Few months ago I setup various filters for my emails so that I could move my emails to different folders according to their sender-email/title etc. this installation was on my Windows partition. Somehow my installation is corrupted and I can't boot into Windows anymore but I'm using thunderbird on ubuntu and I want to import these filters I created so I don't have to rewrite them all.

So the scenario is:

  • A corrupted Windows installation (Doesn't boot up but I can access the files on the partition) with thunderbird and filters.
  • An Ubuntu distro with thunderbird but no messages filters.

Where does thunderbird store these filters on Windows and how can I import them to the Thunderbird installed on Ubuntu?

4 Answers 4


The message filters are in this file: msgFilterRules.dat Just copy it into the new profile. You will probably have to make some adjustments to get them to work properly.

  • To clarify: as of Thunderbird versions 78+ (probably even earlier), the file msgFilterRules.dat is buried inside the profile. See Jeff's answer for where to look.
    – andrybak
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:03
  • Ancient question/answer but ... I am an Ubutnu and the msgFilterRules.dat does not exist. Has it changed names or is it different on Linux? Commented Jun 15 at 18:30

In addition to what George said...

I am not sure what the file path would be in windows, but when you copy it over to Ubuntu, it will go here:

<uname>@<hostname>:~$ sudo find / -iname "msgFilterRules.dat"
/home/<uname>/.thunderbird/<random-chars>.default/Mail/Local Folders/msgFilterRules.dat

Hope this additional information helps others.


Took me a while to find it on windows so this might help someone:


<profilename> is usually random gibberish.

  • I just did this on Windows 10 and it worked great. I've been stuck on this for years! Additional Notes: 1) You can find the location using these instructions support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/… . 2) AppData is a hidden directory, so you have to turn on viewing Hidden Items to see it in File Explorer.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 7:53
  • That works for Windows Imap accounts. For POP3 accounts, it will be also found underneath the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<profilename>.default\Mail\WhateverYourPopAccountIs\ folder.
    – Clomp
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 20:40
  • Also, you can use the APPDATA env var to shorten the path: %APPDATA%\Thunderbird\Profiles
    – Castamos
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 23:21

Windows 10 Pro 64 - TB version 60.0 (32) - Locate the local folder (where TB stockes mails - you can check this location from server parameters in TB account parameters). Look for file msgFilterRules.dat, just copy it into the same way-folder in the new computer

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