Help me import a previous Thunderbird calendar into a new profile
April 15, 2021 8:06 AM   Subscribe

My Windows 10 computer was having issues. Tech support said the solution was to wipe it clean and start again. Before doing so, I saved a full copy of my existing Thunderbird profile. Now, the question is, how do I import the calendar into the newly created profile?

I didn't read the instructions that said "export the calendar into a common calendar format, save that and import the exported version into the new profile" until after I had started putting the system back together. Theoretically, I guess I could still do that, but that would mean uploading the old profile (with its calendar) to something/somewhere and I don't know how to do that.

Surely there must be a simple and easy way to get the old calendar into the new profile. I've already copied over all my mail, so I'm fine there.
posted by sardonyx to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
This was from an Ubuntu forum (at this link, but may apply. One of the answers looked reasonable, and I bet the subdirectories are the same on Windows 10. I used to have Thunderbird on Windows 10 but uninstalled it, so I can't look right now. These are reasonable steps for something stored in a database, and they make sense to me, so I hope maybe they help.

1. Close Thunderbird if it's running
2. Copy all files from backup profile directory's calendar-data subdirectory into your new profile directory. Likely local.sqlite is the only file needed, but I had a few others so I copied them over as well.

3. Open up prefs.js from your backup and look for lines like:

user_pref("calendar.list.sortOrder", "3bf851bb-ece1-48df-8de3-c814c05e5fe7");

4. Open up the same file in your new profile directory and find the same line. If it has a different identifier as its value, replace all occurrences of it with the value from the backup file (there should be 6) and save that file.
5. Reopen Thunderbird
posted by TimHare at 11:48 AM on April 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Most of that makes sense. It's pretty much how I moved the mail over.

What doesn't make sense to me is step 3. How do I open prefs.js? Is that a command-line action? Do I use some other program to do that? Do I open it up from inside the program? (Something like editing preferences in about:config in Firefox?)
posted by sardonyx at 2:07 PM on April 15, 2021

Best answer: You can open it in Notepad, if you don't have another text editor installed - right-click, then "Open With...".
posted by sagc at 2:17 PM on April 15, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks. I'll give that a try.
posted by sardonyx at 2:33 PM on April 15, 2021

If you have the full profile, why not copy it into the Thunderbird\Profiles directory and change the location in profile.ini? Trying to bring in just the calendar is a pain, I think.
posted by wnissen at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2021

Response by poster: I didn't know I could do that and I'm not sure exactly how to do that, but if you want to give me the instructions, I'd appreciate them.
posted by sardonyx at 4:56 PM on April 15, 2021

Best answer: Looks like this is the method that Mozilla recommends.
posted by wnissen at 10:35 AM on April 16, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks. I've book marked it for next time (because there will always be a next time).
posted by sardonyx at 5:13 PM on April 16, 2021

Response by poster: I've had to swap out computers again. That methos wnissen posted about worked like a charm! It was the easiest e-mail transfer I've ever done. Taking a similar approach with Firefox also works
posted by sardonyx at 10:32 PM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

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