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Windows 7: Best way to Sync email and browser data using online storage?

17 Feb 2013   #1
blue skies

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Best way to Sync email and browser data using online storage?

I would like to sync my Firefox, Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail between my desktop and my notebook computer. (And my Vueminder calendar.) What is the best way to do this?

I was think of switching Firefox and Thunderbird to the portable versions and storing them in a folder that syncs online. I'm not sure how it will work with Windows Live Mail. I know how to change where the mail "store" is located, but not sure if changing that will automatically copy everything to the new location. I imagine I will have to copy the current folder to the location that will be synced and then set the mail "store" to this location. Probably something similar with my calendar program.

Can anyone tell me if there are any pitfalls to doing this that I am unaware of?

Also, any recommendations for free online storage/syncing that will work well for this? What should I look for? Reliability and security concerns?

I currently use Dropbox, but I do not have enough free space to use it for my email, browser and calendar data.

I am considering iDrive which offers 10 GB free. I am also considering FileLocker, but that only gives me 5 GB free even though they advertise 25 GB free. (The 25 gb free is for five different users on the same account.) I had been thinking of using SugarSync, but it looks like their free account is now only for 30 days.

Thank you in advance for any advice and recommendations! :)

ETA: I took a closer look at SugarSync, and they do still offer free 5gb:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 10 Pro 32 Bit/64bit

If you get a live account you can sync all you remains and addresses to that account on other computers so when you instal WLM and log into the live account the exact emails and contacts( as long as you do not delete them) will show up on each computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro 32/64 bit and Windows 10 Pro 32 Bit/64bit

Emails and contacts not remains and contacts. Typo error
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Feb 2013   #4
blue skies

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by robinb9 View Post
If you get a live account you can sync all you remains and addresses to that account on other computers so when you instal WLM and log into the live account the exact emails and contacts( as long as you do not delete them) will show up on each computer
Thank you for your replies Robinb9. :)

I use WLM client for my business accounts which are not Live accounts. (They go through Yahoo.) Even if it were though, I would still prefer to just have everything be exactly the same when I use WLM and Thunderbird on my desktop and notebook.

I know I can set them both up to access my mail accounts and download everything, but for example, if I opened Thunderbird on my notebook right now, it would download a ton of emails that I've long since deleted on my desktop Thunderbird client, but that are still on the server and were never downloaded to my notebook. I don't want to have to go through all those old emails everytime I use my notebook. I also wouldn't have a copy of all the sent emails that I sent using my desktop client, and vice-versa for my notebook.

That's why I was thinking I could just store the portable Thunderbird app online with something similar to dropbox (but a different service because I don't have enough space on dropbox) and then whenever I open the email client I will have the exact same emails/folders etc no matter if it's my notebook or desktop. I'm still not sure exactly how it will work with the accounts I have set up with the WLM client.

As far as storage goes, I ended up signing up for and got 50 gb free storage, but there is no encryption unless you pay a premium, so I don't want to use that for email.

I'm probably going to go with iDrive for Thunderbird, WLM and Firefox.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2013   #5
blue skies

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I thought I would followup with what I learned in case it ends up helping someone else who searches for answers to these same questions.

I originally thought that using PortableFirefox and PortableThunderbird located in my Dropbox folder would be the answer to keeping my browser and email client synced on both my desktop and notebook. I set it up, and it worked, but the syncing was not consistent enough to be a good solution for me.

For example, if I wanted to restore a previous session, with the PortableFirefox / Dropbox setup it usually failed to restore the correct tabs that had been open in my previous session - instead restoring older tabs and not showing my most recent history. It somehow kept missing my most up-to-date activity.

I also was very frustrated by a bug that is apparently very prevalent with portable apps. When pinned to the taskbar, both PortableFirefox and PortableThunderbird would each present an additional icon in the taskbar when opened. I spent a lot of time searching for a way to fix it, and finally did find what turned out to be a rather simple solution that worked. I will post that at the end of this in case anyone is interested... since most of my web searching for a solution ended up in dead ends - a lot of either "sorry, it can't be fixed" responses or really complicated patches.

I ended up removing both PortableFirefox and PortableThunderbird from my Dropbox folder. To sync Firefox, I went with the built-in sync utility that stores my information on the Mozilla servers, and it seems to be much more reliable.

For Thunderbird, I ended up just copying only the profile to my Dropbox folder and pointing the regular installations on both my desktop and notebook to that profile. That also saved me quite a bit of space in my small, free Dropbox account compared to using the portable app. You also have to change the .ini file on both devices. See the instructions here.

I basically did the same for Windows Live Mail by changing my desktop client's "store" to a folder I made in dropbox, and then doing the same on my notebook. The only issue I've had so far with that is that it seems to ask me to re-enter my password a lot, even though it was already stored correctly, and it gave me errors. (Mainly on my notebook.)

I don't think I will be able to sync my Vueminder calendar in a similar way, unless I upgrade to their portable app. The problem is that it starts up before Dropbox would have a chance to sync. I will just "backup" to a folder in dropbox, and then use "restore" on the other device to update my calendar as necessary.

I hope this helps anyone who reads this and is trying to do the same thing.


Here is how I was able to get the portable apps (PortableFirefox and PortableThunderbird) to behave correctly in the Windows 7 Taskbar:

I created a new Firefox profile by entering firefox.exe -p in the Windows 7 search box and then clicking it to run it.

(By the way, it won't work if FF is open, although you can get around that by adding -no-remote to firefox.exe -p as follows -- firefox.exe -p -no-remote -- click to run it.)

Okay...the profile wizard should be open... so give your new profile a name. I called mine FFsync

Then you need to change the default location and point it at the profile folder in your portable app:


Just browse to that folder, highlight and save it, then click Finish.

Now go to your PortableFirefox folder and start PortableFirefox.exe

Now when it's running in the taskbar, just right click the taskbar FF icon and choose "pin to taskbar".

That's it. Very simple and it works.

I did the same for my Portable Thunderbird program, and that too ran with out an extra icon in my taskbar.

thunderbird.exe -p (to create a new Thunderbird profile.)

Browse for the folder where it will be located, and choose the folder in the dropbox portable app:
dropbox\portablethunderbird\data\profile then finish.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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