How to move a Thunderbird profile to another machine?

Posted on 2008-11-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am trying to move a Thunderbird profile to a new Vista Machine.
I have followed the steps in
to do that, but always end up in a folder mess that does not contain emails.

This is what I do:
Move the profile folder (ie. z0rur5sc.Matt) to the new machine, location C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird. This is the folder where TB creates a new profile folder in Vista.
Create a new profile in the Profile Manager that points to that folder.
Edit the profile.ini
Start TB with that new profile.

What am I missing?

Question by:Sumukha
    LVL 97

    Accepted Solution

    Hello Sumukha,

    Try using Mozbackup.  It will back up your Tbird data to a file. Copy the file to new machine. Use Mozbackup to import data back into Tbird

    Hope this helps!

    Author Comment

    It worked.
    LVL 97

    Expert Comment

    Sumukha, you are welcome!

    Expert Comment

    Just an extra note. If you are running thunderbird on another machine (eg laptop) and want to move your stuff across without mixing the two profiles into one, you need to change your profile names away from "default". This is easy to do, just run Thunderbird -ProfileManager from the command line & rename the profile - (found this info here : ). You can then use mozbackup to only backup / restore single profiles as required. I use this to move my work thunderbird to my laptop when I travel then back once I'm home. I run a private profile on my laptop. I've also found that mozbackup doesn't always restore properly. The backup is just a zip file so once you've run mozbackup, just use a zip file extractor to extract all the files where you told mozbackup to put them.

    Expert Comment

    forgot this bit - if you are running multiple profiles you need to either
    1. start thunderbird with the Thunderbird -ProfileManager command then select the profile you want to open


    2. run mutliple instances by using the -P <profile> -no-remote  commands
     eg.   Thunderbird window 1 :  Thunderbird -P work -no-remote
             Thunderbird window 2 :  Thunderbird -P home -no-remote

    You can of course put these straight into shortcuts to run each instance as required.
    This stuff is straight from the mozilla help pages & caveats are no guarantees it will work as it's meant for dubugging. Works well for me though.


    Author Comment

    I did not know that you can run TB in multiple instances.
    I always use the profile manager at start up. Where would you enter these commands under 2. ?

    Expert Comment

    You can add the extra bits to shortcuts, check the properties of your shortcut for thunderbird and up date the target. Eg

    Target : "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe"
    Target : "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -P work -no-remote

    This would start the profile "work" - Name your shortcut accordingly

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