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How to Backup Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive? Easy Ways

Summary: Being an individual or professional, there are many circumstances when you need to export Thunderbird emails to the hard drive. In this article, we are going to explain the manual and professional methods to backup Thunderbird emails to the hard drive. Before going on techniques, let us understand the reasons to transfer Thunderbird emails to the hard drive. 

Mozilla Thunderbird is an open source email client. The Thunderbird application supports IMAP and POP addresses and has an ability to run smoothly on Windows and Mac OS. It is used by users as individuals and professionals to send and receive their data. Like any other email client, it also has a limited folder size. When the accounts reach their maximum size , then the email communication will also stop. So, you can backup the existing data and make space for new data.

Reasons to Backup Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive

There are several reasons to transfer Thunderbird emails to the hard drive. Some of them are-

  • Thunderbird has limited storage space. So, backup reduces the size of the mailbox to save new data.
  • Sometimes data corruption due to sudden power shutdown, then you can access the data from backup files.
  • System files got corrupted due to virus attacks. Taking a backup increases the chances of better data security.
  • Accidental deletion of Thunderbird mailboxes items. So, saving data on the hard drive can become helpful.
  • If a user wants to switch from Thunderbird email client then taking a backup is helpful to access these data.

How to Backup Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive?

Thunderbird is a popular email client. Many users use this application for individual and business purposes. Many users want to export their data because transferring the data to another location is the best way to secure data. There are various manual and professional ways to save Thunderbird emails to the hard drive.  Which are given here-

Method 1: Backup Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive using Save Emails in EML format. 

The Thunderbird email client does not provide any in-built feature to save emails at another location but you can save your emails at desktop in EML format. Follow these steps to transfer emails from Thunderbird to external hard drive using using save as option- 

  • Firstly, Open Mozilla Thunderbird on your local system
  • Now, select the emails that you want to transfer on hard drive
  • Then, go to the Menu tab and click on Save As from drop down list
  • After that select the saving location and define the folder name to save the selected emails
  • At last, click on Save button to get the backup process on hard drive

Method 2: Export Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive using Import Export Tools 

To backup Thunderbird emails to the hard drive or multiple file formats such as PDF, HTML, EML etc., you need to add the Import Export Tools add-on. Follow these steps to backup Thunderbird emails using Import Export Tools add on-

  • First, Run Thunderbird on your local system 
  • Now, Click on Menu icon at the top right corner and hit on Add-ons option 
  • Then click on Add-ons from the Add-ons Manager
  • After that select the Import Export Tools add on and click on Add to Thunderbird
  • Now click on Install button to install the add-on to Thunderbird client
  • Go back to the Add-on Manager window and Click on Restart now button to end the process
  • Now, right click on inbox and select Import Export Tools
  • Then select Export all message in a folder and click on EML file format
  • After that, enter the folder name to backup Thunderbird emails
  • At last,  click on Select Folder to save the backup emails

Limitations of Manual Method

Using manual method users transfer their thunderbird emails to external hard drive but there are some drawbacks, which are given below-

  • The manual method takes a large amount of time and effort to backup Thunderbird emails to the hard drive.
  • The method contains multiple steps, so you have to be alert to perform all these steps sequentially.
  • Manual method contains some technical steps. So, non technical users face difficulty to perform the task.
  • The manual method often binds you with basic file formats. You can’t save emails in significant file formats such as PDF, PST, MSG and so on.
  • In this method, there is always a risk of data loss.

Method 3: Alternative Solution to Backup Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive

We all know that the manual methods are free of cost. But, it requires some technical knowledge to transfer Thunderbird emails to the hard drive. So, we use a professional tool Corbett Email Backup Wizard that doesn’t require any technical knowledge to perform this task. The tool neglects all limitations of manual method. It is an effective and reliable tool to save Thunderbird emails to the hard drive without any problem. The interface of software is very simple, so users easily use this tool. 

Key Features of the Tool

  • Backup emails from 209+ mail clients and Web Servers.
  • The tool allows users to save emails in multiple file formats such as EML, MBOX, PST.
  • Download emails in multiple document formats such as PDF, TEXT, HTML, CSV.
  • The tool allows you to extract attributes, email address, phone number.
  • It provides search option to backup selected emails
  • The tool allows you to backup your emails from cloud servers to a local hard drive.
  • It maintains the folder hierarchy after the backup process.
  • The tool makes sure that your files are unaffected by such an email backup procedure.
  • The tool has a feature that lets you sort the data on numerous parameters.

Steps to Backup Thunderbird Emails to the Hard Drive using Tool

  • Firstly, launch the tool on your local system and click on Open button
  • Now, hit on Email accounts and select Add accounts
  • Then, Add your Thunderbird email address and password and hit on Add button to take backup of the emails
  • The software is loaded files from your Thunderbird account, you can enable the Compact View button to view the important folder for backup
  • Now, Click on Email to view the Message Preview with all the elements
  • You can also apply the Advance Search option to give the information within the emails
  • After that click on Export button and select PDF from Document files for backup process
  • Now click on Browse button to save the emails 
  • You can apply the Advance option of the software such as- Open folder after export is done, Include Email Headers, Create empty folders, Create Individual PDF file for each other, Delete old folders etc.
  • Finally, click on Save button to start the backup process
  • Now you can see the live status of backup process
  • After Export is done, you can Open the folder to view the output


In the above article, we have discussed the reasons and techniques to backup Thunderbird emails to the hard drive in a seamless manner. You can select the manual and professional method as per your needs. However, experts recommend the alternative method to export Thunderbird emails to the hard drive, because the manual method has some limitations. Using the mentioned tools, you can easily transfer your emails from Thunderbird to an external hard drive without any data loss.

Also Read: How to Export Exchange Mailbox to PST?

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