W7 and Thunderbird

  jonmac 17:09 PM 27 Oct 09

Having loaded Windows 7 (so far, an excellent piece of software )and Thunderbird (Win Live Mail wouldn't display my imported Outlook Express back-up files) I'm now searching in vain for the location of the Thunderbird emails so I can back them up regularly using SyncToy.
Can anyone help with this information?

  Forum Editor 18:51 PM 27 Oct 09

C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\

That's where you should find the mail store.

  jonmac 19:21 PM 27 Oct 09

Thanks for the response Forum Editor.
Problem is that in Explorer there is no Documents and Settings folder in C: even after setting Folder Options/View to Show hidden files and folders etc. etc. Strange!

  MIke 21:01 PM 27 Oct 09

I don't have Thunderbird installed but it's close relative firefox stores things here


might be worth you following a similar path?

  MIke 21:13 PM 27 Oct 09

This is the Thunderbird FAQ

Thunderbird's mail files are in the standard plain text "mbox" format, which almost all mail programs can use or import. Many proprietary mail programs have a function to import from Eudora, which also uses the "mbox" format; this function should read your Mozilla mail files properly.

Your mail files are inside your profile (see the Profile Folder), in the Mail and (if you use IMAP) ImapMail folders. Each mail folder (Inbox, Sent, etc.) is stored as two files — one with no extension (e.g. INBOX), which is the mail file itself (in "mbox" format), and one with an .msf extension (e.g. INBOX.msf), which is the index (Mail Summary File) to the mail file. Tell the other program to import mail from the file with no extension.

If you want to transfer a mail file to another Mozilla profile or another installation of Mozilla, simply put the mail file into the other installation's Mail folder.

  MIke 21:15 PM 27 Oct 09

how to find your profile folder, which is where Thunderbird saves all your settings on your hard drive.

* On Windows Vista/XP/2000, the path is usually %AppData%\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\, where xxxxxxxx is a random string of 8 characters. Just browse to C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\ on Windows XP/2000 or C:\users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\ on Windows Vista, and the rest should be obvious.

  jonmac 22:43 PM 27 Oct 09

Thanks Mike that's just what I needed. Looks like I only have to set up a folder pair to copy the Profiles folder and the job's done. It's less than 4 Gb so won't take up much space.
Thanks again both.

  MIke 19:32 PM 28 Oct 09

Glad you found it!


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