Author Topic: Mozilla Thunderbird unable to establish link with smtp.gmail.com using STARTTLS  (Read 2041 times)

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Offline Paddy Waldron

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Since 23 Oct 2020, my attempts to send e-mail via smtp.gmail.com using Mozilla Thunderbird 31.1.2 produce this:

"Sending of message failed.
An error occurred sending mail: Unable to establish a secure link with SMTP server smtp.gmail.com using STARTTLS since it doesn't advertise that feature. Switch off STARTTLS for that server or contact your service provider."

Incoming messages simultaneously began to be left on the gmail server without any error or warning message.

Other e-mail accounts (e.g. yahoo.com) continue to work perfectly.

Rebooting did not fix the problem.

A Google search suggested that there is a long history of conflicts between Thunderbird and Avast and gmail causing similar problems.

So I tried these steps:

Start: All Programs: AVAST Software: Avast Free Antivirus:

Protection: Core Shields: Mail Shield: Stop until your next restart: OK, STOP.

This seems to have fixed the problem for now, but I need a permanent solution.

What should I do?

Offline Asyn

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...using Mozilla Thunderbird 31.1.2 produce this...
This version of TB is way outdated, update it.
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 21.3.2458.Beta3 [UI.610] - EEK - Firefox ESR 78.9 [NS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.9
Avast-Tools: Secure Browser 89.1 - Cleanup 21.1 - SecureLine 5.10 - Driver Updater 21.1 - CCleaner 5.78
Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline strakl

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Holy crap, version 31? Yeah, you really need to update it, and this is the cause of the conflict. If I'm not mistaken the latest version of thunderbird is like 68 or 69.

Offline DavidR

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Holy crap, version 31? Yeah, you really need to update it, and this is the cause of the conflict. If I'm not mistaken the latest version of thunderbird is like 68 or 69.

Ha, try version 78.4.0.
Windows 10 Home 2004 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.2.2455 (build 21.2.6096.648) UI 1.0.608/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Cluster-Lizard2014

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Yes they just started finally updating everyone from the last version of v69 to the new v78 series.

Amazed v31 still worked at all.

Offline Paddy Waldron

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I installed Mozilla Thunderbird 78.4.0, which only made matters worse:

- with Mail Shield on, sending e-mails via gmail is still reporting: "Sending of the message failed.
An error occurred while sending mail: Unable to establish a secure link with Outgoing server (SMTP) smtp.gmail.com using STARTTLS since it doesn't advertise that feature. Switch off STARTTLS for that server or contact your service provider."

- incoming gmail messages are still left sitting on the server and not downloaded

- my other e-mail accounts also appeared broken in various ways until I discovered that re-installing Thunderbird had wiped all my saved e-mail passwords, and downloading messages for all accounts did not prompt for the password for any; I eventually discovered that Thunderbird seems to prompt for passwords only when one downloads messages for a single account at a time.

What now?

Offline Asyn

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Hmmm, does GMail even support STARTTLS anymore..!?
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 21.3.2458.Beta3 [UI.610] - EEK - Firefox ESR 78.9 [NS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.9
Avast-Tools: Secure Browser 89.1 - Cleanup 21.1 - SecureLine 5.10 - Driver Updater 21.1 - CCleaner 5.78
Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline DavidR

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Whilst I don't use Thunderbird to download my gmail, so I can't say if this is the same issue. 
I also don't know if Google supports the old STARTTLS (as Asyn mentioned)or even if Avast uses it any more or not.

Have you exported the Avast Email Certificate, AvastUI > Menu > Settings (search) > type geek:area and enter, scroll down to the Mail Shield and the Export certificate button.  You will have to import that certificate in the Thunderbird settings, (Privacy & Security > Certificates > Manage Certificates > scroll down to the Avast one and select that.
Windows 10 Home 2004 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.2.2455 (build 21.2.6096.648) UI 1.0.608/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline alanb

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Hmmm, does GMail even support STARTTLS anymore..!?

Nope.

OP needs to change authentication method to OAuth2 in both incoming and outgoing (SMTP) servers.

EDIT:  If that doesn't work, see:  https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbird-78-faq#w_after-upgrading-to-thunderbird-78-i-cannot-get-or-send-email-messages
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 05:35:45 PM by alanb »

Offline Paddy Waldron

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I first followed alanb's advice and changed authentication method to OAuth2 in both incoming and outgoing (SMTP) servers, after which:
1. (with Mail Shield on) Get New Messages for GMail still reported "Thunderbird: Connection to server pop.gmail.com was reset". 
2. (with Mail Shield off) Get New Messages for GMail prompts me to "Enter credentials for [xxxxxxxx]@gmail.com on pop.gmail.com" and "Sign in with you Google Account", at which point it is not at all clear to me which of several linked email addresses is expected.  I end up in an infinite loop, where I enter an email address and click a blue "Next" button and am invited to try another "Email or phone", or enter my only phone number in various formats and am told "Couldn't find your Google Account. Try using your email address instead."

I then followed DavidR's advice and exported and imported the Avast Email Certificate, to which Thunderbird responded "Alert: This certificate is already installed as a certificate authority", after which Get New Messages for GMail still reported "Thunderbird: Connection to server pop.gmail.com was reset".

In the middle of all this, Avast, apparently independently, produced prompts to install updates and to reboot.

I will report back after rebooting.

Offline Paddy Waldron

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My next idea was to just use Add Mail Account to create a Thunderbird gmail POP3 account from scratch with the (hopefully correct) default settings.

Clicking "Done" at the end of that process reported "Unable to log in at server. Probably wrong configuration, username or password", so I clicked Cancel.

So I turned off Mail Shield and repeated the process.  This time everything went as expected.

So there is still a conflict between Avast Mail Shield and Thunderbird 78.4.0 (32-bit)'s default gmail POP3 configuration.

And this time Thunderbird's error message is too vague to be of any use.

Offline Asyn

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Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 21.3.2458.Beta3 [UI.610] - EEK - Firefox ESR 78.9 [NS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.9
Avast-Tools: Secure Browser 89.1 - Cleanup 21.1 - SecureLine 5.10 - Driver Updater 21.1 - CCleaner 5.78
Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline Paddy Waldron

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Having been stopping Mail Shield "until your next restart" every time I restarted for over a month, today I finally found after a restart that Thunderbird/gmail/Avast were happily working together again at last.  I presume somebody at gmail or at Avast or even at Thunderbird changed something since my previous restart.

In Thunderbird the other evening, I did click on an icon beside the "Switch to the calendar tab" and "Switch to the tasks tab" icons (a green disk with an arrow pointing upwards). This didn't have any mouseover text and didn't appear to do anything, but it is now gone, so I am wondering if that fixed the problem. In Thunderbird, Help: About: still reports "78.4.0 (32-bit)", so this mystery icon does not appear to have installed a new version.

Offline grahalsubs

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Below fixed it for me ... thank you @r@vast


Quote from: r@vast on December 19, 2019, 02:54:17 PM
Hi,

Try to turn off IPv6 in Thunderbird and see if it helps.

Options/Advanced/General/Config Editor

Enter IPv6 in the search bar.

Toggle the setting to:  TRUE

Offline Paddy Waldron

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Having been stopping Mail Shield "until your next restart" the first time that I failed to send or receive e-mail after every restart for over a month, today I finally found after a restart that Thunderbird/gmail/Avast were happily working together again at last.  I presume that, since my previous restart, somebody at gmail or at Avast (or even at Thunderbird) changed something that had been broken.  In Thunderbird, Help: About: still reports "78.4.0 (32-bit)", so that does not appear to be where the fix has taken place.

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice.