Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Using Windows Live Mail in Thunderbird

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

Last year I mentioned the Webmail extension for Mozilla Thunderbird, which adds support for Hotmail, Yahoo, Lycos,, Libero and AOL to Thunderbird, as well as general POP3 and IMAP services which are built-in. (It also supports Gmail but you can use Gmail via POP3 already).

Since signing up for the beta for Windows Live Mail, which will suceed Hotmail sometime soon, I haven’t been able to use Hotmail with my account – instead, I’ve been getting the dreaded ‘Negative Vibes’ error. It turns out the fix was right under my nose.

If you are in the same boat as me, do the following:

  1. Open the Extensions dialog and click ‘Find Updates’ to ensure you have the latest versions of the Webmail and Hotmail extensions. Download the latest versions when offered, and then restart Thunderbird if necessary.
  2. Go back into the Extensions dialog, highlight the Hotmail extension and choose Preferences. On the Mode tab, highlight your account, and then click ‘Change Mode’. Change it to ‘Beta’. Close the dialogs, and check for new mail. Your account should now work fine!

You can experience with the WebDAV option, which may work with your account if you have been using Hotmail for a few years. It’s more efficient than the Screen Scraper (old Hotmail) or Beta (Windows Live Mail) modes but Microsoft is in the process of phasing it out so it may not work.


  1. WORKS GREAT!!!!!!

  2. It still doesn’t work with me, still receiving “negative vibs”. I use 110 port for incoming and 25 for outgoing and tls conection if avaiable. are this settings correct? Please tell me what to do, i did exectly what you said…

  3. Worked for me.
    I used WebDav instead of Beta.
    Congratulations for the hint !

  4. I got it, it was an account configuration problem. I’m using WebDav also and is working 100%. Thanks for the hint man 😉

  5. hi guys, i’m having no joy, i have updated as stated above with no updates available. i don’t have the beta option, and i get webdav error when i tried webdav. what version of the extensions are you using, and what version of tbird? i ask that because i don’t have a mode tab.

  6. Thunderbird
    Webmail Extension 1.0.2
    Hotmail Extension 0.10.6

  7. just updated to tb and webmail 1.0.2 and hotmail 0.10.6 and set to beta, webdav and screenripper and none worked, also tried changing to higher ports on pop. and still no joy, can you please help?

  8. i have just noticed that the domain is – is this the problem?

  9. just found these posts over at mozillazine forums…scroll to bottom and then read through the next lot of pages…in the mean time, i’m using gmail…and maybe for good!!

  10. Thanks a lot man. Both Beta and WebDAV work for me. Can you explain in more detail what this webDAV is all about? I am confused as to whether to use beta or webdav as you said MS is phasing webdav out. If we know what are advantages of webdav we could then decide. Thanks again.

  11. WebDAV is essentially a web services system, whereas the beta method downloads actual web pages and ‘scrapes’ them to extract the data from them. WebDAV is better because if Microsoft change the web pages (and this will happen frequently during the Windows Live Mail beta test) then the scraper may not work.
    WebDAV is what Outlook Express uses for its Hotmail support. This BBC News article says that Microsoft were phasing it out last year and making it a subscription-only service, but it still seems to work.

  12. Thanks again for the details. I guess I would stay with webDAV till it is pahsed out then switch over.

  13. Opera Software mentions the utilities Hotmail Popper, HotPOP3, and MrPostman for its own Opera Mail. Has anyone tried these with Thunderbird? It sounds like these are email client-independent

  14. i cannot access me hotmail. i clicked to join windows live beta and cant get into my hotmail account but can still get into my messenger which i have updated to messenger beta.
    I have downloaded netsacpe and firefox to see if i could access hotmail via these but no success. how on earth am i gonna resolve this. i am the most computer illiterate person i know!! help please!

  15. Try to use MS Outlook Express

  16. I started to use Mozilla TB to access my Windows Live Mail account. But about 3 or 4 days ago, when I try to access my Windows Live Mail account with IE (webmail) there are no emails in my account! But on TB i can see all my 800+ emails that are in my account. Why is this? Does this means that I downloaded the email from the account to my computer and they are no longer in Microsoft Windows Live Mail server, and that way, if I format my pc I will lose all my emails!?
    regards from Portugal

  17. Carlos, it’s possible you had the ‘Leave messages on server’ box unchecked. Have a look at your account’s Server Settings and if you want your mail to stay on Hotmail then make sure that box is checked!
    I can get email from Live Beta and used to be able to send, but now sending has stopped working – my smtp server is set to, should I change it to or maybe (I now live in Luxembourg)

  18. Beta and WebDAV doesnt work result negative vibes form how can i adjust ..

  19. please tell me how to set up a windows live mail account in thunderbird…im really confused…
    loads of thanks

  20. Thankyou,
    I spent about 1 and a half hours trying to set this up and I almost gave up – I am using the beta service too and WebDav worked for me.

  21. Does anyone know if this supports FOLDERS?
    The one thing that every webmail plugin/server I’ve tried has yet to support is folders, and as such Im stuck using Outlook Express / Outlook to access my hotmail/windows live mail.

  22. Sorry Antioch, it doesn’t support folders. All new messages get delivered to the Inbox. As you say, you’ll need Outlook or Outlook Express for that.

  23. Well, I think you should always have up to date email backups. I used to do it manually by saving the .dbx files, until I found – Outlook Express Backup Genie that does it automatically at regular times.
    I choused it over other because it can work with both MS Outlook and Outlook Express

  24. Worked like a charm. Thanks for finding such an easy solution!

  25. I use the beta option and I get my email but I can’t send anything.

  26. downseven, update to hotmail 1-0-9, this problem, not being able to send email has been fixed in the new version.
    see changelog here:

  27. I have hotmail 1.0.9 and webmail 1.0.11 installed in thunderbid and hotmail website (beta) selected but still can’t send email using my live mail account (dutch locale). Receiving works fine.
    what should I try next?

  28. Is there any way to get this to work with hotmail accounts set up using Live Custom domains?

  29. Thanx so much – spent days searching for intelligent answer & solution to this problem. Was about to trash Thunderbird because of this. Would think Mozilla would post this on their Thunderbird website, since they are offering the webmail ext w/ an older version of the hotmail ext. Thanx again. lee

  30. Thanks for the tips – hotmail and yahoo mail working nicely!

    I’ve been so confused on how to get the Windows Live Beta email onto Thunderbird… Thank you so much for the help 🙂

  32. Thanks, almost gave up on that one!

  33. i cant get my email to work on this WebMail stuff (i use windows live mail BETA). thunderbird wont update my software from ver. 1.0.14 (WebMail) and 1.0.13 (hotmail thingy) ive tried WebDav and the beta thing and nothing works

  34. Using WebDav worked for me.
    One thing I would suggest to others having problems is that you ensure the non-working Hotmail account is selected when choosing your connection method in the Mode tab for the extension options… i.e. at the top of the screen, there is a drop down list with all your email accounts shown, and my default email address (the one which didn’t work) was NOT listed first. Another, secondary, account was listed by default – thus meaning my initial attempt to make my primary account use WebDav failed, because I hadn’t even chosen the right one to action it on. It sounds trivial, but you never know who else hasn’t noticed this.
    I’m using Webmail 1.0.15, Hotmail extension 1.0.14 and TB for the record.

  35. The hotmail beta option in the extension doesn’t allow me to send emails. The webdav option wont let me get emails. So if anyone has any ideas as how to fix this let me know.

  36. it work like a charm!! has been bugging 4 d past few weeks..!! thanks!!!

  37. Thanks a lot….now it’s working great!!
    I’m using Hotmail Website (beta),
    hotmail extension 1.0.16, webmail extension 1.0.15.
    Kind regards.

  38. Man I am so glad that I found you…now I don’t have to cuss Thunderbird and Hotmail anymore…I can just stick to cussing hotmail!

  39. Niel,
    Thanks for the info. I had IDs setup some time back and didnt bother using them much (They are M$, after all!!). But thought I’d start migrating my M$ alter-ego from to and got stuck setting it up in Thunderbird.
    For me webdav, somehow, did not work. Instead, I had to use |hotmail (beta)| and works great.
    Thanks again, LifeSaver!

  40. Hi
    followed all the steps tried fot 2 hours but I still get the “negative vibes’ error
    can anyone help me ??

  41. My school gave me some kind of windows live account (ending with and not I got rid of the negative vibes thing by going to my webmail inbox ( and changing the theme to the classic one instead of the live one.

  42. Thanks for this skill !
    I use WebDav to.

  43. worked perfectly, i have been mulling over this problem for weeks; thanks.

  44. It really worked in my case. Thanks very much!

  45. My school gave me a Livemail account too (mine is but I can’t figure out how to direct it to access – it automatically tries to access but obviously that isn’t right because its a livemail account! How did you do it?? Also, how do I do this in TB while leaving my primary (hotmail) account unaffected?? Please contact me at my hotmail address:
    Thanks for any help you can provide!

  46. I managed to make it work for UTEP emails. I think it can work as well for other domains also using Windows Live.
    Here are the steps I used (change by your domain):
    1. I went to and downloaded the Web-Mail-1.2.3 and Hotmail-1.2.2 add-ons.
    2. I started Thunderbird, went to Tools, add-ons, install; then I selected Web-Mail-1.2.3. After instalation, I asked to restart Thunderbird.
    3. I repeated 2 for Hotmail-1.2.2.
    4. After Thunderbird started for the second time, I created an account (Tools, Account Settings, Add Account), with the following parameters:
    Server Name: localhost
    Port: 110
    User name:
    5. I went to tools, add-ons, selected Webmail-Hotmail and went inside its options. In the new window, I then selected Domains, Add(!) and wrote I closed the window.
    6. I went again to tools, add-ons, Webmail-Hotmail and options. Now, inside Accounts, I selected and in the Mode tab I put Hotmail Live (New website).

  47. Have now updated to TB, which automatically sought out and installed the Webmail 1.2.3 and Hotmail 1.2.2 extensions. This worked immediately.

  48. Hi. I know this is probably the wrong forum for this question. I don’t use Thunderbird. I also have the new UTEP email address and I was accustomed to forwarding my mail to my gmail account and never checking the university’s inbox. I can’t figure out how to do this.
    Think you might be able to help?

  49. you are my demigod. i have been trying to fix this for ages.

  50. This tip worked for me. Use “localhost” server and select the “Webdav” option under the Webmail Hotmail add-on.

  51. I just got an account for San Jac College and am having the same problem as y’all. I’m able to download the messages now, but I cannot reply using my email address. Has anyone figured out how to do this yet?

  52. Thanks so much for this tip, I am currently downloading the whole of my inbox on hotmail!

  53. Josimar,
    thank you!!!! I’ve been trying to connect my hotmail account to thunderbird for hours and just stumbled on your post of 25nd June 2007 and it worked!!! Praise Jesus!

  54. i had pretty much given up on my hotmail account for the past few months… i figured negative vibes was a way of life. thank you for this tip!