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FineWine
2nd December 2007, 02:08 PM
I have just recently switched from a Windows machine to an Apple iMac.

To transfer all my mail and attending file structures (inbox & Sent & Local Folders) from my Windows Thunderbird Mail to my iMac Apple Mail I did the following:

Prior to transfer start Windows Thunderbird and select your mail account. Then select; File, Compact Folders. This is an absolute must action to prevent file corruption.

Close Thunderbird.

On the PC locate Thunderbirds profile which is usually in:

C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\********.default

Copy the entire contents of the \********.default directory to a USB stick or data disk etc.

Plug USB stick into your Mac.

On the iMac within Mail, goto:

File, Import Mailboxes, select Thunderbird, press Continue and locate the Thunderbird profile directory on the USB stick and let Mail do its thing.

In Mail they will appear under "On My Mac" as "Imported Mail".

Rearrange to your likening.

Now goto Mailbox on the menu bar and select "Rebuild". This will ensure there is no file corruption after Mail has imported and converted your Thunderbird mail files.

Quit Mail and restart and that is all there is to it. All your old Windows Thunderbird Mail should be there including attachments.

NOTE 1: There will be a blue dot to the left of each and every email as Apple Mail believes you have not read these emails. It will also colour any email a light brown if it believes it to be Junk mail.

NOTE 2: To bring Outlook Express and Address Book into Apple Mail you need to install Thunderbird Mail (http://en.www.mozilla.com/en/thunderbird/) onto your PC. It will ask whether you want to import OLE and Address Book into Thunderbird, click the appropriate boxes and let it do its thing. All file structures, dates and attachments will be retained. I have found this to be the simplest and cheapest way to do this.

ADDITION (10/03/08): I have since found this little free program which rebuilds all your iMail boxes in one go - "Speedmail (http://www.1802.it/speedmail.php)"

Currawong
2nd December 2007, 04:00 PM
Thanks Finewine for writing that up.

IMat
30th December 2007, 10:55 PM
Good One!

For me, my PC email resides in Outlook which seems to be a bigger issue as not compatible with standard import methods.

I plan to use your process though as whilst have seen many alternatives, some with 3rd party apps involved, this seems simple and effective.

I have imported mail/folders into Thunderbird already, just waiting for delivery of my new IMac to do the rest!

Couple of questions:

1. Upon import into MAIL (Mac) did the folder structure come through 'as is' ?

2. Do original email dates come through (heard with some migration methods the actual 'migration' date will default to ALL imported mail?

Many thanks

FineWine
31st December 2007, 04:03 AM
Dates and file structures come through as they were in Thunderbird and Thunderbird brings them across as you had them in Outlook Express.

Please refer to my new NOTE 2 in the original post which you have prompted me to add - thanks

IMat
31st December 2007, 01:02 PM
Thanks FineWine.

Glad I could help out even if indirectly! Already a contributer and no MAC yet :)

I am using OUTLOOK (vs Outlook Express) but seems to work just as well .. not sure my contact list has exported fully but I'll recheck that.

I've also been reading with interests the artices as per your referral on AppleInsider...I'm not upgrading but still gives a good overview of the new OS and its components.

Cheers
Matt

FineWine
31st December 2007, 10:14 PM
I'm not upgrading but still gives a good overview of the new OS and its components.
Matt

Glad I could be of help and it is great to know the above method works with MS Office Outlook as well. I know it works with Outlook Express plus its contacts as I did the procedure on a lady friend of mine. I would be interested to hear if your OL contact list came across all the way to Apple Mail.

Ref your new iMac, I asked Mac Centre to install Leopard OS10.5.1 for me, just to save me the hassle. You can read my article here.
(http://www.mactalk.com.au/14/34409-finally-switched.html)
Good luck with the new machine and welcome to the family.

Cheers

IMat
1st January 2008, 02:06 PM
Will do! I double checked and all my contacts have come thru to Thunderbird - so fingers crossed...

I thought all new machines were coming installed with Leopard now anyways? If not I believe its pretty straightforward - will be my first challenge ;)

IMat
10th January 2008, 08:00 PM
It's Arrived !!!

Actually came a few days ago but Bipond had shaped my internet so couldnt do much - grrrrr:mad:

Shame as I was setup (box kept!!) and connected wirelessly within 20 minutes - what a setup process WOW! Even had to watch the welcome vid 3 times before proceeding - it was so vibrant felt like I could jump in there and roam around in space HA.

Anyway - good news is ALL Thunderbird data came through perfectly - MAIL recognised the mail and address book files without a hitch. This seemed a very easy and reliable process - particularly from OUTLOOK which is incompatible for a direct transfer, not sure why so many sites refer to complex and often 3rd party solutions at cost.

One other trick I came up with (well sure its been done by many but I stumbled over it by accident) was that I was able to synch all my calendar and Safari shortcuts via my IPOD Touch. Another product (toy?!) I love and just admire more and more as I get used to it.

Thanks Apple - not only does it 'just work' but it works so damn clever:thumbup:

Well back to my baby - I've got Bootcamp/VMWare setup with VISTA but do have a few other setup issues - so will post some questions on relevant threads shortly.

Pepper
18th January 2008, 02:54 PM
Thank you for the very helpful and useful instructions. They worked perfectly for the Thunderbird mail I was transferring, but I have a small glitch, that I know is a breeze to fix, but I can't seem to figure out how.

1. I have been a Mac user for 21 years.

2. Last October I did the stupidest thing ever when my PowerBook G4 died. I bought a Toshiba. Those days are over, as I just got an iMac. (2 1/2 months was beyond my tolerance for Windows).

3. I had transferred all of my old email files on the Mac into Thunderbird, then set that up on the PC, but now in transferring it all back to the Mac, it only recognizes the files that were "born" on the PC. The Mac files that were transferred to the PC in the first place won't transfer back to the Mac, strange as that may seem.

4. BUT - I think there may be a very easy fix for all of this, I just can't grasp it. When I disposed of the PowerBook, I kept the hard drive and now use it as an external hard drive attached to the Mac. All of the files from the old PowerBook are still on it, including all of the archived mail.

5. I realize this is probably a dumb question, but how do I get the archived mail from a Mac hard drive into my current Mac Mail and have it all show up as a Mailbox. I guess what I'm asking is where do mail files live on the hard drive, and how can I import them into Mail.

If anyone can show me how to figure this out, i will be very grateful, and if you are ever in LA, I will buy you a beer. I also have a doozy of a Palm address book issue, but that will have to wait for another thread.

Thanks!

The Architect.mac
18th January 2008, 03:01 PM
on your old hard drive the files should be in

(Your user name\library\thunderbird\profiles)

and your palm issue may be able to be solved with markspace.com missing sync depending on what sort of palm it is...

cheers

Pepper
18th January 2008, 03:08 PM
Thanks for that, and they are there, but I was always afraid that in the transfer from Mail to Thunderbird on the old Mac that some files got lost (I never used Thunderbird on the PowerBook, just transferred everything into Thunderbird to put it on the PC).

Is there anywhere on the old hard drive that my old Mail files were, that can just be imported into Mail on the new iMac? I hope this doesn't seem really dense. I'm simply trying to go from Mail to Mail and from a PowerBook hard drive to an iMac. I'd love to leave Thunderbird out of the equation altogether.

GeoffP
10th March 2008, 03:36 PM
Will do! I double checked and all my contacts have come thru to Thunderbird - so fingers crossed...

I thought all new machines were coming installed with Leopard now anyways? If not I believe its pretty straightforward - will be my first challenge ;)

Hi IMat,
I also need to bring my Outlook 2003 email, contacts, etc across to iMail. I have all my contacts in categories. First question is did you have your contacts in categories, and if so, did the your contacts get put back into those categories on your iMac.
Can you also confirm that you are using iMail - I can only see where you refer to the Mac "MAIL" progy.
Thanks.

iMACM3
26th July 2008, 06:06 PM
Worked perfectly! I'm new to mac and thanks to these intructions, I'm a happy MAC user. Thanks a million!

Arcane
14th August 2008, 11:54 AM
Just tried this and while the directories (saved, drafts, etc.) all looked right, in each of them there was no content in any of the files.

FineWine
14th August 2008, 12:44 PM
Just tried this and while the directories (saved, drafts, etc.) all looked right, in each of them there was no content in any of the files.

In Mail they will appear under "On My Mac" as "Imported Mail".

Ashnriley
29th October 2008, 10:01 AM
When I get sent a winmail.dat file , how do I open that ?

Luvlimum
2nd November 2008, 05:10 PM
Aaargh! I have reached a problem here ..... I have installed Thunderbird onto my old PC. Upon opening it asked if I wanted to transfer mail, address book etc. etc. to which I replied "Yes".

It took AGES (as there is a lot of mail) to accomplish this. I opened Thunderbird ok, and it was all there in its glory! YAY!

I highlighted my personal folders (where all the email sits in subfolders) and clicked on File, Compact Folders. Nothing really happened? But I assumed that was ok.

Now, I have gone to C:\Documents and settings\owner\ ...... there is no Thunderbird, profiles etc.... anywhere?
So I tried C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\ etc. and I still cannot find the files I need to copy to my USB in order to transfer it to the Mac.

Please tell me what I am doing wrong? Eeeich!

Thanks
Tanya

Scooterpig
2nd November 2008, 05:40 PM
Not being smart but did you go to the Application Data folder in User? You have to change your settings to allow hidden folders to be viewed, cause would be surprised if it's not there as it installs it there by default on any install, not withstanding your imported files.

Luvlimum
2nd November 2008, 05:49 PM
aaaaw man! I always have my hidden folders on display, but somewhere along the line this was re-set. I do see my applications folder and I have found the folder marked "Mail" and therin lies "Local Folders, personal folders etc. I send my apologies with much gratitude, and, no your were not being smart - I was just having an "idiot moment". Fingers crossed I can get this mailbag into my Mac mail....

Thanks again ... T :thumbup:

Luvlimum
2nd November 2008, 06:31 PM
IT WORKED!!! Hallelujah! A big cross through my "Things To do" list!

Scooterpig
2nd November 2008, 06:56 PM
Good stuff...:)

FineWine
2nd November 2008, 11:44 PM
When I get sent a winmail.dat file , how do I open that ?

If you are using Apple mail, which I presume you are, and you receive these types of files, try this little program:

tnefDD (http://tnefdd.sourceforge.net/tnefDD/Overview.html)

If you are using a windows based mail program try this one:

Winmail.dat Reader (http://www.kopf.com.br/winmail/)

Hope this helps.

Goldilocks
14th November 2008, 01:55 PM
In Mail they will appear under "On My Mac" as "Imported Mail".

Hi thanks for writing the article up. I have just tried the Thunderbird method 3 times and every time the emails in some of the subfolders (ones I have created) are missing. I did delete the .default folder before attempting again. Everything looked fine on Thunderbird (v2.0.0.17) but when importing into Mail, it imports all the named folders but not all the emails.

BTW You have to export the Address book in Thunderbird as LPID, copy to the usb flas drive, then in Mail/Address Book, import the LPID file from the usb flash drive. This part works OK.

Would this mean I would need to purchase this file 02M Little Machines (http://www.littlemachines.com/) ?

FineWine
15th November 2008, 07:29 AM
I did delete the .default folder before attempting again. Everything looked fine on Thunderbird (v2.0.0.17) but when importing into Mail, it imports all the named folders but not all the emails.[/url] ?

Whether you are coming from Outlook/Outlook Express and you imported them into Thunderbird or just from Thunderbird you must compact your Thunderbird folders prior to copying them to what ever transfer media you use. On import to Apple mail you again must use Mails Rebuild feature mail box by mail box at a time or you can download "Speedmail" (http://www.1802.it/speedmail.php) which will do the same thing all in one go. I actually did both, rebuilt box by box then Speedmail.

Mail.app and Mozilla Mail both use the standard Unix mbox format but sometimes things just do not go as they should because Apple mail is far more rigid than Thunderbird.

In Thunderbirds .default directory under the Mail sub directory are all your boxes as follows:
(This is an expample)

Mail
Account Name
Inbox.sbd
Computers
Apple Mac
Apple Mac.msf

Sent.sbd
Computers
Apple Mac
Apple Mac.msf

As you can see each mailbox has four pieces to it - i.e. inbox.sbd, inbox folder name, inbox.msf and inbox with no extension.
You are going to have to rename those files which have no extension by adding .mbox as the file extension. For example, Apple mac becomes Apple Mac.mbox.
Now open Mail.app and select File: Import, Thunderbird. Your mailbox(es) should appear in the import window and will import into Mail.app.
Apple mail only looks at the mbox files within the folders whilst at the same time keeping your Thunderbird folder structure during import.
Or you can import each .mbox file individually, thereby weeding out those emails you do not want. Again open Apple mail, File, Import but this time select mbox files.

Please keep a back-up copy of your Thunderbird .default folder before doing any renaming etc.

Now having explained all of the above, I have since discovered a donation ware program that was initially written to import Eudora's mail into Apple mail. "Eudora Mailbox Cleaner (http://homepage.mac.com/aamann/Eudora_Mailbox_Cleaner.html)". The latest version 4.8 will also clean up, convert and migrate Thunderbird mail to Apple mail. I have not personally tried this program.


BTW You have to export the Address book in Thunderbird as LPID, copy to the usb flas drive, then in Mail/Address Book, import the LPID file from the usb flash drive. This part works OK. [/url] ?

Yes you are correct. I did not go into this as I used by Switch to Mac as a good excuse to redo my address book from scratch.

I hope you now have success in your importation.

Cheers

Goldilocks
15th November 2008, 11:58 AM
Thanks Finewine, I did do the compact folders and the rebuild routine as I followed your instructions to the letter. The extra detail you provided above, I did not know about and will go and have another try and will let you know how it goes.

Goldilocks
17th November 2008, 07:23 PM
Sorry it took awhile, home duties were pressing. I still have not been able to get this to import correctly, even deleting Thunderbird and reinstalling, renaming the unnamed folders to mbox, compressing before closing etc etc. all with exactly the same result. All folders are imported but not all emails. I suspect the ones missing contain attachments. I did try Speedmail, Eudora Mail Cleanup with exactly the same result therefore the problems seems to be on the Thunderbird end or Mail not recognizing the ones with attachments. I know my way around PCs fairly well, however this is my second mac, my first one was a IIC; so I may be missing something obvious to a Mac user.

I am unable to get back to this for a couple of days, but will pursue if anyone has any more suggestions. I would like to know what it is I am doing wrong.

FineWine
18th November 2008, 02:19 AM
I still have not been able to get this to import correctly, even deleting Thunderbird and reinstalling, renaming the unnamed folders to mbox, compressing before closing etc etc. all with exactly the same result. All folders are imported but not all emails.

Well this problem is new to me. I have never had any problems importing Tb mail into Apple mail even after importing OL/OLE into Tb then into Apple mail. After further research I came up with this article. (http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040609231712503) Have a read of the entire page and if you think you are up to it try out those scripts.

Good Luck and please let me know how you get on.

Cheers

Goldilocks
20th November 2008, 02:03 PM
Well this problem is new to me. I have never had any problems importing Tb mail into Apple mail even after importing OL/OLE into Tb then into Apple mail. After further research I came up with this article. (http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040609231712503) Have a read of the entire page and if you think you are up to it try out those scripts.

Good Luck and please let me know how you get on.

Cheers

Thank you Finewine, I have had had success!! :D:D not with the scripts above (not directly) but reading it gave me some inspiration. I understand what the article was saying, but I felt I am not quite ready for that level....yet. It seems that it may be the inconsistency with the characters in the email might have been the culprit. It got me thinking, seeing the Outlook Express is a simpler progam and it has been successful on importation, maybe if I imported Outlook into OE, it might strip the orroneous characters for me, then use Thunderbird from there.

I did just that, checking all emails came across, then selected each folder one by one, just for the heck of it, in my mind, it might make OE reinforce the emails are there. I then selected all the emails within the folders and marked them as read. Then closed OE.

I opened up Thunderbird and followed your original instructions importing from OE, everything looked OK, but so did it when importing from Outlook. I clicked on each folder watching the status bar at the bottom of the window ensuring the emails appeared, I then went back to each folder one by one and compacted the emails; everything looked OK, like before then closed Thunderbird.

I copied the xxxx.default directory as per your original instructions to a flash drive and then inserted the drive into my mac; opened up mail; then went File/Import Mailbox, selected Thunderbird mail and followed instructions. You can imagine my shock :eek: at seeing that it seems all the emails imported. I then selected individual mailboxes for the emails to appear, checking the status bar, then repeated the process to rebuild. I checked the number of emails imported against the originals, they are all there except one email missing in my Sent box - out of 613, I am not complaining.

I can now move on with my life and enjoy this computer, thanks for sticking with me and provided that inspiriation. :)

Goldilocks
20th November 2008, 02:52 PM
FineWine; I am not sure if this should be posted elsewhere or not. I have a problem since importing, I wanted to move some imported mailboxes into the original "Mailbox" on Mail, but I cannot seem to do so. So, I thought I would create new mailbox under the original "Mailbox" Inbox and copy the emails; but when doing so, the only option I have to put the new mailbox is under the imported mailbox "On My Mac", the other "Mailbox" is not listed nor can I select it to be listed. Can you advise, thanks?

FineWine
20th November 2008, 10:21 PM
FineWine; I am not sure if this should be posted elsewhere or not. I have a problem since importing, I wanted to move some imported mailboxes into the original "Mailbox" on Mail, but I cannot seem to do so. So, I thought I would create new mailbox under the original "Mailbox" Inbox and copy the emails; but when doing so, the only option I have to put the new mailbox is under the imported mailbox "On My Mac", the other "Mailbox" is not listed nor can I select it to be listed. Can you advise, thanks?

Glad to hear that the importation all finally went OK for you.:thumbup::)

As for the mailbox problem. This is not a problem as such as mail will not do this sooo what I did is that my account/s "Inbox" and "Sent" folders are just that for receiving and sending only. If I wish to file anything I do so under "On my Mac".

When I imported my Tb mail which ended up under "On my Mac" as "Imported Email" I created a "Received" and "Sent" folder under "On my Mac", then I moved (drag & drop) all the folders & sub folders with associated emails from the "Imported Email" into these appropriate boxes. I was then left with an empty "Imported Email" folder which I deleted.

To file away any emails you can just drag & drop or right click select "Move to" etc. whilst in the account/s "Inbox" or "Sent" folders.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Goldilocks
22nd November 2008, 03:22 PM
Yes it does help thank you, I might put a request into the wish list for Apple to make this job a little easier for future switchers and make the mailbox a little more logical after importing.

Thanks again

poo
31st March 2009, 05:15 PM
For those interested, you can switch between Thunderbird on Mac and PC very easily. I did this yesterday...

The following is paraphrased from elsewhere to save me re-writing it:

Just fire up Thunderbird in OS X, let it create a profile with an account, quit Tbird, copy Mail folders from the XP Thunderbird mail directory (under Application Data/Thunderbird/Profiles) into the corresponding directory in OS X (user/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles). Then I started Thunderbird, all my mail was available exactly as on my PC.

sdrambo
25th April 2009, 05:27 PM
Thank you

Hirameagle
4th July 2009, 04:28 AM
A newbie to Mac here! i want to try this conversion from TB on PC to Mail on my Mac. I have Mail, ver 3.5 on the Mac (new mac) and it has something to import Mailboxes from several programs, including TB. Having ver 3.5, do I still follow the instructions from Finewine just as they are? Wanted to make sure before I make a mistake!

Thanks!

FineWine
8th July 2009, 10:12 AM
Sorry for the slow reply but been away overseas, but the short answer is Yes

msoon77
14th October 2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks for this! I managed to save all my emails and bring them across - life saver.

FineWine
14th October 2009, 04:50 PM
Thanks for this! I managed to save all my emails and bring them across - life saver.

Glad you had success. :)

BTW I notice that this is your first post - welcome to these forums.

Cheers

hishamhani
2nd December 2009, 04:27 AM
that good
personal domain name (http://personal-domain-name-sham.blogspot.com/)

Decembergirl
4th April 2010, 04:04 PM
Hi guys,

Finally converted my hubby to an iMac and have gone through the import process to get everything out of Outlook, into Thunderbird and then out onto the iMac. Everything is great but when we import the file structure to the iMac we get only some of the folders and no contents. Can anyone tell us where we're going wrong? Also, even though I exported all of his address book data from Outlook and into Thunderbird (where it shows up just fine and dandy), I can't see it anywhere in the ******.default folder to then import it to Adress Book.

Any help would be appreciated, my poor hubby is getting rather frustrated!

glacierdave
4th April 2010, 04:52 PM
If you're looking to make this conversion exceedingly painless, consider purchasing O2M from LittleMachine (Link Here (http://www.littlemachines.com/)). It's about US$10 to buy and exports straight out of Outlook (all versions) and creates data files ready for import into Mail.app, iCal and Address Book.

This was the process I ended up using after messing around with a few others and found it by far the easiest and least painful.

FineWine
4th April 2010, 05:01 PM
Everything is great but when we import the file structure to the iMac we get only some of the folders and no contents. Can anyone tell us where we're going wrong?

I have always had success with the method used at the top of this post. You must "Compact" your mail within Thunderbird once you have brought it across from OL and you must "Rebuild" you mail once you have imported it into Apple Mail.app. I use the little program "Speedmail" (http://www.1802.it/speedmail.php).

However I originally wrote this post in December 2007 and there have been several updates to Thunderbird since then and therefore things may have change within Thunderbird. If you are still having problems you could spend US$10 and buy O2M (http://www.littlemachines.com/) or give Eudora Mailbox Cleaner 4.9 (http://homepage.mac.com/aamann/Eudora_Mailbox_Cleaner.html) a whirl.


Also, even though I exported all of his address book data from Outlook and into Thunderbird (where it shows up just fine and dandy), I can't see it anywhere in the ******.default folder to then import it to Adress Book.

To export Thunderbird address book:
Note: The address file is in the ******.default folder as Abook.mab

In Thunderbird, open up Address Book
In the Address Book window, select the address book that you want to export.
Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Export...".
Enter a name for the address book, select "LDIF" from the drop-down list, choose where on your computer you want to save the address book, and then click to save the file.
Copy over to your iMac Desk Top
On your iMac open up Address Book
Go to File, Import and choose LDIF
Choose the file on your Desk Top and click open

Hope all this helps.

Cheers