Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address and driving you crazy? Actually, Thunderbird is SENDING YOUR EMAILS FROM THE WRONG ACCOUNT! Here is how to fix it.

Here’s what happened. I setup a new gmail account. I thought it was working perfectly until I began getting replies to emails I sent from a business email address back to a totally different private gmail email address. Come to find out Thunderbird was actually SENDING MY EMAILS FROM THE WRONG ACCOUNT. People had no idea from whom my email came! After weeks of checking and changing all my settings here is how I finally corrected the problem.

Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address

1. Click Tools in the top menu.

Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address

2. Scroll down and click Account Settings.

Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address

3. In the left column will be a list of all email accounts/User Names. Scroll to the bottom. Find Outgoing Server (SMTP) and click it.

Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address

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4. The Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings dialogue box will open.

The Outgoing Server (SMTP) settings determine how Thunderbird sends the email from the different email accounts. If this isn’t correct then emails will not be sent correctly.

As you can see below the Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings dialogue box has three basic sections: Account identities area at the top; Details of selected server area at the bottom; and to the right the editing area. Thunderbird assigns each email accounts an “identity.” This is most important. I have 6 email accounts or 6 identities – 2 identities are on AOL Mail, 3 identities are on Google Mail, and 1 identity is set on a different server and colored over in red. The first AOL identity/account is set as my Default identity/account. When each identity/account is clicked/selected the details for the account show in the Details of selected server: area showing several things among these are the Description and the User Name. These are important for correcting the problem. Click through your identities and you will see the Details change accordingly.

Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address

In above illustration I selected my Google Mail2 identity. In the Details of selected server area the Description shows the account identity as Google Mail2. The User Name is my email address (blurred over). I’ll need to remember both the Description and User Name to fix the problem.

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My AOL accounts gave me no problem. A Google Mail (gmail) account was my problem. Every Google Mail account MUST have a unique Description name. As you see above the identity names for the Google Mail accounts are Google Mail1, Google Mail2, and Google Mail3. Thunderbird didn’t give my account identities these names. I did. Thunderbird named all three “Google Mail” which was the problem.

I suggest taking a screen shot, or somehow recording how your accounts are setup and named before editing in the event something goes wrong. The first thing to do is make sure each Google Mail account has a distinct Description identity name, i.e. Google Mail2 in above image.

6. To give an identity a unique name

Select an identity name from the list by clicking on it. Then click Edit on the right side of the Outgoing Server (SMTP) dialogue box. A SMTP Server dialogue box opens. Edit the name as you want. Give each Google Mail identity account a unique name. I simply added a “1,” “2,” “3” after Google Mail, i.e. Google Mail3

SMTP Dialogue box

6. With each Google Mail account User Name given a unique name (Description), click on a User Name (email account) in the left column.

In the image below the blue rectangle is the account/User Name (My email address blurred over). An Account Settings dialogue box  for that account will open when the account name is selected. Look for Outgoing Server (SMTP): in the opened dialogue box. You may need to scroll down. It is at the very bottom sort of hidden. To the right of Outgoing Server (SMTP): will be the name (Description) assigned to this email account in the Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings . This must be the Description/name you gave it in the previous step.

6. With each Google Mail account now given

The selection to the right of Outgoing Server (SMTP) must be the same Description/name you assigned in Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings. If this DOES NOT MATCH the name (Description) assigned the account in Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings you have found the problem. It must be changed to match.

A Scenario

In this above example Google Mail3 – is correct for this account/User Name, but I’ll setup an incorrect scenario. Say this User Name account is, however the Outgoing Server (SMTP) is set to Google Mail2 – I made sure to send an email from, but Thunderbird would actually send it from because that’s how the Outgoing Server (SMTP) is setup.

The person receiving the email would not see it’s from me or They would see an email they didn’t recognized from If they did open it and replied the email would return to the wrong Inbox, i.e.

7. To select the correct Outgoing Server (SMTP) Description name for the selected account click the accordion menu tick and select the corresponding identity account

7. To select the correct Outgoing Server (SMTP)

You may need to click back to Outgoing Server (SMTP) a few times to see the information to get each User Name account correct. Simply go to Outgoing Server, click on each Outgoing Server in the upper frame, and find the User Name in the Details screen. Take note of the name/Description associated with the User Name account. Next, select the Account/User Name listed in the left column, go to Outgoing Server (SMTP), click on the accordion menu, and select the correct Description name. Do this for each account.

Testing your settings.

Now that you have each email account (User Name) set to send emails correctly send a test email from the account your emails should have been returning to but when replied to were coming to a wrong Inbox. Send the test email to a totally different account from either of these if possible. If not possible, send it to someone asking them to reply so you can test your settings. Your email should return to the account Inbox from which it was sent. If so then you have fixed your problem.

Though I’ve probably had you scratching your head and attempting to understand what I’ve written, it’s really a simple fix once you understand how Thunderbird sends emails. Easy for me to say, right. No. I looked online for weeks trying to figure this out. Hope this helped you.

Thunderbird Emails Going To Wrong Email Address


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