MozillaZine

Moving your mail storage location - Thunderbird

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

By default, your mail is stored in your profile folder, along with your address books and settings. If you want to move your mail (but not the entire contents of the profile folder) to a different location, follow the steps below.

Thunderbird tries to check that you are not using a directory where something might accidentally delete your data, but its not infallible. Read Dangerous directories to check whether you are making a safe choice, before you change where your mail is stored. Also think about how this effects how you back up your data. Mozbackup for example only backs up directories in the profile.

Contents

For accounts using the Global Inbox (Local Folders)

1. Set Thunderbird to use offline mode by selecting File -> Offline -> Work Offline. It only takes a minute to change the local directory but working offline eliminates any chance of downloading a new message while you are doing that.

2. Exit Thunderbird. Create a directory in the new location where you would like to store your mail.

3. Go to your existing profile folder and copy your mail files over to the new location. By default accounts using the Global Inbox have their messages stored in Local Folders, which is located in the "Mail" folder in your profile folder. Copy the entire contents of "Local Folders", including all subfolders, over to the new location.

4. Start Thunderbird and go to "Tools -> Account Settings", and then click on "Local Folders" in the left pane (you may need to scroll down to see it). Where it says "Local directory", click on the "Browse..." button to select the folder you created in step 2 and click the "OK" button. Verify that the "Local directory" field shows the correct path to the new storage location of your mail.

5. Set Thunderbird to use online mode again by selecting File -> Offline -> Work Online. Once you're certain that Thunderbird recognizes the new location of your mail, you can go back and delete the old mail files from your profile folder.

For accounts not using the Global Inbox

1. Set Thunderbird to use offline mode by selecting File -> Offline -> Work Offline. It only takes a minute to change the local directory but working offline eliminates any chance of downloading a new message while you are doing that.

2. Exit Thunderbird. Create a directory in the new location where you would like to store your mail. If you are changing the storage location for more than one account, create a separate directory for each account.

3. Go to your existing profile folder and copy your mail files over to the new location. For each account you want to move find that account's folder in the "Mail" folder (POP3 accounts) or the "ImapMail" folder (IMAP accounts) and copy its entire contents, including all of its subfolders, over to the new location. If you're not sure where an account stores its folders look in "Tools -> Account Settings -> [account name] -> Server Settings -> Local directory.

4. Start Thunderbird and go to "Tools -> Account Settings -> [account name] -> Server Settings". Where it says "Local directory", click on the "Browse..." button to select the folder you created in step 2. Click the "OK" button and verify that the "Local directory" field shows the correct path to the new storage location of your mail.

5. If you have more than one mail account, repeat step 4 for each account whose mail you moved in steps 2-3.

6. Set Thunderbird to use online mode again by selecting File -> Offline -> Work Online. Once you're certain that Thunderbird recognizes the new location of your mail, you can go back and delete the old mail files from your profile folder.

See also

External links