Back Up or Copy a Mozilla Thunderbird Profile

Copy your email to another location

All your emails, contacts, filters, settings, and whatnot in one place—Mozilla Thunderbird—are great, but in two locations, they are even better.

Fortunately, copying all your Mozilla Thunderbird data is straightforward.

Create an archive of all your Mozilla Thunderbird data (emails, contacts, settings) as a backup or to copy it to a different computer.

Instructions in this article apply to Mozilla Thunderbird 68.4.1 on Windows 11 v91.2.0, Windows 10, 8, and 7, Mac OS X 10.9 and higher, or GNU/LINUX.

Back Up or Copy Your Mozilla Thunderbird Profile

You need a backup when you have lost your data. Copying a Mozilla Thunderbird profile makes for a perfect (and easily created) backup.

  1. Open your Mozilla Thunderbird profile directory. From within Thunderbird, select the Menu button or bar.

    Screenshot of Menu in Thunderbird
  2. Select Help and then choose More Troubleshooting Information from the Help menu. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.

    Screenshot of Troubleshooting Information
  3. Select Open Folder next to Profile Folder in the Application Basics section. The profile directory folder will open.

    Screenshot of Profile Folder button
  4. Exit Thunderbird.

  5. Go to one level above your profile's folder, such as C:\Users\You\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles

    Screenshot of profile folder
  6. Right-click your profile folder, which should have the format xxxxxxxx.default, and select Copy.

    If you're on Windows 11, you want to select the copy button. Or, to find the old Copy option, select Show more options from the right-click menu.

    Screenshot of right-click menu
  7. Right-click the backup location and select Paste.

Restore a Thunderbird Profile Backup

Replacing the existing profile with the backup and starting Thunderbird will restore an existing profile folder, provided the backup folder has the same name.

The profile folder names must match exactly, including the random 8-character string, or replacing the folder will not work.

If they do not match or you want to restore or move the profile to another location, copy and paste the contents as follows.

  1. Exit Thunderbird.

  2. Create a new Thunderbird profile and then exit the Profile Manager.

    If you are moving to Thunderbird on a new computer, you can use the default profile Thunderbird creates automatically without creating a new one.

  3. Locate and open the backed-up profile folder.

  4. Select all of the folder contents and choose Copy.

  5. Locate and open the new profile folder.

  6. Paste the contents of the backed up profile folder into the new profile folder. Choose to overwrite existing files of the same name.

  7. Start Thunderbird.

Move a Thunderbird Profile

If you want to move a profile or set up Thunderbird to use a profile stored in another location, moving your Mozilla Thunderbird profile allows you to change the location of your profile, including emails, contacts, settings, filters, and more.

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