If you ever want to move computers or wipe
your hard drive, or even if you're just afraid of your computer not booting up one day, it's important that you learn how to backup email. With Mozilla Thunderbird, this can be done without the use of an email backup program. The steps are relatively easy, but figuring them out on your own would be quite difficult.
Finding the Emails
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a folder called "EMAIL," and inside it were all of your e-mails? Sadly, it's a bit more complicated than that, but not much. Learning how to backup without using email backup programs is simply a matter of finding these elusive emails.
Thunderbird works with profiles. Each person's profile contains all their custom settings, as well as any emails they have not yet purged. These profiles are each kept in folders with names with bizarre names. To access these, first ensure that you can view hidden files and folders. Go to the Control Panel and select Folder Options. Once in, select the View tab, and look for the "Hidden files and folders" folder. Ensure that "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" is selected, then hit OK.
Then, load up My Computer. Go to Users > (You) > AppData > Roaming > Thunderbird > Profiles. Talk about a deep dig through these folders! You should see at least one folder here; you will see more if you have multiple profiles on your Thunderbird application. If you are unsure which profile is the one you want to backup, move each, one at a time, to a different folder, and load Mozilla Thunderbird. When your profile doesn't load, you know you've found the correct folder that you want to backup. Remember to move each profile folder back to the Profiles directory!
Once you've found the correct profile folder, you can back it up in a variety of ways. To put it on a CD, hit Send To > CD/DVD/BD Drive, and insert a CD into your computer. You can also copy and paste this onto a flash drive or, if you have a LAN, onto another computer on your network. As you can see, the hardest part of learning how to backup email with Mozilla Thunderbird is really just a matter of finding the right folder! After that, it's just a matter of copy and paste.
If you decide to use a new computer, or wipe the hard drive, you will probably want to put your email profiles back on it. To do this, go to Users > (You) > AppData > Roaming > Thunderbird > Profiles, and paste your backed up email profile there. If it doesn't open when you load Mozilla Thunderbird, you may need to go back to the Profiles folder and move other folders out of there.
You now have all the skills you need to figure out how to backup email through Mozilla Thunderbird. It's relatively easy, and you don't need to download any software to do it. Never again will you lose important emails and contacts from a computer gone haywire.