Backup email?

Preston Hagar prestonh at
Tue Sep 6 19:38:28 UTC 2011

On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM, Knute Johnson <ubuntu at> wrote:
> Is there a way to backup emails?  My mail server has about 6GB of emails
> stored in IMAP accounts that could be kept somewhere else if I had a way to
> get at them occasionally.  Is there a simple offline storage system that
> would work with Thunderbird?
> Thanks,
> --
> Knute Johnson

In Thunderbird 3 or later, go to Account Settings, then
Synchronization & Storage under the account you want to back up.
Check the "keep messages for this account on this computer" and then
make sure the other settings are setup to include all messages.

Once it syncs it all (may take a while depending on your connection),
you have a couple of options.  For just a backup, backup your
~/.thunderbird directory.  A few directories in that one are all your
emails in mbox format.

If you want them easily accessible, but not on your server, make sure
your Thunderbird is on "All folders in the left menu pane"  then just
drag the folders/emails you want to back up from their current
location on your account under Local Folders.   This will store them
locally, make the searchable from within Thunderbird, and should
remove them from the email server (if not, you can then delete them
from the email server).  No extra software needed.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list