Ubuntu – Thunderbird: Missing folders after restore


Before installing a new OS I tried to backup my Thunderbird by copying the .thunderbird directory.

To be on the safe side I tried to emulate the restore procedure on another machine. I copied the .thunderbird directory to it and set up a symlink from /home/username/.thunderbird to this backup directory.

Thunderbird starts correctly, it shows plugins, calendar, address book, all news feeds and all mail accounts.

But for POP accounts it shows only the Inbox folder (which is empty) and the Trash folder. All the other folders are missing (Archives, Drafts, Sent).

What I have tried so far and it did not help:

  • click 'Repair folder' from the menu folder;
  • Delete .msf files to force Thunderbird to rebuild index;
  • Delete Panacea.dat;
  • start Thunderbird with -profilemanager to choose the particular profile directory;
  • all tips from the official documentation.

It seems like Thunderbird successfully restores all the information from the backup, except the folders and messages for POP mail accounts.

Any ideas regarding such a strange behavior of Thunderbird?

Best Answer

In the original(your backup) .thunderbird directory there should be a file that is named with a bunch of random letters and/or numbers followed by .default. That is you profile that has all your data stored in it. in the screen shot below it is 5euxiyvw.default

enter image description here

Paste that file from the backup into the new .thunderbird directory. You will then need to open the profiles.ini file and edit the last line to match the name of the new directory. Here is a screen shot of the file in the above screenshot. As you can see the Path= file was edited to be Path=5euxiyvw.default

enter image description here

Then you should only have to save the file and start Thunderbird. Thunderbird will now be looking at the newly pasted file folder for your profile and you should have all the emails and folders that were saved locally when you backed up your .thunderbird directory. All the setting for the old profile should be the same as well.

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