How to Chat with Your Contacts in Mozilla Thunderbird

Featured Chatting Pro

There is a cool feature of Mozilla Thunderbird that allows you to use it as an Instant Messenger. You can use it to chat with your contacts on Google Talk, Twitter, XMPP and IRC. Until recently, they supported Facebook Messenger as well, but it is now discontinued.

To enable chat mode, click the three-line menu icon at the top-right of your Thunderbird dashboard. Go to “New Message” followed by “Chat Account.”

Create New Chat Account Thunderbird

In the next step you get to choose from one of the four IM options. We will discuss them one by one.

Chat Account Wizard Thunderbird Options

Google Talk

We discussed earlier how useful Thunderbird can be in setting up your Gmail account. For Google Talk, you do not need to use the same Gmail account – a new one will do just fine.

Google Talk Account Thunderbird

Simply enter your Google password. Thunderbird offers SSL/TLS protection, so you don’t have to worry about security. Additionally, you also have a choice to be prompted for the password each time you log in.

Password Enter Chat Account Wizard Thunderbird

There are one to two additional steps where you get to choose your chat alias. Once finished, a chat icon will be displayed at the top. If for some reason your Google Talk account shows that it is not connected, simply refresh “show chat status.”

Chat Status Thuderbird

Twitter

Once you choose Twitter, you will initially be asked to provide your username. Then it will lead to the next screen where you must authorize Thunderbird Chat to use your Twitter account. Provide your Twitter password at this step.

Twitter Authorization Thunderbird Chat

As with Google Talk, you will have to go through a few more easy sequences. In the end, enter “Finish,” and your Twitter timeline will be quickly added to the Thunderbird dashboard. All your conversations with followers are available for further action. You can tweet easily and send messages to your followers.

Twitter Feed On Thunderbird Demo

IRC

Thunderbird also supports a whole bunch of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) services. Just click on the network to find your server details. The most popular IRC chatrooms include IRCnet, EFNet, Chatzona, DALnet and QuakeNet which also have Android support.

Irc Websites

Take note of the chatroom’s server names, and Port/SSL numbers, which are optional in case you have trouble logging in.

Irc Servers Chatzona

Go back to the Chat Account Wizard in Thunderbird, and enter the server names as shown in the previous step.

Irc Account Thunderbird

After following a few more steps including alias selection, your IRC account is now enabled with Thunderbird. Click Finish to begin chatting.

Irc Chat Account Wizard

XMPP

Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is very popular with VOIP, video, file transfer and gaming applications. Also known as Jabber, the open standard protocol supports discovery across several local domains in isolated locations. This makes it very popular for cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

Jabber Website

If you have a Jabber account for any of its numerous projects, enter your username and domain as below. After that, the steps are similar to setting up an IRC account with Thunderbird.

Jabber Xmpp Account

In Summary

Even in the age of smartphones, many of us spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Mozilla Thunderbird is an extremely convenient client to keep track of instant messaging updates.

Do you intend to use any chat messaging services with the Thunderbird client? Please let us know in the comments.

2 comments

  1. We are trying to set up chat with our gmail account, which is also our google voice account that we use to send text messages to our customers. Is that not the same as Google Talk? It says that our password is not correct, which of course it is. How do we use thunderbird chat window to access our Google voice text messages?

    1. Gmail account = Google Talk

      Yes, that password problem shows up sometimes during authentication. It’s not really a wrong password thing .

      TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS (Try one/more of these)

      1. Update Thunderbird to latest version, currently it’s 68.1
      2. Allow Google account access to less secure apps. See below link for more info: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255
      3. If you recently changed Gmail password, you will have to re-enter your Gmail account to be set up with Thunderbird. We have an article on this:
      https://www.maketecheasier.com/set-up-gmail-with-thunderbird/
      4. Go to Settings. Make sure Thunderbird isn’t set to check for new email too frequently. If it checks for new messages more than once every 10 minutes, the app’s access to your account could be blocked by Google.

      If none of these steps worked, go to this link: ” https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha” and follow the guided instructions there.

      Go through above tips one by one and do let us know if the problem’s been resolved.

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