No Option to export mail/settings

NEW
Unassigned

Status

MailNews Core
Import
--
enhancement
13 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: Andrei Boros, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

13 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7.8) Gecko/20050511 Firefox/1.0.4
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7.8) Gecko/20050511 Firefox/1.0.4

Thunderbird does not offer functionality for exporting mail/addressbook/settings to other applications. 

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1.Tools -> import ... but we want export
2.
3.

Actual Results:  
missing export functionality

Expected Results:  
missing export functionality

User is unable to export any data from Thunderbird, other the "Save as/save all" for attachements, "save as file" for message, and ... export addressbook, BUT only from addressbook window. 

Scenario : user wants to migrate to another mail application. 
--> no way to transfer data (except not obvious export from addressbook), if that application does not have import from mozilla thunderbird. 

Scenario : user wants to reinstall system/os/app, wants to migrate to another computer, both cases continuing to use Thunderbird. 
--> in this case an explicit export functionality is required, since there isn't any import until after reinstall, or migration. 
--> there is no way to transfer mail and settings, even from one installation to another. 

As an experienced user, I found a workaround, but this is not for the average user. 
Find the folders where Thunderbird stores data, settings, mail, etc. 
Copy all those files
Create the accounts, settings, etc on the new installation
copy the mailbox files to the new installation folder (which ain't easy to find), edit some of the prefs/accounts, maybe even the prefs file directly to adjust for path differences (the random directory name issue). 
Not for the average user, as I said.

Updated

13 years ago
Severity: major → enhancement
OS: Windows 98 → All
Hardware: PC → All
Summary: Export mail/addressbook/settings → No Option to export mail/addressbook/settings

Comment 1

13 years ago
Exporting the addess book is done in Tools->Export (the menubar from the Adress book, not the main one).

Exporting the mail itself might not be such a good idea, due to the size of the mailboxes. It's the target applciation that has to read the *.mbox files (or in case of Mozilla/Thunderbird, you can copy them directly). Some of them can (most Unix mailers for example, since they use the same format), some can't (Outlook).

Exporting settings is not really possible. Another Thunderbird can read the preference-files form the profile directly (it's done automatically during profile migration, althouhg there's no option to import after your new profile haas already been created), but that doesn't work for Outlook for instance.

Comment 2

13 years ago
Per Comment #1, Address book export is available. Changing summary to reflect this.

I think what the reporter is asking for is an ability to export the mail account, SMTP settings but I don't see how this would be possible.  

Shouldn't other applications other an import feature on their side, not an export on TB's side?
Summary: No Option to export mail/addressbook/settings → No Option to export mail/settings
(Reporter)

Comment 3

13 years ago
Scenarios of backup, OS reinstall, migration to another computer and STILL continuing to use Thunderbird would however imply both export and import Thunderbird. Including the potentially large files of the mailfolders.

In these cases one cannot assume an existing installation of Thunderbird from which another application to import...

It is not a very simple task for an average user to dig for the place where the files are stored and to know what needs saving and then what needs changing for things to work again. 
(Reporter)

Comment 4

13 years ago
Exporting settings shouldn't be that hard, just write the prefs, account settings, UI settings, message filters, etc, to one/more files in the same format as the native prefs, with one catch : 

- export folder names relative to profile dir as they are and then import function has to sort-out the differently named directory
- export folder names, placing a placeholder where the random-named folder name is, to be filled out by import function.

In the case of backup/os reinstall/pc migration, there can be no existing profile to be recognized and automatically imported. 
Thus, user control must be given for this function in TB as well.

Yes, I can save/restore most rellevant files by hand, but it's a bit of a hassle and I don't see too many of people I know able to do the same. (they'll ask me :)

Updated

13 years ago
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true

Updated

10 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 397762

Updated

10 years ago
Assignee: mscott → nobody

Comment 6

9 years ago
"migration" component is "for auto migration from other mail clients to Thunderbird." and we don't have an export either, but  moving to Mailnews core Import.

Arguably, one could say this should be addressed by a) proper backup utilities of which at least two presently exist and b) the mail app to which one wishes to go to should bear the responsibility for providing an import or migration too FROM thunderbird.  IOW, should the burden really Thunderbird's?
Component: Migration → Import
Product: Thunderbird → MailNews Core
QA Contact: migration → import

Comment 7

9 years ago
related bugs:
bug 247312 backup/restore accounts/folders data 
bug 251763 add capability to export mail into mbox format
bug 271863 Import/Export account info 
Bug 438780 Give possibility for IMAP Backup
and others

plus bugs about exporting filters, rss, etc
(In reply to comment #6)
> "migration" component is "for auto migration from other mail clients to
> Thunderbird." and we don't have an export either, but  moving to Mailnews core
> Import.
> 
> Arguably, one could say this should be addressed by a) proper backup utilities
> of which at least two presently exist and b) the mail app to which one wishes
> to go to should bear the responsibility for providing an import or migration
> too FROM thunderbird.  IOW, should the burden really Thunderbird's?

Another use case could be TB users wanting to blow away their profile to start anew. Folks have told me that they would like to have a new profile without all the old cruft in TB3 betas but were unable to do so as they have lots of filters, IMAP settings, POP settings and the like, so creating a new profile would take lots of time. (I experienced a bit of this as I blew my old profile a week or two back)

That said, this use case might not involve a lot of people...
There are definitely compelling use cases here.
My 2c:

Creating new profiles from existing ones importing mail but not all settings, makes a lot of sense, but it strikes me that "import" may be the place to do that?

Backup is a definitely good use case, which probably needs a fair bit of design -- how to deal with notions of archiving (as in, export 2007 email, remove it from existing profile), incremental backups, etc. etc.

Cleaning up random settings crap left by user experimentation or wacky add-on history is a harder use case to solve right, I suspect.
Migrating cleanly from old computer to new computer feels compelling to me as well, though that's mostly captured by the backup use case.
+1 to clean migration sans or without sans email inclusion.

Setting wanted‑thunderbird3 in the hope it get switched to another more appropriate future flag.
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3?

Comment 13

9 years ago
TB to TB is bug 382080 Thunderbird should allow migration of Thunderbird profiles from itself
Duplicate of this bug: 596436
Duplicate of this bug: 389275
Duplicate of this bug: 383629
(Reporter)

Comment 17

8 years ago
Nothing seems to have been done on this issue for 5 years. 

Surely many others who work as administrators must know what a pain is to migrate a user from an installation to another if one wants to keep existing mail/bookmarks/settings...
You have other solutions like mozbackup and some pretty good docs on kb.mozillazine.org.

And if you feel like contributing a patch it'd be very welcome.

Comment 19

8 years ago
Your suggestion of mozbackup would only work for Windows.  In my case I would like to move E-mails from Windows to Solaris, or vice-versa.

Also, I am not sure that it would only backup a set of E-mails and restore them (since I can't try to run it on Solaris as I need to).  I don't want the entire profile backed up, just specific E-mail folders/accounts.

We still need this capability inside the Thunderbird client and not through some outside utility we have to search the web for that may or may not work correctly for our particular version of Thunderbird.

Comment 20

8 years ago
(In reply to comment #18)
> And if you feel like contributing a patch it'd be very welcome.

Probably as welcome as the feedback that has been given in the newsgroups, and in the comments to the large bunch of bugs related to this functionality.

You can't expect people to write a functionality, when the proposals about how the functionality should work have been ignored or dismissed by developers that have no idea about real-world systems administration. So, the usual "then write a patch" philosophy does not apply here.
(Reporter)

Comment 21

8 years ago
(In reply to comment #18)
> You have other solutions like mozbackup and some pretty good docs on
> kb.mozillazine.org.

I already know the manual solution to migrate a profile, that involves copying and editing files, plus configuring by hand various things. 

Also, an external program means either installing or running additional software, which in certain environments is prohibited by policy. 

> And if you feel like contributing a patch it'd be very welcome.
If my knowledge of C was up for it. Unfortunately it is not. 
I have, am and will gladly contribute to the Mozilla and other open-source projects, any other way that I can, by feedback, testing, etc. 

And last, I agree with @morz, it is not the first time I felt frustrated by developer indifference to various real-life situations, this and other open-source projects too.

Comment 22

8 years ago
i'd suspect most of it is coded in js
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3?

Updated

5 years ago
See Also: → bug 391442
Removing myslef on all the bugs I'm cced on. Please NI me if you need something on MailNews Core bugs from me.
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