As you know, I've been using Windows Live Mail Desktop (beta) for a while now instead of Mozilla Thunderbird (my previous email client). I'm quite happy with it now, apart from a few niggles (the ridiculous amount of time it takes to "catch up" a newsgroup, for example), so I've decided to switch for good.

The means, of course, that I want to get my saved messages in Thunderbird across to WLMd. After a bit of searching around, I've worked out a relatively easy way to do it. It should be much easier than this, but Thunderbird has no "Export", and WLMd's "Import" doesn't include Thunderbird. Bad form.

Anyway, here are the steps you need to follow. Because we're saving messages as ".eml" files here, this technique should also work with Outlook, Outlook Express and Vista's Windows Mail.

  1. Download and install the Thunderbird AutoSave extension from AusDilecce Extensions. Restart Thunderbird when you're done.
  2. Select the messages you want to move to WLMd.
  3. Right-click and select "Export Selected Msgs|Individually", and choose the folder to which you would like to save the messages. Each message will be saved as a single .eml file.
  4. Open the folder you just exported your messages to using Windows Explorer.
  5. Open one or more of the .eml files you just exported. Assuming you have set WMLd to be your default mail client, each message will open in WLMd's message-reading window.
  6. Hit Ctrl+Shift+V, which is the keyboard shortcut for "File|Move to folder...", and select the folder you want to move the message to.
  7. Rinse and repeat. You either want to go back to step 2, or to step 5, depending on whether you've finished sucking all those exported .eml files into WLMd.