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Exporting E-Mail From Thunderbird

Exporting E-mail from Thunderbird is a three part process. Part I - Preparing Thunderbird

  1. Download the ImportExportTools add-on here Right-click on the link and choose "Save Link As..." for Firefox and Chrome, or "Save target as.." for Internet Explorer
  2. Save the file to your Desktop
  3. Open Thunderbird
  4. Click Tools --> Add-ons
  5. Click Extensions
  6. Click the little gear icon and choose "Install Add-on From File"
  7. Navigate to the importexporttools.xpi file you downloaded
  8. Highlight the file then click Open
  9. If the "Install add-ons only from authors whom you trust" warning appears just click the Install Now button. Restart Thunderbird by clicking the "Restart now" link
  10. Close the Add-ons Manager tab

Part II - Synchronize your mail to your folders

  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. Go to File --> Offline --> Work Offline
  3. Click Download Now. All your folders will be updated to the latest email


  1. Make a folder on your Desktop to store your email (eg. "Saved UCSB email")
  2. Right-Click the Thunderbird folder you want to save from (eg. Inbox)--> ImportExportTools --> Export all messages in the folder --> Click on EML format


  1. You may select (highlight) multiple folders at once by pressing the Ctrl button and clicking on each folder you desire to save. Release the Ctrl button then right-click on one of the selected folders -->ImportExportTools --> Export all message in the folder --> Click on EML format

WARNING: Subfolders will not be saved unless they are actually clicked on and highlighted. Highlighting the parent folder WILL NOT save the subfolders. Note that all subfolders will be pulled from their structure and saved side-by-side all the other folders in the destination (Saved UCSB mail) folder.

  1. Navigate to the "Saved UCSB email" folder
  2. Click the Select Folder button

Your messages should now be exporting. You may watch the progress on the bottom left corner of Thunderbird. When the process is completed, double check by opening your "Saved UCSB email" folder. Each folder you saved from Thunderbird will have an index file where you can easily access your messages. You may choose to re-enable your online access to your email by going to File --> Offline --> un-check Work Offline. Click Get Mail to immediately update your email. Note that any new correspondence will NOT be saved.

page | by Dr. Radut