Emails from LOCAL Folders missing when moving them to a new Windows 11 PC
I've just got a new Win 11 PC and have followed the method to transfer all the emails in my Local folders to the new PC. TBH I've tried many of the methods without success.
I've copied the folders from the relevant directory on the old Win 10 PC onto a USB. With TB closed on the new PC I've copied the folders from the USB to a new Folder in Local Folders directory.
When I open TB, of the ~7,500 emails I copy, only 282 appear
I've tried this many times now with no luck What am I doing wrong please?
Modified by retepgr
Cracked it !!!!!
I was bewildered why my Profile was nearly 5GB I have a total of ~1,500 emails excluding Local Folders It didn't make sense that the profile was so big if there were only 1500 emails.
On new Pc I looked inside the Profile and found the Mail folder - within that folder was a folder named..... LocalFolders I deleted everthing inside and copied Local Folders (inc hidden files) from my old PC to the LocalFolders within the Profile/Mail directory, started TB and they were all there.
If only I had a bottle of champagne to hand....
Thanks again for all your efforts & best wishesRead this answer in context 👍 0
All Replies (20)
It appears that you did not copy the full profile. If your old PC was running TB ver 102, and if your account doesn't exceed 2 gig, the easiest way is to do Tools>export on old pc and Tools>Import on new PC. That brings over the accounts, addressbook and all messages.
Many Thanks David I had a look at the size of the Profie folder and it's 4.96GB (some emails go back to 1998!!!)
Is there an alternative method?
Yes. My suggestion is to focus on the profile, not the local folders, as they are implicitly included. On the old PC, you can locate the profile at
With thunderbird NOT running on old PC, copy everything at that location to USB stick. On new PC, with Thunderbird NOT running, but AFTER thunderbird is installed, copy to same location (although userid may be different)
That normally works, if it doesn't I can give more detailed process. Let me know.
Thanks again David I tried that method in the first instance and it seemed to work for all my email accounts. I have 5 email addresses and all of the folders appear to be properly populated. The only files that didn't come over were the local files.
I'll have another go but I first just wanted to ask if I'll end up with all of my many emails being duplicated? Do I need to delete something first like delete the existing profile on the new PC?
Update -I bit the bullet, I closed TB and deleted the 2 profiles on my new PC then transferred the 4.96GB profile to the relevent directory and got the message - Your Thunderbird profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible - then TB closes.
Modified by retepgr
No, the Windows copy overwrites files with same name.
I've had a look at the filenames in the profile directories on the 2 PCs and they are different so won't be overwritten. On my source PC (the old one) the profile directory is - ly8jmcg.default (4.96GB)
On my new PC there appear to be 2 profiles in the directory 89lzowk3.default-release (dated 30/1/23) 2.07GB and 3whhovr7.default (dated 29/1/23) 96Kb
Should I delete the 2 profile files on the new PC before transferring the old profile into the directory?
Thanks - again :)
update - I bit the bullet - I closed TB and deleted the 2 files on the new PC. With TB closed I copied the 4.96GB profile directory to the directory on new PC. On starting TB I got message - Your profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible
Modified by retepgr
Okay, minor item. The 'proper way' to fix this is to use profile manager, but a quick fix is possible. Exit thunderbird first. locate profiles.ini at c:\users\<yourid>\appdata\roaming\thunderbird. It is a simple text file. open with notepad or equivalent. The PATH statement points to the profile that thunderbird is to open. just overtype it to point to the one you copied in. save and restart thunderbird.
Thanks david It started off well with lots of emails appearing, but then got a msg - Inbox 2 doesn't exist Then another saying inbox 1 doesn't exist- then it stopped. Nothing in Local folders either
Ok, this is getting over my head. Since everything works on old PC, and there have been many moves and copies since starting the transition, I propose deleting the appdata\roaming\thunderbird folder and copying the appdata\roaming\thunderbird folder from old PC and trying again. At least, this puts you on what we believe to be a solid foundation. I suggest checking size of profile on old PC with size copied on USB stick to help ensure that you have a complete copy.
Thanks david I appreciate your presistence! Folder size on old PC 4.95GB Folder size when I copied it to roaming folder 4.95GB Soon after TB opens the Folder size reduces to 2.29GB
It's taken an hour to download all emails for my 5 acounts which seem correct - calender is also correct. Unfortunately there are no Local folders at all which I guess accounts for the missing 2.66GB of emails
Edit - I just checked to see where TB was expecting to find local Folders and the path was incorrect. I browsed to the where Local Folders are stored and selected that folder. The correct Folders have appeared, but they're empty - maybe it's work in progress... so I'll update in an hour or so.
Modified by retepgr
Puzzling. I suggest looking at copied profile in the mail\local folders folder. My suggestion is to - exit thunderbird - look at the mail\local folders in profile to see if anything is there. a screenshot of that may be interesting. -if nothing there, copy the Mail\Local folders from USB stick to Mail\local folders in profile and start thunderbird to see if it recognizes it.
Here is the contents of the Profiles file -
[Profile0] Name=default IsRelative=1 Path=Profiles/iy8jkmcg.default Default=1
[General] StartWithLastProfile=1 Version=2
I can't see anything relating to Local Folders
That is the profiles.ini file. I was referring to the mail\local folder foldler within the profile itself at c:\users\<yourID>\appdata\roaming\thunderbird\profiles\iy8jkmcg.default\Mail\Local Folders
Hopfully this is the right one
Having clicked on Local Folders in TB I see the spinning circle and dots running from side to side at the top of the screen. Is it possible it's doing something relating to the Local Folders Size of Local Folder is 1.47GB
Puzzling, as the screenshot indicates the size is just over half a meg. At this point, I have no ideas. Other than local folders, I presume the accounts are working properly?
Yes, all my email accounts seem to be fine as is the calender. Just local Folders being a PITA
Is it worth trying to Import them?
Here's a couple of shots of what is in the Local Folder-
At least the accounts work. And I must be brain-dead today, as I cannot fathom why Thunderbird is not seeing these files. When I copy files into Local Folders, they show up when I restart Thunderbird, so I'm baffled on this.
I really appreciate all your help and efforts. I'll x my fingers and hope you have a eureka moment :) Some years ago I had no problems when movng it from a PC to what is now my old PC.
Well, there are some gurus on this forum who have forgotten more than I shall ever know. My hope is that one of them sees this thread. I wish I could have resolved all of it. Yes, it should have gone transparently. All the best.