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How to backup email account in Thunderbird for Windows


Added: 12.02.2020 14:13:28     Last updated: 21.02.2020 12:51:41

This guide shows you how to backup your profile and e-mails in Thunderbird for Windows.
There is no easy way to easily backup the data inside Thunderbird as it is in Outlook.

PS: If your email account was set up with IMAP, you should first check your settings that Thunderbird synchronizes all messages regardless of age. Otherwise, e-mail and content will be lost when exporting.
This can be found in account settings in the "Synchronization and Storage" tab. By default in the latest versions, it is set in Thunderbird that all messages are retained as shown in the image below.

IMAP syncronization in Thunderbird

There are three different ways to backup Thunderbird e-mail.
Below we have listed two alternatives to what will be shown in the guide below.

  • Save as.
    Select all the e-mail messages in, for example, your inbox. You can do this with the keyboard by pressing "ctrl + a". Then right-click and select "Save As .."
    Select the desired folder on your machine. Thunderbird will then save all the emails as simple files in .eml format so that they can be opened in Outlook for example.
  • Extensions.
    There are several extensions that will make it much easier to export and import content to and from Thunderbird. One of the most commonly used is ImportExportToolsNG which offers many methods of export and import.

Copy the profile to Thunderbird.
This guide assumes that Thunderbird is started on your Windows machine.

Step 1:

  1. Click the "Menu Icon" in the upper right as shown below:
  2. Then press "Help".
  3. Press "Troubleshooting".
Take backup of email in Thunderbird

Step 2:
Press on "Open folder" to open the profile folder in Explorer.

Open folder to find your profile in explorer

Step 3:

Explorer will open in the profile you are in. Normally this is the default profile, but in our case we have created a new profile.
Press "Profiles" to open a folder.

Click on

Step 4:
Make a copy of the folder and place it somewhere else on the machine.

Copy profile folder to another location for backup

We have now gone through how to backup you profile folder with it's content.