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Migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird

by Disneyfan / April 23, 2012 6:44 AM PDT

A friend's computer died. It was running Windows XP and MS Office 2003. She bought a new computer running Windows 7 and bought the Home & Student edition of Office (without Outlook). She doesn't really want to spend the extra money to buy the new version of Outlook and would be ok with switching to Thunderbird. The question is how to migrate the Outlook data to Thunderbird when Outlook is on a dead machine. Help.

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All Answers

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I like the "official" answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 23, 2012 6:52 AM PDT
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Long Road Solution to migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird
by mangobert / January 25, 2014 7:52 AM PST

I just finished the migration from Windows XP and MS Office 2000 on one computer to Windows 7 and Thunderbird on another. The road blocks were many but here is a summary.

Thunderbird 24 or 17 will not import from Outlook properly and there are issues with the Account migration from Outlook Express as well. This makes it necessary for a three stage migration.

First ISP information from Outlook mail. Collect the Account Name, E-mail Address, Password for Account, and Incoming Server Name, Port, Connection Security (e.g. SSL), & Authentication (e.g. Normal)

Install Thunderbird on the old computer and provide the ISP information. Do not provide any info for the Outgoing Server. I found out that my ISP has different Port and Connection Security for Outlook and Thunderbird and the ISP staff were not helpful on this point. Thunderbird will find an ISP configuration when given the Incoming portion of the configuration, accept the profile it finds.

Next migrate your mail, because Thunderbird will not work with Outlook , open Outlook Express. Outlook Express will find your mail and address book from Outlook and set Outlook Express as the default Mail Client. Close Outlook Express. Using Thunderbird select Import and Mail only. Import from Outlook Express. I only had one e-mail account to migrate, so I don't know about multiple mail accounts.

Next migrate your address book, Open Outlook Express and review your address book entries. The most information I had entered for each e-mail address was for 4 fields, you get to select the field you Export to a CSV file. In Thunderbird select Import and Address Book only. You will have to deselect the fields that will not be imported and move the fields you need next to the fields you are importing. Note some labels may be different.

You should now have Thunderbird working with your mail on the old computer.

To migrate everything to a new computer, close Thunderbird and copy the Profiles directory and configuration file found in

C:\Documents and Settings\ [Username] \Application Data\Thunderbird\ to a USB Stick.

In Windows 7, install Thunderbird and start it. There is no need to configure anything. Close Thunderbird and rename the same Profiles Directory and configuration on the new computer in

C:\Users\ [Username] \AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\

Copy the directory and config file from the USB stick to the same directory that the items were renamed.

Start Thunderbird, you should be good to go. Do any house keeping you wish with mail, addresses, and renamed items once you have verified your migration good luck.

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