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MFA - Using an App password to connect an app (e.g. Thunderbird) to your Office 365 Mailbox

This information will no longer apply when Conditional Access has been applied on the 17th May 2021. Anyone experiencing difficulty with App Passwords, which have been set up to use Thunderbird or older iOS mail clients <iOS11 will need to contact Serviceline.



If you have enabled multi-factor authentication on your University account, and you want to use an app that does not support modern authentication to connect to your Office 365 mailbox, you'll need to generate and apply an app password. This app password is dedicated to the specific application instance. You can only use each app password once, but can generate multiple app passwords.

NOTE: This is not a fully supported approach. iSolutions recommend that you migrate to an application which natively supports Azure AD / Modern Authentication, for example use the Evolution linux mail client rather than Thunderbird. 

To create the app password:

First, browse to and sign in with your University credentials. You will see an overview of your current MFA credentials.

Click the Add method link and choose App password from the dropdown list, then click Add


Now type in a name for the app password. Note that this should accurately describe the specific use case, we suggest that you give a name relating to the app and the machine the app is running on.

Once Next has been clicked, the app password will be created and displayed. It is very important that you copy the password at this point and paste it somewhere safe as once you have moved away from the dialog window you will not be able to see it again.

Click Done to complete the process. You will see the app password entry in your list of sign-in methods.

To configure the application:

You can now use this app password in your application. As an example, the following process shows configuration of the Thunderbird email client on a Linux workstation:

Open Thunderbird, select Preferences / Preferences

In the Security section open the Passwords tab

Click the Saved Passwords button, then Show Passwords

Confirm that you want to show passwords

Right-click the password you want to change for your Office 365 account, and choose Edit Password:

Update your password, entering the App password created above, then close to save the new password.

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