Thunderbird is an e-mail program made by Mozilla. Thunderbird creates a profile folder that stores a user's e-mail addresses, passwords, settings and contacts. These profiles can be backed up on external storage devices. They can also be imported--to recover old e-mail settings or to move settings to a new computer. Importing Thunderbird profiles works on both Windows and Mac operating systems, and the steps involved require little computer expertise.
- Skill level:
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Close Thunderbird if it is open.
Move the profile folder you want to import onto your computer's hard disk.
Open the Windows Start menu. Select "Run."
Type "%AppData%" in the dialogue box and press "Enter."
Open the "Thunderbird" folder, then the "Profiles" folder.
Copy the imported profile folder into the "Profiles" folder.
Navigate back to the "Thunderbird" folder. Open "profiles.ini" in a text editor such as Notepad.
Find the name of your imported profile in the text file. Change the text next to "Path =" to the location of your profile.
Change the number next to "IsRelative =" from 1 to 0. Save "profiles.ini" and close the text editor.
Launch Thunderbird and you should see your new profile.
Tips and warnings
- The "%AppData%" shortcut only works on the Windows Vista, XP and 2000 operating systems. If you have Windows 95, 98 or ME, navigate to "C:\WINDOWS\Application Data." If you have a Mac operating system, navigate to "~/Library."
- Here's an example of a profile location in Windows: "C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default"
- To backup profiles for future use, simply copy any desired profile folder within the collective "Profiles" folder and save it to an external storage device.
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