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Unable to log into Thunderbird Gmail account; Authentication failure while connecting to server imap.google.com

  • 3 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 156 views
  • Last reply by westief

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Starting on June 1, when I tried to use Thunderbird, I have to log into my Gmail account. I enter my email address and password and the next screen states: "Sign in with Google", which I do. The last screen in the process is "Mozilla Thunderbird Email wants to access your Google Account". I click on Allow and then the following message appears: "Authentication failure while connecting to server imap.google.com"

When I go back to Thunderbird and click on "Get Messages", I am put back into the Login loop, including 2- Step Verification..

I've used Troubleshoot Mode, I've cleared the startup cache, but neither has resolved the problem.

More Troubleshooting Information

Application Basics Name Thunderbird Version 91.10.0 Build ID 20220525135609 Distribution ID Update Folder C:\ProgramData\Mozilla\updates\D78BF5DD33499EC2 Update History Update Channel release User Agent Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/91.0 Thunderbird/91.10.0 OS Windows_NT 10.0 19044 Application Binary C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe Profile Folder C:\0-TBird\Profiles\jsxynuvz.default (Local drive) Build Configuration about:buildconfig Memory Use about:memory Performance about:performance Registered Service Workers about:serviceworkers Third-party Modules about:third-party Launcher Process Enabled Multiprocess Windows 0/0 Fission Windows 0/0 Disabled by default Remote Processes 3 Enterprise Policies Inactive Google Location Service Key Missing Google Safebrowsing Key Missing Mozilla Location Service Key Missing Safe Mode false Profiles about:profiles Telemetry Data about:telemetry Mail and News Accounts ID Name Incoming server Outgoing servers Name Connection security Authentication method Identity Name Connection security Authentication method Default? account1 [user name]@hotmail.com (pop3) pop3.live.com:995 SSL/TLS Normal password Wes <[user name]@hotmail.com> smtp.live.com:587 STARTTLS Normal password true account2 Local Folders (none) Local Folders None Normal password account4 [user name]@gmail.com (imap) imap.gmail.com:993 SSL/TLS OAuth2 "[my name]" <[user name]@gmail.com> smtp.googlemail.com:465 SSL/TLS OAuth2 true

I can use account1 - [user name]@hotmail.com (download, read, delete, messages), but I no access to account4 - [user name]@gmail.com. I have no idea what account2 - Local Folders relates to.

On June 2 during a 2-1/2 hour unproductive session with a good computer technician I've been using for probably 10 years, Security Alerts were sent to account1 - [user name]@hotmail.com (as set up as a security step in Gmail): "2-Step Verification turned on", "App password created to sign in to your account", "App password used to sign in was removed", etc.

I have personally spent over 8 hours over the past 3 days exploring solutions suggested to other users with a similar problem but nothing has helped.

I have checked for stored passwords; there are none.

Please let me know if you need more information.

Thank you very much for you help! I will save whatever is left of my sanity!

Starting on June 1, when I tried to use Thunderbird, I have to log into my Gmail account. I enter my email address and password and the next screen states: "Sign in with Google", which I do. The last screen in the process is "Mozilla Thunderbird Email wants to access your Google Account". I click on Allow and then the following message appears: "Authentication failure while connecting to server imap.google.com" When I go back to Thunderbird and click on "Get Messages", I am put back into the Login loop, including 2- Step Verification.. I've used Troubleshoot Mode, I've cleared the startup cache, but neither has resolved the problem. More Troubleshooting Information Application Basics Name Thunderbird Version 91.10.0 Build ID 20220525135609 Distribution ID Update Folder C:\ProgramData\Mozilla\updates\D78BF5DD33499EC2 Update History Update Channel release User Agent Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/91.0 Thunderbird/91.10.0 OS Windows_NT 10.0 19044 Application Binary C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe Profile Folder C:\0-TBird\Profiles\jsxynuvz.default (Local drive) Build Configuration about:buildconfig Memory Use about:memory Performance about:performance Registered Service Workers about:serviceworkers Third-party Modules about:third-party Launcher Process Enabled Multiprocess Windows 0/0 Fission Windows 0/0 Disabled by default Remote Processes 3 Enterprise Policies Inactive Google Location Service Key Missing Google Safebrowsing Key Missing Mozilla Location Service Key Missing Safe Mode false Profiles about:profiles Telemetry Data about:telemetry Mail and News Accounts ID Name Incoming server Outgoing servers Name Connection security Authentication method Identity Name Connection security Authentication method Default? account1 [user name]@hotmail.com (pop3) pop3.live.com:995 SSL/TLS Normal password Wes <[user name]@hotmail.com> smtp.live.com:587 STARTTLS Normal password true account2 Local Folders (none) Local Folders None Normal password account4 [user name]@gmail.com (imap) imap.gmail.com:993 SSL/TLS OAuth2 "[my name]" <[user name]@gmail.com> smtp.googlemail.com:465 SSL/TLS OAuth2 true I can use account1 - [user name]@hotmail.com (download, read, delete, messages), but I no access to account4 - [user name]@gmail.com. I have no idea what account2 - Local Folders relates to. On June 2 during a 2-1/2 hour unproductive session with a good computer technician I've been using for probably 10 years, Security Alerts were sent to account1 - [user name]@hotmail.com (as set up as a security step in Gmail): "2-Step Verification turned on", "App password created to sign in to your account", "App password used to sign in was removed", etc. I have personally spent over 8 hours over the past 3 days exploring solutions suggested to other users with a similar problem but nothing has helped. I have checked for stored passwords; there are none. Please let me know if you need more information. Thank you very much for you help! I will save whatever is left of my sanity!

Chosen solution

Start with 2 step verification turned off. Or also try creating an app password for Thunderbird.

Check that cookies are enabled and that you have no software running on Localhost. Generally reports have included Apache. But anything that consumes stuff posted to localhost will cause issues.

Try deleting the files that are used to store passwords. This gmail change has seen a slew of folk upgrading from old versions of Thunderbird and the password storage is corrupted because they never had V68.5

Extracted from https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1768542#c6

Menu app icon > Help > More Troubleshooting Information Under Application Basics' - Profile Folders - click on 'Open Directory' (Linux) or 'Open Folder' (Windows) You will see window showing contents of profile name folder.

Exit Thunderbird now - this is important

Look for the following files and delete them.

   cert8.db - obsolete file
   key3.db - omelette file
   pkcs11.txt - this file may be missing as seems to be being reported in these cases - if you see it delete it
   secmod.db - obsolete file
   session.json

NOTE: do NOT delete the following:

   key4.db
   cert9.db
   logins.json

Start up Thunderbird pkcs11.txt and session.json get created. Oauth2 Authentication should now work.

Note if the first set of deletions do not work, remove the key4 and logins files as well.

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All Replies (3)

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Chosen Solution

Start with 2 step verification turned off. Or also try creating an app password for Thunderbird.

Check that cookies are enabled and that you have no software running on Localhost. Generally reports have included Apache. But anything that consumes stuff posted to localhost will cause issues.

Try deleting the files that are used to store passwords. This gmail change has seen a slew of folk upgrading from old versions of Thunderbird and the password storage is corrupted because they never had V68.5

Extracted from https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1768542#c6

Menu app icon > Help > More Troubleshooting Information Under Application Basics' - Profile Folders - click on 'Open Directory' (Linux) or 'Open Folder' (Windows) You will see window showing contents of profile name folder.

Exit Thunderbird now - this is important

Look for the following files and delete them.

   cert8.db - obsolete file
   key3.db - omelette file
   pkcs11.txt - this file may be missing as seems to be being reported in these cases - if you see it delete it
   secmod.db - obsolete file
   session.json

NOTE: do NOT delete the following:

   key4.db
   cert9.db
   logins.json

Start up Thunderbird pkcs11.txt and session.json get created. Oauth2 Authentication should now work.

Note if the first set of deletions do not work, remove the key4 and logins files as well.

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Thank you very much for your quick response! I really appreciate it!

After going through your recommendations, I am still getting the notification, "Authentication failure while connecting to server imap.google.com", when I allow Thunderbird to access my Gmail account.

Here are the individual steps I took:

I turned off 2-step verification.

When I took my computer into a computer store on June 2nd to try to get past this problem, the technician created an app password for Thunderbird in Gmail, but that didn't change the situation. Google Gmail recognizes my current password and is ready to authorize access, but there is always an authentication failure.

Enhanced Tracking Protection was switched from Custom to Standard Protection.

I enabled Total Cookie Protection and reloaded all tabs. I couldn't tell that all tabs had be reloaded, so I closed and restarted Thunderbird.

I don't know how to check if software is running on Localhost and I didn't find any information on the web that would help me

When I entered 127.0.0.1 in my Thunderbird browser while trying to find local hosts, the file named changed to http://127.0.0.1/dashboard/ and a page was opened with the heading, "Welcome to XAMPP for Windows 7.0.8".

phpMyAdmin is running as a local host and three different local hosts are listed in the User accounts overview:

   User name    Host name   Password   Global privileges

1. Any localhost No USAGE 2. pma localhost No USAGE 3. root localhost No ALL PRIVILEGES

I haven’t saved any passwords in my Google Account yet, but I deleted a few I had in Chrome.

With regard to updating Thunderbird, Windows 10, etc., it is my practice to updates apps as updates become available. There has never been a gap between updates.

I found and deleted all of these files as recommended:

  cert8.db - obsolete file
  key3.db - omelette file
  pkcs11.txt
  secmod.db - obsolete file
  session.json

I noticed that there is a session.json.backup file and also files session-1.json through session-24.json in this folder.

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Thunderbird is finally working for me!

Before sending my last response, I missed and didn't do your last suggestion: "Note if the first set of deletions do not work, remove the key4 and logins files as well". I deleted two logins files but wasn't able to delete key4 by accessing it through the Thunderbird Help process, since key4 was being used by Thunderbird. So I closed the app and deleted key4 directly from the profile file.

I also deleted XAMPP since it was using three localhosts and phpDesigner that was used in conjunction with XAMPP.

In the meantime, Windows issued a new update that I downloaded and installed.

I don't kow which of the above steps was was the key in getting Thunderbird to work, but it is now working very well!

Thank you again for all your help!