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I am trying to migrate from Thunderbird under Windows 7 to Thunderbird on Mac OS (High Sierra). Need to move profile info to the new machine
Not sure if this is the correct place to post my question, given the separation of Thunderbird from Mozilla. If this is not the right place, I'd appreciate a link to the correct one.
I'm new to Mac OS, have been a long time Windows-7 user, and long ago was a UNIX user at my then employer. But it's past time to say goodby to Redmond.
I want to transfer my
Firefox Thunderbird email history as well as my address book etc. from the Windows 7 installation of Firefox Thunderbird, (which says it's "68.8.0 (32-bit)", it was updated today, May 10) over to the new (to me) MacBook-Pro Firefox Thunderbird (version latest as of May 9, so far haven't figured out how to cause the Mac Thunderbird to show it's version info)
While the instructions for copying the profile info on the Windows machine and transferring to another Windows machine are clear, and the instructions for copying an existing Mac profile and transferring to a new Mac are clear, I am unable to find any information on how to move the Windows files to the Mac installation.
I tried copying everything in the Windows "Thunderbird" directory to a flash drive, then tried replacing the Thunderbird files on the Mac with the copied files but that didn't work.
What is the procedure I should be following? For the moment I'll be keeping the Win-7 machine "alive" but would really like to abandon it soon.
Thanks for any suggestions.
(edited the question to change Firefox to Thunderbird - c)
Modified by cor-el
When you launch TB in the empty profile, select Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles. Is there more than one profile listed, e.g. default and default-release? If so, can you select the profile that isn't the active, empty profile and 'Launch in new browser'?Read this answer in context 👍 0
All Replies (15)
I'm a little confused because you are referring to both Firefox and Thunderbird in the same discussion.
You can selectively move files to your new Mac profile. Some things will not transfer easily, such as data stored by your add-ons, but others should be fine. To find your new profile folder on your Mac, it's best to launch Finder from inside Firefox. More info in these articles:
- Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data
- Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles
- Recovering important data from an old profile
Should we move this thread to the Thunderbird forum?
> I'm a little confused because you are referring to both Firefox and > Thunderbird in the same discussion.
Sorry, I mis-typed. I am indeed trying to migrate my _Thunderbird_ profile (with multiple email accounts) from the Windows machine to the new Mac.
> Should we move this thread to the Thunderbird forum?
I would have gone directly to a Thunderbird forum but couldn't find one other than the one I found under Mozilla. Is the Thunderbird forum still under Mozilla? I would have thought with the "split off" of Thunderbird that it would be somewhere other than under Mozilla, but couldn't find anything.
And please let me know what the proper URL for it might be.
For clarity, my problem is migrating my Thunderbird profile info from a Win7 environment to a Mac "High Sierra" environment, including email histories and address book entries. I've tried copying the files on the Win7 machine (from "Thunderbird" on down), per the instructions for migrating from one Windows machine to another) onto a flash drive, and then copying the files over to the Mac, but that doesn't seem to do anything useful. I'm sure I'm missing something simple but numerous searches and attempts haven't yielded a solution so far.
Thanks for your quick response, my apologies for causing confusion.
Thunderbird must not be running on either computer.
Windows OS : Default location for where Thundrebird stores profiles etc.
- C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\
Copy the 'Thunderbird' folder.
Mac OS X Profile folders are located here:
- ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/
The tilde character (~) refers to the current user's Home folder, so ~/Library is the /Macintosh HD/Users/<username>/Library folder.
Delete the 'Thunderbird' folder.
Paste the copied 'Thunderbird' folder into the 'Library' folder.
Now you will need to get the mail accounts to look in the correct place and get the 'prefs.js' file updated.
If you move your profile between dissimilar operating systems (Windows to Mac OS X for example) the path names in the 'prefs.js' file may have the wrong syntax and so will not locate the profile.
eg: Windows - a pref may say something like this: "C:\\Users\\User Account name\\AppData\\Roaming\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\abc12345.default\\Mail\\Local Folders"); But that location does not exist in a MAC especially the part I've marked in bold.
You can update the information stored in the prefs.js file by using the "Browse" button for the local directory in each mail account 'Account Settings' > 'Server Setting's And also Local Folders: Account Settings > Local Folders to specify the correct local directory.
See image as guide, so you know what I'm talking about regarding 'Local directory:'
If you start Thunderbird and keep being prompted for "Authentication Required", user name and password because correct entry of password is not being saved.....
Access profile name folder
Delete this file : pkcs11.txt
Start Thunderbird and a new pkcs11.txt file is created, so it should then correctly save inputted passwords.
Thanks very much for the lengthy response.
I've tried to follow your instructions (much the same as what I'd already gleaned from various Google searches and tried to follow) but again without success. When I replace the Mac OS ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/ directory with the one saved from the Windows machine, Thunderbird wants to have me start from the beginning with setting up a mail account, and complains about multiple profiles. I don't know what to do with that.
At one point I did manage to have my address book imported but have lost how I managed that.
Regarding your followup suggestion that I "Delete this file : pkcs11.txt ", there doesn't seem to be such a file. Only thing I can find with an even close name is ~/Thunderbird/profiles.ini which I have left alone pending further advice
Just for clarity, the Windows box is Win7 32 bit running on an old Dell D830 laptop maxed out at 8G of RAM. The Mac OS is High Sierra 10.13.6 on a MacBookPro9.1. per the system report.
Should I have allowed TB to set up at least one email account before overwriting the ~/Thunderbird directory with the one copied from the Windows box?
Thanks very much for your efforts to date.
Thanks very much for the lengthy response. I've tried to follow your instructions (much the same as what I'd already gleaned from various Google searches and tried to follow) but again without success. When I replace the Mac OS ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/ directory with the one saved from the Windows machine, Thunderbird wants to have me start from the beginning with setting up a mail account, and complains about multiple profiles. I don't know what to do with that.
The instructions were not to replace the Mac ...<Profile name>/directory with the one from Windows, but to replace the ~/Library/Thunderbird folder with the ...Roaming/Thunderbird folder from Windows. Delete the existing ~/Library/Thunderbird folder and copy the ...Roaming/Thunderbird folder into ~/Library.
Sorry for my unclear typing. Should have edited the path names more carefully.
What I did was to follow the instructions for getting to the (Win7) Thunderbird Library directory (C:\Users\Joe West\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\), copy Thunderbird in it's entirety to a flash drive, then move the drive over to the Mac and copy the saved Win7 "Thunderbird" directory with sub files on top of the "Library/Thunderbird" file in the Mac directory structure, thus replacing the Mac version with the Windows version. Which is what I understood your instructions to be, as well as finding similar instructions (in numerous places, some for _only_ Windows, others for _only Mac, nothing for transferring between the two) that I made previous attempts with.
If this is incorrect, what should I have done?
In any case, having done that, (Mac) Thunderbird starts up and wants me to begin fresh with setting up a mail account. There are three accounts on the Windows machine (one for "me", two for consulting clients), I want to get the email histories over to the Mac so I can (finally) abandon Windows.
Thanks for your patience.
P.S. I also tried to download and install the "ImportExportTools NG -v4.1.0-b27" add-on, but can't seem to get it to allow me to export anything. This for both the Mac and Windows installations. Probably need to file a "help" request with the author via github.
Also, I tried both renaming the "Thunderbird" directory on the Mac to "Thunderbird.bac" before copying the Win7 version of "Thunderbird", as well as simply letting the copy command overwrite the original "Thunderbird" directory. Neither process does what I want, which is to get my existing email histories and address book transferred from the Win7 machine over to the Mac.
Again, you are being very patient and I really appreciate it.
When you launch TB in the empty profile, select Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles. Is there more than one profile listed, e.g. default and default-release? If so, can you select the profile that isn't the active, empty profile and 'Launch in new browser'?
So, after my previous response, I put things aside and went to the grocery store for supplies. Then after putting dinner together (it's cooking now) I read the latest notification/suggestion from SFHowes and decided to try again.
Without making _any_ new changes to the files, I started up TB, it asked me if I wanted to make TB the default mailer (I said "yes"), and then "just worked" with all the formerly missing email history present!
I've no idea why, as nothing had changed from before the trip to the grocery when nothing worked. But now all seems good.
Thanks to everyone who worked to help me with the issue, I really appreciate the patience you showed.
I have a somewhat similar problem. I have a Windows 8 desktop and a MacOS laptop. Whenever I travel I switch all my Thunderbird email from the desktop to the laptop. In the past all I had to do to accomplish this was copy the profile folder from one computer to the other and then rename it to the appropriate name for the destination computer. After upgrading to Thunderbird 78.4 (on both computers) this doesn't work anymore. Now it asks me to set up everything again after I copy the profile folder to the Mac. I get the same thing when I follow the MIGRATION instructions in the TBird help and copy the whole THUNDERBIRD folder from the Win8 machine to the Mac. The Mac TBird just does not seem to see any of my copied emails, preferences, address books, etc.
All help greatly appreciated.
I have a somewhat similar problem. I have a Windows 8 desktop and a MacOS laptop. Whenever I travel I switch all my Thunderbird email from the desktop to the laptop. In the past all I had to do to accomplish this was copy the profile folder from one computer to the other and then rename it to the appropriate name for the destination computer. After upgrading to Thunderbird 78.4 (on both computers) this doesn't work anymore. Now it asks me to set up everything again after I copy the profile folder to the Mac. I get the same thing when I follow the MIGRATION instructions in the TBird help and copy the whole THUNDERBIRD folder from the Win8 machine to the Mac. The Mac TBird just does not seem to see any of my copied emails, preferences, address books, etc. All help greatly appreciated.
The easy way is to delete the contents of the profile folder on the target computer, then copy in the contents of the source profile folder. This avoids possible conflicts with profile names in profiles.ini. It works best if the versions of TB on both systems are exactly the same. Also, when copying profiles between Windows or OS X/Linux, delete the pkcs11.txt file in the profile folder to avoid password issues.
But it's probably easier to just have all accounts set up as IMAP on both computers, to avoid profile transfers. That makes the mail synchronized between devices, including devices such as phones, and contact and calendar syncing is possible with add-ons.
Thanks. Let me try that.
No luck, I'm afraid. I still get the "Setup your existing email address" dialog on the target computer after copying over the contents of the profile folder. Of course, since I already tried copying the entire Thunderbird folder over to the target computer, the profile folder names are probably all messed up now. Nevertheless, I tried the profile folder name for both computers on the target computer, but neither one worked. Maybe I need to just delete TBird from the target computer and start all over with a new installation? And then copy the contents of the profile folder from the source to the target?
I wouldn't rename profile folders except through Profile Manager. Just create a new profile with Profile Manager and copy the contents of the old profile into the emptied, new profile folder.