Moving Thunderbird Data to a New Computer

Copying all your Thunderbird data

You can copy your Thunderbird data to a new computer with a simple 4-step procedure that copies your profile, and then tells Thunderbird where to find your profile. In Thunderbird, your profile is a set of computer files containing your personal information including messages, passwords and user preferences.

  1. To find the folder where your profile is stored, from the Help menu, click Troubleshooting Information then look for Profile Folder, and click on the Show In FinderOpen Folder button. This will open a window showing information about your profile folder. In this window, you will see a path of names, starting with names of parent folders that contain your profile folder, and ending with the name of your profile folder. The path will look something like this example: This PC > Elements(D:) > Other Documents > Amy's Thunderbird Profile
  2. Use File ExplorerWindows Explorer]Finderyour computer's file manager to copy your profile folder to a new computer. You can put your profile folder into a parent folder of your choice.
    Warning: Do not copy a profile folder while Thunderbird is running and using that profile.
  3. Open the Thunderbird Profile Manager. For instructions, visit Using Multiple Profiles.
  4. The Thunderbird Profile Manager displays a list of profiles recognized by Thunderbird, listed by name. You can think of each name in the list as a nickname that Thunderbird uses to identify each recognized profile. Here's an example of the Thunderbird Profile Manager window:

    Thunderbird Choose User Profile
    Proceed to tell Thunderbird to recognize your new profile:
    1. Click the Create Profile button.
    2. Click NextContinue.
    3. Enter a new nickname for your new Thunderbird Profile (this does not need to be the same as the name of your profile folder).
    4. Click the Choose Folder button,
    5. Navigate to and select your new location's profile folder.
    6. Click Select FolderOpen.
    7. Click FinishDone.

You will now see your new profile included in the list.

  • If each time you start Thunderbird you want to select from a choice of profiles, uncheck the Use the selected profile without asking box.
  • To automatically use a specific profile whenever Thunderbird starts, select that profile and check the Use the selected profile without asking box. (You can always open the Choose User Profile window again, to change this setting.)

Your Thunderbird Profile

Your Thunderbird Profile stores everything about your email, including locally stored messages and attachments, address lists, account settings, Thunderbird settings, stored passwords, tasks, calendar data, and data for add-on features. You can keep a profile on just about any kind of storage or device.

Note: If you want to keep your Thunderbird data secure, consider making regular backups of your profile. It's wise to use good judgement about revealing Thunderbird profile names, folder names and storage locations to others.

Learn more about your profile at Profiles - Where Thunderbird stores your messages and other user data.

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