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Transferring eMail to Hard Drive
2

Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
I'm using Thunderbird as an eMail client and my server storage is reaching maximum. Is there a simple, 'foolproof' manner that I can save my eMails and attachments locally to my harddrive? Thanks in advance.

Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I think you will find that the emails and attachments are already on your hard drive. Thunderbird downloads them.

Try disconnecting from the internet and see if you can still see them.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

Look at the following file. It will tell you where your Thunderbird data is stored.

C:\Users\PINHEAD\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\profiles.ini
Mine looks like this:

[Install8216C80C92C4E828]
Default=D:\Data\Thunderbird\awnvprjs.default

[Profile0]
Name=PINHEAD
IsRelative=0
Path=D:\Data\Thunderbird\awnvprjs.default
Default=1

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1
Version=2

I would doubt you have it on a network drive. But here is a procedure for moving the data and changing the path to the data. VERY easy. You basically just change the path in that file after moving.
Link

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
It's not my network drive... I would have assumed it was stored on their network drive (maybe the wrong term). Thanks...

Quote (Try disconnecting from the internet and see if you can still see them.)


I'll see if I can find them... thanks, Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
goombahaho: Found the directory and has:
[InstallC1263DE4EAE8A7E6]
Default=Profiles/unhd020k.default-release
Locked=1

[Profile1]
Name=default-release
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/unhd020k.default-release

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/9s666f70.default
Default=1

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1
Version=2

Path=Profiles/9s666f70.default has a bunch of directories, but none of them appear to be large enough to be the eMail file I'm looking for. Any suggestions? I'd like to keep my eMails local to my desktop, anyway and have all these 'handy'.

Thanks, Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

So, it is NOT stored locally. You have to find that directory (9s666f70.default) under Profiles. You don't see it by going to a network drive letter and searching around? It's tough to understand your environment without any ability to touch it. I'm thinking you shouldn't fool around with it!!!

Corporate or personal computer??? You realize that if you move it, you won't have backup provided by it being on a network drive. If this is a company computer, you shouldn't fool with it without consulting your IT department. They may mandate that the email store be on a network drive.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
My personal computer... I have found the directory and this is the content:



nothing is close to the file size I would be expecting. The one firm I was with about 5 years back, didn't want you to make your own backup copies, even if it was on their server. Thanks

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

Jesus that's a ton. So the more E-Mails you send the more data that is being taken up on your PC?

Sincerely,
Bob Space

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)

Quote (Jesus that's a ton. So the more E-Mails you send the more data that is being taken up on your PC)


That's the tip... I want all my eMails and attachments, local. Just the properties from one of my clients...



There are eMails likely associated with 1/2 of the files... I have several 10TB HDD's I can use for storage... that's not the problem; I want the eMail informaton local.

@pjw001: disconnecting doesn't help; they are still not visible.

and eMail...



and each of the hundred folders in the sub-folders may have a dozen eMails with attachments. I'd like Thunderbird to automatically use my HD to store eMail information.

thanks, Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I foolishly made the assumption that you were running Thunderbird on you home pc and the server you referred to was the mail server (e.g. Google).

I would go with goombawaho's suggestion that you consult your IT department. They may have a solution.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

Can we get a straight answer - home or business computers? Are you in charge of the IT stuff if business computers?

Either way, if you follow the instructions you can move the data folder. Close Thunderbird, (cut & paste) or as a trial (copy & paste), rename the old folder with an underscore at the beginning. Then open the profiles.ini file and change the path. It's super easy. Then fire up Thunderbird. It should not know any difference. The hardest part is copying. The reason for renaming the old folder is so you KNOW that the new folder is the one being used.

I don't agree with you putting you data on a local hard drive though UNLESS you have backup of that location.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
I didn't realise my use of computers was confusing to some. No games, some background... I work out of my home as a structural engineer, and use my desktop computer, extensively. I don't have an IT department or a network, there is only myself and my son, here. I haven't programmed in 20 years, other than Excel and SMath programs; I used to program in half a dozen different languages, including Assembly and Forth. I started in the Intel 8088 era. My home computers, with the exception of my 2 laptops have been assembled from components. I've been assembling them for over 30 years. I think my first computers used ASUS boards and I'm still using ASUS products. I don't have a network, only desktop computers and their 'on board' hard drives. I also have a couple of large portable hard drives; I have an abundance of storage, TB to spare.

My problem is that my gMail account is filling... it's about 90% of 15GB (I think) and I want to save this to my hard drive. It's not only just because I don't want to extend my gMail coverage, but also I want to have my data on my home computers. That's the reason for the query. I would have thought it would be simple, something like 'save as'... I have no IT training, and when it comes to networks, I have little understanding of them.

Thanks for your understanding... I'm not a normal computer user. My query is serious.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)

Quote (Either way, if you follow the instructions you can move the data folder. Close Thunderbird, (cut & paste) or as a trial (copy & paste), rename the old folder with an underscore at the beginning. Then open the profiles.ini file and change the path. It's super easy. Then fire up Thunderbird. It should not know any difference. The hardest part is copying. The reason for renaming the old folder is so you KNOW that the new folder is the one being used.)


There isn't a file large enough to be my eMail. I'm at a bit of a loss in finding the file to copy. I don't know what to copy and paste. To add to it, I'd like my future eMails also to be stored locally. Again thanks, your patience is appreciated.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
I may have found it... I found this in the Thunderbird settings:



and this directory has 22GB, which is big enough... The files have the extension *.msf as well as no extension. Maybe there is a 'viewer' for this extension. I found this link:

https://www.systoolsgroup.com/viewer/thunderbird-m...

Problem's not solved, yet but maybe on the horizon, and found this:

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

There is some rather imprecise language being used here (by me as much as by anyone else).

When I said "Try disconnecting from the internet and see if you can still see them.", I meant, can you see the emails in Thunderbird?

It seems that my initial assumption was correct. The server you refer to is the gmail server. I would expect your emails to be visible via Thunderbird even when you are disconnected from the internet.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
I suspect they are... just don't know... yes, they are... just checked... sorry, I meant the gmail server. I'm just reading the article on *.msf files. I think the problem is solved; I'll let you know what I find. The directory is current and up to date... I may extend gmail coverage... about $100 per year for 'backup' storage. My home backup is good with the exception that I don't have an off site storage... current work is backed up daily and entire data is backed up weekly... but I don't have 'historic' backups.

Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

Okay, no server other than the online mail server. I didn't recognize the "storage" because I use POP mode for my Thunderbird, so that was my fault. You have created a monster by having so much email. I don't have a good solution when using Thunderbird in IMAP mode. You really need to archive email, delete and that will reduce your online volume of email. If it was Outlook I could tell you how to do that, but I don't see a nice clean way in Thunderbird.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

Your original post was "I'm using Thunderbird as an eMail client and my server storage is reaching maximum. Is there a simple, 'foolproof' manner that I can save my eMails and attachments locally to my harddrive? Thanks in advance."

By "server storage" you meant "Google storage".

I think that we have established that the emails are already on your hard drive.

So the question is, in my opinion, "How do I free up space on the Google server without losing the emails on my hard drive?"

One solution might be to use the Thunderbird "Local Folders". (If you don't know what I mean by "Local Folders" say so and I will attempt to walk you through it.)

Within Local Folders you can create other folders so you could also use it to classify/group your emails if that is appropriate.

I think that you will automatically have a folder called "LocalInbox". You probably want to create one called "LocalSentBox".

Find an old or unimportant email (or send yourself one) and, within Thunderbird, copy that email to LocalInbox. Similarly with a sent email.

The emails will now be in three places - Google mail server inbox and sent, Thunderbird under your gmail account inbox and sent, and also in the local folders LocalInbox and LocalSentBox.

If within Thunderbird you "move" rather than "copy" the emails they will be in only one place - i.e the local folders LocalInbox and LocalSentBox.

This is probably not the easy automatic option you hoped for but it will work.

I use this method for some of my emails so I get a local folder for various subjects and each one shows both sent and received emails in chronological sequence.

You do need to be careful with this as I have found that Thunderbird is quite happy to insert and delete emails in any of the gmail server mail boxes.

Hope this helps.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
By "server storage" you meant "Google storage".
Yes...

I think that we have established that the emails are already on your hard drive.
Yes, and I've located them and can view them.

So the question is, in my opinion, "How do I free up space on the Google server without losing the emails on my hard drive?"
Yes

One solution might be to use the Thunderbird "Local Folders". (If you don't know what I mean by "Local Folders" say so and I will attempt to walk you through it.)
I'm not sure 'local folders' are and maybe could use some assistance. Are these the local project directories that I have already set up or are they something else.

Within Local Folders you can create other folders so you could also use it to classify/group your emails if that is appropriate.
They are already like that... See attached... and I would keep the same directory tree... I'm up to project 0405, but haven't completed all the projects. It's also stored like that in the profile file.



I think that you will automatically have a folder called "LocalInbox". You probably want to create one called "LocalSentBox".
Just InBox and in the hard drive directory there appears to be a sent folder in the profile. I didn't look at the contents of it yet, but I suspect it is current.



Find an old or unimportant email (or send yourself one) and, within Thunderbird, copy that email to LocalInbox. Similarly with a sent email.
I will send myself an eMail and see if it is copied to the SentMail.msf file.

The emails will now be in three places - Google mail server inbox and sent, Thunderbird under your gmail account inbox and sent, and also in the local folders LocalInbox and LocalSentBox.
Inbox goes to 'allmail' and I move the Inbox mail to the project directory and mail I send is copied to both 'sentmail' and 'allmail'. I move the 'sentmail' eMail to the project directory and the 'allmail' is unchanged. Two separate identical files, I suspect.

If within Thunderbird you "move" rather than "copy" the emails they will be in only one place - i.e the local folders LocalInbox and LocalSentBox.
Yup... checked that earlier, and I only copy with the exception of the orignal eMail. A copy of the eMail is also automatically stored in the 'allmail' folder.

This is probably not the easy automatic option you hoped for but it will work.
I'll try it out...

I use this method for some of my emails so I get a local folder for various subjects and each one shows both sent and received emails in chronological sequence.

You do need to be careful with this as I have found that Thunderbird is quite happy to insert and delete emails in any of the gmail server mail boxes.
I didn't know that... I've found it pretty solid. But I'll be very careful. I've already saved the 22GB file to my one HD backup... current as of an hour ago. I also want Thunderbird to default to saving files on my hard drive.

Thanks so much... have some work to do. I'll let you know how it works.


Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I think that the two screen dumps you included are for the actual emails - i.e. they have the same data as are on the gmail server.

If you go up the folder tree from "01-BSE" do you get to the folder "ImapMail"?

If you do then I would expect the next folder at the same level as "ImapMail" to be "Mail", and under that you will find the folder "Mail" and the first folder within that will be "Local Folders".

I don't recall having to create (within Thunderbird) the "Local Folders" - I think it was just there automatically.

If (a dangerous word here) I am correct all you need to do is copy (or move), within Thunderbird, the project folders from where they are to under "Local Folders".

If you log in to gmail on the internet instead of via Thunderbird do you see "01-BSE" and the folders under it as shown in your previous post?

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
I think that the two screen dumps you included are for the actual emails - i.e. they have the same data as are on the gmail server.
If you go up the folder tree from "01-BSE" do you get to the folder "ImapMail"?
The contents are similar... The first one if from Thunderbird itself (eMail client) and the second is from imap in the profile directory. I don't know if Thunderbird is accessing the profile on the hard drive or is accessing the GMail server. The same data appears to be in both places.


If you do then I would expect the next folder at the same level as "ImapMail" to be "Mail", and under that you will find the folder "Mail" and the first folder within that will be "Local Folders".
I don't recall having to create (within Thunderbird) the "Local Folders" - I think it was just there automatically.
I'll check later tonight... I've got a couple of gators here that have to be put down first (for my 'real' work).

If (a dangerous word here) I am correct all you need to do is copy (or move), within Thunderbird, the project folders from where they are to under "Local Folders".
I just want to have a local copy and if I delete some files on GMail account that they won't be removed from my hard disk copy. I've already made a copy of the profile files on one of my portable hard drives.

If you log in to gmail on the internet instead of via Thunderbird do you see "01-BSE" and the folders under it as shown in your previous post?
The eMail data is consistent on both GMail and Thunderbird. If I delete a file on one, it's deleted on the other. If I move a folder on one, say from an active project to a completed one, it's done to both GMail and Thunderbird. I'm pretty sure they are both accessing the GMail server. It may be that if I increase GMail that I will quit getting the Thunderbird notification that I'm over 90%.

Thanks... sorry for taking up so much of your time... Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive


Does your Thunderbird screen look something like the one below? It is the left hand pane that is the main interest.



You will see the "Local Folders" entry. This is only on your hard drive whereas the ones above are a mirror of what is on the mail server.

On my hard drive in "C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\htd94rcz.default\ImapMail" I have a folder structure similar to the top four in the screen shot.

In "C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\htd94rcz.default\Mail" is the folder "Local Folders" and within that are the various projects/categories that I created within Thunderbird.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
like attached



and the profile is:



I found the local folders... it was way at the bottom and hold 'trash' 'outbox' and 'drafts-dikcoates@gmail.com'.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I think we are getting close.

The first screen shot is similar to mine except that many of the names are different (obviously).

If you scroll down the left pane you should see "Local Folders" at the same level as the email address at the top of the pane. That is where you want to copy your old emails to.

In my equivalent of your second screen shot I have the same files that you have plus some folders and files that hold the emails that I have copied there.

If you scroll down to Local Folders and create a folder, say 2017, you should see a folder appear in file explorer as in your second screen shot. You could then copy the emails from your existing 2017 into the local 2017. (I have seen something in Thunderbird help suggesting that it is a bad idea to copy more than about 2,000 emails in one go.)

One you have verified that the copy works, and have backed up the Local Folders directory, you can delete the original 2017. This will also remove it from the gmail server. I backup everything under the Thunderbird folder under AppData/Roaming and have used this to successfully transfer a working system to another pc.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
I think we are getting close.
Yes... all is well and I've learned a bit about eMail folders.

The first screen shot is similar to mine except that many of the names are different (obviously).

If you scroll down the left pane you should see "Local Folders" at the same level as the email address at the top of the pane. That is where you want to copy your old emails to.
If I copy my old inactive eMails to the 'Local Folders', does that take them off the gMail server? I'll try moving my nested sub-directories. I know that I can move complete folders in my existing 'directory tree'.

In my equivalent of your second screen shot I have the same files that you have plus some folders and files that hold the emails that I have copied there.

If you scroll down to Local Folders and create a folder, say 2017, you should see a folder appear in file explorer as in your second screen shot. You could then copy the emails from your existing 2017 into the local 2017. (I have seen something in Thunderbird help suggesting that it is a bad idea to copy more than about 2,000 emails in one go.)
Thanks for the heads up... I'll try it with some folders that aren't particularly important... a lot of my work related stuff is critical... some of it not so...

One you have verified that the copy works, and have backed up the Local Folders directory, you can delete the original 2017. This will also remove it from the gmail server. I backup everything under the Thunderbird folder under AppData/Roaming and have used this to successfully transfer a working system to another pc.
Great... we'll give it a shot. I would have thought this would be so commonplace that they would have a 'simple button' and not just a 'id 10 T', one...

I'll let you know what happens. That may have been in the original docs that I didn't read...I'll try it, now... if you hear a scream... you'll know that something didn't work lol. You've been an incredible help and very patient.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
It works great... and when copying folders to the 'LocalFolder', files nested in several directories 'deep' will copy. You have to be careful about the number of files, as you note. Failure causes Thunderbird to stop and you need to re-boot the computer to continue. If I send myself an eMail, it can be moved from the 'inbox' to whatever folder I want.

Is there an automatic process to copy this, automatically, to the 'LocalFolder' sub-directory?

Is there a problem with deleting the 'AllMail' folder contents? It appears to be a copy of the 'Inbox' and the 'sentMail'. I've checked and the contents appear to be duplicates.

Thanks, Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

If I copy my old inactive eMails to the 'Local Folders', does that take them off the gMail server? I'll try moving my nested sub-directories. I know that I can move complete folders in my existing 'directory tree'.


Not if you copy them, but if you move (or delete) them it will.

I don't think there is any automatic process to archive emails in the way that there is on Outlook. Here is a link to a Thunderbird help page that seems to back up my thoughts.

"https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/archived-mess..."

I don't know what AllMail is. I have pretty much ignored it and thought it might be some sort of link that did not use any space. Having looked at my disc I was wrong about the space usage. The file "All Mail" is larger than any other file. My guess is that if you remove an email from, for example, the Inbox it will also be removed from "All Mail" and vice versa.

Here is a link to an explanation of "All Mail".

"https://support.cloudhq.net/what-is-gmail-all-mail..."

Hope it all goes OK from here.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
Thanks so much... I think the problem is solved, and I generally copy and delete rather than move... Now to see what sort of trouble I can get into... again, thanks.

Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
There are a couple of things I have to get used to (after 20 years or so)... I have to consciously save the file to local before I send it to the server project file... also if I copy it and there is already a copy, it doesn't overwrite... it posts a completely new one. All my old record stuff that I need to save is on the hard disk. It appears to work great.

Dik

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I have to consciously save the file to local before I send it to the server project file.

Not sure I understand what you mean by the above. From what I can tell, in Thunderbird, you can copy an email from anywhere to anywhere and it updates the gmail server. So having sent the email you will see it Thunderbird and can copy it from there. (It will also show emails that you sent from another machine or from within gmail on the internet.) I have just copied an email from the inbox of one mail account to the sent folder of another mail account and can see it in gmail on the internet.

also if I copy it and there is already a copy, it doesn't overwrite... it posts a completely new one.

True. A right royal pain in the butt!

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)

Quote (From what I can tell, in Thunderbird, you can copy an email from anywhere to anywhere and it updates the gmail server.)


Yes... I just have to get into the habit of one more step to copy it to the local file first. Still a work in progress; I haven't sorted out the easiest 'foolproof' way of doing this. Just finished copying all my 'allmail' to local and have deleted them off the server. So far so good... thanks again, I owe you a beer... I think I just sorted it out... I'll keep doing it as I have, and when it comes time to move the project into completed, I'll copy if first to local.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I hope I am not panicking unnecessarily but I have just had a thought on data security.

If you don't use local folders and your pc crashes and you lose your hard drive you will still have the emails on the mail server.

If you move some emails to local folders they will only exist on your local drive. If your pc crashes before you backup your pc you will have lost those emails (unless they had arrived before your previous backup).

Might be an idea to do any moving of emails immediately before you backup your pc.

Hope this makes sense.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
Thanks for the concern... I'll extend my gmail account as additional backup. My backup is pretty reliable... only flaw is I don't have offsite storage.

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

I hope you have OFFline backup to avoid ransomware issues. You know, if you use an external backup drive or USB stick and you leave it connected all the time and you got ransomware, the ransomware will try to encrypt your backup too. That's why online backup is better - 1) versioning and 2) protection from flood/fire/theft

RE: Transferring eMail to Hard Drive

(OP)
Thanks for the caution... I don't. My two portable hard drives are only connected for when I back up. The are not continuously connected.

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