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Migrate Local Folders from Thunderbird to Lehigh Gmail

Services: 

PLEASE NOTE: Lehigh does not support using Thunderbird to access your Gmail account for day-to-day use. This document is provided ONLY as a means of moving your Thunderbird Local folders up to the Lehigh Gmail account.

Some people store email messages locally, on the computer hard drive. In Thunderbird these folders are listed below the Lehigh account, under the heading "Local Folders." Depending on the number of folders, this process could take several hours or even longer. We advise migrating only those folders that you want to preserve for future use.

Before you begin, you will need:

  • Your Gmail passphrase (not your password, but a separate credential for purposes of moving mail only). If you don't already have it, use this link to Lookup your Google Passphrase.
  • These instructions.
  • A good Internet connection.
Step Number: 
1
Action: 

Make sure your version of Thunderbird is up-to-date. If you're not sure, go to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/ and download the installer. Once it's finished downloading, run the installer and follow all the on-screen instructions. Now you're ready to proceed.

Step Number: 
2
Action: 

Open Thunderbird and go to the Tools menu, then click on Account Settings near the bottom of the menu.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot highlighting the Account Settings in the Tools menu.
Step Number: 
3
Action: 

In the Account Settings window, click on the Account Actions button near the bottom left, then click on Add Mail Account.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot highlighting where to find the Add Mail Account option.
Step Number: 
4
Action: 

In the Mail Account Setup window, enter your name, Lehigh email address, and the Google Passphrase. If you don't know your Google passphrase, use the link at the top of the page to retrieve it. Now click the "Manual config" button.

Screenshot: 
The mail account setup window.
Step Number: 
5
Action: 

Make sure all the server settings match the screenshot to the right. For reference, they are:

  1. Incoming : IMAP : imap.gmail.com : Port 993 : SSL/TLS : Normal password
  2. Outgoing : SMTP : smtp.gmail.com : Port 587 : STARTTLS : Normal password
  3. Username :

Click the Re-test button to confirm that there are no problems with your passphrase or server settings. Now click the Done button. Back in the main Account Settings screen, click OK to return to the mail window.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot of the account setup screen.
Step Number: 
6
Action: 

You can now begin copying folders from Local Mail to the server. Drag each folder, one at a time, to the Lehigh Gmail account. If you encounter a duplicate folder name, first select all the messages in the local folder, then drag them to the corresponding folder on the Gmail server.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot depicting the action of dragging a folder to the Gmail account.
Step Number: 
7
Action: 

Confirm that all the Local Folders you are interested in preserving have appeared under the Gmail account, and that they contain the correct messages.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot showing the duplication of folders from Local to Gmail.
Step Number: 
8
Action: 

You can now delete the Gmail account from Thunderbird by right-clicking on the account name and choosing Settings.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot highlighting the Settings option after right-clicking the account.
Step Number: 
9
Action: 

In the Settings window, click on Account Actions as you did in Step 3, but this time choose Remove Account.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot highlighting how to remove an account from the Settings window.
Step Number: 
10
Action: 

A dialog box will appear, asking you to confirm that you would like to remove the account. Mark both check boxes to clean up the old data on your computer, then click the Remove button.

Screenshot: 
Screenshot of the delete account confirmation.
Step Number: 
11
Action: 

You are done! You can remove Thunderbird if you wish, or if you're continuing to use it for other email accounts or to access Local folders you chose not to move, then you're free to keep it around.

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu