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How migrate Thunderbird to Mac Mail?

18403 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2014 2:49 AM by jhonhilter RSS
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murrayE Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 31, 2012 5:52 PM

Currently I use Thunderbird under Lion (10.7.4), with two acounts both of which are set up as POP accounts (one is Gmail, the other a university mail account), and in both of which I leave messages on the server. I have many old messages stored locally in many named folders, e.g., under my Gmail account in Thunderbird I have folders such as:

 

       Inbox

       Mac info

       Miscellaneous

       Travel

 

Thus I am not keeping the local copies inside the "Local Folders" area.

 

What is a reliable way to migrate my accounts ans locally-saved messages to the OS X Mail app? And I want both my accounts under Mac Mail to be IMAP instead of POP now.

 

Most of the information I've found about doing this sort of thing, including on this site, is on the order of 5 years old, and some of it even involves using the Rosetta-based Eudora Mailbox Clearn, which of course won't run under Lion.

 

An additional complication: I already have a Gmail IMAP account in Mac Mail, which unfortunately lists all the Gmail messages I've ever received! I want to have just those that at the moment of migration are in my Thunderbird Gmail mailboxes.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4), 3.4GHz Corei7, 16GB, SSD + 2T HD
  • g_pirtle Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 5:57 PM (in response to murrayE)

    Navigate to ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/youruserprofile/Mail/Local Folders/

     

    Identify mailboxes you seek to use in Mail.app.

     

    Each mailbox has three pieces to it - i.e. "inbox.sbd", "inbox.msf" and "inbox" with no extension.

     

    Take the file with no extension, hold down the option key (so it also stays in the folder) and drag it to the desktop.

     

    Rename with ".mbox" as file extension, for example "inbox" becomes "inbox.mbox".

     

    Open Mail.app and select "File Import", choose "Other" and navigate to the desktop and click "Choose".

     

    Your mailbox(es) should appear in the import window and will import into Mail.app.

  • g_pirtle Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 6:12 PM (in response to murrayE)

    Have you tried importing the Thunderbird profiles using Import Mailboxes under the File menu?

     

    Screen Shot 2012-07-31 at 8.09.48 PM.png

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 7:13 PM (in response to murrayE)

    murrayE wrote:

     

    ...Most of the information I've found about doing this sort of thing, including on this site, is on the order of 5 years old, and some of it even involves using the Rosetta-based Eudora Mailbox Clearn, which of course won't run under Lion.

    If you need to access old email files in Eudora, you can run Eudora by installing Snow Leopard (with Rosetta) into Parallels 7 in Lion:

     

    Lion-Snow+Leopard.jpg

                             [click on images to enlarge]

     

    And now Mountain Lion:

     

    Mountain Lion.jpg

     

    Full Snow Leopard installation instructions into Parallels 7 are here:

     

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1365439

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 11:45 PM (in response to murrayE)

    murrayE wrote:

     

    MlchaelLAX wrote:

     

    murrayE wrote:

     

    ...Most of the information I've found about doing this sort of thing, including on this site, is on the order of 5 years old, and some of it even involves using the Rosetta-based Eudora Mailbox Clearn, which of course won't run under Lion.

    If you need to access old email files in Eudora, you can run Eudora by installing Snow Leopard (with Rosetta) into Parallels 7 in Lion:

     

    Full Snow Leopard installation instructions into Parallels 7 are here:

     

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1365439

    Sorry, but my question has nothing whatsoever to do with using Eudora as a mail client. It's just that old information about migrating from Thunderbird to Mac Mail suggests using the Eudora Mailbox Clean utility as a means. But that's not an option now with Lion (or Mountain Lion), since the utility uses Rosetta.

    You misinterpreted my post, so I will try to be more clear.

     

    You suggest that Eudora Mailbox Clean utility can be used to migrate old information from Thunderbird to Mac Mail, but cannot do so due to the lack of Rosetta in Lion/Mountain Lion.

     

    My post indicated how to overcome that hurdle.  By installing Snow Leopard (WITH ROSETTA) into Parallels 7 in Lion/Mountain Lion, you can run all 3 programs in that Snow Leopard environment; that is Thunderbird, Eudora Mailbox Clean utility and Mac Mail.

     

    Once you have achieved the migration of your old information into Mac Mail; you can run Mac Mail in Lion/Mountain Lion without having to use Snow Leopard (with Rosetta) in Parallels again.

     

    It is only suggested as a means to an end.

     

    If you now understand my suggestion and want more information, you can obtain it here:

     

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1365439

  • g_pirtle Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 1, 2012 4:30 AM (in response to murrayE)

    POP pulls messages from a mail server and allows you to store them locally (which you are doing with Thunderbird). IMAP displays a list of messages on your mail server and will leave them on the mail server unless deleted. Setup your account in Mail using IMAP (it will display all messages still present on the mail server at the time you stop using POP in Thunderbird). Once you start using Mail, you can import all the of the locally stored messages from Thunderbird into Mail and you can store those local messages in any folder/smart mailbox structure that you want to use. Using IMAP, you can even move locally stored messages back to the mail server if you wanted to do so.

  • g_pirtle Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 1, 2012 4:47 AM (in response to g_pirtle)

    My Gmail account in Thunderbird with 3 local folders containing mail

    Screen Shot 2012-08-01 at 6.35.38 AM.png

    Import just the local folders you want into Mail

    Screen Shot 2012-08-01 at 6.40.49 AM.png

     

    After importing into Mail, you can find the Local Folders in the Import -> Mail folder, but once they are imported, you can drag them into sort of structure you want. You can drag the "Local Folders" folder out of "Mail" folder and put it in the same directory as the "Import" folder and then delete the Import Folder. This will make Local Folders the top directory for your imported mail from Thunderbird

    Screen Shot 2012-08-01 at 6.41.24 AM.png

  • g_pirtle Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 1, 2012 7:32 AM (in response to murrayE)

    murrayE wrote:

     

    So how do I prevent all those thousands of messages on each server from showing up in the new IMAP Inboxes in Mac Mail, yet keep the several dozen I currently have in each account's Thunderbird Inbox in the new Inboxes in Mac Mail?

    IMAP is going to show the folders and their content as they are on the mail server.

    murrayE wrote:

     

    Note: the distinction between POP and IMAP you make is fuzzier than it might seem, since both my Thunderbird POP accounts are set up to leave messages on the server no matter what I do on the client end.

    In my experience, most people don't know to "leave messages on the server" for POP and I shouldn't have assumed.

     

    Do you have a screenshot of your folder list in Thunderbird?

  • g_pirtle Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 1, 2012 8:32 AM (in response to murrayE)

    I think I understand your issue now. You may not want to do it this way, but this is what I would do in your situation.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-08-01 at 9.55.09 AM.png

    Mail will integrate all your Inboxes (can be turned off in preferences and it will separate them)

    It will do the same for all your Sent Folders, Trash, and other standard folders

    I would create two New Mailboxes in "On My Mac" and import the mailboxes from your two profiles

    Move the imported mail to the proper mailbox you created "On My Mac"

    You can "show" or "hide" the remaining folders that IMAP displays

     

    This does NOT really fix your issue though. Your Inbox will show all of your messages. But you could keep your structure within the "On My Mac" folders.

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