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Migrated Thunderbird to new PC - Windows XP or Windows 7

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
expatCanuck
 
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Post Posted February 28th, 2010, 3:07 am

My experience was a bit different (and easier) than some of what I read.
The routine consists simply of copying one folder, & dragging it to the new system.
It worked for Windows XP and Windows 7.

All that I did was:
1) make a copy of the entire Thunderbird folder
C:\Documents and Settings\userName\Application Data\Thunderbird
where userName is the name of the user of the XP system.

My Thunderbird folder, FWIW, contained a Profiles folder and two files, profiles.ini and registry.dat.
The Profiles folder, of course, contains your mail (and presumably all the rest of the stuff TBird uses).

I made a copy to CD-ROM (it was ~250MB), but I see no reason why one couldn't copy directly from disk,
if one had the hard drive visible to the new system. Although I did have to deal with some visibility
headaches when trying to view the old XP drive from the new Win7 and XP systems.

2) install, BUT DO NOT RUN, Thunderbird on the new PC.

3) copy the Thunderbird folder (copied in step 1) to the new user's application folder.
For WinXP, it would be:
C:\Documents and Settings\userName\Application Data\
For Win7, it'd be:
C:\Users\userName\AppData\Roaming

4) Run Thunderbird.

In my case, Thunderbird started up as it always had, prompting me for the passwords to my two mail sources.
All my mail was in place.

- Richard

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 1st, 2010, 8:03 pm

Thanks for sharing that information. It relies upon the old profiles.ini still being valid when you copy the directory tree to the new PC. A safer alternative would be to just copy the old profile over a new (and incomplete) one per Create a new profile and copy the old one over it.

cruisemates
 
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Joined: April 15th, 2010, 10:20 am

Post Posted April 15th, 2010, 10:30 am

I just wanted to say THANK YOU.

This method worked for me.

Best of all Thunderbird is the only Windows 7 email client I found that would migrate all of my old custom Outlook Express folders. I created a number of custom folders to organize all of my old email in OE6 (Outlook Express 6) and with this method I was able to migrate these Outlook Express custom foldersfrom an XP computer to Windows 7 running on a different computer and keep all of them in tact.

(Sorry for the obvious redundancy, but I am trying to make this easy to find by search engines). I have a new policy of posting answers to questions as I find them. Migrating from XP to Windows 7 has been a challenge, but I think it is worth it.

Thanks for the tip.

here is the FAQ to do the same thing: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_: ... r_Location



Other ways to move your profile
[edit]Create a new profile and copy the old one over it
1.Create a new profile in the desired location.
If you're installing the Mozilla application for the first time on a new PC and want to store the profile in the default location all you need to do is start the application. That will create a default profile. If you're running Thunderbird there is no need to answer any of the questions the account wizard asks, since you're not going to keep that data anyways.

2.Exit the Profile Manager or completely close your Mozilla application, if open.
3.Open the profile folder for the newly-created profile and remove its contents, which will consist of a small set of files that contain program defaults.
4.Copy the contents of the old profile folder (its files and subfolders) into the new, now empty profile folder. For example, if you are copying the "default" profile to a new location:
Firefox Thunderbird and SeaMonkey 2: Copy the contents of the xxxxxxxx.default folder and place them inside the new <profilename> folder.
Mozilla Suite and SeaMonkey 1.x: Copy the contents of the default xxxxxxxx.slt folder and place them inside the new <profilename> xxxxxxxx.slt folder
5.If you're using SeaMonkey or Thunderbird, check that you can see the folders for each account. If they're missing, use the "Browse" button for the local directory in Tools -> Account Settings -> Server Settings and Tools -> Account Settings -> Local Folders to specify the correct account and mail directories.
[edit]Create a new profile and migrate your old data
Create a new profile in the desired location and then copy selected data from the old to the new profile.

If you're using Thunderbird or Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey Mail, you should include the prefs.js file (otherwise, you will need to recreate your mail accounts). Once you start your Mozilla application with the new profile, you should then check that you can see the folders for each account. If they're missing, use the "Browse" button for the local directory in your (Mail & Newsgroups) Account Settings -> Server Settings and (Mail & Newsgroups) Account Settings -> Local Folders to specify the correct account and mail directories.

sewsable
 
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Joined: March 25th, 2006, 1:35 pm
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Posted November 5th, 2011, 4:36 pm

Thank you so much! I tried all the suggestions on the Moving Your Profile page and none of them worked; yours worked a treat and now I have all my emails on my new pc.

tecknomage

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Post Posted February 8th, 2012, 8:29 am

expatCanuck wrote:My experience was a bit different (and easier) than some of what I read.
The routine consists simply of copying one folder, & dragging it to the new system.
It worked for Windows XP and Windows 7.

All that I did was:
1) make a copy of the entire Thunderbird folder
C:\Documents and Settings\userName\Application Data\Thunderbird
where userName is the name of the user of the XP system.

My Thunderbird folder, FWIW, contained a Profiles folder and two files, profiles.ini and registry.dat.
The Profiles folder, of course, contains your mail (and presumably all the rest of the stuff TBird uses).

I made a copy to CD-ROM (it was ~250MB), but I see no reason why one couldn't copy directly from disk,
if one had the hard drive visible to the new system. Although I did have to deal with some visibility
headaches when trying to view the old XP drive from the new Win7 and XP systems.

2) install, BUT DO NOT RUN, Thunderbird on the new PC.

3) copy the Thunderbird folder (copied in step 1) to the new user's application folder.
For WinXP, it would be:
C:\Documents and Settings\userName\Application Data\
For Win7, it'd be:
C:\Users\userName\AppData\Roaming

4) Run Thunderbird.

In my case, Thunderbird started up as it always had, prompting me for the passwords to my two mail sources.
All my mail was in place.

- Richard


This method copies the User's Thunderbird Profile, but not the program.

Do Thunderbird Profiles work for ALL versions of Thunderbird :?:

I have a user at work that's running an old version of Thunderbird and I only the latest version of Thunderbird.

ALSO: The WinXP to Win7 Easy Transfer should pickup the Thunderbird Profiles.
Tecknomage
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IT Technician, Computer Help Forum Staff Member

aquila40
 
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Joined: March 29th, 2012, 12:20 am

Post Posted March 29th, 2012, 12:39 am

I'm replying to a post that's 6 years old but the problem still hasn't been solved by Thunderbird, i.e., how to restore previous email after a re-format/re-install of Windows. Some so basic shouldn't have to be left to the users to solve and share. (thanks, guys and gals!). If there's one thing that would take priority, it would seem to be restoring old email to the new install. It baffles me why there isn't a prompt upon installation of Tbird asking if I want to import a previous file and browse to the older file followed by "OK" after identifying the folder. Since it's probably in the same path as before, Tbird should find it and ask "is this the one you want to import?".

If any other email client can provide easy migration of a previous email folder, I'd like to know about it. Not Google! I detest the company (except for Google Earth, lol) and try to avoid using anything associated with it. I have NoScript running in Firefox and monitor every cookie and am amazed at how often Google (tools.google.com) tries to insinuate itself even when no Google apps are running. I banned anything "Apple" after I found them messing with my iTunes library and removing tunes I'd paid for. the lack of Quicktime hasn't been a problem and I especially hated it when a Quicktime update would also include Safari and other Apple products to be installed which would've happened if I hadn't seen them listed along with Quicktime.

Enough ranting ... but if the problem existed in 2006 and it still persists in 2012 ...

DanRaisch
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Post Posted March 29th, 2012, 5:21 am

You've reformatted or reinstalled Windows. What program do you know of (forget about email programs) that provides a way to restore previous data except from a backup made before that reformat? There isn't any such program.

If your email account is IMAP, your data is stored on the server and could be accessed from Thunderbird after recreating the account. With a POP type account the data is stored on the local PC and would have been wiped out when you reformatted the drive and would have to be restored from a backup stored somewhere other than that primary hard drive.

Freee!!

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Post Posted March 29th, 2012, 6:05 am

My preferred method of avoiding this kind of problem consists of having the profile on the data partition where it is safe for reformatting (of the OS partition at least) and/or reinstalling.

aquila40
 
Posts: 2
Joined: March 29th, 2012, 12:20 am

Post Posted March 31st, 2012, 7:42 pm

I always backup my Application Data settings for Thunderbird - the whole "thunderbird/Profiles/etc. - to another partition as well as to an external drive. But, after copying it to the new install of Thunderbird, after reformat/reinstall of WinxP, it didn't come up. I was wishing for a simple "import" for something other than Eudora and Outlook where I could browse to the data drive, find the folder, and click "OK". The other useful thing would be to import past saved Profiles temporarily in order to search for a specific email from the past. I guess it would be like an "email reader". Otherwise, the only way to access past Tbird archives would be to copy and save elsewhere the current folders and then paste the older folders. Firefox has an easy import for bookmarks.

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