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InCommon Personal Certificate Pilot for Thunderbird

If you haven't already done so, proceed with the InCommon invitation process.

Thunderbird Preferences

Find the "Preferences" menu

Thunderbird View Certificates


Under "Preferences" Navigate to "Advanced" → "Certificates" → "View Certificates"

Thunderbird Your Certificates


From the "Your Certificates" tab, use the "Import" button

Thunderbird Select File

Select the .p12 file downloaded saved earlier

Thunderbird Certificate Password

Use the passphrase you submitted as the "PIN" to the invitation confirmation page.

Thunderbird Imported Successfully

Once successfully imported, your certificate will be listed under "Your Certificates"

Thunderbird Account Options

After importing, you'll need to configure your account to use certificates. Find the "Account Settings..." menu.

Tunderbird Account Security

Find the "Security" option for your account.

Tunderbird Digital Signing

Use the "Select..." button to select a signing certificate.

Tunderbird Select Signing Certificate

You should be prompted to use the certificate just imported. A number of issues may prevent this, such as if the "Email Address" setting for the account does not match the email address used in the certificate.

Thunderbird Select Encryption

When prompted, choose "Yes" to use the same certificate to encrypt & decrypt messages.

Thunderbird Sign By Default

Optional: choose the "Digitally sign messages (by default)"


Example Digital Signature: Thunderbird

Thunderbird Test Compose

Send an email to yourself to test the certificate. Be sure to select "Digitally Sign This Message" from the "Security" toolbar button.

Thunderbird Security Tool Arrow

Note: use the small arrow (looks like: ∇) next to the security lock icon.

Thunderbird Digitally Signed Indication

A properly signed email will arrive with an icon that appears like a wax-sealed envelope (or sometimes as a ribbon).