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Thunderbird can be used on Windows or Linux. The directions shown are for a Thunderbird client on Linux. The Owl Add-on allows translation of email traffic to Exchange ports and doesn’t use IMAP or POP.


OSU has purchased Owl licenses for use with Thunderbird for all email addresses. In step 9 when you use your email address you will be automatically licensed.


  1. In Thunderbird, click the settings icon (three horizontal bars) and then go to Add-ons.Screenshot of Thunderbird menu leading to Add-ons

  2. In the Add-ons manager, click “Browse all add-ons” button. You may have to scroll down to see the button.Mozilla Thunderbird Add-on Manager home screen

  3. In the search bar type “Owl” and the select “Owl for Exchange.”Searching Thunderbird Add-on manager for "Owl for Exchange"

  4. Click “Add to Thunderbird”Owl for Exchange Add-On page

  5. You may get a prompt about Trusted Add-ons. Click “Install Now”Screenshot of popup "Install Add-ons only from authors you trust."

  6. You should get a prompt when the Add-on is installed. Click “Open Add-ons Manager.”Owl for Exchange has been installed successfully. Open Add-ons Manager

  7. Click “Preferences” for the Owl Add-On.Thunderbird Add-On Manager list of installed extensions

  8. Scroll down until you see Mail Account Management. Click “Add New account manually”Heading "Mail Account Management"

  9. Use your email address for both email address and username.Add new Exchange account form

  10. Enter for the webmail page. Sign in again when the web portal pops up.Microsoft Sign in to continue to Outlook. Email address or phone number

  11. If you use Duo, you will then be prompted with MFA verification.Multi-factor authentication screen from Duo. Choose an authentication method: Send me a push, call me, enter a passcode.

  12. Your account should now be added to Thunderbird. Click the “Inbox” tab to be taken to your mailbox.Thunderbird inbox

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