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How to Fix “Thunderbird Local Folders Not Showing” Error?

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 24th, 2024
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Thunderbird

Is it possible that Thunderbird local folders not showing or it’s also possible that the subfolders aren’t there? Have you recently retrieved a backup of your profile and recovered it? It’s possible that the profile has been corrupted, which is why there are no messages shown in the folders. Or, more likely, the location of the directories on your computer is not at all the same as the location of the folders on the local computer.

Whatever the situation may be, reading this article will help you figure out what the issue is and where to seek a solution to fix Thunderbird local folders not showing errors. We are going to show you multiple manual methods to fix “local folders disappeared in Thunderbird” errors.

Method 1: Loss of Folders due to Corruption

Sometimes it happens, when our Thunderbird profile gets corrupted, so we can use the mentioned steps to repair the Thunderbird profile using the built-in “Repair folder” option in Thunderbird. follow all the steps carefully.

  1. Open the profile on your machine.
  2. Search the location C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\or open the location using Thunderbird – Help > Troubleshooting Information >> Show Folder
  3. Now open the “Mail” folder and here you will get your both accounts and the local folders.
  4. After that, open the “local folders” folder and delete all the .msf files from here.
  5. Restart the Thunderbird email client, and all .msf files will create again.

Important Note: Do not remove the files that are related to this. If you find two files with the same name, for example, ABC and ABC.msf, you should retain the ABC file and delete the latter. If you delete the former, you will no longer have access to the email messages and you will be not able to fix the “Thunderbird local folders not showing” error to Take Backup of Thunderbird Mailbox.

Method 2: Thunderbird Local Folders Not Showing: Copy the Local Folder

This is another method to fix the “Thunderbird local folders not showing” error. You can simply copy the local folder from the given location above and paste it to another location safely (C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\Mail).

  1. Now make a new profile on the Thunderbird application.
  2. And then, open the “Directory” (same place, but with a distinct name for the xxxxxxx.default file.)
  3. After that, replace the “Mail” >> paste the previously copied local folder on the new profile local folder.
  4. Lastly, restart the Thunderbird to fix the “Thunderbird local folders not showing” error.

Pro Tip: If you want to convert Thunderbird local folders (MBOX) into other file formats or email clients, then you can try the MBOX file converter tool. The tool provides multiple advanced features and various formats for conversion.

Method 3: Local Folder Location is Not Correct

Still if your error “Thunderbird local folders not showing” is not fixed, or you are getting empty folders. Then sometimes it happens when Thunderbird is showing location A, but the location is B. because of these kinds of issues you would not open the local folders. let’s correct the location.

First, find the location, where the Thunderbird is pointing:

  1. Open the Thunderbird application and hit on the “Tools” >> Account Settings (using the ALT key).

    Account Settings

  2. Now, hit the “Local Folders” from the side panel list.

    Local Folders

  3. After that, copy the “Local Directory” and then browse the location on your machine.
  4. If you will get any with or without .msf extension, then this is your location.

If this location is different from the place where your Local folders are actually stored, such as the default directory (C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default-release\Mail\Local Folders), you will need to move your Local folders.

After that, you will be required to update it by selecting the new place after clicking on the Browse button at the end of Step 2.

Now restart the Thunderbird application to check that Thunderbird not showing folders error is fixed.

Important Note: If you are restoring or getting ready to restore Local Folders and you have a backup of the Local Folders, then you will easily retrieve all of the inbox data that is contained within your Local Folders by simply choosing to keep the copy at any location and pointing the Local Directory to that location.

Time to Say Goodbye

When you start Thunderbird and suddenly your Local Folders are gone, it may be quite a frustrating experience. This particular problem is often referred to as the local folders disappeared in Thunderbird issue. With any luck, you could figure everything out with the help of this article. In the future, we may include it if we discover further ways to solve the problem.