A client just asked me how to easily export and save her emails. After a bit of Googling and trying to guide her through the normal “copy profile info to external hard drive” bit, I found something a heck of a lot easier. A little add-on to Thunderbird which allows you to save selected emails right from within Thunderbird and saves them in a human readable format to your hard drive.
Simply install the add-on (Thunderbird Menu -> Tools -> Add-ons -> Install add-on) and then restart Thunderbird.
The backup add-on can be found at Kaosmos website and downloaded for free! It works on all platforms as far as I know (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux).
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to get it working (in my case it’s Thunderbird running on Ma OSX). The screen shots can be enlarged by clicking on them:-
Go to your Thunderbird Tools Menu and select add-ons:
The add-ons screen. Now select “install” from the bottom left corner:
A dialog pops-up asking you for the location of the file. Select it and press “open”:
A security prompt will ask you to confirm whether you really want to install the file. Press “Install now”:
The dialog box will show the installed file and prompt you to restart Thunderbird. Press “Restart Thunderbird”:
After Thunderbird restarted go to your inbox and select the emails you want to export:
Right-click on any of the selected messages to bring up a menu. Go to “Save selected messages” to view the choices:
Select the desired export format. I suggest EML since it’s the easiest way to import emails to other programs. You can also import to Plain Text and HTML if you just want a backup you can read later but not require it to be in any mail program:
A dialog appears, asking you where to save the emails to. Make your choice and press “Choose”:
Now browse to the selected destination to view your exported messages. In my case it’s on a Mac:
Hope this was useful to you. Have a nice day