How to Export Thunderbird Contents and Settings?

  • Go to c:\document and settings\username\application data\thunderbird\
  • Open the file profiles.ini
  • Check the setting Path=Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default
  • Now go to c:\document and settings\username\application data\thunderbird\Profiles\ and copy the folder xxxxxxxx.default for backup.
  • Now to export this content to another computer, copy this folder to c:\document and settings\username\application data\thunderbird\Profiles\ on another computer and change the profile.ini to use this new profile by changing the setting Path.
  • Open the Thunderbird and you are done!!!



31 responses to “How to Export Thunderbird Contents and Settings?”

  1. Alan Avatar

    Thanks a bunch! Worked really fine! Cheers, Alan

  2. MikeG Avatar

    It doesn’t make sense to me to copy the mail files to two places: Roaming and Local. Mine are 10GB (before cutting down exercise gets started).
    Well, it’s worked! But why the mail files in two places? They can’t both be up-to-date simultaneously.
    I feel something is wrong where 10Gb of mails has to be duplicated.
    But it’s great that I have my mail now.

  3. madmin Avatar


  4. twanny Avatar

    Thats awesome. Many thanks. Saved me lots of work with over 12 email accounts and all the filters. 🙂

  5. adriana Avatar

    It worked! Thanks

  6. Clarisa Avatar

    Well, what do you know, it works like a charm! Thanks so much for this awesome info. Now I can refer to my old mails in my new laptop.

  7. CF Avatar

    For import to windows 7, copy the files to BOTH

    Then, modify the “Profiles.ini” at ~\AppData\ROAMING\Thunderbird\Profiles.ini

  8. Vishal Avatar

    Sorry, I don’t know the answer.

  9. Eddie Avatar

    on windows vista or 7
    The catalog is.

    But i am not shoure what files to copy 🙂

  10. Checco Avatar

    The unfortunate thing with mozilla thunderbird (and firefox/sunbird) settings is they include absolute paths for profile data… so if i am migrating between NT (where profiles are stored under c:\windows\profiles\zzz), XP (c:\documents and settings\zzz) or Vista (c:\users\zzz), the settings do not work correctly… some files are XML or text and can be readily updated, but other cannot.

    It would be nice to see a full agnostic export of both accounts settings and extensions/preferences.

  11. Sergio Avatar

    Thanks, an easy workaround.

  12. Tonylog Avatar

    Man, you really made my day with this tut…..

  13. Angela Avatar

    This worked a treat. Many thanks Visha, your help was invaluable. Craig’s too cos I couldn’t find App Data!

  14. will broadback Avatar
    will broadback

    it works folks!

  15. headsup Avatar

    thanks to Visha and craig, works a treat

  16. craig Avatar

    For those of you who are not seeing the application data folder, or the app data folder, you are missing it because it is a hidden folder. You must adjust your folder options so that you can view hidden folders.

    Good luck.

  17. Josty Avatar

    The right map in MS Vista should be C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird

    * Just wanted to enter the right path for Vista due the fact there are multiple maps which include a submap Thunderbird.

  18. drumpy Avatar

    I have no idea where it is stored in Linux, but in most Linux-versions you can “search” your hdd.
    Just look for files with “.default” in its name, You’ll find the right map in no time.

  19. retama91 Avatar

    How to export the thunderbird setting to a different operating system, like exporting from windows to Linux or viceversa ?

  20. piciu Avatar

    It totally works. thanks dude.

  21. timmy b Avatar
    timmy b

    This worked perfectly for me!! I imported my profile from my desktop to a new Toshiba laptop and just followed the step-by-step instructions. I became extremely frustrated when just trying to set up Thunderbird from scratch, I even tried Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail and those did not work either. This solution is great, and thank you so much for this thread!!

  22. bob Avatar

    This is so weird, all the directions I’ve found about exporting Thunderbird say to go to:

    c:\document and settings\username\application data\thunderbird\

    Yet no file structure like that exists on my machine. I have and use Thunderbird 1.5.013 OS is WXP Pro SP2

    Inside C: I have no documents and settings folder, I have application data… but the structure therein doesn’t have a folder named Thunderbird.

    I want to merge the my T-Bird mail on a dying machine with my second computer so it sounds like this process would overwrite the mail folder on it anyway. This is so crazy – everybody seems to love Thunderbird (me included) but cant grab messages or folders and save them individually?? How can this be?

    I’m not a newbie and not dumb – but obviously there is something way wrong here. It’s not a hidden folder either. Good Grief! Any suggestions? Help!!!!!!!!!!

  23. wayne Avatar

    works for me… I just find it a bit worrying that all the server passwords are copied as well – so anyone who has access to you computer for two mins can connect to your email , newsgroup accounts.

  24. Tig Avatar

    Hi again

    I found that you can directly save your addresses. Thanks!

  25. Tig Avatar


    Does this export also your thunderbird contacts or only email & settings?

    Thanks in advance!

  26. Naresh Shah Avatar
    Naresh Shah

    Thanks a lot… Providing support

  27. Nurbek Avatar

    Josh, you need to check c:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\

  28. miles Avatar

    Excellent! Thanks for a useful post.

  29. josh Avatar

    this doesn’t work… maybe i have a newer version or something but i have no .ini files in application data/thunderbird….

  30. Dave Avatar

    This is exactly what I needed to copy all of my messages and settings to my new laptop. Thanks for the info.

  31. Rick Avatar

    Thanks alot. I definately need the help when copying over to my laptop.

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