section of the Mail Account Setup window, enter your full USC email address (e.g. in the Username field.
  8. In the Incoming: field, enter
  9. From the drop-down menu next to the Incoming: field, select your incoming server type. ITS recommends that you use IMAP (see IMAP vs. POP3).
  10. Please note that if you choose to use POP3, you may check Use Global Inbox. Many people with multiple POP mail accounts prefer to use Global Inbox, where all mail is stored and managed in one folder directory. Please also be aware that Thunderbird may not leave email on server after download.

  11. Enter 993 in the box next to the incoming server dropdown menu.
  12. Choose SSL/TLS from the next dropdown menu.
  13. In the Outgoing: field, enter
  14. Enter 465 in the box next to SMTP.
  15. Choose SSL/TLS from the next dropdown menu.
  16. Click Manual Setup.
  17. tbird3_gappswin_1.png

  18. Click Server Setting to verify that the settings entered are correct.
  19. tbird3_gappswin_2.png

  20. Click Outgoing Server to verify that the outgoing settings are correct.
  21. tbird3_gappswin_3.png

  22. Click OK to finish.

Checking Your Email

To check for new email, launch Thunderbird and it will ask you for your password (unless you asked Password Manager to remember it). Enter your USC NetID password. Your USC NetID password is the one you use to connect to services such as and Blackboard. After you type in your password, you should see your new email in your Inbox displayed in bold.

  • If you are already running Thunderbird, click Get Mail.

  • You can also click on the File menu, then select Get New Mail For and then select the email account you want to check.

Composing and Sending Email

To write and send a message, click Write on the toolbar, or click the File menu, select New, and then Message. Both of these functions will bring up a Compose message window.

  1. In the To: field, type the recipient’s email address. You can enter multiple addresses by separating each address with a comma.

  2. In the Subject: field, type a brief description of your message.

  3. After completing the To: and Subject: fields, type your message in the space below. When you are finished, click Send.

Getting Help

Thunderbird has online help guides to assist you with its additional features. To find it look under the Help menu or visit the Thunderbird project website at

If you have any questions or need assistance configuring Thunderbird, please contact the ITS Customer Support Center at 213-740-5555 or email