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Saving a Local Backup of E-mails?

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Post Posted August 25th, 2017, 8:43 am

Hi,

I would like to make a one-off local copy of e-mails I have in an account. This is not an account I use regularly but I would like to have a local copy of the e-mails to-date as the provider (OpenMailBox) is unfortunately shortly going to remove IMAP support from Free e-mail accounts. I'm not expecting to need these downloaded e-mails frequently - just would like a local copy for safe keeping.

This is what I have done so far:

1) Downloaded and run Thunderbird Portable (so not to interfere with my regular Thunderbird installation).
2) Downloaded all e-mails locally with IMAP.
3) Put Thunderbird Portable into offline mode (ensuring all e-mails are actually downloaded) and closed Thunderbird Portable.

However, I don't know how best to save the e-mails. I am only interested in the e-mails rather than the entire profile.

Some questions regarding best practice:

1) Can I just save the e-mails only from the profile (which are only around 3MB)? If so, which files/folders do I need to backup? I want to still be able to view the e-mails in Thunderbird Portable in the future without errors.

2) Should I copy the e-mails from the IMAP folders to the Local folders in Thunderbird Portable or leave them as is?

3) Is the ImportExportTools extension useful here or not necessary?

Many Thanks.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted August 25th, 2017, 8:55 am

2) Should I copy the e-mails from the IMAP folders to the Local folders in Thunderbird Portable...

Yes, that would be the correct move. Leaving the messages in the IMAP folders would put them at risk of being lost if the connection to the server was lost and Thunderbird, for whatever reason, was to be in on-line state. Copying all messages to Local Folders would break the link to the server so that going on line with that Portable installation would not be problematic in the future. Doing this also ensures that you can see/access those messages in the future, using Thunderbird or an utility program like mBox Viewer.

Don't use the Move commands to transfer the files from the IMAP folders to Local Folders as lags in server response can result in data loss. Copying the messages will leave the messages on the server for as long as possible so if any data is lost in the transfer the process can be repeated.

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Post Posted August 26th, 2017, 4:45 am

Many thanks for your helpful advice. I have now successfully completed (and tested) my backup. :D

DanRaisch
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Post Posted August 26th, 2017, 4:55 am

You're welcome.

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