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I need to set up Thunderbird without the ability to send e-mail. Meaning, I cannot send e-mail, using any outgoing server, in any way. (I'd rather not go into why, just stipulate that as my use case.)

I cannot find any way to do this using the normal account setup process. I enter correct incoming information and leave the outgoing server information blank (or with bogus values, same result), and Thunderbird refuses to continue setting up the account because it "can't detect" the account.

How can I hack this or force it to ignore the fact that I have no outgoing server? Even if I have to create the folders and files by hand, I need this to work. If it comes to that, is there any documentation that could help me do this, other than reading the Thunderbird source code?

I'm on version 17.0.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

I think i have a solution.

You can manually add an account with broken server settings (for the outbound part) if you do it while thunderbird is in offline mode. (File -> Offline -> Work Offline)

Add the account that way, then remove the smtp part of the account.

edit: If you want more than just this one email account in thunderbird, leave the broken smtp server profile (call it 'disabled smtp' or something similar) and make sure that account uses it, else it'll make that account use the outgoing server profile for one of your other email accounts.

If its the only account on thunderbird, it's a non-issue, as the only smtp profile is the deliberately broken one.

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Offline mode did the trick. – wberry Apr 22 '13 at 2:16
Thank you! What an anti-feature. Good thing there's a work-around. – romkyns Aug 15 '14 at 22:34

You can delete the SMTP account after the initial setup. You don't have to use a real (outside?) smtp server for this purpose. You can setup a fake one on your internal network. If any of the PCs on that network have python installed - it can be done with a single command:

python -m smtpd -c DebuggingServer -n <local IP>:<port>

Then just use the IP and port for SMTP server configuration in Thunderbird

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Meaning I have to have a way to send something out, set it up, and then choose not to use it? That's not a solution for me. – wberry Apr 21 '13 at 21:22
when you create the account, use manual setup to accept smtp settings that dont work, then remove the smtp part of the account. – Sirex Apr 21 '13 at 21:59
@Sirex, that's how I remembered it as well. But unfortunately when I actually tried adding another account in the latest Thunderbird - I confirmed that the "Done" button is disabled until both incoming and outgoing servers are verified – Alex P. Apr 21 '13 at 23:10
seems you're right. bummer ! – Sirex Apr 21 '13 at 23:56
see my answer, should work for you ? – Sirex Apr 22 '13 at 0:00

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