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How can I save the contents of an email account outside of Thunderbird in text form?

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I am closing one of my email accounts. I want to save all the email content (inbox, sent, custom folders, etc.) outside of Thunderbird in text form so I can access/search at some later date if I need to. How can this be accomplished? Archive does NOT do this; it is still part of Thunderbird. Thanks.

I am closing one of my email accounts. I want to save all the email content (inbox, sent, custom folders, etc.) outside of Thunderbird in text form so I can access/search at some later date if I need to. How can this be accomplished? Archive does NOT do this; it is still part of Thunderbird. Thanks.

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

ttocsmij said

Am I really improving performance by taking the content out of TB? If not, the "LOCAL" idea sounds pretty good.

I have stopped arguing with people. If they want to do something silly, I just give then the tools.

You "might" improve performance by moving IMAP mail out of the IMAP account, but that is due to synchronization overhead, nothing more.

Otherwise you will be achieving very little. You would probably achieve a lot more by having an exception in your anti virus program for the Thunderbird profile folder location.

Nothing slows things down more than an idiot anti virus that starts scanning say the inbox every time you get mail or delete a mail or move a mail. You need an SSD just to keep up with the disk input/output of having a large file scanned continuously all day. And it can be "all day" Thunderbird files can be very large. Given anti virus scanners take some 10 minutes per GB to scan the scan never ends before the file is edited and the scan starts again. When your inbox "file" is over 3Gb (me) that means that the anti virus is spending 30 minutes scanning to file and it gets new mail every 15 minutes.

This long scan time issue goes for the global message index used by global search. This file is often huge. Mine is also over 3Gb. Having anti virus fiddling with that can see changes lost and a scan there never ending as well. Especially if like me you have a budget dell with a very slow hard drive (they cut corners on hard-drive speed to offer more storage for the same price.).

All in all I would suggest the following for "performance".

  • Exclude the Thunderbird profile from anti virus scanning just the on access part would do, but that sort of fine control is often missing from security products.
  • Check your disk for errors using scan disk. (a regular defrag of the hard disk will see to this.)
  • Defragment the drive. When you have large files (thundebird) having all the fragments of the file in contiguous disk locations is desirable. It makes file I/O much faster as the program does not have to spend as much time waiting for the head to move to the correct part of the disk. Given Thunderbird is constantly appending to the file the new bit is often in a different location to the last add.
  • Regularly compact your folders in Thunderbird. This frees space as the deleted mail is finally expunged from the storage file. But more importantly is causes the entire storage file to be rewritten. The process of compacting sees the current mail written to a new file called Nstmp. when the copy of all the current mail to the new file is completed, the original is deleted and the new one renamed. Given the rewrite of the file compacting can have a performance boost of often placing the new data in a more contiguous location that is was previously stored.
  • Minimize the number of add-ons you use. They all consume some performance, just by being enabled. Each is small. But it all adds up.
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Matt
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2602 izisombululo 17484 izimpendulo

Impendulo Ewusizo

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/importexporttools/
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Isicaphuno

Umnikazi wombuzo

Apparently the current version of ImportExportTools (3.2.4.1) isn't compatible with current version of TB (52.6.0 per my computer); based on the little red line-crossed circle on the ImportExportTools page you referenced. The Deutsche page has version 3.2.5 but since it isn't on the "official page" is it experimental? Come to think of it, the "official page" also states 3.2.4.1 is also experimental. Is that just normal?

Apparently the current version of ImportExportTools (3.2.4.1) isn't compatible with current version of TB (52.6.0 per my computer); based on the little red line-crossed circle on the ImportExportTools page you referenced. The Deutsche page has version 3.2.5 but since it isn't on the "official page" is it experimental? Come to think of it, the "official page" also states 3.2.4.1 is also experimental. Is that just normal?
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Matt
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just download it and install it. It works is all you really need to know. Everything else is icing on a cake.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/installing-addon-thunderbird

just download it and install it. It works is all you really need to know. Everything else is icing on a cake. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/installing-addon-thunderbird
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Isicaphuno

Umnikazi wombuzo

Okay. Didn't find the add-on initially but twiddling the search parameters found it. It installed the previous version (3.2.4.1) BTW. Anyhow ... now an operational question.

I have eleven (11) different email accounts set up in TB.

One of the accounts I no longer need so I want to save all the content on that single email account to an external man-readable file.

Do I use "Export all the folders"? Or would that try to export all eleven accounts?

The different web sites involved (Mozilla addons, developer, etc.) are using different terminology and really don't explain all of the menu items in detail.

What I am exporting is no longer live so I can't replace it or re-retrieve it; ergo I don't want to screw it up experimenting with what menu item does what.

I don't wish to seem rude but I have seen quite a few FUBARS in 46 years in computers so I've learned to ask knowledgeable users first before leaping right in. Thanks.

Okay. Didn't find the add-on initially but twiddling the search parameters found it. It installed the previous version (3.2.4.1) BTW. Anyhow ... now an operational question. I have eleven (11) different email accounts set up in TB. One of the accounts I no longer need so I want to save all the content on that single email account to an external man-readable file. Do I use "Export all the folders"? Or would that try to export all eleven accounts? The different web sites involved (Mozilla addons, developer, etc.) are using different terminology and really don't explain all of the menu items in detail. What I am exporting is no longer live so I can't replace it or re-retrieve it; ergo I don't want to screw it up experimenting with what menu item does what. I don't wish to seem rude but I have seen quite a few FUBARS in 46 years in computers so I've learned to ask knowledgeable users first before leaping right in. Thanks.
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Isicaphuno
Zenos
  • Top 10 Contributor
2059 izisombululo 11107 izimpendulo

You see that option only when you select an account. Therefore it means all the folders in the selected account.

If you went on to click it you'd see a prompt which would clarify this, along with a warning about incomplete content.

Even though it says "export", it is really just a copying operation. The original material remains in place.

You see that option only when you select an account. Therefore it means all the folders in the selected account. If you went on to click it you'd see a prompt which would clarify this, along with a warning about incomplete content. Even though it says "export", it is really just a copying operation. The original material remains in place.

Okulungisiwe ngu Zenos

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Isicaphuno
Zenos
  • Top 10 Contributor
2059 izisombululo 11107 izimpendulo

<2¢>I have never seen the appeal of storing email outside the email client. Searching is hard, the threading relationship between messages is lost. In your place I'd be moving the messages into Local Folders, so as to retain the email structure. </2¢>

&lt;2¢>I have never seen the appeal of storing email outside the email client. Searching is hard, the threading relationship between messages is lost. In your place I'd be moving the messages into Local Folders, so as to retain the email structure. &lt;/2¢>
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Isicaphuno

Umnikazi wombuzo

The original thought was to keep the content in storage (in a searchable coherent manner like EML or that HTML format they mentioned) on the off chance someone might have questions in the future. By storing it elsewhere and out of the TB database my thought was (1) it might improve TB performance, and (2) I can remove it from the list of monitored email accounts. With eleven accounts that left-hand panel gets mighty crowded! LOL

I never thought of moving the structure to "LOCAL".

Am I really improving performance by taking the content out of TB?

If not, the "LOCAL" idea sounds pretty good.

The original thought was to keep the content in storage (in a searchable coherent manner like EML or that HTML format they mentioned) on the off chance someone might have questions in the future. By storing it elsewhere and out of the TB database my thought was (1) it might improve TB performance, and (2) I can remove it from the list of monitored email accounts. With eleven accounts that left-hand panel gets mighty crowded! LOL I never thought of moving the structure to "LOCAL". Am I really improving performance by taking the content out of TB? If not, the "LOCAL" idea sounds pretty good.
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Matt
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2602 izisombululo 17484 izimpendulo

Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

ttocsmij said

Am I really improving performance by taking the content out of TB? If not, the "LOCAL" idea sounds pretty good.

I have stopped arguing with people. If they want to do something silly, I just give then the tools.

You "might" improve performance by moving IMAP mail out of the IMAP account, but that is due to synchronization overhead, nothing more.

Otherwise you will be achieving very little. You would probably achieve a lot more by having an exception in your anti virus program for the Thunderbird profile folder location.

Nothing slows things down more than an idiot anti virus that starts scanning say the inbox every time you get mail or delete a mail or move a mail. You need an SSD just to keep up with the disk input/output of having a large file scanned continuously all day. And it can be "all day" Thunderbird files can be very large. Given anti virus scanners take some 10 minutes per GB to scan the scan never ends before the file is edited and the scan starts again. When your inbox "file" is over 3Gb (me) that means that the anti virus is spending 30 minutes scanning to file and it gets new mail every 15 minutes.

This long scan time issue goes for the global message index used by global search. This file is often huge. Mine is also over 3Gb. Having anti virus fiddling with that can see changes lost and a scan there never ending as well. Especially if like me you have a budget dell with a very slow hard drive (they cut corners on hard-drive speed to offer more storage for the same price.).

All in all I would suggest the following for "performance".

  • Exclude the Thunderbird profile from anti virus scanning just the on access part would do, but that sort of fine control is often missing from security products.
  • Check your disk for errors using scan disk. (a regular defrag of the hard disk will see to this.)
  • Defragment the drive. When you have large files (thundebird) having all the fragments of the file in contiguous disk locations is desirable. It makes file I/O much faster as the program does not have to spend as much time waiting for the head to move to the correct part of the disk. Given Thunderbird is constantly appending to the file the new bit is often in a different location to the last add.
  • Regularly compact your folders in Thunderbird. This frees space as the deleted mail is finally expunged from the storage file. But more importantly is causes the entire storage file to be rewritten. The process of compacting sees the current mail written to a new file called Nstmp. when the copy of all the current mail to the new file is completed, the original is deleted and the new one renamed. Given the rewrite of the file compacting can have a performance boost of often placing the new data in a more contiguous location that is was previously stored.
  • Minimize the number of add-ons you use. They all consume some performance, just by being enabled. Each is small. But it all adds up.
''ttocsmij [[#answer-1075838|said]]'' <blockquote> Am I really improving performance by taking the content out of TB? If not, the "LOCAL" idea sounds pretty good. </blockquote> I have stopped arguing with people. If they want to do something silly, I just give then the tools. You "might" improve performance by moving IMAP mail out of the IMAP account, but that is due to synchronization overhead, nothing more. Otherwise you will be achieving very little. You would probably achieve a lot more by having an exception in your anti virus program for the Thunderbird profile folder location. Nothing slows things down more than an idiot anti virus that starts scanning say the inbox every time you get mail or delete a mail or move a mail. You need an SSD just to keep up with the disk input/output of having a large file scanned continuously all day. And it can be "all day" Thunderbird files can be very large. Given anti virus scanners take some 10 minutes per GB to scan the scan never ends before the file is edited and the scan starts again. When your inbox "file" is over 3Gb (me) that means that the anti virus is spending 30 minutes scanning to file and it gets new mail every 15 minutes. This long scan time issue goes for the global message index used by global search. This file is often huge. Mine is also over 3Gb. Having anti virus fiddling with that can see changes lost and a scan there never ending as well. Especially if like me you have a budget dell with a very slow hard drive (they cut corners on hard-drive speed to offer more storage for the same price.). All in all I would suggest the following for "performance". * Exclude the Thunderbird profile from anti virus scanning just the on access part would do, but that sort of fine control is often missing from security products. * Check your disk for errors using scan disk. (a regular defrag of the hard disk will see to this.) * Defragment the drive. When you have large files (thundebird) having all the fragments of the file in contiguous disk locations is desirable. It makes file I/O much faster as the program does not have to spend as much time waiting for the head to move to the correct part of the disk. Given Thunderbird is constantly appending to the file the new bit is often in a different location to the last add. * Regularly compact your folders in Thunderbird. This frees space as the deleted mail is finally expunged from the storage file. But more importantly is causes the entire storage file to be rewritten. The process of compacting sees the current mail written to a new file called Nstmp. when the copy of all the current mail to the new file is completed, the original is deleted and the new one renamed. Given the rewrite of the file compacting can have a performance boost of often placing the new data in a more contiguous location that is was previously stored. * Minimize the number of add-ons you use. They all consume some performance, just by being enabled. Each is small. But it all adds up.
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Isicaphuno

Umnikazi wombuzo

When I designed and wrote software commercially (circa 1972-1985, in seven different coding languages) I had a much better handle on the efficiencies of various methods of data storage and retrieval. Around then C++ came out and "Hello, world!" went from four _lines_ of code to four _pages_ of code (aka, the birth of bloatware? LOL). That's when I fell back on my EE degree and left software development to folks who like wading through the jungle. LOL

All that to say you'll get no argument from me inasmuch as I am just trying keep the content without wasting processing time or disk space.

Interesting premise that the AV software scans the whole database every time there is an addition or change. That does seem wildly inefficient. But my whole profile is less than 1.5GB so perhaps I never notice 'cause the ol' i7 -- though not as fast as the dual Xeon workstation I used to have -- does seem pretty quick. I'll have to bug the McAfee folk to see how they approach this. All I can tell you is they are really, really faster than Norton; and seem much, much less intrusive while providing at least the same amount of protection. But now I digress.

Defrag and Compact. You know I have not done either in a while. I'll put them on the ToDo List (because at my age a list is required! LOL). Coincidentally I finally remembered that I can turn off the email server check to stop that silly popup about not being able to log into that email server any more (which was the impetus for this whole thread). That in itself is another tale of just how paranoid some folks are! LOL

Y'all have a great weekend and thanks for all the great ideas and feedback.

When I designed and wrote software commercially (circa 1972-1985, in seven different coding languages) I had a much better handle on the efficiencies of various methods of data storage and retrieval. Around then C++ came out and "Hello, world!" went from four _lines_ of code to four _pages_ of code (aka, the birth of bloatware? LOL). That's when I fell back on my EE degree and left software development to folks who like wading through the jungle. LOL All that to say you'll get no argument from me inasmuch as I am just trying keep the content without wasting processing time or disk space. Interesting premise that the AV software scans the whole database every time there is an addition or change. That does seem wildly inefficient. But my whole profile is less than 1.5GB so perhaps I never notice 'cause the ol' i7 -- though not as fast as the dual Xeon workstation I used to have -- does seem pretty quick. I'll have to bug the McAfee folk to see how they approach this. All I can tell you is they are really, really faster than Norton; and seem much, much less intrusive while providing at least the same amount of protection. But now I digress. Defrag and Compact. You know I have not done either in a while. I'll put them on the ToDo List (because at my age a list is required! LOL). Coincidentally I finally remembered that I can turn off the email server check to stop that silly popup about not being able to log into that email server any more (which was the impetus for this whole thread). That in itself is another tale of just how paranoid some folks are! LOL Y'all have a great weekend and thanks for all the great ideas and feedback.
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Matt
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2602 izisombululo 17484 izimpendulo

If you are using McAfee, I think you need to be aware of this information. McAfee does not play nicely with Thunderbird. Despite long discussion with McAfee and loads of promises there have been issues now since 2012.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing:Antivirus_Related_Performance_Issues#McAfee

As for profile size mine 26.6gb with over 194 thousand files. ( I am trialing the maildir storage on a rather large Gmail account which is where most of the files come from.

If you are using McAfee, I think you need to be aware of this information. McAfee does not play nicely with Thunderbird. Despite long discussion with McAfee and loads of promises there have been issues now since 2012. https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing:Antivirus_Related_Performance_Issues#McAfee As for profile size mine 26.6gb with over 194 thousand files. ( I am trialing the maildir storage on a rather large Gmail account which is where most of the files come from.
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Isicaphuno

Umnikazi wombuzo

I am amazed. I started using McAfee All Access (replacing Norton 360) in 2016 and have had no problems or issues with any software (including FF and TB). No delays or error messages. Nada. Perhaps the All Access version had addressed any Mozilla issues (since the last few bug and support links are dated in 2015 or earlier). Just a thought ...

Thanks again.

I am amazed. I started using McAfee All Access (replacing Norton 360) in 2016 and have had no problems or issues with any software (including FF and TB). No delays or error messages. Nada. Perhaps the All Access version had addressed any Mozilla issues (since the last few bug and support links are dated in 2015 or earlier). Just a thought ... Thanks again.
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Isicaphuno
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