PDQ Library:  Sympatico Email in Thunderbird

The main problem is that the Thunderbird version 2 account setup wizard (File > New > Account) automatically puts the UserName part of your email address as the User Name, but Bell Sympatico requires the entire email address UserName@sympatico.ca. Second, you may need to edit the account settings to use different security settings. Third, Bell-Sympatico customers are routinely told that Bell does not support Thunderbird software (unlike every other ISP). I personally think the problem is that Bell changes mail server settings without telling anyone. (People in different regions using the same software and settings have different experiences.) And fourth, new versions of Thunderbird require changes to mail settings. Hopefully the following settings should get you reading and sending mail:

Thunderbird Account Settings

To open the Account Settings window, select 'Account Settings' from the Tools menu. (Or click on an account in the left pane and select "View settings..." from the right pane. Or you may also right-click on an account in the left pane and select "Properties".)

POP MAIL (reading mail)

In the left pane, Select an Account.
Select Server Settings. Enter the following settings:
Server Name: pophm.sympatico.ca
Port: 995
User Name: UserName@sympatico.ca  (your entire email address)
Security Settings: Use secure connection: SSL (In version 3 select SSL/TLS
Server Authentication: No
Server Settings:   ('Check for new messages on startup' and 'automatically download')
Click Ok.

SMTP (sending mail)

(Note: Version 3 settings in brackets are different)
In the left pane, select Outgoing Server.
Select the default server smtphm.sympatico.ca
Select edit. Enter the following settings:
Description: Sympatico (or whatever you like)
Server Name: smtphm.sympatico.ca
Port: 25 (TB3 select 587)
User Name: UserName@sympatico.ca  (your entire email address)
Secure Connection: TLS (TB3 select STARTTLS)
Click OK to save all your settings. Click OK and exit.

If this doesn't work, search at google.com for the phrase "sympatico smtp settings for thunderbird". Online forums have many discussions about this subject. (Let me know too.)

The first time you read your messages, and your connection settings are correct, you will see messages in the Status Bar at the bottom of window indicating Thunderbird is connecting. Then the Thunderbird password manager should pop up a windows asking for your address and password for each email account. If you save passwords, they can be viewed under Tools (menu) > Options > Privacy > Passwords.

If you have more than one account, repeat the settings for each account. Thunderbird also allows you to read newsgroups (news server settings required) and news feeds (RSS or Atom settings required).

I added this page after Bell Sympatico tried to convince a friend to use Outlook Express, telling her that it worked better with their system (crazy!). It would have taken a minute to provide the correct settings to use in ANY mailreader, like any other reputable ISP does for their customers. Since then, I have received dozens of emails from frustrated Sympatico customers who can't get the help they need, and used these simple instructions to get Thunderbird working. I don't know why people put up with Sympatico's poor customer support!

An alternative is using Sympatico for your Internet connection and use any other online service for email. A Gmail address (Google.com services), for example, means you never again need to change your address when you move or change Internet service providers. And they supply all the setting you need for Thunderbird.

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