Question

Help with Mozilla Thunderbird

Toshiba laptop, Win7 SP1 500gb HD, 12gb RAM 64bit.
Thunderbird kept crashing, so I uninstalled and reinstalled it, but even though the profiles file was still there it does not see it, so I do not have access to my mail. Can anyone help me?

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Answer
Re: profile

Uninstalling/reinstalling generally doesn't help.

Are you sure it didn't make a new profile? Then see what happens if you link it to the old profile or copy the old profile into the new profile.
Or simply rename it (both in Appdata>Local and Appdata>Roaming, of course. Then surely it will make a new one. Then carefully copy the contents of your old corrupted profile into it and see what happens.

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It has all gone!

I did transfer the folders from what I thought was the saved Profiles folder, but all it had was the previous two days mail, and no address book! Is there some kind of recovery programme for file/folders that have been deleted? That is my only hope. I have just had to start a new Thunderbird altogether, but until my contacts contact me, I can't email them as I have no addresses!!

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Re: contacts

Now that's easy (in the future): just include the file abook.mab (in your profile) in your regular backup and you'll always be able to restore the latest backup copy. And why not backup your whole profile (that includes cookies and addons and rules and accounts, in fact everything from thunderbird)?

If you want to backup your mails more often, locate those somewhere else. Mine, for example, are in d:\mail, which I backup twice a week.

As we use to say here: you only lose what you didn't backup.

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Back up

Yes I will do that. I always back up my documents, but not the Profiles as I know from the past that even if I uninstall Thunderbird it still leaves the Profile, but this time something has gone wrong, so I will know for the future.
But something has gone desperately wrong with Thunderbird, it doesn't have the usual headings and has lists of stuff under my email box headings, in fact it is a dreadful mess. I think I will have to make sure I back up my Profile folder safely !!! uninstall Thunderbird and start all over again.

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Let's say a profile has totally gone wrong. What I do next..
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Totally gone wrong

I just booted up my computer to go through the email I managed to download last night but Thunderbird has gone totally wrong. The first thing I had planned to do was copy the profile folder which would at least have had last night's mail!

Thunderbird opens with bare bones, none of the email I downloaded is there, checking the profiles folder the date on it is 2 days ago, so presumably all the mail from last night is lost as I deleted the mail on the server. I use 3 email accounts and can only see the name on the account I want to read, there is no way to open this box at all. There are no headings on the page such as Reply, Delete, Forward etc, nor any arrows beside the account names to drop down the files. Its unmanageable.

I read your posting, but I have Windows 7 not Windows 10, shall I still follow your instructions. I am getting afraid to do anything now.

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Ahh, W7

Creating a new user in W7 is easier in my opinion, if not just find an article that you understand.

The idea is to give you a fresh blank user account that you can experiment with to copy in from your backups and what files you have. Of course being a new user account Thunderbird should come up blank in this new account until you copy in content and make the settings specific to your needs.

The reason we use a new user account is it leaves your other user account untouched. And your choice to keep or delete this scratch Windows user account after you have done your experiments.

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New Thunderbird

This worked! It seemed a lot easier to make a new account on Win7 than the instructions for Win 10 Happy
I have a perfectly functioning Thunderbird, all the email that I downloaded yesterday and that is not there today, has come up on the new installation. So there is something seriously wrong with the other one. Its the same computer, but I do not understand the functioning or how it works, when you have another person (me) using a second account. Its all very odd. Is there a Simple explanation ??

Thank you for all your guidance. I am very grateful.

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I fear I'm not so good at explaing why.

But here goes. With a new Windows user account the Thunderbird profile doesn't exist so you get a clean slate. If it's working now DO NOT CHANGE A THING IN THAT ACCOUNT. You should be able to copy all the Thunderbird user specific files from this working account to your first account.

For that, I have to defer to Thunderbird's own forums and support pages. That's where I go to find the user mail database and settings files.

Again, do not alter any file in the working account. This is your GOLD and GOOD copy. For most folk they want to take these back to the broken Windows User account.

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No functions

Thank you, I will do as you say. But I cannot transfer the old emails over because there are no functions available to use, such as Write to bring up a blank email, reply, forward or anything else. No File, Edit, View, absolutely nothing apart from when I click on the name above the account the Server settings menu comes up but there is nothing I can use on it to produce function keys. So I shall just have to give it up. I can delete it as it is pointless, the only disadvantage with this is having to keep swapping between Accounts to get at what I normally use.
Would you think deleting the old Thunderbird, and attempting to install another one an idea (groan) ? At least if that did not work I will be resigned to my extra "Me" account

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If it's working in the new account

Your question to Mozilla is how to copy this working profile to the non-working profile. Again, I do not have this instruction. Even I would be on the Mozilla site to figure that out.

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Answer
Local Folders

On my Thunderbird email client I had many local
folders where I saved important emails. I hovered
my mouse over one I had named and it slipped and
I accidentally clicked a little triangle to the left of the
folder. They vanished, and I desperately need them
back. I've read everything I can, but nothing that clearly
explains how to retrieve them. I would appreciate any
help you can offer.

Also if I go to File> New Folder and the box to name
the new folder pops up, I click on Inbox, it gives me
a drop down list of all the folders I have lost. That, a
least shows they are not gone forever(I hope Happy ).

I am using the old Windows 7 system. My version of
Thunderbird is 60.5.3

Thanks for any help you can offer!

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open file explorer

Have it search for all files "inbox" and find where all your old mail folders are. Move them into your new profile, but give each a one up number after them. If they don't appear, then "import" each one.

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Moving To Profile

I am not sure how to move them to profile or create a new profile. Can you explain?

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Re: mail folders

Every 'mail folder' in Thunderbird in fact is a file in the Thunderbird folder in the Appdata>Roaming folder of your Windows profile. If you see them there in File Explorer, they are not gone, but seemingly you told Thunderbird to not show them. What happens if you click on that triangle again?

If these mails are important for you, I assume you don't want to lose them. And that prompts the question: how do you make a backup copy of those mails or mail folders/Windows files? Without backup they are gone if your hard disk crashes.

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Clicking Again

When you click the little triangle, it leaves with the folders. I clicked a second time, on a different triangle, and they left also. I know the triangle will not restore them.

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Lost Local Folders Problem Fixed

I finally played with it enough to recover lost local folders. I clicked Go > Folder > Local Folders.
It gives you a drop down menu when you point the mouse at Local Folders it shows the names of each folder I had saved. Then I clicked on one that I had named and it restored all folders back to the pane on the left under Inbox.

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Re: clicking again

With me, in Thunderbird, it's not a triangle next to the folder name, but more like a V. And when I click it, it changes to a larger-then sign (&gtWink. And when I click that, it changes back to a V.
With a V it's shows the subfolders, with a > it hides them.
That's exactly the same behavior as it is in Windows Explorer/File Explorer. Easy to understand for 99% (or more) of all Windows users, I think.

If it's a triangle with you, and it doesn't toggle the setting of show/hide subfolders (you wrote you know it doesn't, so I assume you tested it) you probably have installed some rather strange add-on in Thunderbird. Maybe better uninstall it?

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