Solved Thunderbird/Outlook/Office365 Email

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bobc

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Hi.
I am making this enquiry on behalf of a friend who has little understanding of computers and the like and so I might therefore be a little short of accurate data, but this is how I understand the problem.

My friend has several email accounts which she administers through Thunderbird on a laptop Win 10 platform. One of these email accounts is a BT Business email account which has the tag @btconnect.com. Following some recent problems with sending and receiving on this account, it has been reconfigured with the help of BT (with numerous password changes) to an account that now appears to be accessible only through Office 365/Outlook. Attempts to alter the account settings in Thunderbird fail to recognise the User Name/Password combination as do attempts to set up a New Account in both Thunderbird and Outlook (used in stand alone mode). The only access that works is one through Firefox/Office 365/Outlook. Office 365 immediately recognises the User and demands no further authentication, allowing subsequent clicking on the Outlook tab and thence into the email.
"https://outlook.office.com/owa/?realm=btconnect.com etc."
This indicates to me that the password has been entered previously at the Office 365 prompt and "remembered". My friend is fairly sure that the current password that she has written down is the correct one but I have no way of checking this.

My friend would dearly like to have this @btconnect.com email account working again within Thunderbird. Any ideas about what might be wrong and/or how to overcome the problem would be appreciated.
 

DaveA

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I do not think that it is possible to set up and account and the password is valid only in Outlook.
I would say that she is not using the correct password in Thunderbird.
To check this,
Have her try and login at https://myoffice.bt.com/#
 

bobc

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Thanks DaveA.
She cannot access via Thunderbird OR Outlook. Outlook only works if accessed by going through MSOffice first. I think that you are correct in that it is a password problem of sorts. My suspicion is that her password for MSOffice has somehow become her email password; that might explain why Thunderbird doesn't work anymore but doesn't explain why trying to use Outlook on its own does not (unless she has a different p/word for MSOffice and the one she thinks is her email password is no longer valid).
I will get her to try as you suggest and take it from there.
 

TerryNet

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This is strictly a guess on my part: the issue may be resulting from two-factor authentication. Did BT recently introduce or require it?
 

DaveA

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What do you mean by going through MSOffice?
Outlook is part of MS Office.
How is does one go through MS Office?

They may have set it up using an Microsoft account associated to the Office 365, but, I am not sure how that can control a password that is on the email server.
 

bobc

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Terry: I don't know if that is the case. She has other "domestic" BT Email accounts which work fine in Thunderbird; it is just the "business email" that has recently posed a problem. I think "something that BT did", but don't know what. The BT fix was to do it through MSOffice. See below to DaveA

DaveA: If she starts Outlook from the desktop then it opens as standalone (like Thunderbird), but she cannot set it up to look at her email. If she starts MSOffice, it opens in Firefox and one of the icons on the start page is for Outlook. If she clicks on that Outlook icon then Outlook opens within Firefox and she can read her email.

All new to me. Duh!
 

DaveA

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What icon opens MS Office?
There has never been such a method and I have been using MS Office since it came out.
Post a screen shot of the MS Office Window?

Sounds like it is opening the Outlook.com the replacement for the older FREE email accounts from MS. Which has nothing to do with Outlook 365.
 

bobc

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DaveA: I did not say that she used an icon to start MSOffice, only that she "starts it" and in retrospect I think that it must be the realm Outlook.office.com that she links to (An easy "office" confusion for the non IT literate). It is visible within Firefox and so I assume that she is browsing to some form of "MSOffice". The address in the Firefox window is https://outlook.office.com/owa/?realm=btconnect.com as I posted in the first post so it is outlook.office.com. I shall be visiting her tomorrow and can take a closer look at what BT have had her do.
 

bobc

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Hi.
I have spent a couple of hours with my friend today, trying to solve this problem with the assistance of BT. The short answer is that the email @connect.com could be accessed either via Outlook (using an office server address) or via https://outlook.office.com/owa/?realm=btconnect.com but not via Thunderbird. Neither I nor the BT "assistant" could get Thunderbird to connect. The repeated Thunderbird error was a time out. My conclusion is that this is either a genuine Thunderbird failure or might be a deliberate exclusion of Thunderbird by Microsoft, or perhaps both. I intend to have a look at some of the Mozilla forums but if, in the meantime, anyone has a known fix then please do let me know.
P.S. The Thunderbird connection to @btinternet.com works fine, just not the one to the @bt.connect address which now appears to be "behind" outlook.office.com
 
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bobc

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An ominous silence from the Thunderbird forums and no further responses here and so I have set her up with a new email account with a non BT provider and which Thunderbird can access. She will have to persevere with the additional tedious outlook.office.com step until she has time to migrate all her @btconnect.com emails to the new email account. Consequently, I will mark this as "solved", even although the original problem persists.
Negative points for BT and Microsoft!!
 

Couriant

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DaveA - I'm guessing it's more of a mis-used term for MSOffice. BTConnect is using Office365, which can be accessed at outlook.office365.com (whereas Outlook.com / Live accounts is different)

BobC - It's possible that the account has 2 Factor Authentication on and if so and her e-mail client (Thunderbird) is not too new, it may not be able to access it without a 'secondary secret password'. Do you know if when she logs into the account in FireFox, does it ask for anything other than username/password?
 

bobc

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Couriant: Hi. I don't think that there is any two factor authentication operating. When she logs into the account via Firefox, only the email password is requested. I can only surmise that somehow the @btconnect.com account is "hidden" behind the outlook.office.com server and Thunderbird cannot get past that. I imagine that Conspiracy Theorists might argue that it is a stitch-up between BT and Microsoft!
 

Couriant

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There is another thread with an outlook.com account and thunderbird. I suspect it may be the same issue (2FA being turned on). Providing the information is correct for the server, then I believe the issue is 2FA.

To confirm the settings:

Server details for Office 365:

IMAP setting

  • Server name: outlook.office365.com
  • Port: 993
  • Encryption method: SSL
POP setting

  • Server name: outlook.office365.com
  • Port: 995
  • Encryption method: SSL

SMTP setting

  • Server name: smtp.office365.com
  • Port: 587
  • Encryption method: SSL/TLS
  • SMTP authentication: ticked
  • Authentication: your password
Username is the full email address.

Do you know if your friend have access to the Admin Center?
 

bobc

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Hi Curiant.

My recollection is that the server details are correct as above, but I would need to pay her another visit to be absolutely sure. I don't know if she has access to the Admin Centre. I'll drop her an email and if she has not already migrated to the alternative at gmx.com might give it another go. If it is indeed a two step authentication process, where would she find the "first" step? At present, she only has (uses) the email password.
 

Couriant

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Since it's Office365, I can't say for sure because I don't have the options, but it seems that 2FA gets enabled on the user in the Admin Centre for the mailboxes. I assume because it's a business account that she would have some kind of control on the email accounts. If she does have access to the admin centre then she should also have the support. That I should be able to point you guys in the right direction because really it's MS servers, not BTs.
 
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