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Questions about Thunderbird

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Hey,

In recent weeks I have successfully transferred my e-mails and contacts from the old Windows Live Mail, which I still worked with, to (for me the new) Mozilla Thunderbird. So I have been working with Thunderbird for several weeks, but I still have the following questions:

- Is it possible to arrange/sort the various e-mail accounts in the left-hand column (vertically)? Now they are arranged/sorted as I have registered/set them. - Is it possible to protect an e-mail account, or even better, one specific e-mail folder in an account, with a password? - What is the difference between 'date' and 'receiving' of a message? - Is it possible to set Thunderbird to select the top e-mail immediately when clicking on a folder (the first time this folder is selected)? - Are all e-mail contacts and tasks also included in the profiles folder of Thunderbird? If not, I have to back them up separately. (For Firefox, I have a similar question: are all bookmarks included in the Firefox profiles folder?) - Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one particular e-mail account to another (POP or IMAP) e-mail account? - Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one specific e-mail account to the 'local folders'?

So those were the questions for now.

Thank you in advance for your answers and tips.

Geert1964

Hey, In recent weeks I have successfully transferred my e-mails and contacts from the old Windows Live Mail, which I still worked with, to (for me the new) Mozilla Thunderbird. So I have been working with Thunderbird for several weeks, but I still have the following questions: - Is it possible to arrange/sort the various e-mail accounts in the left-hand column (vertically)? Now they are arranged/sorted as I have registered/set them. - Is it possible to protect an e-mail account, or even better, one specific e-mail folder in an account, with a password? - What is the difference between 'date' and 'receiving' of a message? - Is it possible to set Thunderbird to select the top e-mail immediately when clicking on a folder (the first time this folder is selected)? - Are all e-mail contacts and tasks also included in the profiles folder of Thunderbird? If not, I have to back them up separately. (For Firefox, I have a similar question: are all bookmarks included in the Firefox profiles folder?) - Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one particular e-mail account to another (POP or IMAP) e-mail account? - Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one specific e-mail account to the 'local folders'? So those were the questions for now. Thank you in advance for your answers and tips. Geert1964

Chosen solution

re : Are all e-mail contacts and tasks also included in the profiles folder of Thunderbird?

Everything is stored in the profile folders. If using Windows OS by default that would be here:

  • C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

To perform a backup of everything.

  • Exit Thunderbird
  • Copy and paste the 'Thunderbird' folder to an external storage device of suitable size.
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Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1809 solutions 12184 answers

Helpful Reply

re :- Is it possible to arrange/sort the various e-mail accounts in the left-hand column (vertically)? Now they are arranged/sorted as I have registered/set them.

In Thunderbird (not using an addon extension) you can only choose what account can be made default. The account that is at the top of the Folder Pane will be currently set as the default mail account. You can choose any mail account as the default and you do this in 'Account Settings'.

  • Right click on a mail account name folder in the Folder Pane and select 'Settings'

This will open 'Account Settings'. The left pane will show the current default account at the top of the list.

  • Select the account name you want to be at the top.
  • Click on 'Account Actions'
  • select 'Set as default'

The account you selected will move to the top of the list and become the new default account.

  • click on OK

In order to perform more than altering what account is listed at the top and set as default, you would need to use an extension. This is perhaps useful when you have quite a few mail accounts. Please note, even when using the addon extension, the one you place at the top of the list will still be set as the default account. There is an addon extension which can manually sort folders and also mail accounts. It is called 'Manually sort folders 2.0.2' :

How to install an addon extension:

re :- ''Is it possible to arrange/sort the various e-mail accounts in the left-hand column (vertically)? Now they are arranged/sorted as I have registered/set them.'' In Thunderbird (not using an addon extension) you can only choose what account can be made default. The account that is at the top of the Folder Pane will be currently set as the default mail account. You can choose any mail account as the default and you do this in 'Account Settings'. * Right click on a mail account name folder in the Folder Pane and select 'Settings' This will open 'Account Settings'. The left pane will show the current default account at the top of the list. * Select the account name you want to be at the top. * Click on 'Account Actions' * select 'Set as default' The account you selected will move to the top of the list and become the new default account. * click on OK In order to perform more than altering what account is listed at the top and set as default, you would need to use an extension. This is perhaps useful when you have quite a few mail accounts. Please note, even when using the addon extension, the one you place at the top of the list will still be set as the default account. There is an addon extension which can manually sort folders and also mail accounts. It is called 'Manually sort folders 2.0.2' : * https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-us/thunderbird/addon/manually-sort-folders/ How to install an addon extension: * https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/installing-addon-thunderbird
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Toad-Hall
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Helpful Reply

re :Is it possible to protect an e-mail account, or even better, one specific e-mail folder in an account, with a password?

All computers have the facility to create 'User Accounts' and all User Accounts can be individually password protected. The first 'User Account' would be set up as an administrator account and subsequent User Accounts would be standard. This is not a new thing and is the best method of creating a good level of security. If you do not know the 'User Account' password, then you do not get access to that users desktop.

By default, Thunderbird profile folders are stored within that users 'User Account'. So this is a basic generic level of security that prevents users from seeing your desktop and accessing any documents stored within that User Account which includes starting up Thunderbird and seeing emails in any account or folder.

User Accounts should always be used if you share a computer in order to maintain some privacy. You should always logout of User Account when away from the computer.

In Thunderbird: It is also possible to set up a 'Master Password' to protect your stored passwords. This does not prevent viewing/reading etc of emails, but it does prevent users from accessing and seeing stored passwords. You need to have the 'Master Password' in order to see stored passwords. The 'Master Password' will need to be entered once per session. More info here:

re :''Is it possible to protect an e-mail account, or even better, one specific e-mail folder in an account, with a password? '' All computers have the facility to create 'User Accounts' and all User Accounts can be individually password protected. The first 'User Account' would be set up as an administrator account and subsequent User Accounts would be standard. This is not a new thing and is the best method of creating a good level of security. If you do not know the 'User Account' password, then you do not get access to that users desktop. By default, Thunderbird profile folders are stored within that users 'User Account'. So this is a basic generic level of security that prevents users from seeing your desktop and accessing any documents stored within that User Account which includes starting up Thunderbird and seeing emails in any account or folder. User Accounts should always be used if you share a computer in order to maintain some privacy. You should always logout of User Account when away from the computer. In Thunderbird: It is also possible to set up a 'Master Password' to protect your stored passwords. This does not prevent viewing/reading etc of emails, but it does prevent users from accessing and seeing stored passwords. You need to have the 'Master Password' in order to see stored passwords. The 'Master Password' will need to be entered once per session. More info here: * https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/protect-your-thunderbird-passwords-master-password
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Toad-Hall
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1809 solutions 12184 answers

Chosen Solution

re : Are all e-mail contacts and tasks also included in the profiles folder of Thunderbird?

Everything is stored in the profile folders. If using Windows OS by default that would be here:

  • C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

To perform a backup of everything.

  • Exit Thunderbird
  • Copy and paste the 'Thunderbird' folder to an external storage device of suitable size.
re : ''Are all e-mail contacts and tasks also included in the profiles folder of Thunderbird?'' Everything is stored in the profile folders. If using Windows OS by default that would be here: * C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\'''Thunderbird'''\Profiles\<Profile name>\ To perform a backup of everything. * Exit Thunderbird * Copy and paste the 'Thunderbird' folder to an external storage device of suitable size.
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Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
1809 solutions 12184 answers

re : Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one particular e-mail account to another (POP or IMAP) e-mail account? - - Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one specific e-mail account to the 'local folders'?

POP account has folders and emails stored on your computer and no pop mail account folder sychronises with server - no folders exist on server. This means the server Inbox and the pop mail account Inbox can contain different emails.

IMAP mail accounts store emails on the server. All folders are on the server and you subscribe to see them. All subscribed folders sysnchronise with server to show what is on server. Even if you download full copies to view in offline mode, you cannot view those folders and emails as a separate copy to the server because folders synchronise. They are in essence one and the same. You can download full copies, exit Thunderbird and create a backup of the profile and therefore create a backup copy just in case emails are lost off the server.


Imap accounts need to have folders created and subscribed to be seen. They need to exist on server. So you cannot just paste a folder into IMAP or import a folder. You can import emails. However, if you have decided you want to use Imap to see emails instead of pop, and would like to ultimately get rid of the pop account, you can do one of two options.

You can put the emails back onto the server from either pop account or from Local Folders mail account - depends where you stored that accounts emails. Select/highlight batches of emails, right click on highlighted mails and select 'Copy-to' and choose the imap account folder you have created. Access webmail account to ensure emails are displaying on server. Repeat action to gradually copy emails back onto server. Once emails are on server, you can delete emails from Pop account, compact folders to fully remove all traces of emails, then remove the pop account via Account Settings.

However, Imap accounts may have a quota, so you may decide it would be better to keep all those older pop account emails on your computer like an older archive. In which case you can either create folders and copy paste emails - as mentioned previously between Pop and Local Folders. OR Exit Thunderbird, access profile folders and Manually copy/paste mbox files and .sbd folders from pop to Local Folders, Remember, for each .sbd folder you copy, you must also copy the mbox file of same name, so Thunderbird knows about the .sbd folder. OR You can use an addon extension called 'ImportExportTools NG' to import mbox files and their structure from POP to Local Folders.

How to install addon:

re : ''Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one particular e-mail account to another (POP or IMAP) e-mail account? - - Is it possible to copy the folder structure of one specific e-mail account to the 'local folders'? '' POP account has folders and emails stored on your computer and no pop mail account folder sychronises with server - no folders exist on server. This means the server Inbox and the pop mail account Inbox can contain different emails. IMAP mail accounts store emails on the server. All folders are on the server and you subscribe to see them. All subscribed folders sysnchronise with server to show what is on server. Even if you download full copies to view in offline mode, you cannot view those folders and emails as a separate copy to the server because folders synchronise. They are in essence one and the same. You can download full copies, exit Thunderbird and create a backup of the profile and therefore create a backup copy just in case emails are lost off the server. Imap accounts need to have folders created and subscribed to be seen. They need to exist on server. So you cannot just paste a folder into IMAP or import a folder. You can import emails. However, if you have decided you want to use Imap to see emails instead of pop, and would like to ultimately get rid of the pop account, you can do one of two options. You can put the emails back onto the server from either pop account or from Local Folders mail account - depends where you stored that accounts emails. Select/highlight batches of emails, right click on highlighted mails and select 'Copy-to' and choose the imap account folder you have created. Access webmail account to ensure emails are displaying on server. Repeat action to gradually copy emails back onto server. Once emails are on server, you can delete emails from Pop account, compact folders to fully remove all traces of emails, then remove the pop account via Account Settings. However, Imap accounts may have a quota, so you may decide it would be better to keep all those older pop account emails on your computer like an older archive. In which case you can either create folders and copy paste emails - as mentioned previously between Pop and Local Folders. OR Exit Thunderbird, access profile folders and Manually copy/paste mbox files and .sbd folders from pop to Local Folders, Remember, for each .sbd folder you copy, you must also copy the mbox file of same name, so Thunderbird knows about the .sbd folder. OR You can use an addon extension called 'ImportExportTools NG' to import mbox files and their structure from POP to Local Folders. * https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/importexporttools-ng/ How to install addon: * https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/installing-addon-thunderbird
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Toad-Hall
  • Top 10 Contributor
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re: What is the difference between 'date' and 'receiving' of a message?

In basic terms: 'Date' is the date and time the email was sent by the sender, stored in the header in UTC time with an offset. 'Received' is the received time at the local mail server.

re: ''What is the difference between 'date' and 'receiving' of a message?'' In basic terms: 'Date' is the date and time the email was sent by the sender, stored in the header in UTC time with an offset. 'Received' is the received time at the local mail server.
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Toad-Hall
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re :Is it possible to set Thunderbird to select the top e-mail immediately when clicking on a folder (the first time this folder is selected)?

When you exit thunderbird, it remembers the last folder you were open on. So, when Thunderbird is next started, it should open on the last folder you selected.

If you select a specific email to open and read, then select another folder and then reselect first folder, it will auto still show the last email you selected to open as it was selected within that session.

However, Thunderbird does not automatically start and open unread or read emails in the last folder you opened prior to exiting nor when you select a folder. Selecting a folder to see contents does not mean auto opening of unread or read mail.

Additional info If you have selected a folder, pressing 'N' on keyboard is a short cut to select and open next unread message in that folder, subsequent keyboard 'N' will advance to next unread message. If all unread messages have been selected and you press 'N' again, it will pop up a message to ask if you wan to advance to the next unread message and open it, which maybe in a different folder.

The 'Message Pane' shown below Message List is not a preview; it is an opened email. A single left click on mouse or use of up/down arrows on keyboard to select a email in the Message List will open the selected email. A double left click will open the selected email in a new tab or window depending upon settings in: 'Menu icon' (3 lines) > Options > Options > Display > 'Advanced' tab. Both methods open the selected email.

re :''Is it possible to set Thunderbird to select the top e-mail immediately when clicking on a folder (the first time this folder is selected)? '' When you exit thunderbird, it remembers the last folder you were open on. So, when Thunderbird is next started, it should open on the last folder you selected. If you select a specific email to open and read, then select another folder and then reselect first folder, it will auto still show the last email you selected to open as it was selected within that session. However, Thunderbird does not automatically start and open unread or read emails in the last folder you opened prior to exiting nor when you select a folder. Selecting a folder to see contents does not mean auto opening of unread or read mail. Additional info If you have selected a folder, pressing 'N' on keyboard is a short cut to select and open next unread message in that folder, subsequent keyboard 'N' will advance to next unread message. If all unread messages have been selected and you press 'N' again, it will pop up a message to ask if you wan to advance to the next unread message and open it, which maybe in a different folder. The 'Message Pane' shown below Message List is not a preview; it is an opened email. A single left click on mouse or use of up/down arrows on keyboard to select a email in the Message List will open the selected email. A double left click will open the selected email in a new tab or window depending upon settings in: 'Menu icon' (3 lines) > Options > Options > Display > 'Advanced' tab. Both methods open the selected email.
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Toad-Hall
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AS thunderbird is new to you I've also included some valuable information at the links below which will help to maintain a healthy Thunderbird.

AS thunderbird is new to you I've also included some valuable information at the links below which will help to maintain a healthy Thunderbird. * http://kb.mozillazine.org/Keep_it_working_%28Thunderbird%29 * https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/compacting-folders
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Question owner

Hello Toad-Hall, Thank you for your clear and extensive responses to my questions. I understand them fully and they are clear to me, despite my native language is Dutch. Only the two links at the bottom, I have yet to read. Kind regards, Geert1964

Hello Toad-Hall, Thank you for your clear and extensive responses to my questions. I understand them fully and they are clear to me, despite my native language is Dutch. Only the two links at the bottom, I have yet to read. Kind regards, Geert1964
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