MozillaZine


Transferring Thunderbird to new computer

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Caleb Murdock
 
Posts: 6
Joined: September 25th, 2021, 4:07 am

Post Posted September 25th, 2021, 4:23 am

First, the craziest thing is happening at the Mozilla forums. They have a "Log In/Sign Up" link. When I click on it, it takes me to a page where I can't find any way to log in!

I'm sure that lots of people have posted this problem before, and I'm sorry to do it again, but I can't figure it out. I have a new Windows 10 computer. On a portable USB drive, I saved the directories "Program Files", "Program Files (x86)" and "Users" from my old computer, just assuming that I could pull the Profile document from the Users directory, but I can't find a way to do that, especially since their are a lot of hidden directories in Users.

If necessary, I could reattach all my cables to my old computer and follow directions I've found on the internet, but I would rather not if there is an easy way to pull the profile document from the Users directory.

In case you are curious, I couldn't find any way to attach my old hard drive to my new computer so that the computer would recognize it.

Also, I had thought that the Thunderbird installation program would search the drives of my new computer looking for an old Profile document, but it doesn't seem to be doing that (so I aborted the installation process).

Thanks for any help you can give me.

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 125284
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted September 25th, 2021, 6:06 am

Thunderbird does not search the entire hard drive looking for files/folders it can recognize. Instead there is a standard installation location that it looks for. You don't need the directories "Program Files", "Program Files (x86)" or most of what's under "Users". The Thunderbird profile is located under C:\Users\WINUSERID\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird.

See if this article is helpful -- viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1421375&p=7251375#p7251375

For an alternative approach, see tanstaafl's posts in this thread -- viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2942915&p=14209121#p14209121

Caleb Murdock
 
Posts: 6
Joined: September 25th, 2021, 4:07 am

Post Posted September 25th, 2021, 1:55 pm

Thanks for your help.

I don't see an AppData directory or Roaming directory. They are apparently hidden.

So I modified your suggestion to what it would have been on my old computer:

G:\Users\Caleb\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\

(G:\ represents the portable drive that the old Users directory is now on.)

When I did a search in Windows Explorer in G:, that brought up a long list of directories and files, including

G:\Users\Caleb\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\

Do I copy that directory and then paste it into the C: drive? Is that the way to get it into the Users directory on my new computer?

Thanks again for your help.

Caleb Murdock
 
Posts: 6
Joined: September 25th, 2021, 4:07 am

Post Posted September 25th, 2021, 2:42 pm

Okay, here's a new problem:

I believe that I managed to transfer my old profile folder into c:\Users. I then installed Thunderbird 91 in the normal way. But I can't start Thunderbird, so I can't activate my old profile. When I double-click the Thunderbird icon, it doesn't open Thunderbird. Rather, it takes me into a setup page of some sort.

Caleb Murdock
 
Posts: 6
Joined: September 25th, 2021, 4:07 am

Post Posted September 25th, 2021, 3:49 pm

Okay, I have made some progress, but I'm still stuck.

I got my old thunderbird "xxxxxx.default" into the correct folder, and then I deleted the "default" directories that the new installation created (there was more than one). Then I restarted Thunderbird assuming that it would default to the old "xxxxxx.default" directory, but it didn't. It gave me a prompt telling me that Thunderbird could not start because my profile was "missing or inaccessible". Now, the Thunderbird installation on my old computer was around version 66, and the new Thunderbird installation on my new computer is version 91. Could that be the problem -- some incompatibility?

Thank you.

Caleb Murdock
 
Posts: 6
Joined: September 25th, 2021, 4:07 am

Post Posted September 25th, 2021, 7:01 pm

I'm not getting any answers any more, but I want to thank Dan for the help you gave me.

I did indeed manage to copy the appropriate folders into the Users directory on my new computer. Then I deleted the directories that TB 91 created -- but when I started it up, it wouldn't recognize the old profile. So with the help of my computer engineer brother, we figured it out: We ended up making alterations to the profile.ini folder, and then selected the right profile in Profile Manager, and that fixed the problem. Now, hundreds of thousands of past emails are available to me, and TB is set up just the way I want it (with one exception, which I will start a new thread about).

DanRaisch
Moderator

User avatar
 
Posts: 125284
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 8:57 pm
Location: Somewhere on the right coast

Post Posted September 26th, 2021, 4:15 am

Sorry, I did compose an additional response to you (on a different computer) but it seems that it didn't post properly. In that I suggested that profiles.ini might have been moved to an invalid location or had been lost or damaged during the transfer efforts. I'm pleased to hear that you and your brother were able to work things out and have Thunderbird working now.

Caleb Murdock
 
Posts: 6
Joined: September 25th, 2021, 4:07 am

Post Posted September 26th, 2021, 8:13 pm

Well, you know how it is when you are setting up a new computer. I didn't want to wait for an answer.

What happened was very interesting. I put my old Default directory from my old computer into the new Users directory, and then I deleted all the new Default directories created by Thunderbird 91 (for some reason it created several). I assumed that Thunderbird would default to the old Default directory, but it didn't. My brother and I discovered Profile Manager, and then realized that it accesses the profile.ini file. So we modified the profile.ini file to make the old Profile an option, and it worked. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see Thunderbird 91 start up looking like my old Thunderbird with all my old emails still in place.

Thanks again.

Return to Thunderbird Support


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: EmileB and 5 guests