How to Import Mail from Gmail to Thunderbird Directly – Simple Guide

With the increasing number of email services available, users often find themselves switching from one platform to another. Many users opt for Thunderbird as their preferred email client due to its flexibility, advanced features, and open-source nature. However, migrating emails from Gmail to Thunderbird can be a daunting task for some. In this blog post, we will guide you through a simple method to import mail from Gmail to Thunderbird directly. We will also discuss why users choose Thunderbird over Gmail, a manual method for importing mail, and the drawbacks associated with it.

Why Users Go with Thunderbird from Gmail:

  • Thunderbird offers a high level of flexibility, allowing users to customize the interface and functionality according to their preferences. This includes various themes, extensions, and add-ons that enhance the email experience.
  • Thunderbird allows users to download and store their emails locally, providing offline access to important messages even without an internet connection. This feature is particularly useful for frequent travelers or those with unreliable internet connectivity.
  • Thunderbird offers robust security features such as automatic phishing detection, strong encryption options, and built-in spam filters, ensuring a safer email experience for users.
  • Thunderbird is available for multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it a suitable choice for users who switch between different platforms.

How to Import Mail from Gmail to Thunderbird with Manual Method

Before proceeding with the manual method, make sure you have Thunderbird installed on your computer.

  • Log in to your Gmail account, go to Settings, and navigate to the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab. Enable IMAP access for your account.
  • Open Thunderbird and click on “File” in the menu bar. Select “New” and then “Existing Mail Account.” Enter your Gmail account details, including your name, email address, and password. Thunderbird will automatically configure the settings for your Gmail account.
  • Once the account is added, go to “Tools” in the menu bar and select “Account Settings.” In the left panel, select your Gmail account. Under the “Server Settings” section, ensure that the incoming server (IMAP) is set to “” and the port is set to “993.” Enable the “SSL/TLS” encryption option.
  • In Thunderbird, right-click on your Gmail account and select “Subscribe.” A window will appear displaying your Gmail mail folders. Choose the folders you want to import into Thunderbird and click on “Subscribe.”

Drawbacks of the Manual Method

While the manual method mentioned above allows you to import mail from Gmail to Thunderbird, it has a few drawbacks:

  • Manually configuring the settings and subscribing to folders for each Gmail account can be time-consuming, especially if you have multiple accounts or numerous folders.
  • The manual method only imports emails from Gmail to Thunderbird. Other data such as contacts, calendars, and settings are not transferred.
  • Users with limited technical knowledge may find the manual method challenging and may require assistance to complete the import process successfully.
  • During the manual import process, there is a slight risk of data loss or accidental deletion if the steps are not followed correctly.

How to Download All Mail from Gmail to Thunderbird with Alternative Solution

While the manual method I mentioned earlier is one way to import Gmail emails into Thunderbird, there are also third-party tools available that offer a more streamlined and efficient process. One such tool is CubexSoft Gmail backup tool that is a dedicated software solution designed to simplify the process of importing Gmail emails to Thunderbird. Here are some key features and benefits of using this tool:

  • The tool provides a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy for both novice and advanced users to navigate and use effectively.
  • The Gmail to Thunderbird Converter allows you to import multiple Gmail accounts or selective emails in bulk. This saves significant time and effort compared to the manual method.
  • The tool ensures the preservation of email attributes such as sender and recipient details, date and time stamps, subject, attachments, and folder structure during the conversion process.
  • You have the option to select specific folders or emails to be imported into Thunderbird, providing you with more control over the migration process.
  • It offers advanced filter options to refine your migration. You can set date filters, apply email filters based on subject or sender, and exclude specific folders or emails from the conversion.
  • The tool maintains the integrity and formatting of emails, including HTML formatting, inline images, and attachments. It ensuring that your emails appear the same in Thunderbird as they did in Gmail.
  • This Converter tool handles large mailbox sizes and eliminates any file size limitations, allowing you to migrate emails of any size.
  • The tool provides a fast and efficient conversion process, ensuring that you can import your Gmail emails to Thunderbird quickly and effortlessly.


The tool offers a convenient and efficient alternative to the manual method for importing Gmail emails into Thunderbird. It streamlines the process, saves time, and preserves the integrity of your emails during the migration. Download the Email Backup Tool and import 25 emails from Gmail to Thunderbird account without any cost. So you can also try its working and evaluate its efficiency.


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