Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

Address books: Is abook.mab.bak the same thing as the old abook.mab? What is abook.sqlite?

more options

I have a completely new profile and a new installation of Thunderbird 78.8.1 and it's great! See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1327837 for how I got here. I now want to copy and paste my old address book to my new profile Previous help on this forum says that my old address book is in files abook.mab and history.mab but in my old profile these files are suffixed .bak (eg: abook.mab.bak) My new profile already has a few addresses - which I am happy to lose - but does not have any .bak files. For the address book it seems to have these: abook.sqlite abook.sqlite-shm abook.sqlite-wal

history.sqlite history.sqlite-shm history.sqlite-wal

Not a .mab (or .mab.bak) file to be seen.

Can I just copy and paste abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak?

Chosen solution

what part of rename abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak to abook.mab and history.mab did you forget to do?

BTW the SQLITE files are the new address book database format files in V78, replacing the mab formatted files in Thunderbird 68.

The initial advice used the update process to reread your old files and create new SQLITE files. What you ended up doing was just replacing the SQLITE files with their old profile versions to achieve exactly the same thing.

Read this answer in context 👍 1

All Replies (6)

more options

Close TB, rename abook.sqlite to abook.sqlite.bak and history.sqlite to history.sqlite.bak. Copy abook.mab and history.mab (renaming from *.bak if necessary) into the new profile, then restart TB. The old contacts should appear in Personal Address Book and Collected Addresses, and new abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak files should appear in the profile folder.

more options

Thanks.

I understand what to do in the new profile.

In the old profile: Copy abook.mab and history.mab (renaming from *.bak if necessary) into the new profile I should definitely rename these two files in my old profile by deleting the .bak suffix before I copy them to the new profile? Please see image of old profile.

Michael

more options

You can keep the files as they are in the old profile, but the simple method is this: in the new profile, rename abook.sqlite and history.sqlite or move them out of the profile; copy in abook.mab and history.mab; when TB restarts, it should automatically create abook.sqlite and history.sqlite from the mab files, and create abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak.

more options

Well, here is what happened. 1. Closed Thunderbird 2. Cut abook.sqlite and history.sqlite out of the new profile 3. Copied from the old profile abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak and pasted them into the new profile 4. Opened Thunderbird. All I got was an empty address book. I lost the small number of addresses that Thunderbird had created since I started using the new profile, but I didn't get my large address book built up during the 14 years I have been using Thunderbird.

I then tried this: 1. Closed Thunderbird 2. Copied all these from the old profile: abook.mab.bak, abook.sqlite, history.mab.bak, history.sqlite - I made no changes, I just copied them. 3. Pasted all 4 in the new profile. 4. Opened Thunderbird This worked. I have my old address book.

Thanks again for helping me through this.

A word of advice to anyone else who creates a new profile - keep a copy of your old profile somewhere that Thunderbird can't see it, and hang on to it for a while. You may need to reclaim some elements of the old profile as I did here.

more options

Chosen Solution

what part of rename abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak to abook.mab and history.mab did you forget to do?

BTW the SQLITE files are the new address book database format files in V78, replacing the mab formatted files in Thunderbird 68.

The initial advice used the update process to reread your old files and create new SQLITE files. What you ended up doing was just replacing the SQLITE files with their old profile versions to achieve exactly the same thing.

more options

This post has been heavily edited

Matt,

I don't want to fall out with anyone, I appreciate and value the help I receive here.

sfhowes' advice was: 'You can keep the files as they are in the old profile, but the simple method is this: in the new profile, rename abook.sqlite and history.sqlite or move them out of the profile; copy in abook.mab and history.mab; when TB restarts, it should automatically create abook.sqlite and history.sqlite from the mab files, and create abook.mab.bak and history.mab.bak.'

I did not appreciate from sfhowes' advice that I had to rename the .mab files before copying them. I just didn't twig that renaming was part of the process. I daresay that makes me dumb but I'm not a programmer, I'm a railwayman and sailor , I do not pretend to know what I'm doing here. And I am grateful for the help.

Modified by Michael (was suppliers1)