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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Sydney
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    Default How to transfer/Import Windows Thunderbird Mail and Outlook Express into Apple Mail

    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 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"
    iMac 27" 3.2Gb with 32Gb RAM, 2Tb Time Capsule & Airport Express,
    iPod 5.5 30g, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini
    Bruji the best cataloguing programs for Mac OS & iOS

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Default

    Thanks Finewine for writing that up.
    The discussion has continued at AppleTalk Australia.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    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
    __________________________________________________ _____________
    IMAT's got an IMAC 24", an iPhone 4, an iPad 1 and a Macbook Air 13"

  4. #4

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    Default

    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
    iMac 27" 3.2Gb with 32Gb RAM, 2Tb Time Capsule & Airport Express,
    iPod 5.5 30g, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini
    Bruji the best cataloguing programs for Mac OS & iOS

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    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
    __________________________________________________ _____________
    IMAT's got an IMAC 24", an iPhone 4, an iPad 1 and a Macbook Air 13"

  6. #6

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IMat View Post
    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.

    Good luck with the new machine and welcome to the family.

    Cheers
    Last edited by FineWine; 13th July 2013 at 07:44 AM.
    iMac 27" 3.2Gb with 32Gb RAM, 2Tb Time Capsule & Airport Express,
    iPod 5.5 30g, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini
    Bruji the best cataloguing programs for Mac OS & iOS

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    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's got an IMAC 24", an iPhone 4, an iPad 1 and a Macbook Air 13"

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    It's Arrived !!!

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

    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

    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.
    __________________________________________________ _____________
    IMAT's got an IMAC 24", an iPhone 4, an iPad 1 and a Macbook Air 13"

  9. #9

    Default

    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!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Brisbane - Australia
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    Default

    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
    Unibody MacBook 2.4GHz C2D, Apple 23" HD Display and Black 16GB iPhone 3G...
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  11. #11

    Default

    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.

  12. #12

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    Feb 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IMat View Post
    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.

  13. #13

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    Default

    Worked perfectly! I'm new to mac and thanks to these intructions, I'm a happy MAC user. Thanks a million!

  14. #14

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    Aug 2008
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    Default

    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.

  15. #15

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane View Post
    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".
    iMac 27" 3.2Gb with 32Gb RAM, 2Tb Time Capsule & Airport Express,
    iPod 5.5 30g, iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini
    Bruji the best cataloguing programs for Mac OS & iOS

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Geelong
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    3

    Default winmail.dat files

    When I get sent a winmail.dat file , how do I open that ?

  17. #17

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    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

  18. #18

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    Jun 2008
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    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.

  19. #19

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    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

  20. #20

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    IT WORKED!!! Hallelujah! A big cross through my "Things To do" list!

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