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July 05, 2006



I'm glad this worked out so well for you, Ian, and thanks for the extra hints! :-)


Thanks for the tips...
I'm a mac virgin, just purchased a new black macbook yesterday and spent all weekend moving files from my old PC notebook.

I was wondering if I can migrate thousands of mails to mac.. until I bumped into this article.. and it worked very well...

again.. thanks a lot man... you rock!


Yesterday I simply removed the contents from the Thunderbird directory on my father's old iBook (my brother brought him a MacBook Pro), placed there the contents of the TBird directory from my old windows pc (currently being repaired/upgrade) after removing the .msf files, started TBird and after letting it rebuild everything now it works perfectly...

It even copied the news, RSS and additional components...


BTW, my next computer will probably be a Mac Mini...


Thanks, Emilio. Once the TB files are on a Mac, it's easy to move the profile directory around as needed. The trick is getting the files from a PC to a Mac in the first place!

We have a Mac Mini as part of our home theatre set-up and it works phenomenally well. My one concern is whether Apple intends to continue supporting/building the Mac Mini hardware at all. I suspect they intend to migrate the functionality I really care about from the Mac Mini into Apple TV.

Nathan Phillips

What if I already have downloaded emails?

it looks like most of the files have been created.

Dave Cassidy

If you have downloaded mail in your Inbox, for example, then you should simply rename that mailbox in the Thunderbird file structure to a different name, such as "Inbox-new", or rename the mailbox you're importing. Then, when all of your mail is imported into Thunderbird, simply copy the mail from "Inbox-new" to "Inbox".

Hi Dave,

Thanks for this fix - haven't quite got it working yet...

Referring to your last comment (Feb 06 08) - it won't let me rename my Inbox, its greyed out. How do I do this on a Mac?




You're almost there, Jamie! You rename the mailbox in the OSX Finder, not in Thunderbird itself. To do so, shut down Thunderbird, click on the Finder and open a Finder window (Command-N). Now navigate to the location of your Thunderbird mailboxes, which is usually in /Library/Thunderbird/Profiles?.default/Mail. Dig around in there until you see
INBOX.mozmsgs (a folder)

Rename these to whatever you like, such as:

Now reopen Thunderbird. You should see a mailbox called "ILIKECHOCOLATE". You can now move you old Inbox/Inbox.mozmsgs files into your Thunderbird file structure (again, using the Finder) and all should be well.


Hi again,

When I looked at the finder folder, all I could see was Inbox and Inbox.msf, no Inbox.mozmsgs.

If it helps, the version of Thunderbird I am running is version (20071031)

Thanks again for all your help,


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