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how to do technology in ten moves. (or less.) A Loose Wire production

Migrating Thunderbird Between Computers

If you want to move your Thunderbird email, settings and plugins to another computer on Windows Vista or Windows Seven, here’s how to do it. (If you’ve got another version of Windows, you may need to tweak the process to locate your Profile folder. Check out details here.)

Set up Thunderbird on your new computer/drive and launch it.

Don’t bother importing anything. But you need to get Thunderbird going to set up the AppData folder. This is where everything gets stored.

Close Thunderbird.

Now find your old Profile folder. The easiest way to do this is to copy the following into your Explorer address bar:

C:\users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming

(clicking on the address bar will change the appearance from

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to the more familiar:)

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If, like me, you’re moving from one partition on a drive to another, or your old stuff is on an external drive, you may also need to change the drive letter.

Then replace the [User Name] with your old user name (and remove the square brackets.)

This should take you to the following folder:

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Go into the Profiles folder and find whatever folder in there has the suffix default:

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Now open another Explorer folder (right click on the folder icon in your taskbar and select Windows Explorer:)

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Do the same thing as before, pasting in the above text and replacing it with your new Thunderbird location. Find the profile folder. There should be an existing default folder in there.

Now drag the old default profile folder you found above into the new Profile folder. (This should keep a copy of the old profile folder, so long as you’re moving between drives. Otherwise you may want to make a backup copy first.)

You should now have two default folders together in one folder.

Now select the new default folder that Thunderbird has just created, hit F2 and then rename its suffix from default to old:

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Now rename your old profile folder to the new profile folder, with the suffix default (you might just want to copy and paste the name by hitting F2 and the selecting the text, hitting Ctrl/c etc):

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Now fire up Thunderbird and you should see your old emails, settings, and plugins, all working normally.

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How to Export Google Earth Places

If you move computer and want to export your My Places, or want to save your My Places and access them elsewhere, here are some ways to do it.

Saving your My Places file to another computer

If you are still using the old computer, load Google Earth and right click on the My Places icon. Choose the Save Place As option from the pop-up menu:

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Select the KMZ file (it’s smaller: a KMZ is a compressed version of a KML file and these files can get quite big):

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Save it to somewhere you can find it again.

Sending your Google Earth My Places via email

Another option is to send it via email.

Select the My Places folder in the left hand pane:

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Click on the email icon at the top of the main window:

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And follow the instructions:

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Finding and saving the file on another drive

If you’re not using the computer you want to save your My Places from, then you’ll have to find the kml file first.

The file is stored in the folder C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth and is called myplaces.kml.

So you can either dig down to that folder or search for the file itself.

Once you’ve found it, save it to the place you want to keep it.

Importing the My Places file into Google Earth

This is pretty straightforward: Once you’ve opened Google Earth, just click on the File/Open menu:

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and open the myplaces.kml or myplaces.kmz file.

GoogleEarth will insert the MyPlaces folder at the bottom of any existing places in the Temporary Folders in your Places pane

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You’ll need to move those places you want to save at the end of the session or they’ll be deleted.

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