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Thunderbird: Connection to imap.gmail.com timed out
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I have been using Thunderbird over the years to fetch my gmail messages. Now and then it stops working. It's stopped again. I haven't changed anything in Thunderbird or Gmail. I have tried Less Secure Apps, App passwords, etc. Right now Less Secure Apps is on, it was working this way till few months ago, my last new message is dated 6/7/19. Now Thunderbird always throws out "Connection to server imap.gmail.com has timed out".

I usually read the messages on the web gmail site, then periodically fetch them all so I can sort, delete and archive more efficiently. 

I am not the only one to have problems with gmail and Thunderbird. Collectively we have tried all the suggestions gmail gives, but the problem persists.

Please help gmail/google.
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Hi Monte, you wrote: "Collectively we have tried all the suggestions gmail gives, but the problem persists."

Since I don't have access to your list of "all the suggestions", please forgive me if I suggest something you have already tried.  From your description, I suspect that this might help: try clearing Captcha: visit https://accounts.google.com/DisplayUnlockCaptcha and sign in with the Gmail username and password.  If necessary (it's usually not), enter the letters in the distorted picture then press Continue. This will allow ten minutes for Thunderbird to register as an approved connection.  Note that you must use the credentials for the account you are using in Thunderbird - if the browser is already signed into another account, you must sign out first. Also, you must trigger Thunderbird to make the connections within ten minutes of pressing Continue (press Send/Receive or Sync Accounts or similar).
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I'm having the same issue since 11-15-19.
I tried the link to unlock Captcha but nothing change.
I use thunderbird too and I too get the popup about server imap.gmail.com timed out.
What is been change since few days ago which is causing this malfunction?  Think about and review the change to solve, if possible, the bug.
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Hi Giorgio, have you recently enabled two-step verification on the account?  If so, you will need to use an application specific password (created in the account) in the Thunderbird settings: Signing in using application-specific passwords

If not, have you recently worked through Google's security check?  If so, you probably disabled access for less secure apps.  You must enable less secure access: sign into the account using a web browser at https://mail.google.com, then go to Settings > Accounts and Import > Other Google Account settings.  Under Security, scroll down and enable access for less secure apps.  This is essential for IMAP, POP and SMTP connections.

Even if you didn't intentionally make any changes, please check that this setting is enabled.

If there is still a problem, try clearing Captcha again.  I acknowledge you wrote that you already did this, but you must open that page using the account that you are setting up in Thunderbird.  If you are signed into multiple Google accounts, the page will open with the primary account.  To be certain that you have used the correct account, please try again after signing out.

It is also essential to trigger a Thunderbird connection within ten minutes of clicking on Continue.

If none of this helps, please copy the complete error from Thunderbird and your IMAP server settings.
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I probably found a solution for this. I encountered the same problem, the imap.gmail.com timeout popup. Nothing worked. But when I changed my wifi connection, it got a new IP and it worked. So, most probably Gmail has blocked my earlier wifi IP address. I'm not sure how to unblock it, but my another wifi worked for now.
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