How do I backup my email so that I can import it all back in at a later time if I need to?

NoOp glgxg at
Tue Jan 27 23:00:31 UTC 2009

On 01/26/2009 11:12 PM, Ray Parrish wrote:
> NoOp wrote:
>> On 01/24/2009 02:59 PM, mark Pyles wrote:
>>> Hi everyone:
>>> I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 (Gnome desktop) with thunderbird Is 
>>> there a way to backup all  my mail and folders to be able to import them 
>>> back into thunderbird at a later time if needed say like to do a 
>>> re-install or if the computer runs a muck? Thanks.
>>> Mark
>> Yes. Just copy your .thunderbird folder to whatever
>> medium/partition/drive/usb-stick that you wish.
> Close, but that gets a bit more than just your mail, and it's actually 
> /.mozilla-thunderbird not just /.thunderbird.

We (I) determined in another thread that .thunderbird is when you
install Thunderbird directly, .mozilla-thunderbird is when you install
the Ubuntu version from the repo.

> NoOp's method will likely get things like your user profile and address 
> book along with your mail. To backup *just* your email copy the 
> following folder to another location.

Mail & News will contain the bulk of a folder, so I've found that it's
just as easier (and wiser) to just backup the whole thing. That way if
you need to restore, all of your profiles settings, extensions/add-ons,
etc., are restored as well. Plus, if you only want to just put back the
mail bits, you can easily just pull that folder from the backup and plug
it in.

> /home/username/.mozilla-thunderbird/jta97xpo.default/Mail
> The numbers in the second to last folder may vary for your installation. 
> I used this method to import my Thunderbird email from the Windows side 
> of my box to my Ubuntu installation of Thunderbird. This resulted in a 
> flawless import of my mail, but missed my address book, which took me 
> quite a while to rebuild. Oh well, live and learn. 8-)
> It does make sense to grab the whole thing as NoOp says to do, as you 
> will most likely also want your profile and address book when you 
> restore things.
> Later, Ray Parrish

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