How to copy your Mozilla Thunderbird email profile to a new computer

Discussion in 'Mozilla Thunderbird' started by popowich, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. comdude85

    comdude85 New Email

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, finally got this working so I wanted to post for other Windows 7 users to reference:

    7 apparently has 2 AppData folders - Local and Roaming. Thunderbird creates profile folders in both, but by default it uses the one in Roaming, I don't know why. I didn't realize it was using or even creating the Roaming folder until tonight. I had to paste all of my old profile folder contents into the newly generated profile folder (which did not generate until I actually ran Thunderbird, by the way - this may be a 7 quirk), and then it finally picked up my old profile data.
     


  2. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thanks for the feedback Comdude. :) I had realized about the roaming/local folder thing. It's the same on Vista I wrongly assumed people would just figure it out.
     

  3. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    8,978
    Likes Received:
    141
    Thanks for the heads up. We're moving one of our home computers from XP to Windows 7. :thanks:
     
  4. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    8,978
    Likes Received:
    141
    I added a step to the original post. It was missing the edit the profiles.ini to make the profile folder name match the folder copied onto the new computer. You could also copy the profiles.ini file from the old computer which should also work.
     
  5. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    17
    You can overcome that by simply copying the entire thunderbird folder under appdata from the source computer instead of just the contents of the folder
     
  6. LindyM

    LindyM New Email

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm kinda new to this, so I'll apologize in advance if I've missed something someone has already said. My situation is that my computer died, but the hard drive is fine. I've removed it and mounted it into an enclosure that allows me to retrieve the data off of it.

    The instructions I've read up to this point seem to assume that the old computer is functioning. I can't perform a "RUN" command on the old hard drive, since it is no longer housed in a computer. Or am I wrong about that?

    So now, I'm trying to find the profile data (old emails, addresses, etc.) on the old hard drive so that I can restore it to the Thunderbird profile on the new computer. So far, I've done a search of the drive (now an "H" drive) for "appdata" and "thunderbird" and "profile" and "default" with no results that seem appropriate.

    Am I missing the correct procedure, or am I just not seeing the folder with the profile in it.

    The old computer was running Windows 7 before it died. The new computer is Windows 7 as well.


    Thanks.


    Lindy
     
  7. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    17
    Hi Lindy,

    Make sure you have show hidden folders enabled and navigate \Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming on the drive you've attached to you computer. You should see the Thunderbird folder in there.
     
  8. LindyM

    LindyM New Email

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the tip. I now have a new issue that's going to delay any resolution to this, so I'll probably get to it after 1/1/11. So for the time being, thanks and Happy New Year. I'll be back, either to ask more questions or to report success.
     
  9. zola1

    zola1 New Email

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everone,

    Newbie here so please bear with me, i'm trying to transfer all my old emails (and profile)from my old laptop XP to my new laptop Vista, followed the profile change over process, got thunderbird running ok but NO old emails came up !!, funny though as it remembers all my contacts, so it did do some transfer.
    It was a 2.7Gb file so i know that they are in ther but i fear i may have lost them for good.
    Can anyone help with this ? it would be much appreciated.

    kind regards

    Derrick
     
  10. mayet

    mayet New Email

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    In Windows 8 the AppData folder is hidden in the Users folder. Unhide the directory and then you'll have access to it.
     
  11. Joe S

    Joe S New Email

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I will try to move my email tomorrow when I have sufficient time and report the results. Since I already have used Thunderbird on my new computer, should I assume that all the emails on that computer will be lost and therefore should take some alternative action. Joe S.
     
  12. Joe S

    Joe S New Email

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a few more questions before I start the process:
    1. Since I have already used Thunderbird on my new computer, will the profile from my old computer overwrite the data on my new computer?
    2. Based on the instructions, it seems that the old and new profiles are stored on the new computer before I change the name of the new profile. Is there any way to "merge" them so that I do not lose data?
    3. will this process also copy the address book, Sent and Inbox from the old computer to the new one?
    Thanks
     
  13. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    17
    Sorry this went without an answer for so long but since I'm here anyhow it may help someone else in the future.

    To answer your questions:

    1. If you have already run Thunderbird on the new computer AND you're using IMAP for your all your mail accounts you can safely delete the current profile folder on the new computer and replace it with the profile from your old computer. If you're using POP3 for email that means the messages are downloaded to your computer and deleting the profile will delete those emails. You may have to export each message from the new profile then import each message into the old profile.
    2. I don't know of anyway to merge Thunderbird profiles. It looks like there is some hope of creating a new profile by exporting from both the old and new profiles. It looks like a drawn out process though. From Mozilla's Knowledge base
    3. Yes. Replacing the current 'new' profile with the old profile will copy over all the data including all folders and address book and add-on data.
     
    popowich likes this.
  14. ken_b

    ken_b New Email

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have discovered a relatively easy and flexible way to copy all of your Thunderbird email data.

    (I'm pretty sure this approach will work for all versions of all operating systems where Thunderbird can be used. I successfully used this technique myself in about October of 2016, with a current version of Windows 10 and a current version of Thunderbird.)

    You can copy your data by copying your Profile Folder and then telling Thunderbird where to find your Profile Folder.

    Step 1. Find the existing name and location of your Profile Folder by selecting "Help > Troubleshooting Information" in the Thunderbird menu. Then look for "Profile Folder" and click on the Show Folder button. This will display the path of names starting with parent folders and ending with the name of your Profile Folder.

    Step 2. Use the facilities of your operating systems (for example, Windows File Explorer) to highlight and then copy your profile folder, with its contents, to a new location (on your new computer, or wherever - with a new profile folder name, if you wish). Be sure you are not copying a profile folder while Thunderbird is running and using that folder. If you have a large amount of email data, the copying process may take a long time.

    Step 3. Start the Profile app (on your new computer, or wherever): For example, in Windows 10, a) Close Thunderbird, b) Right-click the Start icon, c) Click Run, d) Enter this in the Open box (without the quote signs): "thunderbird.exe -p" , e) Click OK

    Step 4. Use the Profile app to create a new Thunderbird Profile for your new Profile Folder: a) Click the Create Profile button, b) Click Next, c) Enter a name for your new Thunderbird Profile (this does not need to be the same as the name of your Profile Folder), d) Click the Choose Folder button, e) Navigate to and select your new location's Profile Folder that was set up in Step 2, f) Click Select Folder, g) Click Finish

    You will now see a Profile app window that displays your new profile in the list of your profiles. (You'll probably have at least one other profile, even if it's just called "default".)

    If each time you start Thunderbird you want to select from a choice of profiles, uncheck the "Use the selected profile without asking ..." box.

    To automatically use a specific profile, select that profile and check the "Use the selected profile without asking ..." box. (You can always start the Profile app again, to change this setting.)

    Close the Profile app by click the Exit button.

    The Profile Folder stores everything about your email, including locally stored messages and attachments, address lists, account settings, Thunderbird settings, stored passwords, tasks, calendar data, and data for add-on features.

    You can keep a Profile Folder on just about any kind of storage or device. Regularly back up your profile folder. Once you're sure you don't want the data in an old Profile Folder, you can use your operating system to delete it.

    Use good judgment about revealing your Thunderbird Profile Folder names and locations to others.
     

Want to reply or ask your own question?

It only takes a minute to sign up (and it's free!). Click the orange sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Loading...