I wish to recover lost a SMTP password, but can't find a recent answer for this question. If it is stored in an sqlite file, observation shows the /home/$USER/.thunderbird/*.default/*.sqlite files are mostly encrypted, so in that case, also looking for some insight into the encryption used, and the location of the key needed.


3 Answers 3


As of now, it's stored in /home/$USER/.thunderbird/$RANDOM_STRING.default-release/logins.json

I don't know, however, what's the encryption used or the default master password when user didn't set one (maybe it's empty string or some default password hiden in the app code?). I can see it's at least encoded even without setting a master password, but in theory a hacker could probably access it with proper knowledge, so it's basically unprotected. IMO, the Thunderbird devs should start using the login keyring to protect these passwords even when a master password isn't set.

See: https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/8780/is-it-possible-to-easily-retrieve-thunderbirds-passwords-with-access-to-hdd?newreg=a4029c04cb954aedb4f60a9201574dc7#comment233382_8819


There are two locations generally used; please note the {profile name} aka $USER is a random string. and most locations will be a hidden folder, which you can see in your Nautilus file manager with Ctrl-H


However, I don't know where the SMTP password would be stored.

Edit > Preferences > Security > Passwords > Saved Passwords is normally the command sequence to find the password with most Linus DEs; Options > Security > Passwords > Saved Passwords > Show Passwords is the sequence for Windows.

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    i'm using thunderbird 52.9.1 (64-bit), those GUI windows you refered to in linux doesn't exist at least on ubuntu, there isn't edit, but there is humburger button > preferences>security, but there isn't any reference to password.
    – Error
    Sep 7, 2018 at 9:13
  • Ctrl-H is a Nautilus command; Nautilus is the GUI file manager for your version of Ubuntu.
    – K7AAY
    Sep 7, 2018 at 17:06

To retrieve the stored passwords from your Thunderbird profile, you can use this Python script. It needs the logins.json and the key3.db or key4.db files from the profile directory.

This will list you the passwords from your TB profile:

python firepwd.py -d ~/.thunderbird/$Name_Of_Your_Profile_Dir/

(It also works for Firefox passwords.)

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