Back up the Thunderbird configuration

You use the software Mozilla Thunderbird, free and open source, to manage your emails. This program is capable of receiving and sending emails for all email providers: Gmail, Orange, Free, Bell, Videotron, Proximus, SFR, Numericable, but also Exchange accounts and Office / Microsoft 365. Configured as POP or IMAP, Thunderbird is not foolproof and a crash can occur, just like a computer crash.

This tutorial explains how back up all Thunderbird software content: messages, folders, contacts, calendar, extensions. This is called a ” Thunderbird profile »Which groups together all the files used by the software. A manual for desktops and laptops under Windows, all versions (10, 8.1, 8, 7).

If the immediate goal after backing up is to put this data back on a new computer, follow this procedure to export and import Thunderbird to another PC. The installation is explained here.

Back up Mozilla Thunderbird messages and contacts

1. Close the software Thunderbird.

2. Open a Windows File Explorer and paste this in the address bar:
% APPDATA% Thunderbird Profiles

(which opens Local Disk C:> Users> Username > AppData> Roaming> Thunderbird> Profiles which is only accessible if you show hidden folders and files)

3. Copy the contents of the folder, namely a directory ” xxxxxxxx.default “And maybe a” yyyyyyy.default-release »On an external hard drive, a USB key, a network share or an account Dropbox / OneDrive.

Thunderbird Windows Profile

4. To import the profile to another computer, follow this tutorial to reset Thunderbird configuration after backup.

Recover data from Thunderbird when Windows is totally crashed

If the computer does not start anymore because Windows is damaged, there is a solution to back up all the messages, contacts and mail accounts configured in Thunderbird.

1. Take the hard drive out of the computer and connect it to another Windows PC, for example using a external USB box for hard drive and SSD. Alternative less easy to achieve, use a live CD or a bootable USB key with a mini OS to access the content of the original hard drive.

2. Go to the following folder:
[Lettre du lecteur] Users Username AppData Mozilla Thunderbird

3. Copy the contents of the folderProfiles ”On another disk, USB key or elsewhere.