Best Practices to Open MBOX File in Outlook 2019, 2016

Manisha Rawat
Manisha Rawat linkedin | Updated On - April 20, 2023 |

Read time 11 minutes

I received an MBOX file and have been asked to go through some emails and report back to my manager. Can anyone suggest the safest and quickest way to convert that MBOX file to PST so I can open it in Outlook? I am out of town and only have access to Outlook currently, and due to security and office restrictions, I only need to do it on my Laptop. It’s essential. Thanks Already!

MBOX is a file format that saves a collection of emails in text form. Email clients like Apple Mail, WebMail, Thunderbird, Entourage, Eudora, Gnu, and many more use MBOX as the file format. Users who switch from Mac to Windows must convert their mailbox data into Outlook compatible PST format.

If you are an Outlook user, you might know that you cannot directly open the MBOX file in Outlook. You can either use a manual method or install a tool for it.

Instant Solution

Download Kernel for MBOX to PST Converter, an automated tool to open MBOX file in Outlook 2019/2016/2013 in few easy steps.

Why do you need to Open MBOX Files in Outlook?

MBOX is a very flexible file format that can be used and opened in multiple email clients. But, there are numerous circumstances where you may need to open an MBOX file with Outlook. One such user query issue is mentioned at the top. A user may also want to switch to another email client because of the drawbacks of the MBOX files.

What are these drawbacks? Let’s discuss:

  • MBOX files are accessible mainly in open-source email clients, which are not so advanced for professional email communication.
  • Users have also complained about the file locking issues in MBOX files, after which they have faced a lot of difficulty opening and accessing files.
  • MBOX files are secure but get corrupt quickly; hence, finding a solution to fix them becomes challenging. Sometimes this may impact your career or work in many ways.
  • One of the most reported issues of MBOX files is that they create issues with the network file system. This behavior can cause a lot of trouble in urgent use.

There are more issues with MBOX files; hence, users want to switch to other email clients. Generally, users prefer to switch to Outlook as it is also prevalent and has some advanced features. Let’s discuss those features:

  • Outlook is popular and widely used by individuals and organizations for personal and official use. It supports advanced features required for enterprise-level communication.
  • Outlook comes with many other small but beneficial items like tasks, Journals, Notes, Calendars, Contacts, assignments, etc. All these features make the user experience even better and unmatchable.
  • Outlook has better security features than MBOX, and hence your data is more secure with Outlook. It has a unique password security feature so a sender can protect their data.
  • Outlook stops spam emails from entering your mailbox, as it has a solid anti-spam feature. However, it does not stop it completely, as Outlook saves all emails that it thinks might be spam in the Junk emails box, a separate folder for such emails.

So, here are the reasons why a user may want to switch to Outlook. Let’s move further and discuss how to open MBOX files with Outlook.

How to Open MBOX file in Outlook Manually from Thunderbird
  1. Open Thunderbird and configure your Gmail account through IMAP.
  2. Now create a new folder in Thunderbird where you can add the selective emails you want to open in Outlook.
    Create new folder in Thunderbird
  3. Select the emails you want to open in Outlook and move them to the new folder. You can simply drag and drop the selected files to the new folder or just follow the manual method.
    Select MBOX file and move them to new folder
  4. Now, open Outlook and select the emails you want to add to Outlook.
    Open Outlook and select email to open
  5. Drag selected emails to a new folder in Outlook or wherever you want to add those files. Now you can access those files in the new folder.
    Now you can access files in new folder

However, the manual process to open MBOX files in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010 is sometimes a big hassle because you need everything installed and configured simultaneously. If not, you need to invest a lot of time setting up everything. So, the better approach is installing a tool like Kernel for MBOX to PST to open MBOX file in Outlook easily.

How to Open MBOX File in Outlook With the Help of Professional Tool
  1. Install and run the software.
  2. On the Source file selection window, select either one from ‘Select folder’ or ‘Select File’ and click on the Browse button.Click on brows button to select file
  3. Select the MBOX folder and click on Ok.
    Select MBOX folder and click ok
  4. On the next window click on Finish.
    Click on finish
  5. Now select a specific folder if you want or check all the folders and click on Save.
    Select a specific folder
  6. Now it will ask to ‘Select the output type to save the recovered data,’ select PST file (MS Outlook) option and click on Next.
    Select PST file as an output option
  7. On the next window apply filters if required. Let’s apply to Item type, and from the drop-down menu of Include, select from three given options: Selected Only. It allows you to choose the items of your choice.
    Apply filter option
  8. Now press Ctrl key and select multiple Items if you want or just select a single item and click on Next.
  9. A new window will pop up where you can manage your recovered PST. You can split your file if needed and add a Prefix to your file, do the needful and click on Next.
    Manage your recovered PST
  10. You will be asked to select the folder destination in the next window. Click on Browse.
    Select the folder destination
  11. Select a destination, or you can make a new folder. Click on Ok.
    Select a destination or create new folder
  12. Click on Finish.
    Click on finish
  13. You will get a confirmation that your file is saved successfully, click on Ok.
    MBOX files save into Outlook successfully


Whenever you want to access the MBOX file data in Outlook, then you will have to convert the MBOX file to PST using the methods mentioned above. Due to manual process limitations, you should consider the Kernel MBOX File Converter tool as the best solution. It can convert multiple MBOX files to Outlook at the same time. A free trial version of the software available on the website will run the exact conversion or migration process with limited functionality. You can use it before buying the licensed version.

Q- I dragged an entire folder, but I found out that it was empty. The emails were not moved using the method. Should I manually move each email?

A- If the drag-&-drop method does not work, then the manual method is not correct for you. So, you should use the software to move emails.

Q- Can I connect Exchange account in Thunderbird and move them to Outlook?

A- It will an indirect method to move emails. You should connect Exchange in Outlook and move Thunderbird emails then.

Review by CNET Users

Review by CNET Users

Review by Experts William Diaz

Review by Experts William Diaz

Video – Best Practices to Open MBOX File in Outlook 2019, 2016


Kernel for MBOX to PST