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Help with setup school email to Thunderbird


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I'm a student at a school. I am trying to connect my school email to a Thunderbird client. the school that im going to has a third party hosting their student email.
They are using gmail as the student email. But they control the permissions in house. How they have it set up is, when I go to login to my gmail account and type in poptart@email.pppp.edu with no password it takes me to the schools website to login to my gmail account. I can go in to my gmail account settings to enable imap or pop when I try to add my account to Thunderbird it finds the gmail account but it won't take my password because the gmail account does not have a password tied to the account. The gmail account passwords are tied to the schools servers. Is their a way around this you know of so I can add my school email account to my Thunderbird client.

Edited by poptart
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i did call their Help Desk they said they do not allow email client through pop or imap but im able to enable imap or pop in the gmail accounts settings but i got my email account add to my email client but its not allowing my password to go through

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The mail server probably black lists imap or pop. You would need administrative access to actually apply the imap or pop changes I do believe.

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Run wireshark during the whole process. You will see the servers it goes to, to add to your pop client, and if sent in plain text, also your email address and the password. This should work, so long as its not using TLS or encrypted, which gmail is, but the schools servers might not be and traffic will show the hello, and handshake at the smtp side with the user and pass and server IP endpoint, so thats what I would try. Granted, might get you in trouble if you get caught logging in remotely from somewhere else, but if you get the gmail password this way, you can then log in right at gmail.com with the name and password without a school redirect I would think and sync to your phone, and home pop clients or imap clients.

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  • 3 weeks later...


I'd like to add my expierence to this. My school has recently migrated all students to a Google Apps account, while staff is going through Office365 (Microsoft).

To do this, they use an external authentication mechanism supported by Google. This ties into (or might just be) Active Directory. This then says they have accounts on Gmail or on Office365 and so on.

The keyword above to note is EXTERNAL. What this means is Google doesn't know your password. They only receive an authentication token from the server that does the actual password hashing, etc. This means, in order for you to do what you want, you will need the authorizing party (your school) to allow Google to either 1. know your password, 2. set a seperate password to allow IMAP or POP3 access. Your helpdesk says they do not allow it, meaning that their policies do not allow this on the authentication side.

Unfortunately, without your school changing its IT policies, this will not likely be supported in the near future.

Hope this help,


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