Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have lost all email messages and folders in Mozilla Thunderbird. Where can I look for them? My system is Windows XP.

I have looked in the Thunderbird Profiles default profile folder. I can see Inbox and Trash but none of the other folders I have set up are visible.

I cannot directly open Inbox or Trash so I don't know if my lost messages are in these folders. Is there someone in this community who can help?

share|improve this question

The location of the folder can be found by following the instructions on this link.

On Windows:

Select Run... from the Start menu.

Type "%appdata%" (without the quotes).

Hit Return. Open the Thunderbird folder. Go to the Profiles folder.

Now open the folder of your Mozilla Thunderbird profile (probably "**.default" where the '*'s stand for random characters) and the folder beneath it.

As an aside, it's possible over the years that you may have more than one profile folder, so it's worth having a look for other locations in the general vicinity.

As for file types, the extension for Thunderbird mail is .msf, with a coinciding file name without an extension that stores the actual data.

You will not be able to view the data by double-clicking on the file, due to the way the data is stored.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.