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Is there a way to recover my stored emails from the version of Thunderbird I had on my Windows XP system that was upgraded to Windows 8?

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I can find the folder Windows.old and locate the Thunderbird files in there, but can't find any old email info. Do they exist and if so where to find them?

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Your Thunderbird profile folder — which contains contains things like messages, contacts and passwords — was previously located in the following folder. This is the folder you should be looking for under the Windows.old folder.

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<random string>.default\

You may need to first show hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer to locate it.

Be sure to copy it to a safe location as quickly as possible. The files might be deleted after 28 days since the upgrade was performed.

The Mail subfolder of the profile folder contains your messages and other data.

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Chosen Solution

Your Thunderbird profile folder — which contains contains things like messages, contacts and passwords — was previously located in the following folder. This is the folder you should be looking for under the Windows.old folder.

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<random string>.default\

You may need to first show hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer to locate it.

Be sure to copy it to a safe location as quickly as possible. The files might be deleted after 28 days since the upgrade was performed.

The Mail subfolder of the profile folder contains your messages and other data.

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Thank you Gingerbread Man! I have located that mail folder and copied it. However, when I try to open it in Word, WordPad or Notepad i either get complete gobbledygook or I can see a title and some info but then random numbers and letters after that. Is there something I should be doing in order to see these emails properly?

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If you currently have personal data in Thunderbird, the safest thing to do is to use the ImportExportTools add-on. See the second link if you need more detailed usage instructions than those provided in the description.

If you need to transfer other data besides mail, see the following article.

If you don't have any personal data in Thunderbird at the moment, then you can simply replace everything in your current profile with data from your old profile:

  1. Click the menu icon in the top right.
  2. Open the Help menu and choose Troubleshooting Information.
  3. Click the Show Folder button. This opens a Windows Explorer window with your current profile.
  4. Click the menu icon and choose Exit.
  5. Create a backup copy of your current profile folder.
  6. Select all files in your current profile folder (Ctrl+A), then press the Delete key to erase them.
  7. Open a new Windows Explorer window and navigate to your old profile folder.
  8. Copy all files and subfolders from the old profile folder into the current one.

You're welcome.