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Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by glockeglock, Sep 9, 2011.
Thunderbird uses the mbox format, the individual emails are stored in one large file. Althought they are in a standard text format they are not individual files, just one email concatenated after another making up the single file. That's why you can't copy an email to CD, it's not a file, just a piece of a much larger file.
You can look in the mbox file and copy/paste any email to another text file that you could save. But that would be time consuming if you have a lot of them to do. There are some Perl scripts for use on *NIX systems that will parse the mbox and save emails as individual files, or use a "print to file" function to send each to an individual file rather than the printer, but I'm not aware of any Windows programs. You could probably search some for "mbox parser" or something similar to see what you can find.
You can look at the individual emails inside the mbox file using Wordpad. Using Explorer navigate to your user profile folder in Thunderbird. Click on the 'Mail' folder to open it. Select the account folder and open that, and you'll see a file named "Inbox" with no extension. That is the mbox file. Right click on it and select 'Open', you'll have to choose a program to open it with so scroll down to Wordpad and select that.
The mbox file will open in Wordpad and you can scroll through it and see all the individual emails. It will look a little confusing at first since each email section will also contain the header information and likely an HTML version as well as a plain text version of the email. But you can copy any text out of there and save it as a file.
Each folder is saved as a separate set of files. Along with Inbox you'll also see Sent, Trash, Drafts, and others including any you have created. The mbox text files are the ones with no filename extension. You'll also see .sdb, folders and .mfs, and .dat files of the same name.
If you created a sub-folder named 'ImaFolder' in your Inbox you would see the following files:
ImaFolder (the mbox text file)
Inbox (the inbox text file)
You'll also see a folder named ImaFolder.sbd. It will always be empty but that's OK.
To locate where your profile for Thunderbird is kept just click on "Start" and type %APPDATA% into the search box. Scroll down the list and click on the Thunderbird folder.
If you can't see some of the files, or the filename extensions, you may have to change the settings in Explorer. Turn on hidden files, and show file extensions, but I'm not a Vista user so don't have a clue as to how you'd do that.
Thank you very, very much. Very helpful.