How to transfer old e-mails to a new install of Thunderbird?

By Curryman2323 ·
God help me, I recently upgraded to Vista. I just about have everything re-installed and setup, but I'm having trouble with Thunderbird. Namely, how do I transfer my old saved e-mails from the old installation of the program (which is still on a hard drive) to the new one? Thanks.

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You must perform a sacred sacrificial thunderbird ritual to do this

by Why Me Worry? In reply to How to transfer old e-mai ...

You need to please the Mozilla Gods to accomplish this.

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sacred ritual

by Bad Panda In reply to You must perform a sacred ...

Awesome...truly awesome.

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copy over your whole profile...

by DownRightTired In reply to How to transfer old e-mai ...

havnt tried this so make sure it works before u dump the original. should be able to go to:
C:Documents and Settings\'username'\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\
then copy the whole profile, should be something default (0ewfuoh4.default in my case)
you could also try just copying the mail folder in there over to your new profile. again ive never tried this specifically but ive used a similar process to create a default mail profile w/ pop settings.
***Edit: should probably note that the application data folder is hidden so you may have to show hidden folders...

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Not the whole profile

by Xenarulz In reply to copy over your whole prof ...

I've done it a gazillion time. It's enough to copy the folders/files that are in the direcroty where you have the "local folders".
See in your account preferences where are the 'local folders' located. Then move to that directory and copy everything that is in the "Mail" folder and beyond. It's not necessary to copy the whole profile if you aren't interested in extensions and such.
With me it worked many times, then when I got tired I simply shared the directory between TBLinux and TBWindows (I have a dual boot machime) and it works like a charm. Why don't you just use that directory from Vista? If you haven't to thrash the drive, that is...

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by TheChas In reply to How to transfer old e-mai ...

Your Thunderbird emails are not stored with the program files unless you setup Thunderbird to save them there.

On my system, the Thunderbird mail files are here:

C:\Documents and Settings\{User Name}\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\{string}.default\Mail

Find the specific folder your old mail files are in, then open Thunderbird and click on Tools, Import.


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hmm sounds familiar :-)

by DownRightTired In reply to Import

my prev post. I didnt include the import step. Have you tried importing thunderbird mail? It seems like Ive tried that and it doesnt let you (could be wrong) I know when you click import mail it doesnt give you an option for Thunderbird mail. So you may have to copy it over the whatever new profile youve created.

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Copying Profiles

by TheChas In reply to hmm sounds familiar :-)

I suggested import rather than just copying the profile over as I am concerned about differences in how Thunderbird might be creating profiles and folders in Vista versus XP.

And yes, I have imported Thunderbird mail.


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what option do you use to import?

by DownRightTired In reply to Copying Profiles

when i go to import mail it gives me options for outlook, communicator, and eudora, is there something Im missing?

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lets make it easy

by wes In reply to what option do you use to ...

TBird does NOT let you import from another TBird install, just Outlook, Eudora, etc.
But there are two downloadable programs that do all the work for you, including migrating TBird settings from XP to Vista:

1) Free, MOZBACKUP. Go to http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com


I found both by googling on "Thunderbird transfer"


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Funny how they do that...

by DownRightTired In reply to lets make it easy

Why would an opensource project like this not include the ability to export and transfer setting from their own program? over site maybe? always noticed firefox was the same way. strange....

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