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How to transfer installed Thunderbird profile to Thunderbird Portable

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Mozilla Thunderbird is one of the most popular free email clients in the market. Recently, there were rumors of plans to wind up the Thunderbird program by Mozilla because of the overbearing cost of maintaining the project. But it seems they may continue to support the software after requests from software users and the development community.

A client of mine recently had a problem with setting up Thunderbird Portable. The instructions on the official site look a little confusing. So here is an article on how to transfer your Thunderbird profile from an installed Thunderbird software to a Thunderbird portable.

Thunderbird, by default stores all the individual data under the folder <root folder> \Users \Username \AppData \Roaming \Thunderbird \ Profiles\ .default . All you have to do is copy the entire contents of this folder to the newly created profile folder for the Portable one. Here is a step by step method.

  1. Navigate to <root folder>\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\.default or inside the Run window, type %AppData%\Thunderbird\Profiles\.default. Copy all the contents inside this folder.
  2. Open and then close Thunderbird Portable. If you are using Thunderbird Portable for the first time, skip the account configuration for a later time. By simply opening and closing Thunderbird Portable creates a folder ThunderbirdPortable\Data\Profile folder
  3. Now paste all the contents to the newly created Profile folder from the previous .default folder. Overwrite any files if prompted.
  4. Open Thunderbird Portable. You should find all the data is now transferred to the new portable account from the installed one. Configure your email settings properly so that you receive emails normally as you had before.

Note: Once you confirm everything is working fine, uninstall the installed Thunderbird software. It won’t remove the profile folder though. You have to manually go to the location and remove the files. You can also uninstall these leftover folders using uninstaller software.

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