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"An account with this name already exists" when create two accounts on same server



Account Manager
2 years ago
2 years ago


(Reporter: John R, Unassigned)


31 Branch
Windows 8.1

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: dupme)


(1 attachment)



2 years ago
Created attachment 8531559 [details]

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; rv:33.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/33.0
Build ID: 20141113143407

Steps to reproduce:

TB 31.2.0 on Win 8.1.

Create two IMAP accounts for the same email server. The email addresses contain different domains since the server implements virtual domains, and they look completely different. For each account, the email address is used as the server username, and different passwords are set for each user. IMAP security is SSL/TLS and SMTP security is STARTTLS. See Troubleshooting Information screen grab attached.

On this screen grab, account3 and account9 appear to share the same settings, however they are for two email addresses with two different usernames on the server.

Actual results:

On creation of the second account, in TB 31.2.0, this error box popped up: "An account with this name already exists".

Using TB 17.0.8 the second account is created correctly and the server delivers email to both accounts correctly (using the same server as we used to test 31.2.0).

On Android the Email app works correctly using two accounts set up in this way and the server delivers email to each correctly.

A poster on the forums here:

says that reverting to TB 24.6.0 "solves" this issue (although this is no solution of course!). It appears that this bug has been introduced between 24.6 and 31.2.

Expected results:

Second account should be created successfully as it has a different email address, username and password.

Comment 1

2 years ago
It is fine if you have several accounts (usernames) on the same server. However, you can't have those accounts named the same in TB as it would be confusing. See bug 40012 where I implemented the check (TB28). An account name in TB is just an arbitrary string by which TB shows you the account in various lists. It has no technical relation to the real email address, server name or username you actually set in that account.

So the question here is whether TB actively prevents you from creating the second account and at what place does it show you this error. But from the screenshot it seems the account was created. So you should be able to go into Account settings and rename one of the accounts so that the name is unique. Is TB somewhere preventing you from doing that?

Comment 2

2 years ago
The account is created but then the error occurs. You can change the name of one of the accounts, but this changes the names of both the accounts, so the names are still the same.

Comment 3

2 years ago
That would be bad. Where exactly do you change the name or one of the accounts?

Comment 4

2 years ago
Right-click the account name in the panel on the left of the TB main window, select Settings... from the drop-down, select the account you want to change, then edit the Account Name field at the top of the page. This has the effect of renaming both the accounts if they point to the same server.

Comment 5

2 years ago
Please see in Tools->Options->Advanced->General->Config editor and find the prefs mail.account.account3.server and mail.account.account9.server. See if the values of these prefs are the same (the same "serverX" ID) .

Comment 6

2 years ago
They are different.

Comment 7

2 years ago
I do not see the bug. I manually edited pref.js to have 2 accounts with the same name. Started TB, entered account settings. When viewing one of the accounts, I correctly got the warning about name and could not leave the settings pane. So I changed the name. I could OK the window and everything was fine, the account got renamed.
I also tried the same with the Account creation wizard. Inputting the same email address and server created an account with a duplicate name. Again, I could rename one of the accounts and then everything was fine. I see no automatic renaming of both accounts.
Without reading details, just dumping this comment: I have seen such bug before, around auto-config. But might be fixed. Or dupe.
See Also: → bug 534828, bug 322738
Whiteboard: dupme
Dup of Bug 303542 or a variant of Bug 303542?

Is mail.server.server#.type + mail.server.server#.hostname + mail.server.server#.userName unique in your definition?
Is mail.server.server#.realhostname and/or mail.server.server#.realuserName defined?
If so, type+host(hostname or realhostname)+name(userName  or realuserName) unique in your definition?

Comment 10

2 years ago
It might be that there are more than one bugs with similar symptoms. I have the problem that I cannot access any account settings, it is blocked with the message "an account with this message already exists....". This happens if I try to access the account settings thru the menu or right clicking the main account entry in the left panel.
I have several mail accounts, all different, no duplicates with one exception where I discovered an account (never intentionally installed) for outgoing mail. All accounts are POP accounts that can be accessed with imap protocol from ipad and phone to ensure that all mail can always be accessed from my home computer and can be stored there.

This configuration is working already for years, no changes performed and everything worked well. I looked last time into the settings some months ago and last week.It was last week that I got the mentioned message. I had to transfer thunderbird to another computer because of a motherboard failure and wanted to copy the account settings, Surprisingly it was not possible because the ominous message avoided to read all the settings. Well, fortunately I had it written somewhere an paper, installed a fresh thunderbird version on the other computer and trasferred the thunderbird appdata local and roaming to the other computer. And guess what happened: I could immediately receive and send all mails (with all my mailbox folders) like in the old computer, but the bug persists also here. I could not examine (not change) the settings. Not a tragedy because everything works. But this is a real bug. Since I did not change account settings for a long time (>6 Months, when I changed security settings for the transfers to and from the servers). It was obviously introduced with some Thunderbird update - I have always the latest version. So: same bug simptoms as mentioned elsewhere in this forum, but my bug is not resolved as said in the beginning. Important: the transfer of the appdata:local and appdata:roaming files made the same bug appear in the second computer. I hope these information helps to find the source of the problems. (System Win7/64, storage big enough, one computer with Intel, the other with AMD CPU).

Comment 11

2 years ago
So why don't you change the NAME of the account that reports it? It is just an arbitrary name. Then it allows you to move to other accounts and you will find which one has the duplicate name. Then rename them as you wish. You can't can't have more accounts with the same name. It would be ambiguous in various account lists. Yes, the check wasn't always there.

Comment 12

2 years ago
It happens once I click somewhere on the page of the settings, so you could say "it happens with every account". Changes are impossible - blocked by the message reported above

Comment 13

2 years ago
Have to withdraw part of what I said. There is an account, that always was there , where it is said "The following is a special account. There are no identities associated with it". It has the same name as the first of my accounts. I discovered that it is the only one where I could change the name. I did that and suddenly all the other account could be read and change - so in fact, problem solved int his general case. The reasons seems to be what you said - the check for double accounts wasn't always there. If that has changed sometime in the second half of last year, we have the reason and the solution.
I repeat the solution recipe for those who have the same problem:

1) Open the page of the account settings from the menu (tools-account setting) or right clicking the main entry of one account (no matter which one) in the left pane.
2)Click on the names of each and all accounts you have until you find the one that does not rise the message "an account with this message ..."
3) Change the name of this account as you like (I added _new to the name of the critical one, i.e. the one that you could change)
4) And that's it, my problem disappeared. I hope it will not come back somewhere else, because, you know, all our computers are full of little, charming goblins.

Thank you very much to :aceman who gave me the key for the solution

Comment 14

2 years ago
Thanks for looking for the solution and reporting back.

Comment 15

2 years ago
One day after, without any activity from my side, Thunderbird has renamed the other (the originally duplicated) account to the new name. So I have again two accounts with the same name. Attempts to re-rename fail ("account with this name already exists..."). Any ideas? This seems to be a persistent bug. Maybe some programming bug was introduced when when introducing the check for double accounts. It seems that the name sticks to the "special account" which duplicated the name of the main mail account.

Comment 16

2 years ago
after restarting the computer this afternoon I have now again the same name on the main account and the account mentioned to be "a special account with no identities associated with it". But (remember the little programming goblins) this time everything is working fine, I can look at all accounts without any hindering messages notwithstanding the duplicate account name. This is now - regarding the account names - exactly the original status of naming before the activities mentioned in the mails til now, but this time without any problems. Could it be that the MSWin7 update has changed something regarding this bug? The worst thing is now that with the disappearing of the symptoms its original reason cannot be investigated. But I can live with that.

Comment 17

2 years ago
Maybe you guys could send me your prefs.js file so I can check if there are some links between the accounts. You can remove any private information before sending and also remove any lines with prefs NOT starting with "mail.server.*" and "mail.account.*" .
(In additin to comment #17 by :aceman from )

Or, at following my Web page, paste your prefs.js, click "Do DupCheck of pasted prefs.js".
Duplication check result part is not so accurate, but extraction of server definition part is OK.
"Pasted prefs.js data" will never be transfered to anywhere by my JS code of my web page.

Comment 19

2 years ago
Thank you for your message. Since our last activity there are more than 6 months, 25 Windows patches and several Firefox updates (I use FF 40.0.3 now) - and no problems all the time. I would suggest to wait until it reappears, otherwise it would be more forensics than bug search. If you think that it would be useful to get my prefs.js file, I have it stripped from all but mail.server and mail.account lines, but I think deleting private information (I think these are only the mail account and server names) would make the exercise useless. Please let me know. Regards
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