I have two Thunderbird (5.0) Portable instances on Windows 7:

How can I import mail folders from one into the other?


You just need to copy the full profile between both instances, then select the profile you want to use with:

thunderbird -P [profile]

if you omit "profile" the graphical profile manager will ask you which profile you want to choose.

If you just want to overwrite one profile with the other, just remove the one you don't need.

Chech the following link to locate where are your profiles; you haven't said which OS are you using:


  • I believe you'll find it at %APPDATA%\thunderbird or maybe %APPDATA%\mozilla-thunderbird (I don't have a windows 7 or vista arround to check it) – hmontoliu Jul 29 '11 at 15:26
  • I can find the profile directories ok. I'm not sure my intent was clearly written. I don't want to start Thunderbird and tell it to use this or that profile (since I have two portable thunderbirds so I can start separately and do that anyway), but I want to start one thunderbird and then import a mail folder from a separate profile into the first so that in the future I can only open one thunderbird application and have access to all mail folders that I need from either of the two profiles. – Edward Tanguay Jul 29 '11 at 15:31
  • I'm pretty sure that that can't be accomplished easily. I'd suggest to edit profile A and subscribe to profile's B accounts. Once you're happy with your profile A remove the B. Or just switch between both using the profile chooser by executing "thunderbird -P". – hmontoliu Jul 29 '11 at 15:36
  1. Just to be safe, backup your importing (Windows 7) Thunderbird profile - I use MozBackup.
  2. In your importing (Windows 7) version of Thunderbird, create an empty new folder with the same name as the folder you are going to import (let's call it In2010).
  3. Find the files In2010 (with no extension) and In2010.msf in the Thunderbird profile mail folder you are exporting from (they contain the messages you want to transfer) - in Windows 7 they are in C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\profiles\\Mail\pop.yourISP\
  4. Copy these two files into the profile mail folder of the importing version of Thunderbird - so you overwrite the two files (In2010 and In2010.msf) you created in step 1. Done.

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