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Moving E-mail to Local Folders in Thunderbird

This article explains how to move e-mail from the e-mail server to your local computer. Moving e-mail from the server to your local computer will assist in keeping your e-mail server-based storage (the amount of e-mail space assigned to your account) within reasonable bounds.

Local vs. Online
The Thunderbird window is structured in frames. The left frame shows mail folders, both on your local machine and on the server. There are two types of folders in the left frame. One folder grouping is Local Folders. The second is your online folders. For example your online folders might be grouped under SU Email or E-mail messages, stored in local folders, are saved on your computer’s hard drive. The online folder stores your e-mail on the mail server. This online folder is restricted to the space assigned to you by your e-mail quota.

Moving Mail to a Local Folder

Step 1: Create new folder locally
To store e-mail that you no longer need online you must first create a local folder.

  1. In the left pane of the Thunderbird window select Local Folders.
  2. Go to the File menu, click New, and then click Folder.
  3. Next, Assign the folder a name, and then select Local Folders (Subfolders are allowed but not recommended.)
  4. Click on the OK button to create the folder.

Step 2: Move e-mail to new local folder

  1. Now, select the e-mail messages that you wish to move offline and have saved in your local folder.
  2. Once selected (highlighted), right-click on the PC or Control+Click on the Mac and select Move To,
  3. Then select Local Folder, then select the new folder.

NOTE: It is recommended that you backup your local files frequently to prevent losing data. To learn more about backing up your local data refer to the following article: Backing up Local Data to a CD

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