Oh I totally agree, a few years ago local guru who built my last desktop, told me the same thing, that's why I have all of my old TB emails in separate folders by years. I have all of these sent messages, on my old desktop and my phone, if it was a simple procedure to copy them and move them over I can do that.
It's a simple procedure when they appear as they should in the Sent messages folder, however combining multiple profiles is another thing.
If there is nothing in your current profile Sent folder, you can probably just copy the Sent folder from another profile that has the data in question into your local profile. It will appear in <profile_name>/Mail/Local Folders/Sent., where <profile_name> is the name of your TB profile folder. You would also remove the Sent.msf file in the same folder and let TB recreate it.
Here's a shot of that folder on my TB with the two files under discussion indicated. I'm talking about replacing the empty Sent file in your current profile with the one from the profile that has the desired data.
Yeah, that's the problem: the Sent folder has everything in it except for 2020-present. It has yesterday and today's, then begins with 12-30-2019 and goes all the way back years. I really need to have my 2020-2021 sent emails, obviously. Again, I have them on my old desktop and my phone so I got 'em, but it's a pain.
Copy the Sent folder from the old desktop to a new name, say SentBackup. Put this file on the new computer into your <profile_name>/Mail/Local Folders/ location with all the other local folders.
Fire up Thunderbird and you'll find the SentBackup folder in with all your other local folders, and it will contain all the sent mail from the old desktop. Now you can sort by date and just move the date range you want into your actual Sent folder, then you can delete the SentBackup folder in the local folder list.
Hey John, so....I'm set. It's all good. It took a bit of monkeying around, got some help from the Cox Care tech guy again and he figured out what was up. In his words: "We discovered that the missing emails in question were stored on an IMAP server and were synchronizing correctly between all devices save for the new PC. Checking the server settings revealed that the server settings were configured for POP access instead of IMAP. After changing the server to use IMAP, all missing emails appeared as expected."
When I first set up TB on the new desktop I didn't bother checking server settings, or I would have seen immediately that pop had taken over. Anyway, looks like we're done. Thanks!
Haha......both procedures involved fixing a problem, but in this case, I learned a TON. From you, the Cox guy, from having to go through it. Sometimes all I learn from a computer issue is "Oh, THAT's where you find that stupid setting!" It's gratifying to gain understanding of email profiles, how things work, server vs. local, what's happening "under the hood," etc. If some issue like this creeps up again, I'm better prepared. Anyway, I appreciate your help.
The takeaway from this experience is that the actual email folders have content that stands alone. So, to move a folder and it's contents over to a different TB installation, all you have to do is move one file into ...\Thunderbird\Profiles\<user_profile>\Mail\Local Folders. You can actually delete all the .MSF files and have TB recreate them if necessary.
And I'm glad to see you have recovered your email, now it's time for a backup!
HERE's the big "takeaway"-- just now I decided to try out your original procedure on my new laptop, on which TB was working, but still had the limited profile so all I had 2020-present email, nowhere close to the full setup. I copied the newly-renamed/updated Profile (complete w/everything) to my AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird folder, then used your profile.ini file, modifying it to direct it to the new Profile. I rebooted, opened up TB, and EVERYTHING IS THERE! Worked perfectly, just as it should when one understands what's going on (and follows instructions!) Thanks, John! (oh, and yes: I ran Mozbackup, and also backed up the Profile to my backup Seagate expansion drive and to Google Drive.)
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