I finally decided to make the switch from Opera's M2 mail client to Thunderbird. The reason for the change was primary that the anti-spam combination Opera and Spamahilator was not working that well anymore, and I thought that it would be better to use a single program that handles both emails and spam detection.
Thunderbird has a great working junk filter that seems to handle spam really well even after just a few days of working with the program.
Importing mail from Opera to Thunderbird was not that easy. Thunderbird's imports feature is only working for imports from Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora and Communicator which meant I had to find a way to import the mails manually.
To do that I had to first export the mail using Opera's mail client which thankfully is easy: right click a mailbox, select export and save the file. I did that to my received and my sent items folder but you can do this as well for the trash for instance or other folders.
The files have the extension .mbs and not very surprisingly Thunderbird uses this format as well to store mails. What you will have to do now is to create at least one email account in Thunderbird, you do that by clicking on Tools > Account Settings and then Add Account. Once added you see the path to the mails of that account in the account settings tab. I suggest you use one global setting for all accounts instead of different settings for each, this makes it easier to import the mails.
Navigate to the path that is mentioned in the account settings, it is usually something like
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\[random].default\Mail\Local Folders
Once there you notice many files in that folder like Inbox, Inbox.msf, Trash, Trash.msf and so forth. We will leave the .msf files unchanged and take a closer look at the files without extension. This is where Thunderbird stores our mails, the only thing we have to do is replace those files with our exported ones from Opera.
Which means that Received.mbs replaces Inbox and Sent.mbs replaces Sent. Do this for all folders that you have, simply remove the extension from custom folders and move them into that dir as well.
Thunderbird will import the mails at the next start and you should see all your mails just like in Opera.
Note that you should do this only with a new account as you will overwrite existing emails otherwise.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.