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Live Mail migration -- preserve folder structure and email file names

  • 6 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 112 views
  • Last reply by Al NN4ZZ

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I've tried several programs and methods to migrate my emails and folder structure from Windows Live Mail to Thunderbird. Because of the way WLM stores the folders and emails differently than they appear in the WLM program, the migration mangles the folders and email file names when imported/migrated to Thunderbird. The emails are spread over multiple folders, the names are not transferred completely, etc

QUESTION -- has anyone figured out how to migrate from WLM to Thunderbird and PRESERVE the folder structure and email subject names?

Are there any transfer programs that handle this correctly? I've tried MailtoX and MailExplorer

Thanks....Al

Chosen solution

To: sfhowes,

MailStore Home -- this worked the best. Still had to do a lot of folder name fixing and resorting folders but overall this was the best option.

Thanks...Al

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Additional snapshots showing the mangled file folder names...

Pic 1 --Shows both the folders in WLM and Thunderbird after migration using the tool noted.

Pic 2 -- Shows the source files exported from WLM

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You can try ImportExportTools NG to import a set of folders with eml files, which is what can be exported from WLM. Select Local Folders in TB, then Tools/IET NG/Import all messages from a directory... Also, try MailStore Home to import from WLM and then export to a format that can be imported to TB.

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Chosen Solution

To: sfhowes,

MailStore Home -- this worked the best. Still had to do a lot of folder name fixing and resorting folders but overall this was the best option.

Thanks...Al

Helpful?

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To Al NN4ZZ, I'm hoping to piggyback on your learning curve and would appreciate your help. I have been running WLM 2011 on a Win7 desktop for several years on a POP3 basis with Xfinity(Comcast) provider. Now need to migrate most of those WLM 2011 E-mails to a new Win10 desktop and planning to install Thunderbird on the Win10 desktop on an IMAP basis. My WLM Email migration will be a mixed bag since my wife started using the same Xfinity Email account with her iPad on an IMAP basis a couple of years ago -- so a portion of our Inbox Emails, and all of her Sent Emails are still on the Xfinity server; but my POP3 Sent's, etc, are not. I read with interest your comment about MailStore Home. Based on your experience, does the following tentative migration plan look feasible to you? Or are there potholes to avoid?

1. Do a clean installation of latest Thunderbird client on new Win10 desktop. Connect to Xfinity account via IMAP and see which Emails download automatically from their server.

2. Identify remaining Emails present on Win7/WLM client but not present on Thunderbird IMAP download. Sort the 'not present' Win7/WLM Emails into a separate WLM folder on the Win7 desktop.

3. Download MailStore Home on a portable storage device connected to the Win7 desktop. Archive the WLM folders containing only those 'not present' Emails into MailStore Home on the portable storage device.

4. Connect MailStore Home portable storage device to Win10 desktop and do whatever is needed to 'Restore' the 'not present' Emails to the new Win10/Thunderbird client. Then re-sort Emails into folders as needed within Thunderbird. I can't tell whether or not the 'Restored' Emails in Win10/Thunderbird will then upload to the Xfinity server via IMAP or if they will just have to remain as 'Local' Emails on Win10/Thunderbird, but I can live with either approach as long as the Emails are present and are 'actionable', i.e. can be replied-to, etc.

Would appreciate any comment you could provide leveraging your experience. (BTW, I am a 'wannabe Ham' from the 1960's [never licensed - long story] so I couldn't help googling your call and looking at your station -- very impressive -- and 100% CW!! -- and are those three antenna rotors? -- A long way from the crystal-control-only Novice days!)

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WMC3OZ, My WLM was on my Win10 PC and I loaded TB there also, so I didn't need to consider any OS differences or have to move files between PCs.

My primary email is POP3 and when I migrated to TB I kept the POP3 format. I had over 100 folders and subfolders in my WLM local storage and over 23,000 emails. I also had 2 imap accounts on WLM but very rarely used them and if I wanted to keep any of the messages (also rare) I would just move them to one of the local folders.

I tried several methods to move the local folder/email storage from WLM to TB and found the MailStore program worked best but not perfect. The other methods I tried mangled the folder structure. The MailStore method maintained the folder and subfolder structure but partially changed some of the folder names. Mostly dropping a few characters and adding a number. I was able to compare them to the WLM names. And a few messages were brought over to different folders due to how WLM indexes messages. WLM has some quirks and no surprise the support was stopped. After about 4 hours of work I was able to fix all of the names. None of the messages were impacted.

I did set up the imap accounts on TB but didn't need to address any folder or history issues since I don't keep any messages there.

Another item that may be of interest is the contact list / address book transfer. I used the excel spreadsheet export from WLM. This allows you to import and map the fields into the TB contacts. This method worked well.

The process you outlined seems like a good approach but I don't have any experience or feedback on the conversion to imap. I did the transfer back in early December and with all of the different things I tried, some of the details are a bit foggy but in the end TB is working well and all of the data is intact.

I did delete all traces of WLM on Dec 14 after verifying all is working. Good luck and let us know what works and doesn't, it would help others here.

Thanks for the shack comments. Yes there are 3 rotators for beams on multiple towers. Makes it easy to just pick a direction and click a button to aim them. Good luck with your ham ticket, you will enjoy the hobby.

By the way, here is another support recourse you may be interested in: https://groups.io/g/ThunderbirdEmail

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

Modified by Al NN4ZZ

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WMC3OZ, My WLM was on my Win10 PC and I loaded TB there also, so I didn't need to consider any OS differences or have to move files between PCs.

My primary email is POP3 and when I migrated to TB I kept the POP3 format. I had over 100 folders and subfolders in my WLM local storage and over 23,000 emails. I also had 2 imap accounts on WLM but very rarely used them and if I wanted to keep any of the messages (also rare) I would just move them to one of the local folders.

I tried several methods to move the local folder/email storage from WLM to TB and found the MailStore program worked best but not perfect. The other methods I tried mangled the folder structure. The MailStore method maintained the folder and subfolder structure but partially changed some of the folder names. Mostly dropping a few characters and adding a number. I was able to compare them to the WLM names. And a few messages were brought over to different folders due to how WLM indexes messages. WLM has some quirks and no surprise the support was stopped. After about 4 hours of work I was able to fix all of the names. None of the messages were impacted.

I did set up the imap accounts on TB but didn't need to address any folder or history issues since I don't keep any messages there.

Another item that may be of interest is the contact list / address book transfer. I used the excel spreadsheet export from WLM. This allows you to import and map the fields into the TB contacts. This method worked well.

The process you outlined seems like a good approach but I don't have any experience or feedback on the conversion to imap. I did the transfer back in early December and with all of the different things I tried, some of the details are a bit foggy but in the end TB is working well and all of the data is intact.

I did delete all traces of WLM on Dec 14 after verifying all is working. Good luck and let us know what works and doesn't, it would help others here.

Thanks for the shack comments. Yes there are 3 rotators for beams on multiple towers. Makes it easy to just pick a direction and click a button to aim them. Good luck with your ham ticket, you will enjoy the hobby.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

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