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Lost everything with upgrade

  • 25 replies
  • 7 have this problem
  • 35 views
  • Last reply by BernadineAD

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Lost all email addresses and files with 4/9/2020 upgrade that I had no control of, now what?

All Replies (20)

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Hi Here is a first step, in case your old information is all there but the updated Thunderbird is looking in the wrong place. Exit Thunderbird. Launch the Profile Manager by entering the following in the Windows 'Run' box If using Windows OS 32 bit:

   "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -P 

If using Windows OS 64 bit:

   "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -P 

See if more than one profile appears. Select correct profile. Start Thunderbird. Once you have confirmed that you have your data back, repeat the process. This time, after selecting the correct profile, also select 'Use the selected profile without asking at start up' click on Start Thunderbird.

If that does not help you, please report back with more information about your system, previous Thunderbird version, current version, whether IMAP or POP, operating system.

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Even if the advice does help I would suggest posting your results. Thanks

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AgnesRM said

Hi Here is a first step, in case your old information is all there but the updated Thunderbird is looking in the wrong place. Exit Thunderbird. Launch the Profile Manager by entering the following in the Windows 'Run' box If using Windows OS 32 bit: "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -P If using Windows OS 64 bit: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -P See if more than one profile appears. Select correct profile. Start Thunderbird. Once you have confirmed that you have your data back, repeat the process. This time, after selecting the correct profile, also select 'Use the selected profile without asking at start up' click on Start Thunderbird. If that does not help you, please report back with more information about your system, previous Thunderbird version, current version, whether IMAP or POP, operating system.

Thanks, but none of this is working. Still cannot find any of my data. Don't understand what you mean about Profile. Nothing shows up as you try to explain. I don't know the previous version. The Program is in x86. I click on thunderbird.exe and all I get is current upgrade nothing about selecting a profile. Disappointed, never had problems before, this is a major snafu for me. Thanks.

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Hi You need to do exactly the steps I sent. Clicking on thunderbird.exe will not help - you need the full command provided in "Run". Your own email data in the Profile is not stored in the same place as the Thunderbird.exe, so you need to find out where it is, and make sure Thunderbird looks there when it opens. Here is explanation of the profile: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-thunderbird-stores-user-data Please read it carefully. Then follow the steps provided and report the result. Agnes

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I read this yesterday and it makes no sense to me. So, I am not an IT person and this is not user friendly. I do better talking with someone on the phone then going back and forth via text. It will take me all day to figure this out. Someone "Higher up" at Mozilla needs to know that this has never happened before and it is very disappointing. Thanks, but I am doubtful I will find my data. Very disappointed.

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Hi Your data is probably not gone, and you are not the only person who ran into this while doing an upgrade. It is fixable! If you need more hands-on help, is there someone in your household who is more familiar with computers? Unfortunately, if you use a free and open-source product, there is not usually any way to get more direct support, as there is no company funding support team wages. We volunteers do the best we can. Agnes

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Oh - to clarify - Mozilla does not support Thunderbird. They just allow space on their servers for a volunteer support team to run this forum. This explains https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbird-faq Hopefully you can use webmail for a while, until you have a chance to find that profile. Agnes

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No, I live alone but I'll see if my dog can help me, he can be tech savvy. Thanks for the info. I can't deal with it until I have a full day. Thanks for your help, I printed everything out so I can read and try to follow.

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There is a bug which is known to developers and they are trying to fix. Sometimes the Global Database causes a problem so that nothing loads. It is worth trying this as it has fixed this issue for many people.

You need to: Exit Thunderbird first - this is important.

To Locate your profile folder, it will be easier if you first have hidden files and folders enabled so they show up.

How to show hidden files and folders. If you have a 'Windows' Operating System like Windows 7, 8, 10: Change a setting to show hidden folders. Use the info at these link to make hidden files and folders visible. Some are text, others have images and some have videos to help. If using Windows 7:

  • Select the 'Start' button, then select 'Control Panel'
  • click on 'Appearance and Personalization'.
  • Select 'Folder Options', then select the 'View' tab.
  • Under Advanced settings, select the checkbox 'Show hidden files, folders, and drives'
  • then click on 'OK'.

General info for various Windows:

Windows 10: Look at method 2 in following link to do it via the computer 'Control Panel'

Now you need to Locate the Profile. Your profile will be created a default location which is the same for Windows 7, 8, 10 computer Operating Systems It is here:

  • C:\Users\<Windows 'User Account' name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

When you start the computer and you enter the password to logon to see all your files and folders on the computer, that is called logging on to the Windows 'User Account'. 'profile name' folder will look something like this: 'xxxxxxxx.default' where the x's are various letters and numbers.

In the 'profile name' folder you will see a list of files.

  • you need to locate and delete this file: global-messages-db.sqlite

I have added some images below that should help you locate the profile. I've added a few because I do not know what Operating System you are using or which method you prefer, but they should help to point you in the right direction. It is a good idea to know where the profile is located because you should back it up every so often...but that is another question.

Then start Thunderbird.

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Why am I deleting this global-messages-db.sqlite? I found it, but I don't understand what will happen when I delete it. Thanks your input helps.

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Hi Deleting that removes all existing index entries and makes Thunderbird build a new index. Details here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/rebuilding-global-database Keep going! Agnes

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Do not worry. It does not effect emails. That file holds the index which is used when using 'Global Search' to find emails, but in some cases and for a reason that is currently unknown, it can effect the loading of folders etc. Deleting it and restarting Thunderbird can show all folders and rebuild that global database again. It is worth trying because it may work for you.

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Before reading the post above, I wrote the following i search of help:

"In a moment of insanity I downloaded the beta version. I have now lost everything.

"First it wanted me to start a new profile. So I tried reinstalling my old version. It too asked for new profile. After consulting help, I searched "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" and the beta version opened and began downloading messages from my server at a glacial pace. So I now have messages for the last three weeks, but have lost all my contacts and myriad folders containing 25 years of emails including 5 years of business emails and attachments. Can I do anything?????"

I have now deleted the sqlite file but I still have only the emails I just downloaded.

I have discovered that I also have a file called "Thunderbird profile" on another internal hard disk. It seems to be my profile before I updated to beta version. Can I get back to it? How.

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I have solved it by searching and applying help. Only the beta version will work now. I reinstalled it, found the new Profile folder (created by beta installation), deleted all of its contents and replaced them with the contents of my old Profile folder, which was stored on another disk. All seems OK now. (Phew)

For anyone else encountering this, the first step should be to copy your old Profile folder to another disk for safety. It contains all of your emails forever, as well as contacts, settings etc. I would back it up every so often if you value those things.

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I have this same problem on my Mac. This is the second time recently that I have lost all my email addresses etc. because the update will not work and then you are asked to download a fresh copy of 68.7.0. . The whole point of Thunderbird is to have the same profile as, that is what it is for.

Not happy about this at all.

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rapsac44 If using a beta version and you want to go back to use the current version. Uninstall beta, install current version and use this to direct Thunderbird to use old profile.

Use the Windows 'Run' app:

thunderbird -P --allow-downgrade

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Hughmoz - This is the second time recently that I have lost all my email addresses etc.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, can you elborate to explain your particular issue.

  • Do you mean you have only lost your contacts - address books containing email address?
  • Do you mean you only have mail accounts listed in Folder Pane, but no folders containing emails - all folders are missing?
  • Do you mean thunderbird seems to have loaded the correct profile, because Account Settings still have correct account, but there is nothing in the Folder Pane and therefore nothing in Thread Pane?
  • Do you mean thunderbird did not locate profile and you get asked to set up a new mail account because Thunderbird is using a new profile?

Please could you start your own question offering more info and clarity about your situation because the person who posted the original question does not need you sending them emails about your issue. It might confuse the situation.

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Can someone please help me? I've been screwing around with this forum for half an hour and cannot seem to find a way to post a NEW post. I have questions about update issues. How do I start a new thread? I only seem to have the option to respond to old threads

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At top of this page, hover on Get Help and then below it will say "Ask the community", click on that, then scroll down to Thunderbird (on right) click on that, then you will go to a page where you can put your question in the box. You will see a progress bar as soon as you click on "Ask the community," and that will be there when you get to the question box, and then there is a button at the end of the box saying "Ask now".

Overly complicated site, and I have to spend time remembering it, but that's all you need to do. There's probably a simpler way, but this works. :)

Modified by Hughmoz

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I have the same problem again with new version of Thunderbird 68.9.0. I solved it in April - see posts above - but am unable to do it again.

I am heavily dependent on my mailboxes and saved emails but can't find any way to access them. Can someone giver me straightforward directions on how to import them into Thunderbird, or even access them on an older version. If the latter, can someone give clear directions on how to set up multiple versions?

As it is, I think I am running a profile into which I copied my old mailboxes - it is hard to tell because the names listed in program manager (absurdly) do not match the names of the files on the disk - but the old mailboxes do not appear in the list at the left of the screen even though I'm pretty sure they're there.

I have so far spent about 6 hours on this and am getting nowhere. I would be most grateful for clearly set out help.

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