How to Backup Thunderbird Emails/Profile in Windows (and Restore)

To backup Thunderbird emails, you need to export the Thunderbird profile. Here’re the steps to backup the Thunderbird profile.

If you have a lot of emails or email accounts added in the Thunderbird email client, it is important that you backup Thunderbird regularly. Backing up will help you restore Thunderbird email client and all email accounts in it when needed.

Thunderbird stores all your email accounts and emails in a profile. By backing up the Thunderbird profile, you are effectively exporting all the Thunderbird emails and email accounts. In this quick article, let me show you the process of backing up the Thunderbird profile in Windows.

The steps shown below will work on Windows 7 and 8 too.

Steps to Backup Thunderbird Profile

To backup the Thunderbird profile or emails, follow the below steps.

  1. Press “Windows Key + R” to open the “Run” dialog box.
  2. Type “%appdata%/Thunderbird” in the blank field.
  3. Click the “Ok” button.
    Backup thunderbird emails profile - run command-min
  4. In the Thunderbird directory, press “Ctrl + A” to select all the files and folders.
  5. Copy them with the “Ctrl + C” keyboard shortcut.
    Backup thunderbird emails profile - copy files-min
  6. Press “Ctrl + V” to paste the copied folders in the backup folder of your choice.
    Backup thunderbird emails profile - paste files-min

That is it. You are done backing up the Thunderbird email and profiles.

The “profiles” folder contains all the Thunderbird profiles and the “profiles.ini” file links those profiles with the Thunderbird email client. So, both these folders are important to backup. You can generally ignore the “crash reports” and “pending pings” folders as they are not necessary for the profile or emails.

Important: Make sure that you keep your backup folder in a safe place. Never share the backup folder with anyone. Anyone with access to the thunderbird backup folder can access all your email accounts and emails.

Restore Thunderbird Profile to Restore Emails and Email Accounts

After backing up Thunderbird, you can use the backup to quickly restore Thunderbird on a new system or when you reinstall Thunderbird in Windows.

These are the steps you should follow to restore the Thunderbird email or profile.

  1. Close Thunderbird if it is opened or running in the background.
  2. Select the “profiles” folder and “profiles.ini” file.
  3. Press “Ctrl + C” to copy them.
    Backup thunderbird emails profile - copy files to restore-min
  4. Now, press “Windows Key + R” to open the “Run” dialog box.
  5. Type “%appdata%/Thunderbird” and click the “Ok” button.Backup thunderbird emails profile - run command-min
  6. In this directory, press “Ctrl + V” to paste the copied folder and file.
  7. You will see a warning window, click on the “Replace the files in the destination” option.
    Backup thunderbird emails profile - select replace-min

That is it. Once the files are copied from the backup folder to the Thunderbird folder, you are done restoring the thunderbird emails and profile. Open the Thunderbird email client and you should see all your email accounts and emails ready to go.

Wrapping Up – Backup Thunderbird

As you can see, it is rather easy to backup and restore Thunderbird in Windows. All you have to do is backup the Thunderbird profile and restore it in the same location when needed. Typically, I backup the thunderbird profile to my OneDrive account so that I can access it on my laptop and restore it as and when needed.

To automatically backup thunderbird emails on a schedule, you can use FreeFileSync, a free file sync software for Windows. Having regular scheduled automatic backups ensures you have all the emails and email accounts up to date.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, do check out how to enable Windows Defender sandbox mode in Windows 10 to improve system security.

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