Mass email migration from local pop3 (thunderbird) client to imap or exchange client (zimbra) while preserving folder structure

May 27th, 2014 | By | Category: Internet, Windows

Well this one is a serious doozy, here’s the situation:

  • I have been using thunderbird via pop3 and organizing all of the emails manually into folders locally over the past 3-4 years
    • This has resulted in close to 100,000 emails(or 6 check out this site.9GB) being organized and sorted manually or through filters into a local mbox folder structure
  • We have now upgraded our email server from a simple postfix/dovecot pop3/imap/smtp solution to a Zimbra collaborative server
  • I need to transfer all of my emails currently residing in my thunderbird profile in mbox format over to the new server
  • I need to retain all folder and organizational structure
  • This shit needs to be 100% automated so that I can leave it to do it’s thing, walk away and come back to a finished job

You can google to your hearts content and find a ton of different options that look promising and fall flat on their face like I did or you can save yourself a few hours and go out and purchase a copy of Aid4Email as it is a bloody godsend.

You can find a couple other options over here: and as you can see there is a free perl option but honestly for the $29.99 I don’t care if someone had an option where I was paid money to do it the perl way I would still have to convert from mbox to maildir, upload that to the server and then run the conversion script from maildir to zimbra.  To hell with that, Aid4Email does it all for you.  Click a button, find your thunderbird profile, enter your imap server info, tell it where you want it saved and then click start.  That’s it, the whole process took me longer than it’s taken me to write this article.

You can see the link : – there’s no referral code and I have zero affiliation with these guys.  Now it would be nice if there was a free program out there created by some hackers but that being said for $29 bucks this thing is going to save you hours and hours and hours so fork over the cash and be done with it.  Hell if this is a one shot deal they even have a 2 week license for $19.



That’s it, the end solution ended up being infinitely easier than I ever thought it would be,  it was just finding it that was the hard part. Hope that helps

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