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Thunderbird (TB) notes

The Thunderbird configuration folder (settings, local mailboxes, address books, etc…) is stored by default somewhere in a hidden section of the user's Windows directory (C:\Users\<your_login>).

It's a good idea to move this folder to another known place, in order to be able to back it up or move it to a new computer later!

The steps for moving/restoring the Firefox (FF) configuration directory are the same as the the Thunderbird steps below, except that the location of the configuration directory is slightly different.

If you are using Linux, go the the Thunderbird and Firefox on Linux page

Prerequisite

  • You must have started (and exited) TB at least once (in order to initialize the configuration files)

Moving the TB configuration directory to a specific directory

  1. Make sure TB is not running!
  2. Go to the TB main directory
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<your_login>\Application Data\Thunderbird
    • Windows 7 or Windows 10: C:\Users\<your_login>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird
  3. Locate the TB configuration directory in the Thunderbird\Profiles directory (a sub-directory named <random_string>.default)
  4. Are you doing this operation for the first time, or restoring settings from another computer?
    1. Restoring: go to the Restoring a TB configuration directory section just below
    2. Doing a clean configuration for the first time:
      • Copy the <random_string>.default folder to a fixed and known location on the computer, preferably a sub-directory of the manually created user DATA FOLDER and rename the copied directory to give it a more meaningful name
        • We suggest the following copy/rename: <random_string>.default\<disk:>\Users\<your_login>\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your_login>_TB\
  5. Edit the Thunderbird\profiles.ini file so that TB knows where to look for the new location of its configuration directory
    • IsRelative=1
      IsRelative=0
    • Path=Profiles\<random_string>.default
      Path=<disk:>\Users\<your_login>\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your_login>_TB
    • When you are finished, the content of profiles.ini should be the following. If there are other settings defined in the file, you can (safely) erase them, and TB will add them again automatically the next time it is started
      [Profile0]
      Name=default
      IsRelative=0
      Path=Path=<disk:>\Users\<your_login>\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your_login>_TB
      Default=1
      
      [General]
      StartWithLastProfile=1
      Version=2
  6. Start TB and check that everything is the same as before
  7. Later, when things seem to work correctly, remove the original C:\Users\<your_login>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<random_string>.default directory!

Restoring a TB configuration directory

You have copied a TB configuration from another computer to your new computer and want to use it! We assume that the copied TB directory is:

  • <disk:>\Users\<your_login>\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your_login>_TB
  1. Start and exit TB, in order to have it initialize its default configuration
  2. Go to the configuration directory:
    • Windows 7 or Windows 10: C:\Users\<your_login>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird
  3. Do some cleaning:
    1. Remove the the Thunderbird\Profiles\<random_string>.default\ directory that was created when you started TB for the first time on this computer
    2. Remove the Thunderbird\installs.ini file (it will be automatically recreated later)
  4. Edit the Thunderbird\profiles.ini file so that TB knows where to look for the new location of its configuration directory
    • IsRelative=1
      IsRelative=0
    • Path=Profiles\<random_string>.default
      Path=<disk:>\Users\<your_login>\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your_login>_TB
    • When you are finished (don't forget to save the profiles.ini configuration file!), the content of profiles.ini should be the following. If there are other settings defined in the file, you can (safely) erase them, and TB will add them again automatically the next time it is started
      [Profile0]
      Name=default
      IsRelative=0
      Path=Path=<disk:>\Users\<your_login>\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your_login>_TB
      Default=1
      
      [General]
      StartWithLastProfile=1
      Version=2
  5. Start TB and check that everything is OK and that you have access to your existing mailboxes and settings
When following the TB steps to restore a Firefox (FF) configuration, it is possible that FF will create a new configuration, instead of the one specified in profiles.ini. If that's the case:
  1. Open the profile configuration page, by pasting about:profiles in the location bar of FF
  2. On this profile config page, locate the profile stored in C:\Users\<your_login>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox
  3. Click on Define as default to make this the default profile
  4. Restart FF
  5. Open about:profiles again and remove the profile(s) that is(/are) not using C:\Users\<your_login>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox

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other/thunderbird.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/13 14:16 by jypeter