I'd like to use Thunderbird to download a copy of my web-based email. This is a read-only operation; I don't need the ability to send email.

Thunderbird, however, disables the button for adding an incoming email account until an SMTP server is added and tested:

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How can I proceed without an outgoing mail server?

2 Answers 2


You can use a dummy SMTP server.


"use thunderbird for making backups" - what?! If you want to make backups, you use a backup program. Thunderbird is an email client. As such, it sends and receives email. To send, you need an smtp server.

If you want to just be able to read email but not send it, then you can change the auto detect settings so they don't need to be detected, and it will let you create the account without testing.

  • 1) What backup program do you suggest I use? 2) This is the manual configuration.
    – ændrük
    Mar 28, 2012 at 14:14
  • There are plenty of backup programs to choose from, and several questions on this site asking about that with good answers. Change the auto detect settings so it doesn't have to detect, and you can create the accoun without testing.
    – psusi
    Mar 28, 2012 at 14:20

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