Move or Transfer Thunderbird Emails & Profile to New Computer

Karen Chard | July 9th, 2018 | How To

This article is helpful for the users to accomplish the successful transfer of Thunderbird Emails to New Computer. Users can easily move all Thunderbird data to a new computer by exporting all its items to an external device. This data may include Thunderbird emails, contacts, appointments, calendars, address books, settings, saved passwords, and other data from One PC to another instantly.

There are free manual and advanced ways to perform migration of Thunderbird to Thunderbird on another computer. This easy tutorial will enable a user to solve the queries like how to transfer Thunderbird to a new computer while keeping all the profile folder and data secured and preserved. For non-technical users, it’s a very crucial task that’s why we discuss the possible solutions in the easiest way to accomplish such a task.

Challenge While Moving Thunderbird Emails to New Computer:

Thunderbird is one of the favorite Email clients due to its easy use, support for various email protocols like POP3, IMAP, SMTP etc. The most important reason for its global reach is its free of cost and available for open source to further development. For many of us, the mailbox files may contain the repositories o crucial information and business contacts. Similarly, Thunderbird store all important data like emails, contacts, calendars, address books, settings, saved passwords, add-on data, etc. in a profile directory. Unfortunately, there is no option in Thunderbird settings to export your data and settings to another Thunderbird supported file. The only possible way, in that case, is manually copying profile folder to new PC and allowing Thunderbird to access the profile folder.

But, is this method worth enough. What about the data security and folder hierarchy, email properties, directory analysis, email integrity as well it’s not a secure way. There are always chances of loss of data and its formatting. Hence, it is needed to have any professional Thunderbird backup software which proves to be very powerful. Before we discuss more the possible ways for how to move Thunderbird emails to new PC, let’s analyze some users queries to know the exact scenario.

“I just purchased a new Windows 10 PC and I would like to move my Thunderbird emails over to my new computer and new user account. I’ve looked in the ‘Tools’ menu of Thunderbird for an ‘export’ feature of some kind – hoping to export my user data for re-import on the new machine – but, there does not appear to be such an option. Can you help?”

Dennis, New Jersey, May 1, 2018

One of my clients has installed new Windows7 and he was wondering if it is possible to somehow transfer/copy the account settings on Mozilla Thunderbird, so he doesn’t want to re-install it. He was finding a way to transfer all that onto a fresh install of Mozilla email client (Thunderbird) on new Windows 7 install. That would save a lot of time and work. How can we move Thunderbird Profile to New Computer?

Susanne, California, July 7, 2018

Free Way to Move Thunderbird Data to New Computer:

There is no doubt that if a user wants to transfer Thunderbird emails to the new computer then the primary choice is always to do it free of cost. The good thing is, practically it can be possible. Thunderbird, unlike Outlook, saves its mailbox items and repositories in its Profile directory instead of Program directory. Therefore, one only need to copy the whole Thunderbird Profile directory to an external device and then paste it into the destination PC & hence allowing the Thunderbird to load data from the resultant profile path.

To perform this task just follow these quick steps:

  • Browse for the Thunderbird Profile folder path in your system or PC. One can browse to it by proceeding as given: Run Thunderbird >> Tools Menu >> and click on Account Settings option >> Choose Server Settings, where at bottom one can see Local Directory path. Click on Browse button and then copy the path. Run Windows Explorer and then Paste the Path in Address Bar of Explorer. The requested Thunderbird Profile folder will be instantly displayed.thunderbird-profile
  • Another way to find the Thunderbird Profile path is, copy ‘%APPDATA%\Thunderbird\profiles’ text in your clipboard. Press the start button and then press CTRL+V option and then Enter. The requested Profile path will display.
  • There can be one or more Thunderbird profiles folders available there. One can use the Date Modified sort feature to choose the new and latest updated Thunderbird Profile directory.
  • Once you successfully select the folder, check the folder size by choosing Property by right-clicking upon it or press ALT+ENTER Choose the external device according to the folder size like CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/Pen Drive/Hard Drive/ etc. according to requirement. Copy all the folder and paste it into the requested external device & eject the device from primary PC.
  • Now, Insert the external device into New PC. Paste the Profile folder at a requested location in the new computer. Although it’s up to your choice it is recommended to paste the items at the same Thunderbird Profile location. Just follow the procedure 2 to do so. i.e. Copy ‘%APPDATA%\Thunderbird\profiles’ in clipboard then Paste it into Windows Search Box from Start Menu.
  • Run Thunderbird and then proceed to Tools Menu >> Account Settings & choose Server Settings. Now, browse to the saved folder and click on OK
  • If a user wants to create a new Thunderbird profile for the resultant mailbox items for further use. Run Thunderbird Profile Manager. Copy ‘thunderbird-profilemanager’ in clipboard and paste (CTRL+V) it into Windows Search Box from Start menu.
  • The Thunderbird Profile manager window should now appear. Click the “Create Profile” button. It will say “Welcome to the Create Profile Wizard“. Click Next, then it will say “Enter new profile name“. The default is “Default User” – use that, then click the “Choose Folder” button. By default, Thunderbird will go to the “standard” location where profiles are stored on the hard drive. At this point, you should see two folder profiles: a new one that was already created when you installed Thunderbird onto the new machine, and the old one that you copied over from the media. Select your old profile folder, then click the “Finish” button, then click “Exit“.
  • Launch Thunderbird & you can see that all your old Thunderbird Profile data has been migrated to the New Computer with Exact email formatting & folder hierarchy.

Limitations & Drawbacks of using Free Way: The major problem, which occurs while doing so is that Mozilla Thunderbird is a cross-platform email client. Hence, the Thunderbird Profile Directory path may be very from One OS to another. For Example, the default Thunderbird Profile on various OS is:

Latest Windows OS: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles

Mac OSX:

Users/UserName/Library/Application Support/

Due to a different Profile location, it does not keep the Meta properties and integrity of Thunderbird items properly. Some other drawbacks of the manual method are:

  1. It may lead to the risk of data loss while copying the Thunderbird Profile folder data.
  2. There are no assurances for security of Data to perform Thunderbird Profile Data Migration.
  3. It is necessary to keep a proper backup of Thunderbird mailbox items in case of any accidental system failure, which may increase the chances for corruption of files.
  4. The whole process is very time-consuming and requires high technical knowledge.

Transfer All Thunderbird Data to New Computer Using Professional Way:

As free method imposes various limitations & drawbacks, therefore, it is a wise choice for the users to choose a professional approach with the help of the third-party application. One such application is RecoveryTools Thunderbird Migrator software. The software provides users direct option to import Thunderbird Profile data to Thunderbird Mail client. Users only need to choose the source Thunderbird Profile Repository then the software will instantly import these items into Thunderbird program in a new PC. The utility is designed with advanced features to move data from one Thunderbird program to another. Some major advantages that come with this utility are:

  • Allow to directly move all items of Thunderbird from One PC to Another.
  • Preserves the original folder structure and hierarchy during this migration.
  • Provides dual ways to load Thunderbird items either as choose whole Thunderbird Profile directory or select only desired Thunderbird Mailbox file for selective conversion.
  • Helps the users to move Old Thunderbird Account to New Thunderbird Account.
  • Enables the users to Move Emails with all inserted Attachments.
  • Move in Batch Multiple Thunderbird Profiles removing data redundancy.

How to Move Thunderbird to New PC?

The software is designed in keeping consideration of non-technical users. All the working process is very simple and adequate for the users. Simply follow these quick steps to accomplish this task.

  1. Run Thunderbird Export Software in your system & read all necessary instructions to perform the migration.thunderbird-migrator
  2. Dual ways to load either whole Thunderbird Profile Directory or selectively choose Mailbox files.thunderbird-profile-path
  3. Now, select the Thunderbird option from the list of saving option. It will automatically save the mailbox items at default Thunderbird Profile location.thunderbird-migration
  4. Click on Convert button & all the mailbox items are saved at Thunderbird Profile location.thunderbird-emails-to-new-computer

As we can see that this method instantly helps the users to transfer Thunderbird Emails to New Computer.

The Verge: In this article, we discussed how to transfer Thunderbird emails to New Computer. We discussed the major challenges, user’s requirements, and the ways to do so. We used a freeway by moving Thunderbird profile directory to the New computer. The profile folder stores everything like emails, messages with attachments, address lists, account settings, Thunderbird settings, stored passwords, tasks, calendar data, and data of Add-Ons. Copy the Thunderbird Profile directory to an external storage device and then paste them in New Computer.