This chapter covers some tips and tricks that can make your use of Thunderbird easier, more enjoyable, and more efficient.
Your profile is a collection of information about how you use and have set up Thunderbird. The profile contains:
It's a good idea to back up your profile. Why? If Thunderbird crashes, the crash can corrupt your profile and make it unusable. If your computer crashes, it can take your Thunderbird settings with it. And if you're moving to a new computer, copying your profile over is faster and easier than manually setting up Thunderbird again.
Note that your profile may be quite large, especially if you have a lot of email messages. It's possible to have a profile that contains several gigabytes of email data. If your profile is that big, you should be careful about where you copy and store it. While today's hard drives are quite large, if you save multiple copies of your profile you may fill up your drive with Thunderbird profiles.
Backing up your profile involves two steps: finding your profile and copying it somewhere else. Here's how to do both.
Your profile is stored in your computer's user or home directory. Let's take a look at finding it on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
To find your profile in Windows:
Your profile folder will have a name like xxxxxxxx.default, where xxxxxxxx is a set of random characters like q4sl99rt.
To find your profile in Mac OS:
From your home folder open the folder at Library:Thunderbird:Profile.
To find your profile in Linux:
Here's how to backup your profile.
When you need to restore the your profile, just move the files that you backed up into your profile directory.
There is a free program called MozBackUp which will back up your Thunderbird or Firefox profile for you. It has a wizard that steps you through the process of backing up and restoring bookmarks, mail, contacts, history, extensions, passwords, cache, and other Mozilla user or configuration data.
If you actually do want to automatically delete old messages, you don't have to do that manually. Instead, you can set a message retention policy to automatically delete messages. A message retention policy will delete email messages in a folder after a certain time. You can set a retention policy for individual mail folders.
Here's how to do it.
From now on, Thunderbird will delete messages in that folder based on the retention policy you create.
Chances are that you have more than just a couple of passwords for things like online banking, your favorite social media sites, and (of course) your email accounts. When you set up your email accounts in Thunderbird, you probably set it up to remember passwords for those accounts.
If you've forgotten those passwords, it's not a problem because you can retrieve those passwords from Thunderbird. Here's how:
In Windows 7, the Jump Lists function lets you quickly open the files or functions you use the most . By right-clicking on a program icon in the taskbar, a small window opens with a list of recent and frequently accessed files and tasks.
For Thunderbird, the Jump List function shows two common tasks: write new message and open address book.