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How to Backup Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive Hassle-Free?

Jaspreet Singh | Modified: 2021-07-12T11:57:23+00:00

User’s Concern: “Hello, I want to know how to backup Thunderbird emails to external hard drive. I’ve already made a mistake by failing to keep a backup of my emails on my hard drive and ended up losing them. This time, I need to have a backup of the messages somewhere secure. I’d like to know how to backup all of my emails to an external hard drive. Please recommend a dependable solution.

Thunderbird, being a popular and significant client, requires users to backup their emails on a continuous basis.

Despite being a desktop-based client it is important to have an extra layer of protection and save Thunderbird emails to external hard drive.

Undoubtedly, the primary goal of backing up your messages is to preserve your precious data from any kind of data loss because of data theft, corruption or any problem in your machine.

In a scenario, where your Thunderbird emails get corrupted or lost, there is a possibility to still recover them if you had been futuristic and backed them up on your external hard drive.

Move to the techniques for downloading the data on external hard drive for safety reasons.

Approaches on How to Backup Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

Saving all the emails to an external hard drive can be done performed either manually or professionally.

It is known that Thunderbird saves all of its data in MBOX format. This file format retains the contents in a single file as plain text, making it difficult for users to understand. As a result, it is recommended to convert thee files to a generally recognized file format, such as PDF.

This is only possible if the user uses an automated tool rather than a manual one.

Solution 1: Smartly Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

Because of its extensive capabilities, Mac MBOX Converter is the most popularly known product in the market. It enables you to effortlessly convert your emails into a variety of file formats such as PST, MSG, EML, PDF, NSF, or HTML.

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This program can even download these files with attachments and selectively by using the different filters offered. Furthermore, it allows bulk migration to any format of your choice while keeping the data maintained.

Let us now know how to use this tool step-wise to learn how to backup Thunderbird emails to external hard drive:

Step 1: After downloading and installing the program, choose the appropriate files by clicking the “Add File” button.

Add MBOX file

Step 2: Choose the file format and apply different filters made available by the software.

click on html

Step 3: After that choose the destination path by clicking on the Change button and Make New Folder if so required.

begin export process

Step 4: To finally export your files, click the “Export” option.

export report success

Now, for those users who want to export the data to their external hard drive using a free approach, you can check the method given below.

Solution 2: Manual Method to Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

Note: Users must be aware of the location of the Thunderbird profile in the system in order to utilize a manual approach to save their emails.

In our system, Mozilla Thunderbird saves three sorts of data. They are as follows:

  1. Copies of local or server messages
  2. Thunderbird user account password
  3. User-modified preferences and settings

All of these sorts of data are kept in a Profile. During Thunderbird installation, a default profile is built and stored to the system. All profile folders are saved in the Thunderbird folder.

While learning how to backup Thunderbird emails to hard drive, the following naming convention is used in profiles:


Thunderbird Profile may be found in the following locations:


There are two processes in the manual technique, let’s take a look at the first one.

Method 1 – Backing up Profile and Restore it

Let us now use the manual approach after identifying Thunderbird’s profile folder.

It is split into two sections:

1. Backup of your profile:

To generate a profile backup manually, follow these steps:

  1. If Mozilla Thunderbird is open, close it to start the process to save Thunderbird emails to external hard drive.
  2. At this location, look for the profile folder:
    User > AppData > Roaming > Mozilla Thunderbird> profilename.default
  3. Select the copy option from the context menu when you right-click this folder.
  4. Navigate to a storage place such as a CD RW disc, a USB drive, or another.
  5. To save the copied Thunderbird profile folder, right-click and select Paste.

2. Backup Profile Restore:

To manually restore a backup profile, just replace the Thunderbird profile folder with the duplicated one on the same system or a new computer as needed.

Method 2: Using Add on to Learn How to Backup Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

1. Launch Thunderbird and install the ImportExportTools NG add-on.
2. Restart Thunderbird after installing the add-on.

3. Now, right-click on a folder you wish to backup (for example, Inbox) and select Backup.

4. To backup these emails on the hard drive in EML format, use ImportExportTools NG.

5. Then, click on the Export button to save the folder, then choose he EML format.

6. Choose a place for the files to be saved and then click Select Folder.

If you are thinking that these methods are trouble-free then you should take a look at the next segment.

Limitations of Manual Method to Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

1. Time-Taking Procedure: The entire process requires a significant amount of time and effort.

2. Multiple Steps: Users must be vigilant in order to complete all steps consecutively.

3. Technical Assistance: Supervision is required because the method cannot be used unattended.

4. File Forms: When using manual techniques, you are frequently limited to basic formats. You cannot back up your data in popular formats such as PST, MSG, PDF, and so on.

Why Should You Be Copying Your Emails to the External Hard Drive?

You should always know how to backup Thunderbird emails to external hard drive for the following reasons:

  1. Items in Thunderbird mailboxes were accidentally deleted.
  2. Attacks by hackers or viruses on the Thunderbird account are possible.
  3. To keep spam emails out of the account.
  4. Keep your mailbox data safe from corruption.
  5. A user wishes to abandon the Thunderbird email client.
  6. There is a chance that the system will sustain some physical harm.

Last Words

It is critical to back up your data to someplace safe in order to protect yourself from potential data loss mishaps.

As a result, this post will go through how to backup Thunderbird emails to external hard drive in a smooth manner. Users may store Thunderbird messages manually, although it has certain limits. As a result, an automated technique is also proposed.