How to Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive For Mac

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Published on
December 13th, 2021

Updated on
December 20, 2021

5 minutes Read

Mozilla group offers the open-source email services Mozilla Thunderbird. It provides various features like chat options, newsgroup, and RSS feed reader. Besides, it also consists of various security parameters to protect or manage the email account. As we know, there are two sides of a coin. Apart from the benefits, it also has some limitations like limited folder size, attachment size, and a number of accounts. When the Thunderbird mailbox size reaches its size limit, then it stops the email communication. In such a scenario, users need to save Thunderbird emails to external hard drives on macOS.

Before proceeding further to save Thunderbird emails on mac, let’s consider the advantages of saving Thunderbird emails locally. 

Why Do We Need to Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drives?

There are several factors due to which users want to backup Thunderbird emails on Mac. For this, you have to read the below-listed reasons carefully.

Prevents Data Loss: In case if the hackers get access to your Thunderbird mail account, they will create a lot of problems for the users. So, if you have a backup of your email account, it will save your data for future reference.

Data Deletion: Sometimes, users accidentally delete their crucial email data. In that case, having a copy of your email account data, users can restore their data effortlessly.

Enhance Performance: To increase the performance of the Thunderbird mailboxes, users want to remove their extra content from the Thunderbird profile and restore it into their hard drives.

Conversion of Data: There are several instances where users want to shift their data from one system to another and want to save their Thunderbird data on the external hard drive on Mac.

These are the reasons behind the Thunderbird email backup. Now, let’s proceed further to know the best possible way to backup Thunderbird email on an external hard drive.

Methods to Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

If you want to backup Thunderbird emails Mac, we will provide you with the best possible methods to save emails on an external hard drive on Mac operating system.

How to Backup Thunderbird local folders Using Thunderbird Adds-On ImportExportTools

In this method, using the add ons option, users can export the Thunderbird mailbox items to the local folder on macOS. Follow the step-by-step process to know-how.

  • Download the Mozilla Thunderbird application on your macOS.
MacSonik Thunderbird email backup Tool
  • Navigate towards Display the Thunderbird menu and click on Add-ons & Themes.
Thunderbird email backup Tool for Mac
  • Now, search the ImportExportTools and Press the Add to Thunderbird button.
MacSonik Thunderbird email backup Tool
  • Click on the Add button to add the importexporttools.
MacSonik Thunderbird email backup Tool
  • After that, close the Thunderbird application and again restart it.
  • Then, right-click on the inbox on the left pane and select the ImportExportToolsNG and expand it.
MacSonik Thunderbird email backup Tool
  • Select the Export all messages in folder option to choose the EML format.
MacSonik Thunderbird email backup Tool
  • In the next step, select the file location from the system and then press the Open button.
MacSonik Thunderbird email backup Tool
  • At last, all the Thunderbird emails will be restored on your macOS.

Using the above method, users can save and view their Thunderbird emails on the Mac operating system. However, manual methods require some technical expertise and also techie to perform. So, if the users need to save thunderbird emails to an external hard drive, then they can opt for the professional software i.e. suggested by experts.

Professional Method to Save Thunderbird Emails to External Hard Drive

MacSonik Thunderbird backup tool is specially designed for Mac users to restore the Thunderbird mailbox items to the external hard drive on Mac. The software allows the users to backup Thunderbird emails to  PDF, PST, OST, TXT, DOCM, DOCX, PNG, JPG, MSG, HTML, MHTML, GIF, etc. Also, this utility enables the users to migrate their Thunderbird mailboxes to Office 365, Gmail, Live Exchange, Zoho Mail, and many more webmail clients.

How Do I Export Thunderbird Email to Mac?

  • Download and Run MacSonik Thunderbird Backup Tool.
  • Tick the displayed Thunderbird mailbox items that you need to backup.
  • Here the software also enables the users to Preview emails, including attachments. 
  • Tap on the Next button to proceed with the further process.
  • Now, choose the PDF format as a saving option from the given drop-down.
  • After that, check the required mailbox items from the drop-down.
  • Then, click on the Path to Save button to Save thunderbird emails on Mac.
  • Finally, hit the Convert button to initiate the further process.
  • Finally, You can download your report by clicking on the Download Report button.

Key Features of Thunderbird Backup Tool

  • The software allows the user to export Thunderbird emails to Hotmail, IMAP, AOL, Amazon Webmail, GoDaddy Email, Opera Mail, and Hostgator Email.
  • It also converts Thunderbird emails to PDF, PST, OST, DOCX, DOXM, TXT, JPG, MSG, HTML, MTHML, etc.
  • This utility removes duplicate emails from the mailbox based on to, bcc, subject, body, and received date.
  • Maintains the hierarchy of the folder as it is throughout the conversion process.


In the above post, we have explained the best possible method to save Thunderbird emails to external hard drives. However, the manual process is having some limitations due to which we recommend users opt for the professional Thunderbird backup tool that backs up the entire Thunderbird data to multiple file formats and email clients. Also, users can check the working of the software by downloading the free trial version of the software, and if it meets the user’s requirements they can purchase it.

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