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Transfering a Thunderbird profile from one computer to another

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  • Last reply by Toad-Hall

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I have read everything I can about the process of getting TB from an old computer to a new one but this is more difficult than I imagined. BOTH computers are running version 78.11.0 I know how to get to the profile folder on both machines but this is where I am running into problems. On the old Windows 8 computer when I open the profile folder there is only one file however when I open the profile folder on the Windows 10 computer there are two files, one is default and the other is xxxxxxx.default-release.

I have replaced the default folder on the new machine with the default file from the old computer but that did NOT bring any of my old mail or address books over to the new machine. What the heck am I doing wrong, I have been working on this for about ten hours over three days without success! HELP PLEASE, I know there must be a way to do it.

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re : know how to get to the profile folder on both machines but this is where I am running into problems.

If you were running Win 7 computer and it getting all email ok, but you have now got a new computer and want everything on Win 7 to be put on Win10:

Exit Thunderbird on both computers - this is important.

On old win7 computer access: C: Users/user account name/ Appdata/Roaming folder It will contain a 'Thunderbird' folder - copy that 'Thunderbird' folder to external drive.

On new win10 computer access: C: Users/user account name/ Appdata/Roaming folder It will contain a 'Thunderbird' folder - this is the new default one - delete that Thunderbird folder. Now paste the copied 'Thunderbird' folder into the 'Roaming' folder. Start Thunderbird and you should now see exactly the same as what is on the Win 7 computer.

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Chosen Solution

re : know how to get to the profile folder on both machines but this is where I am running into problems.

If you were running Win 7 computer and it getting all email ok, but you have now got a new computer and want everything on Win 7 to be put on Win10:

Exit Thunderbird on both computers - this is important.

On old win7 computer access: C: Users/user account name/ Appdata/Roaming folder It will contain a 'Thunderbird' folder - copy that 'Thunderbird' folder to external drive.

On new win10 computer access: C: Users/user account name/ Appdata/Roaming folder It will contain a 'Thunderbird' folder - this is the new default one - delete that Thunderbird folder. Now paste the copied 'Thunderbird' folder into the 'Roaming' folder. Start Thunderbird and you should now see exactly the same as what is on the Win 7 computer.

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I can't thank you enough for your prompt and concise solution to the my problem. I never would have figured it out on my own in a million years. One thing that has me stumped is the fact that I could not find the answer to the problem on ANY of the TB forms that I visited. I would look under moving TB to a new computer and they talked at length about the "profile file" and where it was BUT no one EVER mentioned the "Thunderbird" file located in the Roaming folder. I honestly spent over 10 hours spread across three days trying to get my system configured like it is on my older desktop.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Glad to help. As you already knew exactly where all the profiles were located, I was able to give you more concise and direct instructions.


The full instructions for anyone else reading this, but find they need a bit more information are at this link:

Those instructions state how to locate the profile name folder, when to exit Thunderbird and then go up directory three levels which in a Windows OS puts you in the 'Roaming' folder. Usually, when pasting in a folder of same name, you should get a prompt asking whether to override the current folder name - you would say yes. The alternative is to delete the original thunderbird folder first before pasting in the copied one. I've added a couple of images that would act as an aid when reading the instructions.

Please note: the same process can be used to create a backup of your 'Thunderbird' profiles, but instead paste the 'Thunderbird' folder into an external drive. I would recommend you keep it in a folder which also has the version number eg: TBIRD-v-78-11-0

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