Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Thunderbird Webmail extension

Update: Since this post was written, Hotmail has added proper POP3 support – see this entry for details. The instructions below are therefore unnecessary.

I’m now using Thunderbird’s Webmail extension to check my Hotmail account, which is usually full of gunk but occasionally has something important in it.
The extension is very slick – it’s a case of downloading the core package plus the package for the particular service you’re using – Hotmail, Yahoo or Lycos – installing them, restarting Thunderbird and then setting up the account. It even integrates neatly with the Account Settings wizard so it’s no more difficult than setting up any other email account, and doesn’t require you to run any external programs. And unlike other tools like Hotmail Popper it’ll still work with free Hotmail accounts.


  1. Cool. I’ll have to give that one a try.

  2. thunderbird extensions

    Neil just pointed me to a great Thunderbird extension. I use Forumzilla regularly but other than that, I’m mostly a stock build user. What Thunderbird extensions do you all use/recommend?

  3. This is not a extension to TB, but it is the best program to use if you have many webmail accounts as it supports so extremely many of them, not just hotmail, yahoo and lycos.

  4. Well, I can’t get it to work on Linux. It seems like the Webmail extension can’t establish whatever server it wants to open on port 110.
    It’s probably just a user privilege problem, but it’d be a shame to have to run Thunderbird as root to get this functionality.

  5. I have also just found this extension. I am using the 1.0.3 TB build and this extension does not seem to work. Someone else asked about a question about versions greater than 1.0 working. I guess we’ll have to wait.

  6. There is no Thunderbird 1.0.3 – the latest version is 1.0.2. There are also the unstable 1.0+ trunk releases.
    I have 1.0.2 and the extension works fine. But then I run Windows, the situation might be different on other platforms.

  7. I mixed up my numbers, I am using the 20050410 trunk build of TB. I use FF 1.0.3.
    Webmail does not work in this ver of TB. Hopefully it will sometime soon.

  8. I have Tb 1.0.2 with lycos 0-3-3, web-mail 0-1-3.
    Extension(s) doesn’t work properly…
    I have an error when trying to download mails from my account.
    Error: undefinied is a unsupported domain.
    I tried polish version of Tb 1.0.0 with this extensions, but i got the same error.
    Will it be workin’ soon?

  9. Excellent, just what I’ve been after! 🙂

  10. I’m having trouble editing the prefs js file – to stop thunderbird timing out when I use this extension can anyone help with some clearer instructions. I was able to cut and paste the line into the file but it does not look like I have changed anything? please help me…
    otherwise the extension is deadly. *thats good :)*

  11. Hi Guys!!!,
    Help me please . . . I am using Thunderbird 1.0.2. on a Windows XP Home system, and have installed WebMail, which works find with Hotmail, but not with my Yahoo Account. I get an error message “Sending of password did not succeed. Mail server local host responded: negative vibes” what does this mean??????
    Thanks in anticipation . . . . ozzie beachbum

  12. I haven’t used the Linux version of Thunderbird much less WebMail, but if you don’t have permissions/access to port 110 why not configure it to use another port > 1024?
    BTW, did something happen today with hotmail? Neither of my accounts is working with WebMail today.

  13. I’ve only found out about WebMail today and can’t get it to work properly with it’s hotmail plugin. It says that the server is running, but the JavaScript Console outputs the following error message:
    Hotmail-ScreenRipper.js: loginHandler : Exception : Error.
    Error message: error parsing bounce web page
    Can someone give me advice on this???
    I used to use MrPostman to retrieve messages from my hotmail account, but find it annoying to have to run an external application that is not absolutely reliable.
    Any advice is very much appreciated!

  14. Ok, solved it. Had problems with the Hotmail 0.4.1, which seem to be resolved in version 0.4.2. WebMail is a really neat plugin!!!! Thanks a lot to the developers!!!!

  15. Hey, I did a mistake. I installed hotmail extension before installing webmail extension. Now, my thunderbird doesnt even start, how to resolve this?

  16. Hi Poorna,
    I had same problem. But you can fix it. Just start thunderbird in safe mode. Uninstall the hotmail extension. Restart and do the installation in the given order.

  17. By the way, hotmail extension is not working for me. I am getting negative vibes error. When I try to download hotmail a/c messages, it says – (Sending of password did not succeed. Mail server localhost responded: negative vibes).
    Though, Yahoo A/c is working smoothly. I was wondering is this M$ problem? Anybody, who has successfully, downloaded hotmail messages in thunderbird, pls suggest.

  18. I got the same error message as Pawan had for my hotmail and yahoo account. Sincerely hope someone to help me solve this issue.

  19. People with ‘negative vibes’ errors: I was able to fix this on my copy of Thunderbird by going to Tools -> Extensions, then highlighting Hotmail and clicking Update, and then installing the updated version.
    Note that the error will show if Hotmail is having server problems.