Storing and reading Thunderbird Emails

I have a batch of local folders in my Thunderbird email program that I'd like to save in a separate file outside of Thunderbird and read the contents at my leisure, hopefully in an HTML format that will allow me to see graphics etc.

I've downloaded the Thunderbird Add-on "Import/Export Tools" and installed it, and I've doped out the way you save a folder and each email  to view it in Thunderbird BUT all I'm seeing where I should see graphics are the links spelled out.

Any way to see the WHOLE email that I'm missing?
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Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware EngineerCommented:
Thunderbird natively stores its folders in MBOX format - while it is quite possible to export each mail individually as a file and view it, it is probably easier to move entire mailboxes into a copy of Thunderbird Portable, then you can read them in the normal way at your leisure.

If you are interested in this, then grab a copy of Thunderbird Portable and install it somewhere convenient. open the data subfolder, then profile, Mail, local folders

Now, in your "real" Thunderbird, go to help, troubleshooting information, and hit the Show Folder button. you can now close your real Thunderbird. Under "Mail" you should see one subfolder per email account, and within that, a large file for each folder with mail in (with the name of the folder as the name of the file) plus a matching msf file (which is the prebuilt index for that folder)

moving those across to your portable Thunderbird folder will "Migrate" those emails for you to your offline, portable copy.

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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
David, Thanks for the detailed reply. I've done all that you suggested without trouble, except for the finishing touch.

You say: "moving those across to your portable Thunderbird folder will "Migrate" those emails for you to your offline, portable copy."

Inside the"Mail" folder that appears in my "real" Thunderbird account, I see the folder named "Mail" and another inside that one named "Local Folders." Inside that one are all the folders in my account. So I copied two, such as:


But exactly what do I do to migrate them? I tried just copying and pasting, and nothing seems to take? What am I not seeing in this process?


Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware EngineerCommented:
Just copying and pasting should work.  Don't bother with the msf file, which Thunderbird will/prefers to rebuild. Copy "Conclave" to Mail>>Local Folders on the target (portable) copy, then when when you start up that instance, it should add a new (populated) folder under "Local Folders" there.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Got it! For some reason I can't figure out, I simply did not open the subfolders all down the route you designated: data-profile-mail-local folders. Once I got down the line all the way and copied/pasted over an inbox category file to the local folder, Thunderbird Portable worked like a charm.

Thanks for a great solution!
RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for RadioGeorge's comment #a40769542

for the following reason:

Wish all EE solutions were this easy! Direct, to the point, and gets the job donw. What more could you ask?
The expert answered your question. Why aren't you accepting his answer???
RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Excellent answer and followup that did the trick-very pleased with Dave's repsonse.
RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
THE LAST WORD, hopefully, regarding this nonsense about not awarding points....

Bottom line is hat I made a small mistake. I thought I had selected "accept this answer", awarding all 500 points to Dave Howe. I have used Experts Exchange for several years now, and I was surprised to find that I had apparently checked "accept all" to award the points.

At the risk of sounding a bit snippy, perhaps EE should have a mechanism that pops up and asks "Are you sure you want to award yourself points?" or whatever the appropriate wording would be when someone checks "accept all" when that person has indeed included awarding point to themselves. Come to think of it, why would that even be an option, since the act of posting a question means that you don't have an answer to your problem!

Anyway, over, done, mistake caught and fixed.
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