The Thunderbird profile contains everything that makes Thunderbird unique for a certain user, including the user's email, settings, themes, and extensions. The Thunderbird profile's basic structure is similar to Firefox's.
Finding Your Profile
Your profile's location varies depending on which operating system you are using. The location can also vary if the operating system's defaults for certain file locations have been changed as well. Most users find these locations to be representative of their systems:
Windows 95/98/Me profiles are usually in C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\.
Windows XP/2000 profiles are usually in %appdata%\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\.
Linux profiles are usually in ~/.mozilla/thunderbird/xxxxxxxx.default/
Mac OS X profiles are usually in ~/Library/Application Support/Thunderbird/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/.
In all these examples, xxxxxxxx is a series of random letters and numbers. This feature is used to improve security for the user's profile.
What Is in the Profile?
Some of the files and folders located in a typical Thunderbird profile include those in Table 13.1.
Table 13.1. Thunderbird Profile Folder Files and Folders
Mail account information
Default address book
Look and feel folder
Version compatibility information
Installed extensions folder
Mail folder for IMAP mail accounts, if any are defined
User mail store folder
MIME helper file
Thunderbird files list
Basic (initial) preferences; it overrides user.js and updates these settings
Security module database
Bayesian filter word list file
Virtual folder's version number
Thunderbird configuration file
User interface cache file
Additional user preferences; it overrides prefs.js and updates prefs.js
Thunderbird look and feel Cascading Style Sheet file
Thunderbird content Cascading Style Sheet file
Each subfolder in the profile's mail folder contains files for each account folder in Thunderbird. In Figure 13.4, you see nine accounts defined, with a folder in Mail for each account.
Figure 13.4. This profile's Mail folder has nine accounts configured, although most users usually have only one or two.
For example the Inbox for an account's folder would have
Inbox A text file that contains all the email stored in this account's inbox.
Inbox.msf Message header information and an index for each message stored in the account's inbox.
Inbox.sbd A holder for any subfolders for this folder. If no subfolders exist, this folder is empty.
There is no reason to modify many of these files, but a few are editable, either with the about:config extension or a text editor.