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Difficulty in bringing old emails into new Thunderbird

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Post Posted February 27th, 2018, 2:35 am

Hi, I've been looking through Thunderbird support documents for hours, trying to figure out how to import my old profile from another computer into my current install of Thunderbird.

I have several email addresses from the old one (none duplicated in the new one) and I'm having a terrible time importing them. Thunderbird doesn't seem to recognize a secondary profile at all. I can't import the files, export the files...as far as Thunderbird is concerned I have ONE profile. That's it.

My old Thunderbird was under Windows Vista. The new one is Windows 10. I've been using Thunderbird mail (another profile from a different computer, Windows 10) for weeks now, no problems.

How do I get it to recognize the new profile? I'm using Thunderbird 52.6.0.

Thanks for any assistance!

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 27th, 2018, 5:21 am

How are the accounts in the old profile set up in Thunderbird, as POP or IMAP? Find out using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Server Settings->Server Type at the top right of the dialogue.

One alternative would be that you can create a second profile on the new computer and then copy in the data from that previous profile so that both will be accessible on the new system. -- http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_ ... hunderbird
For a concise, less detailed version of the process, see this thread --
viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1421375&p=7251375#p7251375

For an alternative approach, see tanstaafl's posts in this thread -- viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2942915&p=14209121#p14209121

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 27th, 2018, 5:26 am

See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_your_p ... hunderbird for how to tell it about another profile.

See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders and http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_addres ... n_profiles if you'd prefer to merge it into the existing profile instead. You'd still need to manually add any accounts that don't exist using tools -> account settings -> account actions -> add mail account. There is an add-on to export/import accounts at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunde ... src=search but it supposedly doesn't work anymore. There is a add-on to make it easier to switch profiles than using the profile manager at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunde ... eswitcher/ though I suspect you would be happiest if you just merged the two profiles.

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Post Posted February 27th, 2018, 6:00 am

Thank you both so much! DanRaisch, the mail is POP, not IMAP.

My thought definitely was to pull everything into the single profile...it sounds like the answer will be to add the accounts one at a time, then. I have this one from an old laptop plus another one from a super old computer...that one has at least 10 accounts to import, yikes! LOL, at least doing this with the old laptop mail, which is 3-5 accounts at most, will give me practice for the larger one!

Tanstaafl, you're correct, I want to merge the two profiles. It's going to be much easier than to have two, three profiles going at one time, switching back and forth.

Thanks again, both of you! :) I'm going to start this process later today when I have enough time to do this right.

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Post Posted March 6th, 2018, 2:55 am

Okay, I've imported the email for one of four addresses, but this isn't working right.

First, I imported the mail and it left a blank Inbox and a blank Trash. I can't rename the new Inbox and Trash until I delete the old ones, but there's no delete option. Do I have to move ALL of the email over to get this to work?

Second, I can't find any way to import the old address book into the new(er) profile. The newer profile already has an address book that I don't want to lose, otherwise I'd just move the old one over, of course. I tried MoreFunctionsForAddressBook, but there are NO options to import anything. I have two options from MoreFunctionsForAddressBook: Labels for Custom Fields and Preferences. Everything else is grayed out.

This is quite frustrating. How can I use this program if the option to import the address book is completely grayed out? Is it best to uninstall it if it's not offering the option needed, and if so, is there a program that actually works?

Thanks in advance.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 6th, 2018, 3:58 am

"I tried MoreFunctionsForAddressBook, but there are NO options to import anything."

They're in the tools menu in the address book window. However, tools -> morefunctionsforaddressbook -> actions for address books is greyed out if "all address books" is selected. You need to select the personal address book.

Importing mail folders using the ImportExportTools add-on should not effect the original mail folders. However, I wouldn't expect you to be able to delete the inbox and trash folder in a POP account as they are considered special folders. I'd merge the contents of the imported folders with the same name instead.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 6th, 2018, 4:04 am


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Post Posted March 21st, 2018, 2:38 am

Thank you kindly, tanstaafl, and I'm very sorry for my delay in responding. I've been dealing with an Android email problem temporarily, which has been messy and has kept me from getting anything else accomplished on my Thunderbird problem.

Thank you so much for updating the support document! That really is helpful. :) And that was the answer...selecting the personal address book took care of the problem. :)

Another question. I'm having trouble distinguishing mailboxes that are from the same site for the purposes of importing them. In other words, if my site was abcdef.com, what I'm seeing are nondescript names of mailboxes called abcdef, abcdef-1, etc. How do I differentiate them to import them, short of going into the old profile, looking at the different mailboxes, then going back in and finding the right ones that match the accounts?

As for the previous mailbox I was able to successfully import (that was from a different site, so it had a unique name), when you say to merge the Inbox, for instance, is that the same as moving the files from the secondary inbox into the first?

Thank you very much! :)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 21st, 2018, 3:38 am

You're essentially trying to distinguish between 'n' accounts with the same email provider. There is no information stored in the accounts local directory that would tell you what email address its for. Unfortunately you either need to run Thunderbird with that old profile again and record what local directory is used for each email address, or open the prefs.js file in the old profile in a text editor and figure it out from that. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Running_from_ ... hunderbird for what command line arguments to use to specify a profiles location if you want to avoid having to configure profiles.ini to know about the old profile. You don't need a usb drive to do that.

"when you say to merge the Inbox, for instance, is that the same as moving the files from the secondary inbox into the first?"
Yes, though you probably need to do that for more than just the inbox folder. I assume you'd like to keep copies of your sent messages for example.

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Post Posted March 22nd, 2018, 4:15 am

Thank you, tanstaafl. I'll go back in and look at the old profile to know which is which. :)

I'll move the files over, but the inbox is all that was affected, oddly. I have old emails in sent and drafts of that one account. But the inbox just wouldn't take. Import would only move the inbox into a different folder.

Thanks again!

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