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    How Thunderbird and Firefox find their configuration files

    How Thunderbird and Firefox find their configuration files

    Thunderbird looks into the binary %APPDATA%\Thunderbird\profiles.ini file for its "registry", which contains, amongst other information, a pointer to the directory where the profile is stored (usually located in %APPDATA%\Thunderbird\Profiles\profileName).

    Likewise, Firefox uses a similar file, located in %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles.ini.

    The value contained in this key is a litteral value, no variables (such as %USERPROFILE%/MozProfile) allowed. We chose to point this to the user's home directory (H:\Thunderbird).

    The configuration itself is stored in the specified directory, in a file named prefs.js. This is a readable file of javascript commands. All other files in that directory are dynamically created by Mozilla on first start. Unlike Mozilla's binary registry.dat file, Thunderbird's and Firefox' profiles.ini file is a readable text file. Here is an example of what this may look like:

    [General]
    StartWithLastProfile=1
    
    [Profile0]
    Name=default
    IsRelative=1
    Path=Profiles/default.uda
    

    If you want to point this to a location of your choice (for example H:\Thunderbird), you need to perform to changes: Set IsRelative to be 0 Update the path to point to the desired place. Note: For absolute paths Thunderbird uses Dos'ish backslashes (\) rather than Unixish slashes (/). You'd obtain a file such as the following:

    [General]
    StartWithLastProfile=1
    
    [Profile0]
    Name=default
    IsRelative=0
    Path=H:\Thunderbird
    

    A discussion about this file can be found here

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Contributors to this page: Alain Knaff, Kohei, teoli
    Last updated by: teoli,
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