How User Can Import MBOX Files to Mozilla Thunderbird?

To perform an email communication, the users are not dependent on the web applications like Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo Mail. There are several email applications that a user can install in their computers and add accounts from different web servers. The difference between the email applications in the mailbox file format. The format supports the account structure and its standard protocols. One prominent mailbox file format is MBOX that saves email messages in a single text file.

It saves the email message with an initial four letters ‘from’ followed by a space, then the name of the sender. Each message is concatenated with a UTC timestamp that after another space character. Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail support MBOX format and can export or import external files also.

The requirement to import MBOX files to Mozilla Thunderbird

There are no direct business or individual requirements to import external MBOX files to Mozilla Thunderbird. One big reason could be the absence of a parent email application that had created the data file. When the user moves a file from an Apple-based computer to a Windows system, then there is no native application to open the MBOX files. Because Thunderbird is freely available software that can open the file, so it is simple to import MBOX files there.

Manual method to import MBOX file to Thunderbird

Thunderbird offers the import/export job through an external add-on that connects with the application and completes the job.

  1. You should open the Mozilla Thunderbird application from your system and click the three horizontal lines, then choose add-ons.
    Open the Mozilla Thunderbird application from your system
  2. In the textbox for searching add-ons, you must type ImportExportTools, then click Enter.
    Type ImportExportTools, then click Enter
  3. In the search results, select ImportExportTools NG and click ‘Add to Thunderbird.’
    Select ImportExportTools NG and click ‘Add to Thunderbird
  4. After the add-on has connected with our email client, restart the application. Then, click Tools > ImportExportTools NG > import mbox file.
    Click Tools ImportExportTools NG import mbox file.
  5. In the ‘files mbox import’ wizard, choose the first option to ‘import directly one or more mbox files.’ Click OK.
    Choose the first option to ‘import directly one or more mbox files
  6. Browse the MBOX file from its location and import it completely.
Location of MBOX file
  1. In the Run application, type %appdata% and click enter.
  2. In the list of applications, go to the Thunderbird folder and go to Profiles.
  3. Inside Profiles, you can choose the MBOX file and copy it at another location.
Import MBOX files to Microsoft Outlook

As you have imported MBOX files to Thunderbird, so a business that uses Outlook will need to import MBOX files in it. In comparison to Thunderbird, Outlook updates its version frequently like Outlook 2019, 2016, 2016, and Office 365. The security and stability of Thunderbird are lesser than Outlook. Here are the following benefits-

  1. Thunderbird does not have any spam filter to check the incoming emails. Outlook has a deep spam filter to stop phishing, spyware, and data theft attacks.
  2. Thunderbird does not have a calendar or task management. Outlook has a highly effective calendar and task features.
  3. Outlook can work offline also.
  4. Outlook users can set complex rules to automate emails.
  5. Thunderbird supports IMAP/POP/SMTP through add-ons only.
Import MBOX file to Outlook

There is no direct method to importing the MBOX files into Outlook as it supports only OST/PST files to save the mailboxes. But, it can accept some individual emails from the Thunderbird app.

  1. Open Outlook and create a new folder.
  2. Go to Mozilla Thunderbird and open the folder whose content you want to move to Outlook.
  3. Select the individual email and drag-&-drop in the Outlook folder.
Limitations of the manual method
  1. Both methods are useful for emails only.
  2. Large-sized emails with bigger attachments will not import.
  3. The read/unread status of email may change during transfer.

Mozilla Thunderbird and MS Outlook are both useful platforms to conduct email communication, but importing MBOX into them is difficult. Thunderbird supports MBOX format through external add-ons, but Outlook does not have such an add-on. The user can only drag and drop single emails, but not contacts and calendars.

If you want to move complete mailboxes, then you should use a professional MBOX to PST Converter software. It will convert the whole into a new format that works in Outlook. The manual methods have their limitations that can affect the quality and integrity of data after the conversion. The professional software provides the guarantee to maintain the correct order and integrity of data.

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