Backing up your IMAP email in Mozilla Thunderbird

In: Mozilla

20 Feb 2004

Henrik Gemal has written up a clever tutorial on how to backup IMAP mail using Mozilla Thunderbird. Follow that up with the corresponding tutorial on restoring IMAP emails.

Now those of you who’re still using POP3 to get your email no longer can say “IMAP sucks because it doesn’t allow me save my emails and I have to delete them otherwise my inbox will be full”.

In related news, Omar Shahine, who co-designed Microsoft Entourage, says in his blog entry on IMAP, Thunderbird, and mail clients that:

Thunderbird is an almost perfect IMAP client for Windows. If you use IMAP, this is the product for you.

3 Responses to Backing up your IMAP email in Mozilla Thunderbird


Melvyn Mildiner

May 25th, 2004 at 6pm

I’ve been using Thunderbird for the last three days and set up an IMAP a/c yesterday (fastmail) but can’t seem to set Thunderbird to notice the folders in my IMAP a/c other than Inbox.
In Omar Shahine’s blog he mentioned that server-side rules are a must-have feature for IMAP and I agree – I’ve got filters for a lot of my mail to direct the messages to specific folders. Now, it seems Thunderbird can’t see these messages.
Can anyone help?


Cheah Chu Yeow

May 25th, 2004 at 8pm

I have several Fastmail accounts… I don’t remember the exact process of getting those folders to appear, if they didn’t already, but you could try right-clicking on the account name in the left pane and selecting “Subscribe…” to get the other folders to appear.

They appear as sub-folders of the “INBOX” folder.


Luis M. Huesch

July 16th, 2004 at 5pm

I’ve switched web browsing and e-mail to Mozilla’s little monsters, but had nothing but grief trying to import old Outlook 2K and OE messages into Thunderbird.

My ISP provides only POP3 mail handling, BTW…

Has anyone it upon a foolproof method to import large amounts (100 MB+) of Outlook/OE messages successufylly into Thunderbird? I’d be very relieved to know…

L.M. Huesch