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Unable to transfer Thunderbird profile to Windows 10

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ShermanP
 
Posts: 4
Joined: January 10th, 2020, 3:51 pm

Post Posted January 10th, 2020, 4:15 pm

I need to transfer my Thunderbird profile from my Windows 7 computer to my new Windows 10 computer. The process seems simple enough, but it's not working. After copying the profile to the new computer's Roaming folder, Thunderbird doesn't find it, instead presenting me with all the new account windows, with no sign of all the emails that should be there. But the profile is definitely there where is should be.

I notice that the new Roaming folder appears to use a default-release profile, whereas my Windows 7 installation just uses a default profile.

I'm using the same version of TB on both computers, so it's not at all clear why this process isn't working.

I hope someone can help bail me out of this problem. If it just doesn't work, I'm certainly willing to install from scratch, but I'm going to need some way to transfer the emails over.

Thanks for any help.

tanstaafl
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Posts: 46338
Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted January 10th, 2020, 5:15 pm

Thunderbird relies upon a profiles.ini file (that is updated with links to where profiles are) to find a profile. It doesn't discover profiles by looking in a fixed location for them. If you use the same windows user name on the new PC try copying the profiles.ini that is several levels above the profile on the windows 7 PC to the corresponding location under Windows 10. If you use a different username copy the file and then edit it with a text editor (NOT a word processor) to fix the path for each profile.

Note: Firefox and Thunderbird have their own profiles.ini files so make certain you copy the Thunderbird one.

Otherwise abort the new account wizard on the new PC, and use help -> troubleshooting information -> open folder to open windows explorer at the current profile (which is really a stub with no account information). Copy the contents (but NOT the directory its in) of the old profile over it. i.e. you copy abook.mab over abook.mab, prefs.js over prefs.js etc. Then start Thunderbird.

If that doesn't work, what version of Thunderbird were you using on each PC?

sfhowes
 
Posts: 500
Joined: April 1st, 2012, 10:21 am

Post Posted January 10th, 2020, 5:19 pm

Copy the Thunderbird folder on the W7 computer: C:\Users\w7username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird
Delete the existing Thunderbird folder in W10: C:\Users\w10username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird
Copy the W7 Thunderbird folder into C:\Users\w10username\AppData\Roaming
Do all of this with TB closed, then start TB on W10.

If you had, say, TB 60 on W7 and TB 68 on W10, this would go a lot smoother if you did an in-place update of 60 to 68, then did the transfer.

ShermanP
 
Posts: 4
Joined: January 10th, 2020, 3:51 pm

Post Posted January 10th, 2020, 5:51 pm

sfhowes wrote:Copy the Thunderbird folder on the W7 computer: C:\Users\w7username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird
Delete the existing Thunderbird folder in W10: C:\Users\w10username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird
Copy the W7 Thunderbird folder into C:\Users\w10username\AppData\Roaming
Do all of this with TB closed, then start TB on W10.

If you had, say, TB 60 on W7 and TB 68 on W10, this would go a lot smoother if you did an in-place update of 60 to 68, then did the transfer.


I did that several times, with no success. In the end I copied the W7 profile folder into the W10 Profiles folder alongside the two new profiles (default and default-release), edited the profiles.ini file so the W7 profile number became the new default number, then opened TB in profile manager mode, selected the edited default as the one to open on startup, and clicked on Start Thunderbird. And it worked.

I don't understand why copying the entire TB folder to the new machine didn't work. That should have copied the old profiles.ini file over, which would have had my old profile as the one to boot into. But as I said, I tried that several times, and it just didn't work.

Thanks very much for the help.

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