Is there an automatic way migrate a thunderbird mailbox to sylpheed while preserving the folder structure. I tried the importexport extension for thunderbird and got a directory with multiple mbox files and subfolder which contain again mbox file.

For example


Sure I can import manually every single mbox file with sylpheed, but is there an automatic way to import all at once and preserve the folder structure?

  • Set up a local IMAP server, then copy all your folders to IMAP. Never worry about changing mail clients again. (I'm actually serious about this, its how I've handled all my mail for over a decade)
    – derobert
    Aug 21, 2012 at 16:21
  • I never done this, if it's not too complicated: can you give the details for my case?
    – student
    Aug 21, 2012 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


It is really easy. In Sylpheed go to configuration -> create new account. Select IMAP4 and press Forward.

Fill the display name for the account and the email address in the next screen and press Forward

In the screen you'll see now, use the same email address you used before in the User ID field and then look for your email provider's imap and smtp servers and paste them there. Tick SSL in both SMTP and IMAP and SMTP auth too. Press Forward and that's it.

Sylpheed will ask for the password for the email account. Type it and it will be configured. Note that if you have 2-factor auth, you'll need to use an app password not your current password. That can be obtained in the web version of your email.

Now, sylpheed will recreate the folder mappings in your email account and all changes you make in sylpheed will be reflected in your mail accout and all the mail clients you have configured with IMAP

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