When you purchase a new computer you often want to move at least some data from the old computer to the new. At the very top of the lists are usually email accounts if a desktop email client like Thunderbird or Outlook is used. The same may be necessary after a hard drive crash for instance.
But how do you get your Thunderbird emails to the new computer? It is actually very easy to do providing that the old data is still available and readable.
First thing you need to do is to locate the Thunderbird profile directory on the old hard drive or computer. The profile stores all account information including emails in the inbox, send out, email account information and attachments.
Tip: the easiest way to locate the profile folder is to open Thunderbird, select Help > Troubleshooting Information, and there the show folder button which opens it on the local computer.
Check the Mozilla Zine article for the paths. Make sure the data is available on the new computer, either by connecting the hard drive to the computer, copying the data to CD, DVD or removable storage devices or via network connections.
Install Mozilla Thunderbird on the new computer but do not run it after installation if possible. The first run creates a profile on the new computer. Now copy the full profile directory from the old hard drive to the new computer or new hard drive. Make sure that you copy it using the right path information taken from the Mozilla Zine article.
If you already run Thunderbird you have a profile already. Do not worry, it is not that bad. You can simply copy the data from the old Thunderbird profile folder into the new profile. Please note that this will remove all information stored in the new profile which means that if you have setup email accounts and received emails, well, they are gone after that process.
If you do not want that you can copy the data to a new profile instead. It is not the best solution though as you can only launch one profile which means you would need to switch between profiles or find a way to merge them.
Another option that you have for the backup and restoration is to use a third-party program like Mozbackup. The free program can backup all Thunderbird data and restore it at a later point in time on a new computer.
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