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How to Export Thunderbird Emails to New Computer (Windows)

Aldrich Calvin | Modified: 2022-05-04T05:56:24+00:00|Mozilla Thunderbird | 5 Minutes Reading

How many times has someone bought a new laptop or PC and transferred all the data from the old one to the new one? It involves a lot of hassle, isn’t it? Especially if the user has an email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook. Because of one wrong step and the user can lose all his/her emails. And don’t be shocked to know that it happens more than you can imagine! In this tutorial guide, we will tackle one such hassle that involves the Mozilla Thunderbird email application. We are going to cover how to export Thunderbird emails to new computer. So sit back, relax and have a look at the hassle-free methods.

Methods to Export Thunderbird Emails to New Computer

Now, there are two ways to go about it. And what you choose entirely depends on your requirements.

First, we will define the manual approach that would require you to locate your Thunderbird data. It is an easy way to export your emails from Thunderbird to a new computer that has another Thunderbird installed in it.

If you move emails from Thunderbird to new PC with the second method, the transferred emails can be used in multiple email applications, such as:

  • Another Mozilla Thunderbird application,
  • Microsoft Outlook (2003 – 2019).

So, simply choose as per your requirements.

Note: If the email account configured in Mozilla Thunderbird are all using IMAP, users can simply configure the accounts on the new computer. Although, it will take a lot of time. However, the data from POP accounts and Local folder needs to be exported.

The Manual Approach to Move Thunderbird Mail to New PC

(Useful for Accessing Transferred Data in New Thunderbird on New PC)

1. Fire up Mozilla Thunderbird.

2. Go to “Tools” menu bar and select “Account Settings”.

account settings

3. Click on “Server Settings” and go to the “Local directory” option.

Note: For Local folders, the Local directory can be viewed by clicking on “Local Folders” only as there is no “Server Settings” option for it.

4. Copy the complete path and open it in the file explorer.

local directory

5. Now, copy all the files into a special folder on your USB stick.

Note: The .msf files are the index files, .sbd are the subdirectory folders and files without extension store your emails.

6. Do this for all the configured accounts in Thunderbird and the Local folder. Make sure to place the files of each account in separate folders.

7. Once you have all the files copied and successfully placed on the USB stick, move them into the new computer.

8. Now, you have two options:

  1. Either configure the same email accounts in Thunderbird and point it towards the transferred data.
    • Fire the Thunderbird app on the new computer and head towards Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings.
    • Browse the location under the Local directory and select the folder transferred from another computer that contains the email account data.
  2. Or, import the files into Thunderbird and store them in the Local folder section.
    • Create a special folder on the new PC and move all the folders from the USB stick into it.
    • In Thunderbird, click on “Local Folders” and go to its “Settings”.
    • Head towards the local directory and browse the special folder containing all the other folders.
Also Read: How to Export Thunderbird Emails to PDF?

Advanced Approach to Export Thunderbird emails to New Computer

(Useful for Accessing Transferred Data in Thunderbird or Outlook on New PC)

The advanced hassle-free approach is an automated Thunderbird Converter Wizard. It automatically retrieves the Thunderbird database from the computer and converts them into specified file formats. For Thunderbird, users can opt for EML files. While for Outlook, users can opt for PST format. It also provides other file formats to export Thunderbird emails to new computer such as PDF, MSG, NSF, and HTML.

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Users can choose the email messages they wish to move or perform a complete mail transfer as per requirements. To work with it, simply do the following:

  • Launch the conversion tool and click on “Add File”.
  • Select the “Thunderbird” option along with “Default Profile Configured“.
  • Click “Next”.
  • Select “Convert All Identities” and click “Process”.
  • In the preview panel, click “Export” from the menu bar.

Note: Users can also choose the email messages to move to new computer and right-click to choose Selective Export option.

  • Select the folders and identities that you wish to export along with the export format (EML, PST, etc.).
  • Click “Export” to successfully convert MBOX to PST or MBOX to EML from Thunderbird.
  • Move the data file containing emails from Thunderbird to new computer.

Import the file in the preferred email client, simply drag and drop the EML files into the Thunderbird database or use the in-built Import/Export tool to import the PST file in Outlook.

Also Read: How to Export Thunderbird Emails to Outlook?

Wrapping Up

Although the method to export Thunderbird emails to new computer is considered to be hassle-prone, it can be simplified with the correct approaches. In this tutorial, we defined approaches that can not only provide hassle-free transfer of Thunderbird data but can also work for importing the emails to different email clients including Outlook.

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