SeaMonkey Profile FAQ

Last updated on January 21, 2012.
  1. What are profiles?
  2. Where is my profile located?
  3. What are each of the files in my profile folder for?
  4. How do I import my profile info from Firefox and Thunderbird?
  5. How do I backup, restore, or transfer my profile from one computer to another?
    [Bookmarks, Mail, Address books, Newsgroups, Saved password data, Saved Form data, Junk mail filter, Message Filters, Cookies, Customization files]
  6. How do I make two or more profiles share information?
  7. Can I set SeaMonkey to prompt for a password in order to use a certain profile?
  8. Can I set up SeaMonkey to automatically open in a specific profile, thus bypassing the choose profile screen?

What are profiles?

A SeaMonkey profile is information that is specific to a user, such as preferences, bookmarks, mail and newsgroup accounts, address books, cookies, passwords, etc. Profiles are stored in a separate location from the directory in which you installed SeaMonkey. This keeps the information separate; so if/when you decide to upgrade, uninstalling SeaMonkey will not touch your profile data. When you first install SeaMonkey, a new profile named default is automatically created. Using the Profile Manager, you can create, delete, and rename profiles in any location you wish. Each profile registry is specific to each operating system account; so if you're using Windows, profiles for other Windows accounts will not appear in your Profile Manager, and yours will not appear anywhere else. If you have more than one profile in your list, SeaMonkey will ask you which profile you want to use when you start.

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Where is my profile located?

The default location is dependant on which operating system you are using. SeaMonkey will use the system designated folder for application data specific to a system user.

  1. On the menu bar, click on the "Help" menu and select "Troubleshooting Information". The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.
  2. Under the Application Basics section, click on "Open Containing Folder". A window with your profile folder will open.
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What are each of the files in my profile folder for?

Directories
/bookmarkbackups Automatic daily backups of your bookmarks
/Extensions Your installed extensions and themes (Extensions installed installation-wide are not stored here)
/ImapMail IMAP mail
/Mail Local Folders and POP3 mail
/minidumps Minidumps files related to the Mozilla crash reporter
/News Newsgroups
Files
abook.mab Personal address book [Window -> Address book -> Personal Address Book]
cert8.db Client Certificate database [Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> Certificates -> Manage Certificates]
cookies.sqlite Cookies [Tools -> Cookie Manager -> Manage Stored Cookies]
formhistory.sqlite Fill Form data [Tools -> Data Manager]
downloads.sqlite Download Manager data [Tools -> Download Manager]
history.mab Collected Address book [Window -> Address Book -> Collected Addresses]
permissions.sqlite Cookie and Image permissions [Tools -> Cookie Manager -> Manage Stored Cookies] and [Tools -> Image Manager -> Manage Images Permissions]
key3.db Key database [Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> Certificates -> Manage Certificates] for passwords and Master Password info
localstore.rdf Defines default windows settings. Saved persistent values. Info about toolbars, size, positions, etc
mailViews.dat Defines your current message views [View -> Customize...]
mimeTypes.rdf Defines recognized file mime types for the Helper App [Edit -> Preferences -> Browser -> Helper Applications]
panacea.dat Mail folder cache. Summary of certain fields in all the mail/news databases, mostly used to display the folder pane
panels.rdf Information about which panels that will be displayed in the sidebar
"parent.lock" or "lock" or ".parentlock" Lock file that indicates that the profile is in use
places.sqlite Bookmarks [Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks] and URL history [Go -> History]
prefs.js All settings you've changed
search.sqilte Information about your search plug-ins
secmod.db Security module database [Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> Certificates -> Manage Security Devices]
signons.sqlite Password data [Tools -> Password Manager -> Manage Stored Passwords]
training.dat Training data for the Junk mail filter
xpti.dat XPCOM typelib information catalog
Other Files
*.msf Mail Summary Files. Contains summary of the mail folder.
Located in the ImapMail and Mail directories.
junklog.html Junk Mail log
rules.dat Contains the Mail Filters for the current server [ Edit -> Message Filters].
Located in the ImapMail and Mail directories.
msgFilterRules.dat The new filter file. Replaces rules.dat. Contains the Mail Filters for the current server [ Edit -> Message Filters].
Located in the ImapMail and Mail directories.
*.rc Contains subscribe newsgroups for the current server.
Located in the News directory.
hostinfo.dat Contains all the newsgroups available for the current server.
Located in the News directory.
[newsgroupname].dat Contains filter information about the current newsgroup.
Located in the News directory.
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How do I import my profile info from Firefox and Thunderbird?

Like SeaMonkey, Firefox and Thunderbird are both built on the Mozilla platform. This means that even though there is no import tool, to bring Firefox and Thunderbird profile data to SeaMonkey, manually transferring the data is pretty straight forward, and very similar to transferring SeaMonkey profiles.

Bookmarks
In your Firefox profile folder, there is a folder called bookmarkbackups. The files in there contain backups of your bookmarks. In SeaMonkey, open the Bookmarks Manager [Bookmarks-->Manage Bookmarks], go to Tools-->Restore-->Choose File, and import the JSON file in your Firefox bookmarkbackups folder with the latest date.

Mail
When you create a mail account, a folder named after the mail server is created to hold all data pertaining to that account. (For example \hhvati19.default\Mail\pop.mail.yahoo.com\) Thunderbird does the same thing, but creates the data in its own profile folder. To import them, first create the account in SeaMonkey, so the folder is created. Close both SeaMonkey and Thunderbird. Delete the contents of the new folder (in your SeaMonkey profile), and paste the Thunderbird mail account folder in its place.

Note: Are any of your filters set to move messages to another folder? That setting is not adapted, when moving msgFilterRules.dat. For instance, if you have a filter on accountA set to move messages to a certain folder within accountA, then move/copy your msgFilterRules.dat to accountB, that filter will still move messages to the folder on accountA. It may be a good idea to verify such settings in SeaMonkey [Tools-->Message Filters] after you've copied msgFilterRules.dat.

Address books
Your address books are contained in files with MAB extensions in your profile folder. abook.mab is your personal address book. history.mab is your collected address book. Any other address books you have created will be named accordingly, with the *.mab extension added on. You can save the abook.mab file from your Thunderbird profile folder to a safe location, but it is best to export additional address books to LDIF files. To restore that data in your SeaMonkey profile, open the SeaMonkey address book window, so SeaMonkey creates its own abook.mab file. Close SeaMonkey and replace the newly created abook.mab with the saved one from your Thunderbird profile folder. To restore additional address books, use the Import menu to import the LDIF files you saved.

Newsgroups
When you create a news account, there are two files and a folder, named after the news server, created in your profile's \News\ folder.
For example:
\hhvati19.default\News\news.mozilla.org\
\hhvati19.default\News\news.mozilla.org.rc
\hhvati19.default\News\news.mozilla.org.msf

To import the newsgroup data from your Thunderbird profile folder, first create the account in SeaMonkey, so the files/folder are created. Then close SeaMonkey and replace the newly created files/folders, with the ones from your Thunderbird profile folder (The names have to be the same).

Saved password data
When you first use the password manager, SeaMonkey will create a new file signons.sqlite. First use the password manager in SeaMonkey at least once, so SeaMonkey creates a signons.sqlite file. Close both SeaMonkey and Firefox (or Thunderbird), and copy the files key3.db and signons.sqlite from your Firefox (or Thunderbird) profile to your SeaMonkey profile. You should be asked whether or not you want to replace the key3.db file already in your SeaMonkey profile. Choose "Yes".

Junk mail filter
When you first enable Junk Mail Controls, SeaMonkey will create a new file in your profile folder called training.dat, that will contain all training data. To import that data from Thunderbird, open SeaMonkey and use JMC at least once, so SeaMonkey creates its own training.dat file. While SeaMonkey is closed, copy your real training.dat file, from your Thunderbird profile folder, into your SeaMonkey profile to replace the newly created one.

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How do I backup, restore, or transfer my profile from one computer to another?
[Bookmarks, Mail, Address books, Newsgroups, Saved password data, Saved Form data, Junk mail filter, Message Filters, Cookies]

Since transferring a profile from one location to another covers backing up and restoring a profile, I've decided to amalgamate the three into one.

First, we'll go through transferring an entire profile, then we'll go through selectively transferring certain data.

Your entire profile
If you'd like to backup your entire profile, the easiest way to do it is to simply copy your entire profile folder to a safe location.

Just create a new profile, close SeaMonkey, and replace the contents of the new folder with the contents of your old one. SeaMonkey will recognize that the files do not exist in the original location, and use relative paths to determine the new location.

Selectively transferring certain data
Bookmarks and History
In your profile folder, there is a file called places.sqlite. That file contains all of your bookmarks and URL history. When you create a new profile, let SeaMonkey create its own places.sqlite file. While SeaMonkey is closed, copy your real places.sqlite file into the new profile to replace the newly created places.sqlite file.

Mail
When you create a mail account, a folder named after the mail server is created to hold all data pertaining to that account. (For example \hhvati19.default\Mail\pop.mail.yahoo.com\) Your mail folders are contained in UNIX mbox format. They are the files without extensions (Inbox, not Inbox.msf). So what are the MSF files for? They are index files SeaMonkey uses to display header information. You can delete those while SeaMonkey is closed, and SeaMonkey will recreate them, when need be. To backup your mail, copy the files without extensions to a safe place. To restore them in their new location, first create the account in SeaMonkey, so the folder is created. Delete the contents of the new folder, and paste the backed up mail files in their place.

Address books
Your address books are contained in files with MAB extensions in your profile folder. abook.mab is your personal address book. history.mab is your collected address book. Any other address books you have created will be named accordingly, with the *.mab extension added on. You can save the abook.mab file to a safe location, but it is best to export additional address books to LDIF files. To restore that data in a new location, open the SeaMonkey address book window, so SeaMonkey creates it's own abook.mab file. Close SeaMonkey and replace the newly created abook.mab with your saved one. To restore additional address books, use the Import menu to import the LDIF files you saved.

Newsgroups
When you create a news account, there are two files and a folder, named after the news server, created in your profile's \News\ folder.
For example:
\hhvati19.default\News\news.mozilla.org\
\hhvati19.default\News\news.mozilla.org.rc
\hhvati19.default\News\news.mozilla.org.msf

The only file you need to backup is the *.rc file. That file contains your list of subscribed newsgroups, and the count of read messages. To restore that data in a new location, first create the account in SeaMonkey, so the files/folder are created. Then close SeaMonkey and replace the newly created RC file, with the one you saved (The name has to be the same). When you access the account in SeaMonkey, you will be asked to redownload headers; but SeaMonkey will know which newsgroups you are subscribed to, and which messages are read.

Saved password data
When you first use the password manager, SeaMonkey will create a new file called signons.sqlite. It is an encrypted file. The encryption key is in key3.db. To save your password data, just save key3.db and signons.sqlite. To restore that data, use the password manager in your new profile at least once, so SeaMonkey creates a signons.sqlite file. key3.db should already be there. Close SeaMonkey, and replace the new key3.db and signons.sqlite files with the ones you've saved.

Note: This also transfers your master password, if you have one set.

Saved Form data
When you first save form data, SeaMonkey will create a new file called formhistory.sqlite. To save your password data, just save formhistory.sqlite. To restore that data, use the password manager in your new profile at least once, so SeaMonkey creates a formhistory.sqlite file. Close SeaMonkey, and replace the new formhistory.sqlite file with the one you've saved.

Junk mail filter
When you first enable Junk Mail Controls, SeaMonkey will create a new file in your profile folder called training.dat, that will contain all training data. To restore that data in a new location, open SeaMonkey and use JMC at least once, so SeaMonkey creates its own training.dat file. While SeaMonkey is closed, copy your real training.dat file into the new profile to replace the newly created one.

Message Filters
When you create a mail or news account, there is a folder created for that account in your profile folder (see Mail and Newsgroups). Within that folder, the file named msgFilterRules.dat contains your message filters for that account. Filters specific to a newsgroup are dat files, named after the newsgroup (newsgroupname.dat). To restore that data in a new location, make sure the account is created in the new SeaMonkey profile, so the files/folder are created. While SeaMonkey is closed, copy your msgFilterRules.dat files and the newsgroup *.dat files to their corresponding folders, in the new profile.
Note: Are any of your filters set to move messages to another folder? That setting is not adapted, when moving msgFilterRules.dat. For instance, if you have a filter on accountA set to move messages to a certain folder within accountA, then move/copy your msgFilterRules.dat to accountB, that filter will still move messages to the folder on accountA. It may be a good idea to verify such settings in SeaMonkey [Tools -> Message Filters] after you've copied msgFilterRules.dat.

Cookies
When you first save a website cookie, SeaMonkey will create a new file in your profile folder called cookies.sqlite, that will contain all of your cookies. To restore that data in a new location, open SeaMonkey and go to a site that will place a cookie in your profile, so SeaMonkey creates its own cookies.sqlite file. While SeaMonkey is closed, copy your real cookies.sqlite file into the new profile to replace the newly created one.

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How do I make two or more profiles share information?

With SeaMonkey, you can set up multiple profiles, and direct them to the same mail, news, cache, and bookmarks.

Sharing Bookmarks, History, Passwords
SeaMonkey includes a feature to sync bookmarks, history, passwords, and tabs between profiles and installations. Go to Edit -> Preferences -> Sync, and click on "Set Up SeaMonkey Sync" to set up your Sync account. Use the same path on your other profiles to sign in to your Sync account.

Sharing Mail directories
Go to: Edit -> Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings -> <your account name here> -> Server Settings.
Under the "Local directory" field, you'll see a file path. You can make two or more more profiles share the same mail directory by setting each account to the same file path in the local directory field.

Sharing News directories
Go to: Edit -> Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings -> <news account name here> -> Server Settings.
Under the "Local directory" field, you'll see a file path. You can make two or more more profiles share the same news directory by setting each account to the same file path in the local directory field. Likewise, you must also set the same file path under "newsrc file."

Sharing a browser cache
Go to: Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Cache. Select "Choose Folder". Choose the folder the you want to act as the shared cache folder.

Address books
Unfortunately, local address books cannot be shared.

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Can I set SeaMonkey to prompt for a password in order to use a certain profile?

No; SeaMonkey leaves that level of security to the operating system. See About profiles.

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Can I set up SeaMonkey to automatically open in a specific profile, thus bypassing the choose profile screen?

Set the following command line argument:
-P profilename

Substitute the the name of your profile in place of profilename.
If you're profile name contains a space, you'll have to put your entire profile name in quotes. For example:
- P "profile name"

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