How to Import MBOX Files to Outlook? – Step by Step Guide

  •  Pradeep Kumar
  • Published on:  October 6th, 2023
  • Updated on:  March 4, 2024
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If you’re transitioning from a different email client to Outlook or simply need to consolidate your email data, importing MBOX files into Outlook is a common task. MBOX is a mailbox file format used by various email clients like Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Eudora Mail, etc. This step-by-step guide will show you how to import MBOX to Outlook using the MBOX Migrator.

MBOX files and the Outlook application are two distinct components in the email management world. While MBOX files are a specific file format used for storing email messages and their attachments, Outlook is a popular email client developed by Microsoft. It provides a comprehensive solution for managing emails, calendars, contacts, tasks, and many more. Moreover, users can create and manage tasks and to-do lists within this application. 

Why Do Users Want to Convert MBOX to Outlook?

The need to import MBOX files into Microsoft Outlook can arise from various scenarios. Sometimes, several individuals or organizations seek to streamline their email management processes, ensure data accessibility, and leverage Outlook’s robust features. 

  1. Importing MBOX files into Outlook ensures a smooth transition without losing valuable emails from other email clients.
  2. Many individuals have multiple email accounts from various providers, each with its own MBOX file. Importing these MBOX files into Outlook allows users to centralize their email accounts within a single application.
  3. MBOX files are not always accessible on every device or email client. To ensure consistent access to email data across different platforms, users often import MBOX files into Outlook.
  4. Microsoft Outlook offers numerous features and functionalities that enhance productivity and organization. These include advanced email filtering, categorization, scheduling, task management, and integration with Microsoft 365 applications.
  5. MBOX files are susceptible to corruption or accidental deletion. Importing MBOX data into Outlook provides the data security feature by creating a backup within the PST format. 

Hence, the need to import MBOX files into Microsoft Outlook serves as a strategic choice for enhancing email management, ensuring data accessibility, and harnessing the full potential of Outlook’s feature-rich environment.  

Top 3 Methods to Import MBOX to Outlook

Importing MBOX files into Outlook can sound complicated, but we’ll break it down into a few steps.  

Method 1: Import MBOX to Outlook Using Drag and Drop

  • First, make sure you have Outlook installed on your computer.
  • Open Thunderbird and enable/Install ImportExportTools NG Add-on from the Menu.
  • Now, Create a folder, in the mail section.
  • Drag and drop the MBOX file onto the folder created in Thunderbird.
  • It creates EML files (a format Outlook can understand).
  • In Outlook, create a new folder where you want to store these emails.
  • Now, simply drag the EML files you saved earlier and drop them into the folder you created in Outlook.

Outlook will import these emails for you.

Method 2: Manually Export MBOX File to Outlook

This method has three steps:

Step 1: Set Up Gmail in Thunderbird

  • Create a Gmail account if you don’t have one.
  • Open Thunderbird and go to “Mail” > “Preferences.”
  • In “Accounts,” add your Gmail account.
  • Follow the setup process, including providing your Gmail credentials.

Step 2: Import MBOX Files to Thunderbird

  • In Thunderbird, right-click the “Local Folders” and select “Settings.”
  • Copy the “Local Directory” path.
  • Find your MBOX files and copy them to this location.
  • Restart Thunderbird.
  • Your MBOX folder will appear under “Local Folders.”
  • Select the emails you want to export to Outlook.
  • Right-click and choose “Export.”
  • You can either move the emails to Gmail or copy them to Gmail – choose the option you prefer.

Know More: How to Transfer Emails from Gmail to Outlook?

Step 3: Configure and Move to Outlook

  • Open Microsoft Outlook.
  • Go to “Outlook” > “Preferences.”
  • Select “Accounts.”
  • Click the “+” icon and choose “Mail.”
  • Use the same login credentials from your Thunderbird Gmail account.
  • Add the account.
  • Your MBOX emails will now appear in Outlook.

Alternative (Simplified) Method

  • If you already have your Gmail account set up in Outlook, you can add the same account in Thunderbird.
  • Copy your MBOX data into this Gmail account in Thunderbird.
  • All your MBOX emails will then become available in Outlook.

We’ve mentioned both the manual solutions to import MBOX to Outlook. Moreover, these are considered time-consuming. In fact, the above procedures require technical expertise and don’t allow bulk conversion. If you want to perform the smooth importing process, opt for the next section. 

Method 3: Convert MBOX to PST Effortlessly

Opening MBOX files in Outlook can be made effortless with the MBOX Converter. This handy tool makes converting MBOX files into various email clients and file formats. It’s perfect for both single-file and bulk conversions, and it’s designed with a user-friendly interface. Plus, a free trial version is also available, and you can get help whenever you need it with 24/7 tech support.

Steps to Import MBOX to Outlook

  • Download and install the MBOX Convert Tool.
  • Run it as an administrator.
  • Choose Single File or Multiple Files/Folders to add MBOX files.
  • Pick the folders you want to convert and preview emails and attachments.
  • Select PST format from the options.
  • Set a destination folder for the converted files.
  • Click Convert to change MBOX to Outlook PST.

Now, you need to import the resultant PST files to MS Outlook.

  • In Outlook, go to “File.”
  • Click on “Open & Import.”
  • Choose “Import/Export.”
  • Select “Import from another program or file.”
  • Pick “Outlook data file (.pst).”
  • Browse and find the PST file you want to import into Outlook.
  • Click “Finish.”

Final Words

In summary, MBOX files and the Outlook application serve distinct purposes in the realm of email management. MBOX files are a widely accepted format for storing email data, while Outlook is a feature-rich email client developed by Microsoft. Although Outlook does not directly support MBOX files, users can bridge the gap by converting MBOX data to PST format for seamless integration with Outlook. In other words, you can effortlessly import MBOX to Outlook.

About The Author:

Pradeep is a dedicated technical content writer who thrives on the intersection of technology and storytelling. With a background in engineering and a passion for writing, he brings a unique blend of technical expertise and creativity to his work. Pradeep’s articles not only educate but also entertain, making complex technical subjects approachable and intriguing for a broad audience. His work has been featured in numerous tech blogs, making him a trusted source for tech enthusiasts and novices alike.

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