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Problem importing old email files to a new Thunderbird installation

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  • Last reply by neil82

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While upgrading Thunderbird to v102, something went amiss and my profile was corrupted. I fairly quickly recognised that a clean installation would be a good idea, and then import my old profile. I managed to import some emails, but a large number of folders remain which will not import. When I use the import tool on the relevant Inbox folder, the process completes immediately with a blank import in the Local Folders area. Is it possible that Thunderbird thinks these folders have been imported already, and if so is there a way to reset that? I seem to recall reading somewhere that it will not import folders that have already been imported.

While upgrading Thunderbird to v102, something went amiss and my profile was corrupted. I fairly quickly recognised that a clean installation would be a good idea, and then import my old profile. I managed to import some emails, but a large number of folders remain which will not import. When I use the import tool on the relevant Inbox folder, the process completes immediately with a blank import in the Local Folders area. Is it possible that Thunderbird thinks these folders have been imported already, and if so is there a way to reset that? I seem to recall reading somewhere that it will not import folders that have already been imported.

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It would be helpful if you stated the precise steps you used as some prople use built in process and others use an addon called 'ImportExportTools NG'

As an example:

  • Tools > Import
  • Selected 'Import from another Thunderbird installation' - 'Continue'
  • Selected 'Import from profile name' - 'Continue'
  • Selected 'Mail Messages' - 'Continue'
  • click on 'Start Import'

After import ...Did you Exit Thunderbird - wait a few moments for background processes to complete then restart Thunderbird ? The restart is important.

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Did you select the 'Local Folders' account and then use 'Tools > Import' ?

It will not overwrite any existing folders of same name. Do you find it is only subfolders that are not displaying? For example: If you tried to import a folder called Inbox then it may get imported as eg: Inbox-1 Do you find all the subfolders do not appear under 'Inbox-1' ?

If restart does not display folders: Please provide info in the form of images.

  • Menu icon > Help > More Troubleshooting Information
  • Under 'Application Basics' - half way is Profile Folders - click on 'Open Folder'

window opens showing contents of your profile name folder

  • Exit Thunderbird now - this is important

The 'Mail' folder - it contains pop accounts and 'Local folders' mail account The 'ImapMail' folder - it only contains imap accounts.

If importing into 'Local Folders' :

  • Click on 'Mail' folder
  • click on 'Local Folders' folder
  • Make sure you have the display showing columns eg: Name, Type, Modified date, Size
  • Also select option to display extensions.
  • Make window as large as possible to show max info.
  • Create a screendump - press 'Prt Scr' key
  • Open a simple image program like Paint
  • Right click in Paint and select 'Paste'
  • File > save as jpeg to desktop

Then in this forum question:

  • Enter suitable text in a 'Post a Reply' text box
  • Use the 'Add Images' 'Browse' button to upload image as thumbnail.
  • Click on 'Post Reply'

You might need to post more than one image. This will show what is actually lurking in the 'Local Folders'.

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After reading your advice I realised that I had been using the built-in Import facility. I then tried ImportExportToolsNG and I can successfully import folders with that. It would seem that the addon is much more competent in my situation. Thanks for getting me to rethink what I was doing and find the right solution.

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