Migrate Thunderbird accounts between Windows, Linux or Mac

By Viktor Ustijanoski | 17 December 2010

One of the best features of Mozilla Thunderbird is multi-platform usability. You will ask, what’s this mean for me? Well, you can use Thunderbird on any platform – Windows, Linux, Mac without loosing your accounts, mails, add-ons, calendar, tasks.. and you can easily migrate between if you work with two or three platforms at the same time or if you need platform change for some project.

For migrating tutorial from Windows XP to Windows 7 read this DetectorPRO tutorial.

First you need to install Thunderbird. Next, for easy migrating you need to copy your Thunderbird profile folder from one platform to another. Then you have to edit file profiles.ini in the same folder and change profile path (Profile file will look like “8njr1482.default”):

Path=profile name

Where are the files located?

1. Windows XP

For Windows XP, first you need to set up your folder options to show hidden Windows files – go to My Computer/Tools/Folder Options and then choose View. From the View tab choose “Show hidden files and folders” and click OK.

The Thunderbird profile is located on:

C:\Documents and Settings\[Your USERNAME]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles

2. Windows 7

Set up your Windows 7 to show hidden files and folders – go to Computer/Organize/Folder and Search options/View and select Show hidden files, folders and drives.

The Thunderbird profile is located on:

C:\Users\[your USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\[profile name]

3. Linux

The steps are similar for most Linux distributions: Go to your home folder and press CTRL+H or go to Home folder and select View/Show hidden files – GNOME (on KDE find Show hidden files) to show hidden files and folders.

The Thunderbird profile is located on:

.thunderbird/[profile name] (with dot in front)

4. Mac:

With your Finder open Thunderbird folder

The Thunderbird profile is located on:

/Users/[your USERNAME]/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/[profile name]/

Now, when you know where are the profile files located, copy your Thunderbird profile folder on USB and next to any system you want to migrate. After copying, it is important to set up your profile folder path in file “profiles.ini”.

Restart Thunderbird and your accounts, mails, add-ons, calendar and tasks will be on it’s place.

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2 Responses to “Migrate Thunderbird accounts between Windows, Linux or Mac”

  1. Gabriel says:

    And how about migrating between OS’s? My particular case is migrating between LinuxMint (Ubuntu) and OS X.
    Thank you very much!

    Best regards,


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