Free Software: Migrating Your Mail to Thunderbird

Free Software: Migrating Your Mail to Thunderbird
Thunderbird is a great (and free!) email program that offers you much better security than programs like Microsoft Outlook. Since Thunderbird does not allow scripts to run automatically, attachments that contain worms or viruses cannot be run in Thunderbird. Using Thunderbird can help prevent worms and viruses from attacking your computer and spreading on the Internet.
You can use the Thunderbird Import Wizard to migrate your mail from Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla, Netscape, or Eudora. Otherwise, you can use a manual procedure to migrate your mail. Thunderbird uses a standard mail format that is used by many other mail clients, so migrating mail either manually or using the import wizard is not complicated.

Migrate from Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla, or Netscape using the wizard
After you download and install Thunderbird, and start it in Windows for the first time, the import wizard appears, asking you to choose the email program you want to import your settings, address book, and mail folders from: Outlook Express, Outlook, Netscape 6, 7, or Mozilla 1.x. Choose your previous email program, or choose not to import anything.
If you ever want to import your email after starting the program for the first time, choose Tools -> Import to bring up the import wizard.
If you are importing from Netscape 6 or Mozilla 1.x, importing when you first install the program is a good idea, because if you don’t need to do it manually. (This is not a problem with Outlook Express or Outlook. It can be imported at any time.)
If you receive the message “Could not import mailboxes, and cannot create a proxy object for destination mailboxes”, open the email program you are trying to import mail from and rename your folders so that they do not contain any special characters, such as ! and @, #, $, %, ^, &, * and (). Then try importing again.
Migrate from Eudora or Netscape Communicator using the wizard
Choose Tools -> Import to open the import wizard; Click on the application you want to import mail from and click OK.
Migrate from other email programs
Thunderbird reads files in the standard Unix mailbox (.mbx) format. To migrate your mail from other email programs, follow these steps:
1. Export your mail, in your original email program, to the .mbx format.
2. Quit your old email program and change the name of the file by deleting its extension. For example, change myMail.mbx to myMail. Also delete the dot and any special characters in its name, if they contain any, like ! and @, #, $, %, ^, &, * and ().
3. Close Thunderbird if it is running.
4. Locate Thunderbird’s Profile directory on the desktop or in Finder (Mac). See Table 1 for the most likely locations for the profile folder.
If your operating system is Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you need to enable Windows Explorer to see hidden files and system files so that you can see your Documents and Settings folder.
5. Move the file in step 3 to the /Mail/Local Folders subdirectory of Thunderbird’s Profile directory.
Now when you start Thunderbird, you can access your imported files.

Table 1: Location of Thunderbird Profile Directories
Operating system       Log In                                                  Location
Windows 95                No      C:WindowsApplication DataThunderbirdProfiles [random string] .default
Windows 95               Yes      C:WindowsProfiles [Log-in Name] Application DataThunderbirdProfiles
Windows 98               No      C:WindowsApplication DataThunderbirdProfiles [random string] .default
Windows 98              Yes      C:WindowsProfiles [Log-in Name] Application DataThunderbirdProfiles [random string]
Windows ME            No       C:WindowsApplication DataThunderbirdProfiles [random string] .default
Windows ME           Yes       C:WindowsProfiles [Log-in Name] Application DataThunderbirdProfiles [random string]
Windows 2000        —         C:Documents and Settings [Log-in Name] Application DataThunderbirdProfiles [random
Windows XP            —          C:Documents and Settings [Log-in Name] Application DataThunderbirdProfiles [random
Windows NT           —           C:WINNTProfiles [Log-in Name] Application DataMozillaThunderbirdProfiles [random
Mac OS X                 —           ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/ [random string] .default/
Linux                        —             ~/.thunderbird/ [random string] .default/