How to Restore a Mozilla Thunderbird Profile From a Backup

The profile contains your personal data and email

Mozilla Thunderbird mail application

Plommespiser / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Mozilla Thunderbird stores all your data including messages, contacts, and configuration settings in a backup profile file. You may never need it, but it is a good idea to make a backup profile from time to time, just in case. When you want to restore your Mozilla Thunderbird data from a backup copy, the process is simple.

Locate the Thunderbird Profile

Before you can replace it with a backup profile, you need to find the existing profile on your Windows or Mac computer. To locate it:

  1. Open Thunderbird.

  2. Select Help on the menu bar.

  3. Select Troubleshooting Information.

    Thunderbird's Troubleshooting Information
  4. In the Application Basics section, next to Profile Folder click Show in Finder, which takes you to the profile folder on your computer.

If you have never moved your profile folder, you can opt to go directly to the profile folder in Windows 10, 8.1, 7, and Vista using this path: C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

The direct path on a Mac running OS X or macOS is ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/<Profile name>/

However you get there, you'll see a folder with a six-random-character name and a .default extension.

Restore a Mozilla Thunderbird Profile From a Backup Copy

To restore your Mozilla Thunderbird Profile from a backup:

  1. After you've located the existing Thunderbird profile, quit Thunderbird.

  2. Confirm that the existing profile folder and the profile backup have identical names.

  3. If your backup profile uses the .Restoration Profile extension, change it to the .default extension.

  4. Replace the existing profile with the backup file.

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