Creating a Thunderbird backup is essential if you rely heavily on your emails like myself. A lot of providers delete the emails from the server once they have been downloaded to an email client meaning the only copy of the email is the one you are using. If you lose your emails on your computer they could be gone for good if this is the case.
There are two ways to create a thunderbird backup. One is a relatively easy way with a great bit of free software called MozBackup. This way is ideal if you are just backing up emails as part of your backup routine or you are wanting to transfer emails from one computer to another.
The second way is a little more difficult and is generally for when your computer will not boot into the operating system but you can get access to the files. This allows you to transfer them over to a new computer.
Thunderbird backup using MozBackup
MozBackup is a small simple free piece of software that allows you to create a Thunderbird backup which backs up your emails and settings. It also allows you to backup Firefox settings and bookmarks if you wish. It works by making a backup of the relevant profile that is stored on your computer to a source you select.
First of all download MozBackup from http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/download.php
Once the file has downloaded run the installation program and follow the instructions to install MozBackup on your computer. When the install has finished run MozBackup on your computer.
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Manual Thunderbird Backup
Your Thunderbird profile is stored on your computer under a hidden folder. You can back up this by just copying the folder in its entirety to another location. This is useful if your hard drive is damaged or computer is damaged to the point where you can no longer boot the operating system but can get at the data to back it up.
You first need to make sure that you can see hidden folders. Follow the tutorial show hidden folders to do this before continuing.
The Thunderbird profiles are stored at the following location.
Under this location you will see your profile. Copy the whole folder to a new location and you have a backup of your current emails. You can then replace the folders in profiles on a new machine with these folders.