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Thread: Mozilla Thunderbird Mail File

  1. #1
    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Pretoria (National)
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    Mozilla Thunderbird Mail File

    Hi All,

    I am playing around with Thunderbird email client to possibly use it to backup some of my accounts.

    I got most of it to work, but i cannot figure out where it stores the actual emails? Like MS outlook has a PST file which you can copy and reload?

    How does one locate this file for Thunderbird or does it not have this feature to restore a mail file ?


  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2011
    Cape Town
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    I could've typed it for you, but it's just easier to copy paste.


  3. #3
    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Yes basically TB has a folder (and its subfolders) unlike the one single file for OL. You could simply copy the 2 TB files (the one without the extension & its index MSF file) into one of these folders. Then restart TB and the folder is inside. BTW, you can still specify where this folder should reside (per account), simply open Tools --> Account Settings. Then open the relevant account's Server Settings branch and click the Browse button at the bottom (next to the "Local directory" field).
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    However, I still don't like the fact that this file contains all the emails inside a specific email folder. Fortunately it's not like OL where all the emails (in all the folders) of one (or more) account(s) is all inside one single file (i.e. it's an all-there or all-not-there option).

    For this reason I install the Import Export Tools addon. This allows a right-click option on any folder so you can export them as individual EML files (other options also available, but this is the best IMO). These EML files are actually the RAW data for each email - i.e. it contains everything about the email (unlike html, txt, etc.), even the attachments. And you can open the EML file inside TB as if it's a normal email, or you can import one or more into a folder - thus you can "restore" emails this way.

    Unfortunately there's no current "backup/restore" for TB as yet. Someone seems to have thought of the idea, but it's not implemented yet:

    If you simply want to "backup" selected emails, select them using Shift/Ctrl + Click, Right-Click and Save As.., then browse to the folder where they should be saved. This also generates individual EML files.

    Edit: Forgot to mention, these EML files can also directly be opened in Outlook. So they're not a TB lock-in solution. To me that's probably their 2nd best "feature".
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

  4. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (03-Mar-11)

  5. #4
    Email problem
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    Feb 2011
    Cape Town
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    This is very informative. I have also started experimenting with TB as I became annoyed with the amount of Spam mail that I was receiving in OL,must say that I can't look back.As an addition I have installed Open DNS. Open DNS is the world's leading provider of Internet navigation and security. Make your network safer, faster, smarter and more reliable without the cost and complexity of traditional security services.

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