Import data from an old, non-working Thunderbird profile to new one

Use these instructions if you have files from an old Thunderbird Profile, but the Profile does not work.  If the old Profile works, then follow the instructions on this webpage instead.

First, create the e-mail accounts in the profile.


If the e-mail was done using POP and/or Thunderbird Local Folders were being used, quit Thunderbird, then copy the contents of the "Mail/Local Folders" and "Mail/**pop-account**" folders from the backup to the corresponding locations in the new Profile.  IMAP mail will still be on the server, so you won't have to do this for IMAP mail.

Message Filters for POP mail

They will be copied when you copy the mail above.

Message Filters for IMAP mail

Quit Thunderbird.  From the Profile backup, look for the ImapMail folder, then the IMAP account under it.  Copy the msgFilterRules.dat file from there to the same location in the new Profile.

Address Books

1. Download the add-on: MoreFunctionsForAddressBook.  Click on the link and save the .xpi file to your computer.

2. Follow the instructions in Installing an Add-on in Thunderbird for "A slightly less ideal case", to install the add-on.

3. Restart Thunderbird.

4. Open the Address Book.

5. Right-click "All Address Books", select "MoreFunctionsForAddressBook", then "Import addressbook from mab file".

6. Choose a name for the address book we are going to import.  Do not name it "Personal Address Book" or "Collected Addresses".  Those are special names.

7. Look for .MAB files in the backup of the profile. These are the address book files. You will choose them one at a time to import this way.

8. You will be prompted to restart Thunderbird to finish the import.  You can wait until you have imported each of the address books before restarting Thunderbird.

9. Once you have started Thunderbird again, open the Address Book, and look at the address books you imported.  They should have all your contacts.  You can select them all and drag and drop them to other address books if you want, then delete the empty address books.


1. Copy from the profile backup the most recent .ICS files from "calendar-data/backup", to "calendar-data" in the new profile.  Rename the files to something else, but keep the extension .ICS

2. In Thunderbird, go to the Calendar tab, press the ALT or F10 key to show the menu, then click on File: Open: Calendar file.

3. Navigate to the "calendar-data" folder in the new profile, and choose one of the ICS files.

4. The calendar data from that file will now show in the Thunderbird calendar.  If it doesn't have all the calendar data, try doing the same thing with other ICS files from the "calendar-data/backup" folder in the Profile backup.

5. Right-click on the name of the calendar on the left side and choose, "Properties".  You can now change the calendar name and color.


Last edited 2017-May-16



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