problems importing Mac Mail to Windows Thunderbird

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 67
Joined: September 21st, 2005, 2:20 pm

Post Posted October 1st, 2005, 4:35 pm

The Man took away my Mac Powerbook, so I've moved my life to a Windows XP machine :-(

I installed Thunderbird version 1.6a1 (20051001) and it's working fine to retrieve new mail. Now I want to access all my old mail.

Following the instructions in I unzipped my
'Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Sent Messages (
file. In my Thunderbird profile's Mail/Local Folders I created oldMacMail/dotMac and moved the mbox file to "sentMail" in here.

I restarted Thunderbird and saw Local Folders/oldMacMail/dotMac. But no sentMail folder representing the actual file of mail messages. When I click on dotMac in the Folders pane I get an hourglass cursor.

I thought maybe the folder nesting was too much so I exited Thunderbird, moved the file up to oldMacMail/sentMail, and restarted. Now I see LocalFolders/oldMacMail/sentMail, but when I click on it I don't see the message in it.

I thought maybe it's line endings, so I converted from UNIX LF's to PC CR-LF's, that didn't help. The permissions were
-rw------- 1 S Page None 1252 Oct 1 15:44 sentMail
but the folders Thunderbird creates have the eXecutable bit so I added it.

(I'm using the cygwin UNIX-like tools, to heck with the Windows command-line junk :-)

But I still don't see the message in this file: I click on it and get an hourglass cursor.

If I right-click on it and choose Properties, it has some additional tabs in the Folder Properties dialog for Offline|Sharing|Quota; folders I create myself in Thunderbird don't have these.

I would greatly appreciate any troubleshooting suggestions!!


Posts: 67
Joined: September 21st, 2005, 2:20 pm

Post Posted October 1st, 2005, 5:11 pm

I think I solved my own problem. When you move in the old Mac Mail mbox files, they must be immediate children files in Thunderbird's Local Folders directory. If you put them in subdirectories, even subfolders you created yourself in Thunderbird, Thunderbird does not recognize the files.

I don't know if this is a bug. The directions in tell you to "Copy that file to the subfolder called Local Folders ...", they don't imply that any other folder works.

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