How to Backup Thunderbird Emails And Profile?

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How to Backup Thunderbird Emails

Thunderbird is an email client that stores all the emails, attachments, contacts, and filters in a folder that is separate from the installation folder. This open-source email client is by Mozilla Foundation, and you can set several POP or IMAP accounts in Mozilla Thunderbird. It is mainly utilized for business communications and thus contains precious data that users should backup periodically. You must know how to backup Thunderbird emails to protect your emails from damage and corruption. You can back it up through various methods easily. In this guide, you’ll find different ways of protecting your Thunderbird emails.

Also Check:- How to Sync Google Calendar with Thunderbird


How to Backup Thunderbird Emails? – Different Methods for Email Backup

There are no in-built features in Thunderbird for backing up emails. Below you can find various manual methods to do it. 


Manually Backup Thunderbird Emails

Backing up Thunderbird emails manually can seem like a lengthy process. But you need to do it so you can easily retrieve them later on. 

  1. Go to the following location on your system.    C:\Users\*ProfileName*\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\*Profile.default*\
  1. Copy the MBOX file and then save them to an external drive for backup. 
  2. You’ll view the ‘Mail Summary File‘ (.msf). It has the email header information and files without extension. It is these MBOX files that you should copy and backup. 
  3. You can import MBOX files to Thunderbird at a later date through the option of ‘ImportExportTools.’

Another way is to separately backup every mail through the options in Thunderbird, like .eml files. For separately backing up every mail folder manually, go through these steps. 

  1. Launch Thunderbird and tap on any folder you wish to backup. 
  2. Choose emails. For selecting many emails, use the shift key. You can also press Ctrl + A for selecting all emails. 
  3. Right-tap and select ‘Save as.’
  4. Now, choose a folder where you prefer to backup emails and tap ‘Select Folder.’ The emails you have chosen will get saved in a specific folder as .EML files. You can launch and see them in any email service app. 
  5. Keep in mind that you will not be able to backup Thunderbird emails in various formats like Office 365 PST, PDF, RTF, or HTML through the manual method.


Export Emails Through Add-ons

As mentioned before, there are no built-in functionalities in Thunderbird to export emails. To enable Thunderbird to export emails to formats like PDF, HTML, EML, and Spreadsheet, you need to add the ‘ImportExportTools‘ add-on. Then, the user can save these exported files to the preferred locations. To know how to manually backup Thunderbird emails follow these steps to export emails through Thunderbird. 

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Tap the icon of ‘Display the Thunderbird Menu.’ It’s at the top-right part.
  3. Choose ‘Add-ons‘ from the drop-down.
  4. On the new window, tap to get the add-ons button. 
  5. You can either choose the ‘ImportExportTools‘ add-on below the featured list or tap the button of the ‘Browse all‘ add-on.
  6. Now hit the ‘Add to Thunderbird‘ button. Tap ‘Install Now’ when you get prompted.
  7. Navigate to the ‘Add-ons Manager‘ window and tap ‘Restart now.’
  8. Right-tap the inbox you desire to export and choose ‘ImportExportTools.’ Then select ‘Export all messages‘ and then the ‘EML’ format.
  9. Choose the’ HTML‘ format option if you want to retrieve your mails in their initial formatting and attachments.
  10. Lastly, select the place where you want to save the file and click ‘Select Folder.’


Backup Your Thunderbird Profile

Another method is to backup your Thunderbird profile. The profile contains data related to your accounts like account settings, emails, and the like. The profile primarily stores two sets of items in Thunderbird. Firstly, all your local mails and their copies that are there on the mail server get stored in it. Secondly, the profile also keeps any modifications that you have made in the process of using Thunderbird. 

If you make any modifications to the toolbar or the account settings, then on installing Thunderbird, a profile with the name of ‘Default’ will get created. It will get used automatically until you yourself create another profile using the Profile Manager.

When backing up Thunderbird profile, all you have to do is copy all that is there in the profile folder of the user and paste it to a backup location. Read on to know how to backup Thunderbird emails through this method.

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Tap the icon of ‘Display the Thunderbird Menu.’
  3. Navigate to ‘Help,’ and then to ‘Troubleshooting Information.’ You’ll see the window of ‘Troubleshooting Information‘ opening up in another tab. 
  4. Below the section of ‘Applications Basics,’ tap on ‘Open folder (Local drive).’
  5. You will see the ‘User’s profile‘ directory opening up when you tap the ‘Open Folder‘ button. It has a particular name format. This format comprises an array of random characters succeeding by the profile name.
  6. Now, click outside this folder and copy the ‘User’s Profile‘ folder. Now, paste it to another directory. You can paste this profile folder to an external hard drive or another location. 


How to Restore a Profile Backup

After knowing the process to backup Mozilla Thunderbird emails you can proceed to restore a profile backup. It’s a very simple process. Follow these steps.

  1. Shut down your Thunderbird email client.
  2. Find if your current profile folder and the backup folder bear the same name. In this case, replace the current profile folder with the backup one.
  3. Now start Thunderbird again. 
  4. Remember that your profile folder names should match properly. It includes the random 8 characters string. 

Also Check, Why:- Thunderbird email not working


Final Words

Thunderbird emails contain essential data and information. Thus, it’s important to know how to backup Thunderbird emails. Backup is helpful in restoring the emails if they get lost or corrupted. If you find any issues in this process, get in touch with email support team. The experts will help you resolve the various email issues that hinder you from efficiently performing your daily tasks. 


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