In today’s world, users are made available with plenty of email clients which are being chosen by them depending on their needs. These email clients provides various other features like scheduler, instant messaging, notes, etc. apart from the basic professional handling of emails. Now these email clients uses different file formats to save their emails. One such file format which we are going to discuss in detail here is the MBOX file format.
Glance at MBOX file format
MBOX is the file format which is used for storing and organizing emails by various Mozilla based email clients like Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Spicebird, Entourage, Eudora, Pocomail, etc. In this 7 bit ASCII text file format where attachments and other things are stored in encoded format, all email messages are stored in plain rich text format in concatenated form one after another. Beginning of each email message is indicated with ‘FROM’ followed by a white space character. One blank line is appended at the end to indicate the ending a particular email message.
Location of Mailbox MBOX File
Default MBOX file location is “C:\User\Library\Mail\Mailboxes\Directory”. But depending on the client different this location may differ. Some examples are provided here:
C:\Users\user_name\Documents\Microsoft User Data\Office 2008 Identities\Main Identity
C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\Application data\Qualcomm\Eudora Folder.
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\spicebird or pocomail or operamail/mail
For The Bat/Sylpheed:
C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\The Bat mail or Sylpheed\mail name
For Windows Operating System versions 7 and above, please follow this procedure to find the default MBOX file location.
- Search %APPDATA% in the start menu.
- Click on the search result with Roaming folder.
- Now in the Roaming window, search for your MBOX email client (Thunderbird) folder and double-click on it.
- Select and click on the Profiles folder to open it.
- Next, you got the default profile folder containing your MBOX file.
Or the direct path is –
Or, in the Thunderbird email client, go to the Local Folders and click on the Settings option. Then find the Thunderbird MBOX file in the local directory.
For Linux and UNIX systems, the default MBOX file location is ~/.thunderbird/
For Mac Operating System environment, the default MBOX file location is
~Library/Thunderbird (MBOX email client)/Profiles/sample. Default
Learn More about MBOX file formats
With the technological advancement, now we are available with four modified formats of MBOX file format which are explained below in brief:
- MBOXO file format: This file format is supported by Eudora. In it, the messages are not kept intact as attachments of the messages are separated and are kept as individual files in a separate folder. Here in place of senders email address, a constant string “???@???” is used.
- MBOXRD file format: Qmail, Thunderbird, Netscape are some of the email clients which support MBOXRD file format which indicates the beginning of message with ‘From’ string either in the header or the body of the message.
- MBOXCL file format: In this file format content-length: header is used to locate the starting of message instead of ‘From’ line. It is being done so as email message is transformed before appending and Content-length denotes the length of the message that is in octets.
- MBOXCL2 file format: It is the same file format as that of MBOXCL as it also uses content-length to indicate the start of the message with only difference that it does not transform the email message before storing.
Both MBOXCL and MBOXCL2 file format are used by UNIX ‘System V’ mailboxes.
With the availability of various email clients, migration from one email client to another is quite obvious. Migrating to MS Outlook is the most preferred choice among users owing to distinctive features and wide-spread support of it around the world. There could also be some personal or professional reasons responsible for this migration which varies from individual to individual.
Coming back to this migration from any MBOX supported email client to MS Outlook, it could not be performed directly by using ‘Import and Export’ wizard since MS Outlook supports completely different file format i.e. PST (Personalized Storage Table) format which stores the messages in tabular format. Hence, you need to employ a third-party professional tool in order to accomplish this task of conversion of MBOX format.
MBOX to PST Converter is one of the most preferred result-driven professional tools which are also recommended by experts. It produces the most reliable and trusted results and that too in few clicks. The tool requires no technical expertise in order to be used. The software also allows performing the selective conversion of MBOX files. Apart from saving in PST format, users also have the provision of saving MBOX files into Office 365, EML, MSG or HTML file format. Click on the link to download the free trial version.
The blog illustrated the different default MBOX file location based on different email MBOX supported email clients, operating system environments and ways to find them. More importantly, it explained more types of MBOX file formats and introduced an exclusive tool for smooth migration.
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