How do I move Thunderbird e-mail from PC to Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by donhnick, May 27, 2008.

  1. donhnick macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008
    I am switching from Windows to Mac after 27 years. I have a couple of years of e-mail using Thunderbird by Mozzilla. Can someone tell me how to best move those files over to Mac? I am running Paralells in order to have access to Windows applications.
  2. drrich2 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2005
    I'm not sure this'll help, but it very well might.

    The June 08 Macworld Magazine, the article Evade E-mail Exasperation by Christopher Breen, Page 74 - 76, gives this method for transferring mail from Outlook on a PC to Mail or Entourage on a Mac.

    1.) You've got Outlook with a bunch of old mail messages on a PC.

    2.) Install Thunderbird for Windows on the PC.

    3.) Choose Tools, Import.

    4.) Import your Outlook mail into Thunderbird for Windows.

    5.) Navigate to your user folder on Windows & follow this path: \Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles and you'll see a folder made up of a 'hodgepodge' of characters. Within that folder follow this path: \Mail\Local Folders\Outlook Mail\Personal Folders.sbd - that's the folder that contains the mail from your Outlook mail boxes. Those files withOUT the .msf extension are the mbox files. Copy them to your Mac, & use your Mac e-mail program's Import command (under File in Mail & Entourage) & import them.

    I'm part way through doing this myself.

    I assume that you could adapt this methodology to transfer mail from Thunderbird Windows to Thunderbird Mac.

  3. northernmunky macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2007
    London, Taipei
    1. Install Thunderbird on your Mac
    2. Run Thunderbird (so it creates the folder <user>/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles (just cancel setting up an email address)
    3. Its now registered the program so delete the profile it just created.
    4. Replace it with the entire Profile folder directly from your PC.

    Thats it. Thats all I did and it worked perfectly.
  4. Skywriter123 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2008
    email files transfer from Windows Thunderbird to Apple mac Thunderbird

    1. First I had to install the latest versions of Thunderbird on both the Windows and Apple machines.

    2. I started the programs to test them. Then I did a "quit" of Thunderbird from the file menu on both the Windows and Apple machines. Don't just hit "x" to get it off the screen but officially quit the program.

    3. I was on Windows and going to Apple so I looked for the weird named Thunderbird email profile folder on the Windows machine . It was somewhere in the Windows user data area. Search on Mozilla and/or "Thunderbird" then find the Thunderbird profiles directory and it will have some weird name like "odnq4v.default". You have to turn on "see hidden files" and "show file extension names" on the Windows machine to find it. Typical windows oddness. It is out there somewhere.

    4. Then I burned a CD on my Windows machine of this Windows Thunderbird email weird named profile folder to capture the data in it.

    5. I put the burned CD into my Apple machine and clicked on the CD to open the weird named folder.

    6. Then I went looking on the Apple hard disk icon for the weird named folder from the Apple Thunderbird software install. It was in folder: Users - YourUserName - Library - Thunderbird - Profiles - WeirdProfileName . Also, you can use Apple's spotlight to search on "Thunderbird" to find it.

    Then instead of deleting this profile that was automatically made on the Apple, as the other user suggested, I had to use it! It would not work if deleted and replaced it by the folder from the Windows machine. Maybe this has changed since I did it a few versions ago. The Thunderbird email program only seems to find the folder that the install program created by itself on the machine.

    7. I deleted the "contents of" the Apple weird named profile folder but NOT the folder itself.

    8. Then I copied from the burned CD, my Windows data from the Windows version of this folder. I did NOT copy the folder itself just the data inside it, and pasted it into the inside of the weird folder name on the Apple machine. You can also drag and drop from the CD to the Apple hard disk folder if your Apple mouse is working well... mine was not and had to be replaced once then rebuilt by me another time!

    9. Then I started the Apple Thunderbird email program and found all the data without any problem. All my email names showed up in the program where they should and the old data was there.

    10. Problems: If the Apple Thunderbird program can't find the data then you might try: Delete the Apple weird profile folder name then run the Thunderbird install program again on the Apple so it will create a new weird profile name folder and then just copy over the contents of your old Windows data from the CD without deleting the Apple files first - you are skipping step 7 above. I did not have to do this.

    Good luck! It is scary to do this I know but I have said goodbye to Windows weirdness and non sense and have never looked back. :eek:
  5. BobSingleton, Oct 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2011

    BobSingleton macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2008
    That method worked for me, but only to a point. Whilst it moved all my settings and my email addresses (in their various sub-folders), the one thing it didn't do was to transfer over all my emails!!

    I don't want to lose several years worth of correspondence (as I often need to refer back to older emails even today) so does anyone know how you go about that part of the transfer from T'bird on PC to T'bird on Mac?
  6. mark-in-seattle macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2010
    Seattle, Washington, USA, Pacific NW
    Transfer Thunderbird v3.14 Email Data; PC -to- Mac

    Had problems transferring email data from Thunderbird v3.14 on my WinXP-SP3 system over to a new MacBook-Pro running the same version of Thunderbird under OSX v10.6.4. For several years transferring only the email data folders themselves which I had moved to a different drive partition under both OS's, onto my older MacBook worked fine, but on the new Mac, even after several different configurations,Thunderbird would crash immediately without opening the app window.

    The solution was to configure the WinXP Thunderbird back to a more traditional email data location structure, with email data folders placed inside the path; ...\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxx.default\Mail\Local Folders\. Then as this forum has suggested I deleted all the files inside the similar "xxxxx.default" folder on the Mac leaving only the empty folder itself. Copied the entire contents of the WinXP "xxxxxx.default" over to the Mac and made sure the mac's ....\YourUserName\Library\Thunderbird\profile.ini file contents reference was pointing to the correctly named xxxxxx.default folder. You can open the file with a text editor and confirm this, perhaps even edit it to reflect the new name of the xxxxxx.default folder from your other Thunderbird installation, however I have not tried that yet.

    This time when I started Thunderbird on the Mac all my email data was visible. When I have time I will try configuring the Mac's Thunderbird to use a custom location for the email data (instead of the default ...\Mail\Local Folders), as was the case a few years ago. It is possible that my older version of Thunderbird was less effected by out-of-sync issues between the contents of the email data folder and any indexing files present in the ....\Library\Thunderbird\ location.
  7. Skywriter123 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2008
  8. wheelie2xw macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2013
    Currently migrating Thunderbird to Mac need advice

    I am currently migrating windows thunderbird email to my new mac. On the new mac I set up the same account as in windows. Low and behold everything came down (messages, contacts) etc. from the internet automatically. So I assume the profile is also correct on the mac. PROBLEM: I have one huge local folder on the PC that the Mac does not have. It's called "Eudora Import" on the PC in Thunderbird. I have copied 3 files with that name to a thumb drive. They all have a different extention. They are 1. No ext. 2. .msf and 3. .sbd The .sbd is the large one 6.7GB and is all the sub folders for this local folder. How do I get this local folder onto the Mac. Thanks.
  9. sathishrao macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    Moving e-mails from Outlook to Mac

    Hi All,
    I followed the cue from some tips on this site to move my mails from my PC based outlook to my mac. I initially installed Thunderbird on my PC and imported all my outlook accounts. Then I took the thunderbird directory of accounts to my mac and imported it from Mac mail. Most of the folders came through except for 3-4, which I managed to import by moving the mail to other folders. However, after the import went through successfully, I noticed that some of the mails were mixed up. meaning, multiple mails were combined into single mails. They were not even from the same person. Can somebody provide any direction or alternate reliable methods to transfer the mails over to the mac from my PC Outlook account.

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