A couple of weeks ago, my father e-mailed me about needing to access an old Thunderbird profile contained in a backup from 2006. He sent me the backup (from an Ubuntu installation) and asked me to work it out.

So far I've tried getting it to work with Thunderbird Portable, but that seems to ignore the profile entirely, even when I overwrite its profile directory with the one from the backup. Since Thunderbird no longer allows one to create spoofed mail accounts (it checks for functioning SMTP and IMAP servers when creating accounts), importing the old mail into a fake account doesn't seem to be possible anymore either.

The mail server that originally contained the messages no longer exists.

What can I do?


Turns out Portable Thunderbird has a slightly different folder structure than I'm used to.

After temporarily adding my own Gmail account, the subdirectory Data\profile was created. Replacing that directory with his old profile worked like a charm.


Run from Command Prompt:

start thunderbird -profile "C:\Users\oKtosiTe\Desktop\Father's old profile"
  • He lives two days travel away from me, so I've had to set up a package that just works for him. – oKtosiTe Nov 27 '11 at 23:55

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