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How to switch update channel from beta to release

  • 17 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 1483 views
  • Last reply by Toad-Hall

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Hi, I'm currently using Thunderbird 70.0b4 on Mac. I would like to abandon the beta channel and switch back to the release one, but the simple re-install method I've read elsewhere does not fit my situatioin: if I install the current release (68.2.1) and start it, it complains that my profile has been created with a more recent version and refuses to start.

Of course I do not want to create a profile from scratch because I have tons of accounts, rules, etc. in my old profile.

What can I do? Will a future release version be "recent enough" that it will be able to read my 70beta profile?

Thanks.

Modified by starless1

Chosen solution

When you downgrade versions using the same profile you must force Thunderbird to use the profile that has been used by a newer version by

 thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade
Read this answer in context 👍 2

All Replies (17)

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re : if I install the current release (68.2.1) and start it, it complains that my profile has been created with a more recent version and refuses to start.

Try this:

In Thunderbird Help > Troubleshooting Information Under 'Application basics' at the bottom of list see 'Profiles' click on 'about:profiles'

You should see a new default profile and below it your original one should be listed. click on 'Set as default profile' click on 'Launch profile in a new browser' - do not worry, they got the text wrong, it launches in a new window.

then close the first Thunderbird window.

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Make sure Thunderbird is not running. Try launching Profile Manager, then selecting the correct profile on which to open to see if this updates the 'installs.ini' file.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager#Mac_OS_X

Modified by Toad-Hall

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Thank you Toad-Hall, but both your suggestions still take me to the same point: Thunderbird 68.2.1 refuses to load my profile.

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Chosen Solution

When you downgrade versions using the same profile you must force Thunderbird to use the profile that has been used by a newer version by

 thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade
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Wow, thanks, I did not know about this option. But can I be sure that nothing in my profile is lost or damaged when forcing the downgrade in this way?

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starless1 said

Wow, thanks, I did not know about this option. But can I be sure that nothing in my profile is lost or damaged when forcing the downgrade in this way?

No, you cannot assume there will be no damage. That's why by default there is a check.

That said, I've used --allow-downgrade several times and not had a problem. But if you do this some time in the future, all bets are off.

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Wayne Mery said

No, you cannot assume there will be no damage. That's why by default there is a check.

Thanks, that's what I expected indeed, and it was strange to me that you did not write a warning about it in the first reply ;).

I did a backup of my profile and then tried your suggestion, and everything seems to be fine at the moment.

But I was wondering, for future information: if I keep using the beta but I stop updating it, will the release version one day arrive to a point where it will be able to use the old beta profile without any workaround? In theory, it should... How is the check performed?

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I think you are asking whether startups AFTER you use --allow-downgrade will work without it. I think yes. As long as you do not go BACK in versions on that Thunderbird profile.

> How is the check performed?

It is complicated

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Wayne, what you write is correct, after using --allow-downgrade I can start TB normally, the profile is now definitely downgraded. But I was not asking this.

Here is what I was asking instead. Let's forget about --allow-downgrade, let's suppose it does not exist - or maybe we do not want to use it to be on the safe side and prevent profile corruption.

In my situation, the release version of TB refused to load the beta profile because it detects that it is newer and there is the possibility that it contains new features unsupported in the release version.

But when time passes and the development of the release version goes forward, soon or later the release version of e.g. year 2020 will be NEWER than the beta version of 2019, all features of the 2019 beta should have been included in the 2020 release. So the release version will be able to load the old beta profile without any warnings.

Will this happen? Or will the release version ALWAYS warn about loading a beta profile, even if it's in a very old format?

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Hi everyone. I am having the same problem, was trying a beta last year before 68 was out, and now I am "stuck" on the beta channel because there is one beta after another since then, going from 69 to 73 without a corresponding version as an official release ever. I just stopped updating at version 72b3 hoping one final day I can install a release version 72. But no, it just went to 73 beta...

This wouldn´t be that annoying if there would be a simple release channel switch in the settings. Excuse my steam (it´s just so so annoying to always be having to refuse updates now), but why the hell isn´t there just such a switch? I could just put my TB back on release channel and it would just wait until a final release comes out that is newer than my beta.

So if anyone who has an influence on this reads this, PLEASE make TB have a simple switch for that.

Modified by marco28

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> So if anyone who has an influence on this reads this, PLEASE make TB have a simple switch for that.

It's a noble idea. But it's not possible for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps there could be documentation to better describe the process of going from beta to release.

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Yes, some documentation would be great.

As you for sure are having much more technical insight than me I trust you here, but still it seems quite incomprehensible.

I mean, mankind was going to moon, Russian hackers can make the world have Trump, but it´s not possible to let Thunderbird automatically wait for the next normal release update that is newer than the installed beta and then install that one? ;-)

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I tried to go from BETA to 64 bit , and lost all my contacts, etc.

Went back to 32 bit, but STILL had to find all my contacts , took about a week. Tried to go back to profile, but it overwrote the files. Nothing to retrieve. Don't want that again. Be nice to go back to the normal release path - EASILY!!!!

I agree, there should be an easy way to go back from BETA to normal release channel.

I would contribute $$ if you made this happen. Maybe A CROWDFUNDING effort??? ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

then this came up: Scanguard listed Thunderbird 68.4.1 as a THREAT. And deleted it. (HEUR/agen.1123032) see image

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When you downgrade versions using the same profile you must force Thunderbird to use the profile that has been used by a newer version by:

thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade


Try 'Profile Manager' to select profile.

Modified by Toad-Hall

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Wayne Mery said

When you downgrade versions using the same profile you must force Thunderbird to use the profile that has been used by a newer version by "thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade"

This works great for me. Thank you very much. Max

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so I'd like to some of the process to downgrade on paper. ( downgrade or go to 64 bit)

1) download the program from somewhere- have to search online for that. not easy to find..... 1b) copy your profile to to a safe place, because if you don't the new program will OVERWRITE it!!

      profile=contacts          Note: this information is not easy to find, took two days to find it. 
     ( I agree with a previous statement, you should make this easier to find. You can send a rocket to the moon, but can't document a process. )

I have folders where I keep old emails, that gets overwritten TOO!!! Basically just wipes it out. most of my mail accounts are IMAP so I can get those back, but POP3 accounts are wiped clean.l 2) once you get it , you run the program, and it overwrites your present version. where does the "thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade" come in???

do you mean " thunderbird.exe -P --allow-downgrade"?? or what???

3) how do you get your contacts/dist lists back?? what is the process???


4) I would be happy to donate $$ for support. But you have to document this process FIRST!!

the Beta version is doing weird things, when you click on INBOX, it doesn't update the inbox list, you have to run the mouse arrow over it before it updates the screen. It never used to do that!!
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zachc111

re :download the program from somewhere- have to search online for that. not easy to find.....

Depends upon what version you are wanting to downgrade to.

If you are using a beta, then you may want to downgrade to the current release version (as per the original question by postee). In which case you use the main default location: https://www.thunderbird.net/

If you desire a different - older than current release, you can use this link: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/

Uninstalling and reinstalling the program should not effect the profile folders, because they are stored in different locations. Otherwise, every update would delete everything. But making a backup is always a good idea regardless. However, what you may experience is the old profile may not be located and a new profile is created, so in effect you have more than one profile and TB is using the wrong one.

How to create a backup. Assuming everything is in the default location, copy the 'Thunderbird' folder as shown below in bold font; it varies depending upon OS.

Windows OS:

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

Linux and Unix

  • ~/.thunderbird/

However, if you're using a third party build from Debian or Ubuntu, those builds store your profile folder here:

  • ~/.mozilla-thunderbird

MAC OS :

  • ~/Library/Thunderbird/

The tilde character (~) refers to the current user's Home folder, so ~/Library is the /Macintosh HD/Users/<username>/Library folder.


re :where does the "thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade" come in?

Thats how you start Thunderbird the first time after installing the program, but only if downgrading. Start Profile Manager (thunderbird -P) allows you to select a specific profile when starting Thunderbird. The downgrade protection brought in from version 68 prevents accidentally starting Thunderbird in a profile running a later version of Thunderbird. Depending on changes between the two versions, some files in a profile may not be downwards compatible. Adding this part (--allow-downgrade) bypasses downgrade protection. But getting 'Profile Manager' to start does depend upon OS. So there are slight variants. You did not mention what OS you are using. By default, the forum will always post info assuming Windows OS unless the postee mentions they require info for a different OS.

If using Windows OS:

  • In search type: Run
  • select the 'Run' app
  • Type: thunderbird.exe -p --allow-downgrade
  • click on OK

If not downgrading: When using multiple profiles or upgrading and a profile is not located because not set as default. Start Profile Manager, select a profile and then click on 'Start Thunderbird' button.

Helpful info:

Modified by Toad-Hall