How to restore a Thunderbird Email account

ThunderbirdA few days ago I posted an article on backing up a Mozilla Thunderbird account profile. This article is the other important 50%, how to restore that account profile. These two article should help with system restores, data loss or migrating emails on mass to a new machine.

First off, make sure you’ve followed the steps in the above mentioned post. This article is unlikely to help unless you’ve done those steps. Performed a backup using those steps, good, now the following steps can be taken:

  1. Make sure Thunderbird isn’t running, if it is, close it down fully,
  2. Hop over to your Terminal window (opened on mine using CTRL+ALT+T),
  3. Enter and execute the following line; “thunderbird -profilemanager”,
  4. If the normal Thunderbird GUI opens up it means it was still running in the background, close it down properely and restart these steps,
  5. You should hopefully see the following screen (listed profiles will differ). Create a new profile and name it something meaningful,New Thunderbird Profile
  6. If you now go to your local Thunderbird directory, (its shown below the ‘enter name’ field), select your new profile folder and delete its content. Leave the folder though,
  7. Then grab your backed up profile data and extract it into this folder,
  8. Hey-presto, restoration of your email profile is now complete!

Like my previous article on taking the backup, this will work for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Debian distro’s. With a bit of tweaking, its likely to work with any Linux distro. If you’re a Windows user I hope this article is still useful in showing you the vague direction needed to be taken.

3 thoughts on “How to restore a Thunderbird Email account

  1. Just one (1) comment and one (1) question, please:

    Re: #3 – In order to access the profile manager I had to enter and execute the following line; “thunderbird -p” (w/out quotation marks).

    Re: #6 – “(its shown below the ‘enter name’ field)”
    Wher is the “‘enter name’ field” shown?


  2. followed the above, but now how do I start with the new imported settings? When I start Thunderbird I just get the standard welcome screen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *