How To Backup Thunderbird Messages

Dear Computer Lady,

I am using Windows backup to keep my files backed up. I have found where my pictures, documents and favorites are stored, but I am not sure where the emails and contacts are kept.

I am using Thunderbird, and when I asked at the store, the tech told me that Thunderbird messages can’t be backed up or transferred. If this is true, I need to find a new email program, I need my messages and contacts!

Thank you, Debbie

Dear Debbie,

Not only is it possible to backup and/or transfer your thunderbird files, it is easier than most email programs.

Thunderbird saves your personal information like messages and contacts in a set of files and folders called a “Profile”. All you have to do is find and backup and/or copy the profile folders and you will be backed up.

Thunderbird can actually show you where your profile folders are located. Here is how to get that information:

1. Open Thunderbird.

2. Click on the menu icon (3 horizontal lines in the upper-right corner) point to “Help” and click on “Troubleshooting Information”

3. In the, “Application Basics” section, find the “Profile Folder” section and click on the “Show Folder” button.

4. This will open the folder containing all your files, and the location of that folder will be displayed in the address bar.

If you want to make the backup simple, just backup the entire folder named, Users on your C: drive and you will have all the files you need.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • ruthelias
    • September 27, 2016

    Thanks for all your help.
    I tried to do this, and when I was sent to the profile folder there was an email file. I tried to open it with all the optional programs, but all I could get was a long list of computerese.
    Am I doing something wrong?

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