How to Backup Thunderbird Email on Windows 7

Backing up Mozilla Thunderbird email on Windows 7 is a simple process of archiving your Thunderbird profile. Follow these steps to backup emails for Thunderbird on Windows 7:

Step 1 Close Mozilla Thunderbird

Step 2 Viewing Hidden Files and Folders

  • select Start menu
  • search “folder options” and select Folder Options
  • select View tab
  • select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives
  • select Apply
  • select OK to close

Step 3 Locate and Archive your Profile

  • select file explorer
  • navigate to C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles
  • locate *.profile (preceded with random 8 character set: ie. v03180j5.profile)
  • zip *.profile (right click v03180j5.profile and Add to Zip)*

* You’ll need to download and install a ZIP untility such as 7-Zip

Congratulations, you have just backed up your Mozilla Thunderbird email on Windows 7. You can now take this zipped file of your Thunderbird email and safely store. Please remember to remove the ZIP file from the Profiles directory.

If there was ever a time that you need to revert or pull this archive back into your profile, you’ll just need to take the files (ONLY the files) within your *.profile and set those in a new *.profile folder that would be created after a fresh Mozilla Thunderbird install.

 

Post written by Ed Reckers

Founder and lead web development consultant at Red Bridge Internet : San Francisco WordPress Developers and Consultants.

10 Responses to “How to Backup Thunderbird Email on Windows 7”

  1. Charles

    I don’t have C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\

    I use Windows 7, where else could it be?

  2. ereckers

    Charles,

    You need to be able to view hidden files and folders:

    Step 2 Viewing Hidden Files and Folders

    select Start menu
    search “folder options” and select Folder Options
    select View tab
    select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives
    select Apply
    select OK to close

    The directory \AppData becomes viewable once you take care of the steps above.

  3. Linda

    Does this method back up all the emails (inbox, sent, local folders), too? If I move to a new computer, how do I restore all my old emails? That was a headache for me in the past. Why hasn’t someone made an add-on for migrating to a new computer?

  4. Ed Reckers

    Linda,

    I was able to restore my emails (inbox, sent, local folders) using this process. The last paragraph in this post describes the method.

  5. Eileen C

    Thanks! Really can’t complain about the instructions — it works beautifully.

  6. April

    If a user is at 90% capacity for Thunderbird, will this backup solve the problem or is there another route that needs to be taken?

  7. Nancy

    Step 2 select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives

    … there is no “drives”

    Step 3 Locate and Archive your Profile

    select file explorer

    When steps 1 and 2 are completed there is no “select file explorer”

  8. bishal

    I back up email but i cant put it back in another computer what the precess of that

  9. lobwedge

    If you don’t want to do this manually, a very simple and free tool for making complete Thunderbird backups is MozBackup. It’s hosted on SourceForge and it’s available with (exe) or without (zip) an installer.

  10. phobia

    This article is confusing and inadequate. Go to http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/diy-it-guy/diy-back-up-and-migrate-a-thunderbird-profile-and-folders/ on how to properly backup and migrate your Thunderbird profile.

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