How to Find Your Mozilla Thunderbird Profile Directory

Here's the easy way to find this important file on Windows, MacOS, and Linux

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Mozilla Thunderbird keeps all your messages, virtual folders, preferences, and other key information in a file — your Profile Directory — on your computer. It's easy to find should you need it for backup or a move to a new computer. The method differs among platforms, however.

On Windows:

  1. Select Run from the Start menu.

    Screenshot of Windows 10 Start menu with Run app highlighted
  2. Type "%appdata%" (without the quotes).

  3. Hit Return.

  4. Open the Thunderbird folder.

  5. Go to the Profiles folder.

  6. Open the folder of your Mozilla Thunderbird profile and look for a folder titled something like ********.default (the asterisks stand for random characters).

On macOS:

  1. Open Finder.

    Icon view in macOS Mojave Finder.
  2. Press Command + Shift + G. This opens a small window prompting you to enter a folder name.

    macOS Go to the folder screen
  3. Type

    Or, open your

    then

    >

    >

    .

  4. Open your profile's directory (again, look for ********.default where the asterisks stand for random characters.

On Linux:

  1. Go to the .thunderbird directory in your home (~) directory from your Linux distribution's file browser or a terminal window.

    If you use a file browser, make sure it shows hidden files and folders.

  2. Open the profile directory (********.default).

The directions here were tested with Thunderbird v60.6.0.