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Combining mail from two profiles - SeaMonkey

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

This article explains how to combine mail (and perhaps address books, message filters or other files) from two Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey profiles. Thunderbird users should read Importing folders and Transferring data to a new profile - Thunderbird.

In the guide given below, MainProfile indicates your primary or "main" profile, where the copied data will end up. The SourceProfile is the profile that contains the data to be copied. These can be two profiles on the same computer or two profiles on different computers. The mail you wish to combine could be from the same or different mail servers or for different email addresses for the same mail server.

Contents

Become familiar with the profile contents

Inside each profile folder and subfolders you will find various files including "msgFilterRules.dat", "popstate.dat", "prefs.js", and "training.dat" (see Profile folder - SeaMonkey for more information on those files). You will also see a number of folders such as "ImapMail", if you've set up IMAP accounts, and "News", if you've set up newsgroup accounts. We won't be concerned with these folders, since those messages are stored on a remote server and are accessible from any profile. The mail files that we are concerned with are those stored in the "Mail" folder, which holds your downloaded mail messages.

Inside the "Mail" folder, you will find a "Local Folders" subfolder, which may contain sent newsgroup messages, IMAP mail or other saved mail you've chosen to store under Local Folders. (The "Local Folders" subfolder may also include mail for "POP" (Post Office Protocol) mail accounts, if you set them up using the SeaMonkey Global Inbox feature.) You will also find other "Mail" subfolders for each mail account, typically named something like "pop.myisp.com" or "mail.myemailservice.net". (If you have recreated a mail account for the same mail server, such as for different e-mail addresses, or if you removed and then added back the mail account for the same e-mail address, then you will have numbered account folders, such as pop.myisp-1.com and pop.myisp-2.com.)

Inside these "Mail" subfolders are your actual mail files (also known as "mbox" files) with names such as Inbox, Sent, Drafts, etc., with no extension. These mail files contain your actual messages. Each will have a corresponding index file with the ".msf" extension, such as "Inbox.msf", "Sent.msf", and "Drafts.msf". These .msf files are index files and it is not necessary to copy them to the MainProfile, as they will be regenerated if needed. There may also be folders named with the ".sbd" extension, which usually represent mail folders that contain one or more subfolders.

Familiarize yourself with the contents of both profile folders and how they are organized. You should open Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey in both the MainProfile and the SourceProfile, if possible, and make a note of the local directory name used (as shown in the "Mail &Newsgroups Account Settings" window) for Local Folders and in each mail account's server settings, for those mail accounts you will be adding or merging. For example, jsmith@myisp.com's mail may be stored in the pop.myisp.com folder and james@myisp.com account's mail may be stored in the pop.myisp-1.com folder in the SourceProfile. Be aware that the MainProfile may have different numbered subfolder names assigned for those e-mail addresses.

Make a backup of both profile folders

Completely close Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey. Make sure you also close any open mail messages, download windows, Quick Launch, etc.

Locate and make a backup copy of the profile folder for your MainProfile, where you will be copying the new data files, so that in case things go wrong, you can restore the original data to your Main Profile. Also make a backup copy of the SourceProfile, as you may need to rename certain files.

Add mail accounts that may be needed in the MainProfile

If your SourceProfile (source of the data) has additional mail accounts that you want to use in the MainProfile for downloading and sending mail, either for another mailserver or a different e-mail address for the same mailserver, add these mail accounts in the MainProfile. (To start up with the MainProfile, you may need to use the Profile Manager.) To create each new account in the MainProfile, go to "Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings", click on the "Add Account" button, and fill in the account settings. Do not download new mail, or, if you do, copy the new messages to Local Folders (create a new mailbox and copy the messages there) since you will be replacing the mail files in the added account with the mail files from the SourceProfile. Be aware that adding additional accounts for the same mailserver will add a new numbered account sub-folder to the MainProfile's Mail folder, for example, pop.myisp-1.com and pop.myisp-2.com for additional e-mail address accounts for the same pop.myisp.com mailserver. These account subfolders are identified in the Local Directory field in the server settings for each account, within the Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey "Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings" window.

Compact the mail files in each profile

Compact folders for all accounts in the MainProfile, exit Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey, then restart the application in the SourceProfile. Compact folders for all accounts then exit Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey. (It's not absolutely necessary to compact folders but it is recommended because it will tidy up the mailbox files and reduce the file sizes.)

Copy the contents of the SourceProfile mail folders to the MainProfile

Decide which mail files you will copy from the SourceProfile to the MainProfile.

  • If you added a new mailserver account to the MainProfile, copy the contents of the SourceProfile's Mail account folder for that mailserver into the corresponding Mail account folder in the MainProfile, overwriting the files of the same name (which should be empty, if you didn't download new mail to the MainProfile for the new mailserver account).
  • If you created a new email address account for the same mailserver in the MainProfile, decide which account in the SourceProfile corresponds to that email address account, and then copy the entire contents of the SourceProfile's Mail account subfolder to the corresponding MainProfile's Mail subfolder account folder, overwriting the existing files. For example, you may be copying files from a folder named pop.myisp-2.com from the SourceProfile to a folder named pop.myisp.1.com in the MainProfile, depending on how many times you've created a mail account for the same mail server.
  • If you are merging mail for the same e-mail address account, such as old mail from the SourceProfile which you wish to copy to the MainProfile, first rename the mail files with no extension in your SourceProfile Mail account folder (or the backup copy) such as "Inbox" to OldInbox and "Sent" to OldSent but do not copy any of the ".msf files" (mail summary files). Also copy any ".sbd" folders (subfolders).

If you have numbered subfolders for the same mailserver, you will need to determine the correct account by either opening the Inbox or other mail file in a text editor to see the contents, or by looking at the mail account's server settings, Local Directory field from within the "Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings" window by opening the application in each profile.

Note: It's also possible to move the SourceProfile files into a pre-existing ".sbd" folder in the MainProfile, but you will need to be careful about naming conflicts as described above.

Local Folders

The contents of the Local Folders can be copied as above, depending on whether you wish to overwrite (replacing existing files) or merge, by renaming the SourceProfile files before copying to the MainProfile's Mail Local Folders subfolder.

Address books

To move address books either export each address book from the SourceProfile as an LDIF file and then import each into the MainProfile, or directly copy the address book files. See Moving address books between profiles for further details.

Restart the application

Restart Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey using the MainProfile. Verify that the mail files you copied over now appear in the folders pane and that you can view individual messages. Drag and drop messages/folders in the folders pane as desired. Delete any folders that you no longer need. Exit Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey, then restart using the MainProfile, and double-check to make sure that all the mail you copied over is in fact where you expect to find it.

When you're confident that you've successfully brought the mail, address books, and/or other files, delete the temporary profile backups, if you wish to regain the disk space and no longer need the backups.

See also