Missing profile in Mozilla Thunderbird

An apparently unchanged Thunderbird installation suddenly lost all of its e-mail and settings, and a blank default profile in its place?

  1. Start Thunderbird with the Profile Manager to verify the displayed profile. Most Thunderbird users have only a single profile (default), so hover over the mouse to verify the profile name, which is likely some random characters ended with .default Then be sure to close Thunderbird before continuing.
  2. Go to the profile folder location (varies by OS) and check for profiles present. You will probably see two different profiles that end in .default and is the source of the problem; verify that one of the profiles is the correct one (probably dated older and with a larger size) and that the other is the incorrect (blank, empty account information) one; the latter probably has a newer date on it than the former and is much smaller (800KB or 8MB in size for a blank profile).
  3. After confirming the correct profile, delete the incorrect profile, then edit the profiles.ini file to point to the correct profile name.
  4. Before opening Thunderbird, you may wish to back up the user profile, simply copy the entire directly to another directory, or use a utility such as MozBackup.
  5. Open Thunderbird and confirm the correct profile comes up.

Reference (step 1): http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager#Accessing_the_Profile_Manager

Reference (step 2): http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird

Reference (step 3): http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profiles.ini_file