Master password requested but not set

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After upgrading to Thunderbird 3.0, some users have found that Thunderbird requests a Master Password as follows: Please enter the master password for the Software Security Device even when no Master Password was set in Thunderbird 2.

Some other manifestations of this problem:

  • cannot open the dialog on stored passwords
  • cannot set a new master password
  • Set Master Password dialog will not save and close

This is a bug in the Password Manager module that is shared by SeaMonkey and Thunderbird. It does not affect all users. It is being tracked in bug # 506638.


There are two ways to work around this bug.

Reset via Error Console

  1. Select Tools | Error Console from the Thunderbird menu.
  2. Paste the following text into the Code field and press Evaluate.


This will open the Reset Master Password dialog. Press Reset.

Delete key3.db file

  1. Close Thunderbird.
  2. Delete the file key3.db. This file is located in the Thunderbird directory for the profile under which the current session of Thunderbird was opened. Some examples:
  • Windows 7: C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<profile_name>\
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Thunderbird/Profiles/<profile_name>/
  • Linux: ~/.thunderbird/<profile_name>/

You may have to search the filesystem to find the location of key3.db on your system.

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