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How to Backup Thunderbird Profile on Linux

Thunderbird is another popular software as an email client. It’s cross-platform, open-source and really powerful for using at the enterprise level. As it’s free, companies are more interested in integrating this client into their workspaces. As a professional, I also use Thunderbird as my email client on my desktop. If you’re a Thunderbird user, you already know how this software saves time & increases productivity at the same time.

Thunderbird, like most other software, doesn’t have any built-in function for backing up the data. You have to reconnect your email every time you reinstall your OS. There are also other reasons that require taking a backup of Thunderbird profile.

If you’re on Linux, there’s a big chance that you’re already using Thunderbird or have it installed on your system. It’s one of the best email clients for every purpose. Let’s take a look how to backup Thunderbird profile and restore it when needed. This way, you can ensure the hassle-free usage of your favorite app even after reinstalling OS.

Backing up the profile

Thunderbird saves its profile under “~/.thunderbird” folder. We’ll make a compressed archive of the folder as the backup. Before proceeding, make sure that Thunderbird isn’t running.

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Now, open a terminal and run the following command:

tar -jcvf thunderbird-email-profile.tar.bz2 .thunderbird

For convenience, I’ll be moving the backup file to “Desktop”.

mv thunderbird-email-profile.tar.bz2 .thunderbird

Restoring the profile

For restoring the profile, run these commands. Make sure to move the compressed file into “/” directory beforehand.

rm -rf ~/.thunderbird
tar -xvf thunderbird-email-profile.tar.bz2

Encrypting the backup

If you want to ensure tighter security for your backup so that no one gets their hand on it, you can encrypt it really easily, as you’re on Linux. Learn how to encrypt the file(s) on Linux.

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