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Moving your profile folder

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Revision as of 23:48, 15 September 2006
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(updated "simpler procedure" link to Profile_backup#Restoring_or_migrating_your_backed-up_profile)
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Initial testing seems to suggest that you can use this method to manually migrate a Mozilla Suite or Netscape 7 profile to Thunderbird, including all mail and account settings, but it may not work perfectly. To do so: Initial testing seems to suggest that you can use this method to manually migrate a Mozilla Suite or Netscape 7 profile to Thunderbird, including all mail and account settings, but it may not work perfectly. To do so:
-# Copy the entire ''contents'' of the Mozilla Suite/Netscape profile folder (ending in ".slt"), including all subfolders, to your desired location. +# Copy the entire ''contents'' of the Mozilla Suite/Netscape profile folder (ending in ".slt"), '''including''' the files pluginreg.dat, profiles.ini, registry.dat, and all subfolders, to your desired location.
# If you do the copy via a CD, remove the write-protection from the copied files. # If you do the copy via a CD, remove the write-protection from the copied files.
# Follow the procedure described [http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile here] to edit your Thunderbird profiles.ini file accordingly. # Follow the procedure described [http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile here] to edit your Thunderbird profiles.ini file accordingly.

Revision as of 18:01, 13 October 2006

The following all involve the same basic steps and are thus explained together on this page:

  • Changing the location of your profile folder
  • Moving your profile from one computer to another when this simpler procedure won't work
  • Manually restoring a backed-up profile to a location different from its original location
  • Manually importing your mail, address books, and settings from Netscape 7 or Mozilla Suite to Thunderbird (but see these other options)

In each case, you will be moving or copying the contents of an existing profile folder to a different location, so do not proceed until you have found on your computer the profile folder whose contents you want to move.

The messages and address books are stored using the same format on all platforms. If you move your profile between dissimilar operating systems (Windows to OSX for example) the pathnames in the prefs.js file (your settings) may have the wrong syntax. If this happens you can update them by using the browse button for the local directory in Tools -> Account Settings -> Server Settings and Tools -> Account Settings -> Local Folders to specify the correct account and mail directories.

Contents

Method 1

This method applies to Thunderbird and Firefox only.

The official Help documentation at mozilla.org describes procedures for Thunderbird and for Firefox whereby you can move your profile to another location and then simply point Thunderbird or Firefox to it through a simple edit of the "profiles.ini" file. This is easier than Method 2, below, which requires somewhat more complex file editing. Some users have reported that the procedure sometimes does not work, however, and the failure may be caused by installed extensions and/or themes [1]. If you try this method and it doesn't work for you, see the Troubleshooting section below or try Method 2 or Method 3.

Initial testing seems to suggest that you can use this method to manually migrate a Mozilla Suite or Netscape 7 profile to Thunderbird, including all mail and account settings, but it may not work perfectly. To do so:

  1. Copy the entire contents of the Mozilla Suite/Netscape profile folder (ending in ".slt"), including the files pluginreg.dat, profiles.ini, registry.dat, and all subfolders, to your desired location.
  2. If you do the copy via a CD, remove the write-protection from the copied files.
  3. Follow the procedure described here to edit your Thunderbird profiles.ini file accordingly.
  4. When you restart Thunderbird, go to "Tools -> Account Settings" and for each account (including Local Folders), click on "Server Settings" and verify that "Local directory" is pointed to the correct location. If it isn't, then click on the "Browse" button to fix it. You may need to exit and restart Thunderbird for these changes to take effect.
  5. If the above steps fail to migrate the profile properly, see the Troubleshooting section below or try Method 2.

Method 2

Thunderbird or Mozilla Mail users may wish to use this method for moving all mail, address books, and account settings.

  1. Create a new profile in your desired location. Exit Thunderbird (or Mozilla Suite).
  2. Copy the entire contents of your original profile folder, including all subfolders, to the new profile folder location.
  3. Next, find the prefs.js file in the new profile folder, open it with a text editor such as Notepad, and replace all instances of the old profile folder location and name with the new profile folder location and name. For example, replace all instances of "C:\\Documents and Settings\\WindowsUserAccountName\\Application Data\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\********.default" (normal location of the default profile on Windows XP) with "D:\\NewLocation\\NewProfile" (the new profile location). When finished, save the prefs.js file.
  4. Launch Thunderbird with the new profile and verify that your mail and settings have been migrated succesfully. If your mail folders appear empty after starting up, go back to step 3 and check the path names carefully. Also see the "Troubleshooting" section below.

Method 3

Instead of moving your profile folder, create a new profile and then migrate your settings to the new profile. Note: Thunderbird and Mozilla Mail users will have to manually set up all e-mail accounts again with this method.

Troubleshooting

If you have done all the steps in one of the above methods but the application's interface (such as toolbar buttons) looks strange or the application does not function properly, it could be due to interference from previously installed themes or extensions that you migrated along with the rest of your profile. Thunderbird and Firefox users can try starting up in Safe Mode, which will launch the application with extensions and themes disabled; if the application starts up OK, then extensions/themes are most likely the problem. In this case, you can try exiting the application, deleting the contents of the "chrome" and "extensions" subfolders in your profile folder, and restarting. [2] Be warned that doing so will cause you to lose all installed extensions and themes.