Jump to content


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.

Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.


Lost Emails in Thunderbird

  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 woodman


  • Members
  • 75 posts
  • Local time:10:26 AM

Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:41 PM

I recently opened Thunderbird and I was forced to create a new account via the wizard option. This had meant that I lost all my emails.
After reading several help options on Thunderbird I understand that my emails and profile are on my system but I am really confused how to get everything back. I know it is possible but I need it explained in layman terms. Can anybody help me with this.

Thanks in advance


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)


#2 Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom

    OBleepin Investigator

  • Moderator
  • 37,011 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Bloomington, IN
  • Local time:11:26 AM

Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:14 PM

Hello woodman,

I've had this same experience some time ago, but now I know a lot more. Thunderbird creates a Profile folder and in it is a mail folder. What I'm not too certain about at this moment is if by creating your new account that you also created a new profile folder. That has likely happened. Whether or no, I'd suggest opening your current Thunderbird account and under both local folders and the main account area create one folder each with an odd name. Here's an image of this accomplished in Local Folders:

Posted Image

This is strictly for identification purposes so you know you've got the right folders. I'd choose something near the top of the alphabet.

Aardvark and AARP come to mind.

Once you have done that, close Thunderbird.

Now, here's where you get to navigate.

My computer ==> Local Disk ==> Documents and Settings ==> Your user name on the computer (woodman?) ==> Application Data ==> Thunderbird ==> Profiles ==> Mail

If you see more than one profile, open that profile and keep that window open, then do the navigation over again and open the OTHER profile. Resize your windows so that they are either side-by-side or one above and one below.

Now, in each window, open the Mail folder. Inside that folder in each window, you will see a folder labeled Local Folders and a folder with your account name. In One window, open the Local folder. See if your odd named folder is in it. If it is, then you have your new account. If it isn't go back to the previous folder for now.

Once you have the New account local folder open, then open the account folder for the old profile.

To avoid possible mail loss, RENAME the Sent folder (it won't look like a folder but it is) and the Inbox folder in the OLD account folder to Sent-Previous and Inbox-Previous. If you have any other folders in the OLD profile that match any folder names in the NEW account, rename them in a similar fashion. Please note you do not need to do this with the folders with this on them .msf Once you have finished renaming the folders, then move the folders that DO NOT have the extension .msf To the NEW local folder.

Once you have finished that, in the OLD profile go back to the previous window and open LOCAL folders. Again, rename anything that matches a name in the NEW profile, and move the folders that don't have .msf to the new LOCAL folder which should still be open.

In either step, if you see the extension .sbd, transfer that over as well from the old to the new, again renaming anything that would match a name in the New folder. Those are the folders containing folders in Thunderbird.

Here's picture of an open Local folder with the various kinds of files and folders you will see in it.

Posted Image

I hope this is clear to you, if not, please ask and I'll clarify.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

Orange Blossom

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

SpywareBlaster, WinPatrol Plus, ESET Smart Security, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, NoScript Firefox ext., Norton noscript

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users