I just recently installed 12.04 on my computer, and when I try to import email and settings from another drive, the import wizard asks, "Import from" but there's no dialog or browse facility to tell it where to import from.

Am I missing something? How do I import when there's nowhere to tell it where to import from? I'm using Thunderbird on both drives, the old OS is 10.10.


If you have no useful Thunderbird settings on the new computer, it might be easiest to just copy your Thunderbird profile over directly.

First exit Thunderbird and move its settings out of the way with the following commands in a terminal:

cd ~
mv .thunderbird thunderbird.bak

Now copy over your old Thunderbird settings (assuming the other drive is accessible somewhere):

cp -a /path/to/old/home/dir/.thunderbird .

When you start Thunderbird again, it should be using the settings from your old drive.

If things do not go as planned, you can recover the settings from your new drive with:

rm -rf .thunderbird
mv thunderbird.bak .thunderbird
  • I was also going to suggest copying the .thunderbird folder from home to home. Just be sure that the new Thunderbird install is as recent as the version you copied from. – beanaroo May 3 '12 at 6:10
  • Well, if his old system was running the version from Ubuntu 10.10, then that shouldn't be a problem. – James Henstridge May 3 '12 at 6:33
  • I was running daily ppa and could not understand why my new install wasn't importing everything :) – beanaroo May 3 '12 at 7:04
  • @beanaroo-Problem is, if I move the whole .Thunderbird folder over, then I'm running the old version of Thunderbird, which is outdated and no longer supported. In comparing the old .Thunderbird with the new, the two seem to have an entirely different structure, and I'm not even sure if the new will even accept or be able to use the settings and file formats of the old version 3.1.20. When I try to import it offers me no place to import from, and clicking the [Next] button does nothing. Do you know anything about this? – Pete Rose May 15 '12 at 17:25
  • @PeteRose: the ~/.thunderbird folder contains your settings and local data -- not the program files. The new version of Thunderbird should be able to read the old settings and upgrade anything that has changed. – James Henstridge May 16 '12 at 1:10

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