Thunderbird Export and Import

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Abraham Y. Chen

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Can any one offer some instructions as how to export eMail server profiles and address books from Thunderbird so that I can start another one on a different computer, or even importing such files to a different eMail client software? Thanks (2008-12-11, 14:40)
 

TerryNet

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To export addresses: Tools - Address Book - Tools - Export...

To import to another email client would depend on that client.

The way I "clone" my Thunderbird experience to another machine is as follows. I install Thunderbird (2.0.0.18 now) to the second machine and then launch it. As soon as it starts I exit. Then I delete whatever profile was created and copy the profile from my first computer. On Windows XP the profile is in <drive>:\Documents and Settings\<account>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles, and is named <8 random chars>.default. I've used this to clone to another XP, Ubuntu and to Vista.

If you check the Thunderbird (online) documentation you can probably find a more sophisticated and supported method.
 

Abraham Y. Chen

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Thank you for your quick response. I have some questions while attempting to follow your instruction:

My current Thunderbird (V2.0.0.18) is on a Win2K Desktop. I found the .default file folder at the same location as on your WinXP. However, I can not locate such folder on my WinVista Notebook after I installed and ran Thunderbird once. Could you please identify the path to it?

I am glad that you have also ported your experience to Ubuntu. I have V8.10 installed on the same Notebook above (OS selectable during boot up). Although Synaptic Package Manager shows that Thunderbird "1:2.0.0.14+0ubuntu1" is installed, I can not figure out where is it. Could you please give me some instruction as how to invoke this program and of course, where the .default folder is located?

Thanks a lot.

Abe (2008-12-12, 18:09)
 

TerryNet

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From memory, on Ubuntu there is a .Thunderbird folder (note the initial period) in your Home folder. You have to 'show system folders and files' or 'show hidden folders and files' or some such. In Ubuntu 8.04 there was a bug or restriction in the Search function that did not find . files, and I haven't checked in 8.10.
 

TerryNet

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On Vista there is also some stuff in C:\USERS\<username>\AppData\Local\Thunderbird\Profiles\

It may not be at all important; for sure the most important stuff is where AKAJohnDoe said.
 

Abraham Y. Chen

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Thank you tow guys for the information. However, in following your instructions on my Notebook, I did not get too far:

1) Under Vista, I got to C:\Users\username\. Nothing there looked like what you have mentioned. Interestingly enough, I used "AppData" as keyword for the search window on the upper right corner and saw 91 entries (13 are folders) with the next level names "AppData\Roaming". Still, nothing resembles what I have been looking for. Most of them are "... \Microsoft\windows\ ...". It looks that I should at least try to "un-hide" these folders first. I am familiar with such procedure in older Windows OSs. But, how do I do so to Vista? Please advise. Thanks.

2) Under Ubuntu (I started with V8.04, but it had trouble to find my WiFi AP which worked fine when the same Notebook is running under Vista. So, I recently uninstalled it and then installed V8.10. The new version handles wired ports and wireless APs in one single GUI list and it is easy to establish desired connection as well as switching between them by simply clicking on the desired entry.), from Places -> Home Folder, all I see is a list of folders (Desktop, Documents, Examples, Music, Pictures, Public, Template and Videos), but nothing like what you mentioned. Again, I do not know how to "show hidden folders and files" under Ubuntu. A more explicit instruction would help. Thanks.

3) Just a side note. Both of my Vista and Ubuntu are pretty much operating under "factory default". I have not customized either. Since your two are experts, you may have done something to enhance the managing of the setups that I have not touched, at all.

Abe (2008-12-14, 11:35)
 

TerryNet

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I'm on XP now, but pretty sure that Vista is the same: Control Panel - Folder Options - View tab - undo all Microsoft's terrible defaults for hidden and extensions and "protected system" files.
 

TerryNet

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Greetings from Ubuntu 8.10 :)

Places - Home Folder - click on View menu - check mark on Show Hidden Files.

The directory is actually named .mozilla-thunderbird and it contains the profile without the intervening Profiles folder as in Windows. Sorry for my inaccurate memory.
 

Abraham Y. Chen

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Thanks for the additional instructions (I was "spoiled" by "multiple entry points" of the earlier Windows OSs to only use "show hidden files" while in Windows Explorer. My apologies.):

1) Under Vista, I found the .default folder. However, after I replaced it with what I copied from the working PC, Thunderbird continues to start up as if there were no account information. It still creates another .default folder upon exit. I tried to copy the content of my working PC into this new folder. It stops creating new .default folder, although it still behaves as if there is no account information.

2) Under Ubuntu (Glad that you are on V8.10, so that we can be more synchronized.), I now see .mozilla folder with two sub-folders, "extensions" and "firefox". I still do not see anything related to Thunderbird.

More help needed. Thanks.


Abe (2008-12-15, 10:55)
 

throoper

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To transfer the profile from one machine to another, you have to empty out the contents of the *****.default folder on the new machine, leaving the folder itself.
Copy the contents of the *****.default folder of the old machine, not the folder itself, only the contents, and paste them into the empty ****.default folder on the new machine.

If you can't find the Profile folder, try searching for *.msf as MSF files should only exist in the Thunderbird profile and it's backups.

Go HERE for information on Thunderbird profiles.
 

TerryNet

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In Ubuntu you only have a .mozilla directory; no .mozilla-thunderbird directory?
 

Abraham Y. Chen

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Yes, I did clear the ******.default content before copying the information from the other PC. Maybe there is difference between OSs? My source PC is a Win2K. The destination PC where I like to clone a second Thunderbird is a WinVista.

Abe (2008-12-15, 15:17)
 

Abraham Y. Chen

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Hi, TerryNet: Yes, that was all. I did not see anything else.

Abe (2008-12-15, 15:19)

P.S.: I am still getting used to this forum. My post preceding this was replying to throoper
 
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