The team that develops the Thunderbird email client has been working on the next major version of Thunderbird for some time. One of the new features of Thunderbird 102 is an improved data import tool.
Current versions of the email client support imports, but the process is not optimized. Some imports require the use of extensions, others, including moving data from one Thunderbird installation to another, a copy and paste process that requires knowledge of data paths and profiles.
The upcoming Thunderbird 102 will change that, at least for some data imports. The team highlighted the new import feature in a new blog post on the official website. The new feature was unveiled on Twitter by a member of the development team in late March, but the blog post reveals new information about the planned functionality.
According to the blog post, Thunderbird 102 has a step-by-step wizard that guides users through the process of entering important data into the email client. The first release in Thunderbird 102 supports importing data from Microsoft Outlook, SeaMonkey and other Thunderbird installations. Future plans to add support for other email services have not been announced, but there is a possibility that Thunderbird will support additional data sources in future versions.
The first screen of the new import wizard lists all available import options:
- Import from another Thunderbird installation – Import settings, filters, messages and other data from a Thunderbird profile.
- Import from a SeaMonkey installation – Import settings, filters, messages, and other data from a SeaMonkey profile.
- Import from Outlook – Import accounts, address books and messages from Outlook.
- Import from a file – Select a file to import address books, calendars or a profile backup (ZIP archive).
Precautions have been taken to ensure that duplicate data is not accidentally imported.
Especially the possibility to optimize the import of data from another Thunderbird installation is a welcome addition for many users. Currently it is necessary to copy the profile folder and the data it contains from the source Thunderbird installation and paste it into the profile folder of the new Thunderbird installation.
The new import feature also requires a data source, which users must ensure is available on the local system.
The final version of Thunderbird 102 is expected to be released in late June or early July 2022. The email client follows the Firefox release cycle, but instead of releasing new versions on a fixed date, they are released when they’re ready.
The Thunderbird team is also working on a mobile version of the email client for Android. A first version of the app is expected later this year.
Now you: What email clients do you use?