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Thunderbird Cannot Connect to Server:Download Email Problem

If you're having problems connecting to Thunderbird and the small hour-glass figure seems to never download your email then here are some quick simple steps that may help.

Norton Internet Security - Auto Protect Processing Threat

If you have Norton Internet Security then one of the problems could be because Norton is endlessly trying to process a potential threat. Click on the Norton icon in the task bar at the bottom of your desktop (beside the time).

Norton Icon in task bar of Windows desktop

The click "Options" of Norton's window (at the bottom left) and then click "Norton Internet Security".

Opening Norton Internet Security from Norton's Option button

Then click on "Real-Time Protection" (in the left column menu).

Norton's Real-Time Protection Email Settings

Then I like to ensure that all the following settings are checked:

  • "Turn on Auto-Protect" is checked.
  • "Load Auto-Protect during system startup" is checked.
  • "Turn on Bloodhound heuristics" is checked.
  • "Turn on Caching"
Norton's Auto Protect Settings.

Then click on "Email Protection" in the left column region.

Norton's Email Protection Settings.

Then uncheck "Scan incoming email messages". Norton will warn that you are unprotected from incoming emails but this is only temporarily. A window of options by Norton may pop-up giving you a selection of times that you wish to disable Norton's Auto Protect feature for your emails. I believe the default is 15 minutes which should give enough time to download the email.

Then Norton suggests restarting your computer. There are some more textual details found on this page: Cannot download email or the same email is repeatedly downloaded after Norton AntiVirus email scanning detects a threat.

How to Safely Delete an Infected (Virus, Trojan, Malware) Email Message in Thunderbird

A BIG and IMPORTANT message is that if you believe that an email or any email for that matter contains malware, a virus, a trojan or anything malicious then do not open or click ANY links or images within the email. Simply right-click on the message and delete the message.

Safely deleting an infected email message that may have a virus, trojan or any malware in Thunderbird.

Then make sure that you empty out your trash in Thunderbird by right clicking on "Trash" of your email account. This will delete any email messages in your Trash and ensure that the virus, trojan or malware won't attack your computer.

How to empty our trash bin in Thunderbird. That is, delete your email messages that is in your Trash of Thunderbird.

Thunderbird Server Setting:Check for new messages at startup

You may wish to temporarily disable checking for new messages at startup if you have many email accounts set up in your Thunderbird such as in my situation. To do this click on "Tools/Account Settings..."

Thunderbird's Tools Account Settings

Then click on "Server Settings" under the email account and uncheck "Check for new messages at startup".

Try restarting your Thunderbird.

End the process of Thunderbird

So if that still doesn't work then try to end the process of the Thunderbird.exe. To do this right click in the bottom right corner of your desktop in the task bar region. Click on "Task Manager". Click on the "Process" tab. Right click on "thunderbird.exe" and then click on "End process tree".

Task Manager to end process of program. How to end the process tree of thunderbird.

Now try restarting your Thunderbird and see if it will begin downloading your emails. You may have to manually downnload your email messages since you unchecked the box "Check fo rnew messages at startup". To do this click on the upside down arrow beside the icon "Get Mail" then click on the email account for which you wish to manually download your messages.

How to manually download email messages in Thunderbird.
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