Waisman Computing Services

FAQ 1585Mozilla Thunderbird Filters

I use Thunderbird at home, can I copy my Thunderbird Filters?
Thunderbird uses just one file to store your Mail Filters, so copying them to a second computer isn't too bad. However the following steps should only be followed if you are comfortable moving files around on your computer. Note that this replaces one Filter-Set with another, you are not combining the rules. Also, you should be using Thunderbird filters to organize incoming mail, not block spam. Please go to Precise Mail to add spam filter rules.
Open Thunderbird on the computer you want to copy your filters from. Then Compose a new message to yourself. Make sure to put "Mail Filters" in the subject line, so you can search for it later if you need to. Then comes the tricky part. You need to attach your current Filter file to the email. Navigate to the folder shown in the screenshot. Replace "NKerr" with your own user name, and mysnde2d.default with whatever similar looking folder you have. The name for this folder is randomly generated.
When you're in the right folder, it should look something like this. The file you need is called, "msgFilterRules.dat" Go ahead and attach that file.
This is what your self addressed email should now look like. Make sure to write down "computer at work" or "computer at home" so you'll remember later if you do this a lot.
Ok, now drive home and turn on your computer. Did you print this FAQ out? It might help. When you check your email on your home computer, you should see the message you sent to yourself. It will look kinda funny because Thunderbird pulls the text out of plaintext attachments. You don't have to worry about that.
Go to the bottom of the message and Right Click-->Save As... the attachment.
Save the file somewhere convenient like your Desktop or My Documents folder.
Make sure to exit Thunderbird. This is an important step!
Go to the folder you saved your msgFilterRules.dat file in, and Right Click-->Copy
Now navigate back to this monster of a path. Your username is likely to be different from that of your work computer.
Find the msgFilterRules.dat file, and rename it msgFilterRules.dat.orig.
Now Paste the msgFilterRules.dat we copied earlier into your IMAP.Waisman.Wisc.Edu folder. Now you can open up Thunderbird and all your filters should be loaded!
Mac Users:
As long as you have the same version of Thunderbird there's no problem. The only change you'll have to make is where you copy the msgFilterRules.dat file to. The location is in your Home folder --> Library --> Thunderbird --> Profiles --> xxxxxxxx.default --> ImapMail --> imap.waisman.wisc.edu. And remember to have Thunderbird closed when you copy the file in there, or it won't work.
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