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How to move email account from one profile to another profile in Thunderbird eMail client

Posted on 2007-12-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
How do I move an email account from one profile to another profile in Thunderbird email client v2.

Both profiles are on same computer.

For example:
Profile 1 ( home ) :
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\home
has email account
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\home\Mail\workid@myexamplefirm.com

which I would like to move to

Profile 2 ( work ) :
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\work
so that it becomes

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\work\Mail\workid@myexamplefirm.com


The email id workid@myexamplefirm.com already has important emails and I would like a hassle free move. I would appreciate if you would please provide detailed step by step instructions. ( Please test the instructions before posting! )

Note: http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/faq#export has a short note on moving a mail file from one profile to another, but it does not describe other changes required.

Please mention all the changes to all files that would need to be updated ( like panacea.dat, prefs.js, etc ).

if there is a free utility to automate the move of email id from one profile to another profile for Thunderbird 2.x, please mention.

Thanks
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Question by:prem0
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Expert Comment

by:war1
Comment Utility
Hello prem0,

Folow these directions for moving Tbird profile
http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/faq#moveprofile

Hope this helps!
war1
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Author Comment

by:prem0
Comment Utility
Genius@war1 : no, your comment does not help at all.  

I am not looking to move a full profile but just 1 email account from a profile to another profile.  Please read the question again in detail.
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Expert Comment

by:mtz1of4
Comment Utility
prem0,
First things first, please confirm you have good backups of of Both Profiles, because you do not want to lose any information.  http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup

Next close all TB program.  Simply drag and drop,  

Hold it.  Do both mail files have identical names?  So you actually want to combine them, not just move one from the other, correct?  That may be a little more tricky if you aren't up for forwarding them, but let us know and I'll try to come up with something.  

If the file names are not identical, simply drag workid@myexamplefirm.com
from one Home/Mail folder to the Work/Mail folder.

This page may help with some info on what is in your profile folder until I get back.
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird#Files_and_folders_in_the_profile
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Author Comment

by:prem0
Comment Utility
Hello mtz1of4,

Thanks for taking time to look into the question.

 The filename/foldername are not identical. The email account is present only in home profile which needs to be moved to work profile.

As I have already mentioned in my question the plain copy is not the answer to the problem ( from my question : Note: http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/faq#export has a short note on moving a mail file from one profile to another, but it does not describe other changes required. )

Please check other files in profile folder ( like C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\home and C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\work )

The base profile folder has many files. Some of these files have references to email accounts. Using grep command ( or some other utility to search  ) over all these files will show references to the email accounts.

For example , this grep command will show some of the references to workid@myexamplefirm.com in the files in base profile folder.
---------------------------------------------------
grep -i "workid@myexamplefirm.com" *
---------------------------------------------------
[ Note : ofcourse, workid@myexamplefirm.com will have to be substituted with some email id if your profile folder to see proper results ]

If the email account folder is moved from one profile to another. The source profile folder will have hanging references to the moved email account and the target profile folder will have an email account folder in it with no references to the email account just moved over. Surely this is not good.

Basically the solution to the question will need to provide details on how to handle file like panacea.dat, prefs.js, etc ( as mentioned in the question Please mention all the changes to all files that would need to be updated ( like panacea.dat, prefs.js, etc ).)

So in a nutshell, also figuring out how to move the references in files like panacea.dat, prefs.js, etc from home folder to work folder will be the answer to this problem. I have already looked into the problem till here before posting the question, so I hope some expert can provide further details to solve it properly. I guess it involves researching into files like panacea.dat, prefs.js, etc, specially prefs.js

This seems to be a common problem for moving email accounts between profile, so there may be a utility to do this?

I will gladly add a bonus of 200 points ( bring it to 500 ) for a hassle free solution with full step by step documentation or link to some script/utility that solves this problem.

Thanks.

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Accepted Solution

by:
mtz1of4 earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
prem0,

Let me just get this a little more clear in my head, so I can give you the best help I can.

1.  You have a Home profile that has downloaded emails for work email address, correct?

2. You have a Work Profile that also has downloaded emails for work email address, correct?

3. This is the important one.  Is the email account information the Same  in both Profiles?

4. Now, if 1, 2 & 3 are True, This will be very easy.  You can simply install this extension into your Work Profile, which you will need regardless of 1,2,&3 being true or not, so install it.
http://nic-nac-project.de/~kaosmos/mboximport-en.html
Instructions on that page for Installing an extension if you do not know how.

After restarting your Work profile, go to Tools->Import/Export in mbox/eml format-> and select Import mbox file. Select "import one or more mbox files, with its/their subdirectory" and browse to your Home Profile/Mail/workid@myexamplefirm.com and go into it to grab the directory you desire, ( most likely Inbox, with no .sbd or any extension)  That will grab your files and set up a new Inbox folder (it may be named Inbox328 because you already have an Inbox.


5. Now, if you do not already have your Work email Account set up in your Work Profile, then you will want to set up that account before you use the Import/Export add-on.  Once it is set up and downloading properly, you would then run the above as noted and it should work.

You do not need to muck with panacea.dat or prefs.js if you are simply trying to get the information from one profile to the next.

Setting up your Work Profile to access the work email will be easier and quicker then mucking with so many other files.

Now, if I have confused you or am confused myself, please let me know.  

I do realize you might have filters or passwords in your home profile, not yet in your Work profile, but we can address that after we are clear on where we need to be.

These pages may help if I have confused too much, or if I can't get back to you as soon as you like.
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Thunderbird
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_and_exporting_your_mail#Manually_importing_and_exporting
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Author Comment

by:prem0
Comment Utility
Thanks mtz1of4, this will take care of the problem.

I appreciate the detailed answer you have provided. I will be posting couple of more questions on Firefox after few days. I hope you will be able to help me with those too. Can you please keep subscribed to this thread. I will update this thread with link to next question. Thanks
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Author Closing Comment

by:prem0
Comment Utility
Added Bonus of 200 points. Quite Detailed Solution. Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:mtz1of4
Comment Utility
Thanks for the grade and the points, prem0.

I'll be around.  Firefox is a pretty fun program, with SO many add-ons and possibilities.
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