Importing from another Thunderbird Profile

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird

Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 1:46 pm

The only email client that has a decent import export functionality for mail and addresses is sadly the good old OutLook Express.
For Thunderbird to not being able to simply import messages and addresses from another Thunderbird profile is a glaring defect really.
Having to merge or import from another profile is a task my clients often want to accomplish when moving to another PC.
Why dose such an excellent application as Thunderbird has such a lack of functionality.
Having to manually sift through profiles and folders, while carefully trying to avoid making a mistake is not a way to go. Besides, often the location of the Thunderbird profile is not directly accessible to the user such as in situations where the user is a Domain user in Windows.
The functionality should be simple and straight forward:
Select "import from another Thunderbird profile or backup folder"
Point the file selector to the other Thunderbird profile folder or backup folder.
For cases where the location of the actual Thunderbird profile folder is unavailable, Thunderbird should offer to create a "Backup Folder" of the current profile as a function. This would copy the current profile to a location given by the user. This would avoid users having fumble around the file system trying to find the current profile folder somewhere in the hidden folders on their system.

As we are at export/import: Thunderbird is one of the few email clients acting as a one way street. There is no export functionality to export addresses and messages in a commonly accepted file format such as CSV for addresses and other email clients such the MS breeds have no import capability for Thunderbird profiles.

All this is a serious minus for an otherwise excellent program.



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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 3:34 pm

Huh? Apparently you have failed to fully review the software's functionality or research the availability of addons/extensions to provide the functionality you are asking about.

To export address data to LDIF, CSV, or Tab delimited file formats, use menu path Tools->Address Book->Tools->Export->select the "Save as" file type of your choice.

To export message data, the Import/ExportTools extension provides output to mbox, eml, plain text, or HTML formats.

To install a Thunderbird extension do the following:
Right click the download link on the extension's home page and choose "Save Link As...". Then, in Thunderbird, go to Tools->Addons->Extensions tab->click on the "Install" button. Navigate to the just downloaded .xpi file and select it. Click on the "Open" button. The installation will now begin. You will need to close and reopen Thunderbird to complete the install.


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Post Posted July 2nd, 2008, 3:43 pm

We're not run by or formally associated with Mozilla by the way, despite the similarity in the names and the fact thier support page links to us.

Use the ImportExportTools addon at to import or export mail. explains how to find the profile. Note that it also documents a way to have Thunderbird explicitly tell you where it is, rather than just documenting the default location.

"There is no export functionality to export addresses and messages in a commonly accepted file format such as CSV for addresses"

Thunderbird supports both importing and exporting address books in .csv, .ldif and several other standard formats. Browse the tools menu in the address book for example. You can also use utilities such as Dawn to convert between many email clients address book formats ... tures.html


Post Posted March 15th, 2010, 8:54 am

I totally agree with everth1, Thunderbird must have the possibility of importing from another Thunderbird profile. Not as an extension, but as a item of the file menu.

It looks like the Thunderbird developers consider unlikely that a user of their program will return to utilize it in another computer.

In addition, I have just use the extension mboximport in a new computer with Windows 7, and the results are not very good.


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Post Posted March 15th, 2010, 9:02 am

Thanks for the reply, but this thread is from 2008 & needs to rest.
If you have a problem, please start a new thread.

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