Migration feature request

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 4
Joined: February 8th, 2019, 6:33 pm

Post Posted February 8th, 2019, 7:33 pm

I could not find where to post feature requests, if I'm blind please move this to the proper forum heading.
I really like Thunderbird for email. It beat the old Microsoft standard issue client hands down for sub-folder diversity, search and edit capabilities. My family's been using it for many yrs and donated. And now the calender is pretty cool also. I don't store my mail on an IMAP server, don't care for that.
But the first time I had to move the install to a new Laptop I was amazed to find that it would import a few other email app formats but it not it's own mail. Nor could it import it's previous settings. That seemed incredulous to me.
I had to figure a way to move my mail and settings to the new install, which I did. And awhile later I found a similar method posted on the forum. But with time as new versions came out I began to wonder if someday a new version might break my homegrown (or the forum) method of moving settings and files. Recently I upgraded to latest version and found it had many different Profile folder root cfg files and new sub-folders on a basic install.
But so far been lucky. I just copy with overwrite all my Profile folder root files and the entire Mail folder to the new installed Profile folder, and it still works. All acct and other settings are transferred along with all my mail.
But really why wouldn't an email app with POP capability (or IMAP) not have a way for it's user to import it's own product's previous installations of email via a menu item click and browse. Not some mbox import, but the actual profile of it's own making on a previous install.
I know many email users that would not be able to figure out how to move them on their own with the forum method. It just seems good business to attract product security with at least a menu item for such. A click and browse to a network share or a usb stick etc. And once it spots the profile folder it takes over and does the pertinent copys or overwrites. The user would not have to dechiper what to copy or overwrite etc, other than possibly what main folder to copy entirely to a usb if he did not have a network share.
So I would like to request this be a feature add. That way maybe someday I won't have to look up old reports etc of email on some mbox or msf viewer and hope it works better than some dbx viewers I tried back when Outlook wouldn't read my older Outlook Express mail. With an added feature capability like this it would secure our past emails migrating more easily without loss or confusion.


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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted February 8th, 2019, 7:58 pm

I never understood why the built-in import feature didn't support other Thunderbird profiles. I think its been formally requested via Bugzilla bug reports many times. However, you can use the ImportExportTools add-on to import mail from other Thunderbird profiles. See

That add-on is not going to be rewritten to support the WebExtension API, which will eventually be necessary to support later versions of Thunderbird. It does support version 60.*. The Thunderbird developers have talked about migrating that add-ons code to Thunderbird but there don't seem to be explicit plans/schedule yet.

See ... hunderbird or if you're just trying to migrate an entire profile to a new location or PC.

FYI the developers don't read the threads in user community support forums such as this one.

Posts: 4
Joined: February 8th, 2019, 6:33 pm

Post Posted February 13th, 2019, 6:29 pm

Thanks for the info maybe they will put it in some day. Of course as long as the profile copy doesn't break on a new version I don't really care. But some users I know would have a hard time doing the copy in a file manager. But really very few client email apps address making this facet user easy. I would think it good software practice to make it as easy and version functional for all users. But that's just me. thanks again for the info.

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