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How to Transfer your old emails to a new install on Thunderbird

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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

How to Transfer your old emails to a new install on Thunderbird






How to transfer Thunderbird Emails from one Hard drive to another, or from old computer to new computer.



This information is given with no acceptance of any responsibility if it doesn`t work , or borks something for you…


It worked for me…. Using Windows 7 Professional. With Thunderbird as the email client.


The first thing to do is to find your current location of the folder that holds your profile, and the mail inside it.

Go to “Start”.. And type into the box above it…. %appdata% do not press enter key…

it will search your computer for the location… and should come back with a folder entitled “Roaming”… click on that, and it will “open”

In the right hand pane… near the bottom of the list should be


Thunderbird - double click – to reveal another list, showing


Profiles - double click - to reveal a file something like this


gpdbym9t.default - double click to reveal


Mail -double click to reveal the location of your emails…

(mine is PlusNet but it could be gmail or whatever… )



You now need to go to the “old computer”.. Or the “old hard drive” in your usb caddy… and locate the same place, where your emails etc are kept… to do this

Click on the hard drive ( in my case , in a caddy, it was drive E;/ ) then at the top right is a search box… type in there


After doing a search of that hard drive,… it will probably come up with a couple of references …. Each with a date on it…

use the latest date… double click on it, to reveal the contents…..


Select/highlight them all….. Then right click & “copy”





Move back to the “new” computer/hard drive…


. And go back to the original location you have just found…

I.e. the “Mail” folder then “paste” the contents you have just retrieved..


You will have to decide on whether to “copy and replace” on this action… generally, the “larger” file will be the one you want to “keep”… as the newer one will probably be empty…

this also gives you an alternative to “copy but keep both” files… ( not sure if this will work, but you should have your stuff safe, and could delete the “spare” files if nothing has been put in there…


After doing all that… close down Thunderbird, and restart it


you should now be able to read all your old emails, from the old computer on your new install .


Good Luck.