Though there are a ton of email clients for Windows, there is nothing better than Thunderbird, at least for me. I've been using Thunderbird for many years now and not once I've felt frustrated or disappointed by it. Sure, Windows 10 has a built-in modern Mail client but frankly, as of now, it doesn't hold a candle to the features or usability of Thunderbird.
Of all the things, one of the features I really like about Thunderbird is the ability to create and restore profile backups. The Thunderbird profile is that stores all your email account and email. So, by backing up the profile, you are backing up the entire thunderbird client.
Now, you might be thinking why backup Thunderbird? After all, adding a new mail account doesn't take more than a couple of clicks. If you have just a couple of email accounts then adding them manually is big deal. However, if you are like me and have more than a couple then it is not that entertaining to add all of them each and every time you re-install Windows or Thunderbird.
Thankfully, when you add email accounts, Thunderbird will create a profile with that information. To backup thunderbird data, all you have to do is backup thunderbird profile. After backing up the Thunderbird profile, you can use it to restore Thunderbird when you re-install Thunderbird or Windows. If needed, you can even copy Thunderbird profile to the other system. So, without further ado, let me show how to backup Thunderbird in Windows 10.
Though the guide is focused on Windows 10, the Thunderbird backup method shown below will work on Windows 7 and 8 too.
Backup Thunderbird Profile Along with Emails and Email Accounts
As I said earlier, to backup Thunderbird, all you have to do is backup thunderbird profile. Fortunately, the Thunderbird profile is located in your home folder and can be found easily.
1. To get started, press Win + E to open File Explorer. Alternatively, you can click on the File Explorer icon or search for it in the start menu.
2. In the File Explorer, go to "C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\" location. Replace <username> with your actual username. This is where Thunderbird stores your user profile.
3. Here you'll see a folder called Profiles and a file called profiles.ini. The Profiles folder contains all your emails and email accounts. The profiles.ini file links the Profile folder to Thunderbird. To backup Thunderbird, select the "Profiles" folder and the "profiles.ini" file, copy them and paste them in some other folder. In my case, I copied them to my backups folder within OneDrive.
That's it, you've successfully done with Thunderbird backup.
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 re-install Thunderbird or Windows.
1. First, quit Thunderbird if it is already opened. Then copy the backed-up Profiles folder and profiles.ini file. It is important that you copy both file and folder.
2. Now, go to "C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\". Replace <username> with your actual username.
3. Paste the file and folder in the above location. You will be prompted to Replace or Skip files. Click on the "Replace files in the destination" to complete the restore process.
After completing the restore process, open Thunderbird client and you will see all your Thunderbird email accounts and emails restored.
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 Thunderbird profile and restore it in the same location when needed. Typically, I backup thunderbird profile to my OneDrive account so that I can access it on my other system and restore it whenever I need.
Also, I use a free software called FreeFileSync to regularly back up the Thunderbird profile. This ensures that I have an up-to-date backup of Thunderbird.
Hope that helps. Do check out how to enable Windows Defender sandbox mode in Windows 10 to improve system security.
Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to backup and restore Thunderbird in Windows 10.