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How can I transfer Thunderbird Portable to my computer?

d_byrnes - November 27, 2010 - 8:19pm
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Since I have finally gotten internet service at home, I would like to use Thunderbird fully installed on my PC. Is there any way to transfer my profiles, mail, etc to the version installed locally? I saw one method mentioned, but that was over 3 years ago, and I'm not sure if the file/directory structure has changed or not. Suggestions?

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basically it is simply a copy paste procedure, just copy the profile, particularly the mail folders to your installation on the desktop. Start desktop version adn all is here.

You can also copy whole thunderbird to some data area (do not put it to progr folder)and you can use directly this way. Some extensions might need reinstall, but rest should work

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Portable Okay for Desktop

Just as a side note, there are some benefits to using portable apps as desktop apps, particularly if you create a second partition, separate from Windows. This way, it's much easier to reinstall Windows should the need arise while keeping all your apps in tact. It's also easier to thoroughly defragment your apps for optimal desktop performance. AND, should the need ever arise, you can very easily copy all your apps to a portable device, and use them on the go (for example you might visit and stay with a relative or friend for a period of time). Once you return home simply resync your portable device with your desktop and it was like you were using your desktop the whole time.

This is one way I use PortableApps. Just something to consider.


Two points I'd like to add...

First, it is much easier to have Thunderbird designated as your default email client instead of trying to force Windows to use ThunderbirdPortable. You'll want the default designation firmly in place to make it easier to have another program (such as your browser) to fire up the correct email client when you click on a mailto link.

Second, if you want to copy and paste your profile from portable to either regular Thunderbird or a hard-drive portable copy, you'll need to start the permanent copy and begin configuring the email client. That way, the right profile folders will be created, and you can have a place to paste the profile into.

neutron1132 (at) usa (dot) com

Default Apps Downside

It's true that "default applications" is probably the biggest drawback to using PortableApps as desktop apps. There are ways around it, like for example associating HTML with your favorite portable browser launcher.

If you use FirefoxPortable you can also tell it what to do with MailTo links, including directing it to ThunderbirdPortable (the launcher). It's not ideal but it works. I haven't checked other browsers like Google Chrome (Portable) but you might be able to do the same.

I'm not forcing peoples' hands, just highlighting that there are uses for PortableApps beyond USB flash drives.

Yes, I understand

You are right about not forcing people's hands. Options are a whole lot better.

I've caught flack here when I wanted to use a portable application on my hard drive. One example is the thread:

Anyway, I've been trying ChromePortable lately. Unfortunately, Chrome doesn't have the configuration abilities of Firefox products or Thunderbird ones either. I'd love to have an about:config available!

neutron1132 (at) usa (dot) com