How to Transfer Thunderbird Settings and Email on a Mac

How to Transfer Thunderbird Settings and Email on a Mac. Thunderbird is a free, stable and secure email program with advanced spam filtering developed by the same people who released the Firefox web browser. While it's a popular program, it does lack the ability to move your accounts to a new computer easily. Facing an operating system upgrade? Or perhaps you need to move all your programs to a new computer. This article will show you exactly how to move your Thunderbird email settings and mail to a new environment.

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Transfer Thunderbird Settings and Email on a Mac

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Launch Thunderbird on the "old" Mac.

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Empty your Trash and Junk folders for each of your email accounts. This will make moving your settings a little faster.

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Close Thunderbird.

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Locate your Default Thunderbird Profile folder named "XXXXXX.default" where the X's are a random mix of numbers and letters. On a Mac running OS X it's located in your Home folder (or if you have multiple users on your Mac, your user account's folder) > Library > Thunderbird > Profiles.

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Since it's possible to use multiple profiles on one installation of Thunderbird, you may have more than one.

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Copy all the files in the Default folder to your removable storage or a spot on the network, or directly to the new computer over the network. You can also choose to create a zip file and then move the one zip file. Compress the folders in the Default folder by selecting all the items in the folder, right-clicking and selecting "Create Archive of x Items" or "Compress x Items" (depending on which version of OS X you're running).

Step

Start up the "new" Mac running Mac OS X and download, install & launch Thunderbird. By launching Thunderbird, the program will create a new Default Profile in Home > Library > Thunderbird > Profiles.

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Shut down Thunderbird.

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Move (and unzip if you've made an archive) the contents of the Default folder from the "old" Mac to the "new" Mac's Default Profile for Thunderbird.

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Again, the Default Profile folder is located in Home > Library > Thunderbird > Profiles and is named "XXXXXXX.default" where the X's stand for random characters.

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Relaunch Thunderbird--your old settings and email are ready for use in this new installation.

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