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I'm trying to configure ThunderBird to send email messages using SMTP/Amazon SES.

Amazon provides documentation on how to configure Outlook which should, in theory, mean that I could configure an alternate email client to do the same. However, it seems as though Thunderbird refuses to allow me to set up an outgoing-only account.

I get to this screen (image link) and get stuck.

I run into two issues:

First: Thunderbird doesn't allow me to do anything if I don't specify an incoming mail server. I attempted to type none as specified in the documentation as well as leaving it blank. If it is missing, Thunderbird will not let me attempt to verify the account.

Second: (And this very well may be related to the first issue), if I use the same value for outgoing and incoming servers (as in the screenshot), I am unable to validate my credentials. I have tried leaving password empty and entering none for the user name, tried entering AWS keys for username and password (as in the screenshot) and various combinations of the two.

In addition, I was able to get Gmail to connect to the outgoing mail server. In fact, the only reason I'm not just going directly through Gmail is because it requires that I receive an activation link/code from my outgoing address. Since SES addresses cannot receive email, I cannot access said activation email.

What this comes down to is that I am trying to use a free GUI email client (Gmail, Thunderbird, something else) to send emails through SES's outgoing SMTP server. I've seen around the internet that people have managed to do it, but no one posts steps :(

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1 Answer 1

zashu, I'm just finding out about SES and, since it looks so good, I'm going to give it a trial run. As I was searching for information and reviews about people using SES with Thunderbird, I found this question of yours.

As far as I can tell, if you don't have any email addresses already in Thunderbird, there's no way to just add an outgoing server. First, you have to have an email address set up to receive mail. For me, I would just use whatever email my ISP assigned me. I've also set up Hotmail accounts in Thunderbird. Bottom line, to send a message with SES, it has to be coming "from" an email address of yours.

Set up the email address of your choosing in Thunderbird and use SES as the outgoing server. I looked at the screenshot you attached and you have SMTP as the incoming server. That should be "POP" for your email address and the connection info at the top should also be for your POP account. After your account is added to Thunderbird, go to the main menu and click "Tools" --> "Account Settings" --> look at the bottom of the list in the panel on the left of the dialog box and click "Outgoing Server (SMTP)". You can then add whatever additional outgoing servers you want and also select which one will serve as the default.

If the main menu isn't showing, you can click "alt" on your keyboard to make it show. Another way to get to Account Settings is to right click on the email address on the left side pane of Thunderbird and click "Settings".

This attempt at being helpful may be too late for you but hopefully someone benefits from the information.

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