Thunderbird from Mozilla is one of the best and most popular email clients. It is another free and open source software from Mozilla Foundation, and has seen many updates which have improved the functionality of the application multiple folds.
If you have used Thunderbird for a while, you may have noticed that the thunderbird profile is not stored in the installation folder. If the profile information is not stored in the program directory, how can you move Thunderbird profile to another drive or location?
Here I shall discuss the steps involved in moving Thunderbird profile to another drive.
Thunder Profile Location: Where Are Thunderbird Emails Stored?
In a smart move to prevent accidental deletions, Mozilla Thunderbird stores the personal data (e.g. messages, preferences, etc.) in a different location than the installation folder. Most users prefer using a single profile, so it is quite easy for the application to handle the user information in a small set of files.
In Mozilla Thunderbird, the profile primarily contains your local mail and the messages on your mail server, along with the preferences that you set during using the application. The Default profile is automatically created when you install the browser, and stores all these files in a secure location.
Thunderbird Profile Location
The primary advantage of keeping the Profile files separate from the installation files is that you can freely uninstall without deleting your profiles and messages. The program files are static, and the profile files are stored in a separate location than the program files so that you do not lose your messages in case anything goes wrong with the Thunderbird application.
To find the Thunderbird profile location, you can follow the following steps:
- Open a Run dialog using the keyboard shortcut Win + R.
- Type the following address to jump directly to the thunderbird profile folder.
- In this Profiles folder, you will find your Thunderbird profile folders. The folder with ‘.default’ in the name is the primary profile used in the Mozilla Thunderbird app.
How To Move Thunderbird Profile?
If you wish to change the location where the Profile folder is stored, or manually restore a profile to a different location, you will need to move Thunderbird profile using the steps provided here. You can use the Profile Manager to quickly move the profile, or else you can modify the .ini file for achieving the same.
Method 1: Use The Profile Manager
The Profile Manager can be used to handle many different tasks surrounding your profile. although the profile manager is not visible by default, it is one of the easiest ways to manage and move your Thunderbird profile to another location.
To start the profile manager and move your profile, follow the steps:
- Open Task manager using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
- End all tasks which are related to Mozilla Thunderbird from under the Process tab.
- Next, visit the profile location, and simply cut and paste the folder to the desired location.
- Next, open a Run dialog as mentioned above.
- Start Thunderbird with a switch in the Run dialog. Enter the following and press Enter for the same:
- If you installed Thunderbird in another location, enter the pathname of the application followed by the switch. Enter the following for the same:
- On 32-bit Windows
“C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe” -p
- On 64-bit Windows
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe” -p
- On 32-bit Windows
- Create a new folder using the wizard, and follow the steps as mentioned there.
- Select the profile folder location that you pasted the folder in and click OK.
- Click on the Finish to complete the process.
Now simply open thunderbird and press the Start button to make thunderbird use the new profile location.
Method 2: Editing The Profile.Ini File
Using the wizard can be tough at times, especially due to the fact that the Profile Manager needs a command switch to be launched, which may fail at times. Thus, using this method can be the saviour, as it involves simply changing certain values in a .ini file.
Follow these steps for the same:
- Completely shut down Thunderbird from the task manager as mentioned above.
- Move the profile folder to your desired location except the installation folder. Simply cut and paste the folder to the new location, and keep a note of the location as well.
- Next, open the application folder. This can be opened from a Run dialog, by typing the following and pressing Enter:
- Here, locate and open the Profiles.ini file using a text editor like Notepad or MS Visual Code.
- Inside this file, locate the line entry for the file that you just moved to the new location.
- Change the ‘Path =’ value to the destination location that you noted in Step 2.
- Since you will probably be using relative paths, you will need to change another line as well.
- Next, locate and change the IsRelative=1 to IsRelative=0
Now, simply save the file and restart Thunderbird to use the new location as default location for your profile.
So there you have it. Now you know the Thunderbird profile location, and how to move Thunderbird profile to another location using the methods provided above. Comment below if you found this useful, ad to discuss further the same.