Free Methods to Convert MBOX to PST File
Read time 11 minutes
MBOX is the generic file format that saves a collection of email messages from a folder in a database file. New messages are appended to the end of the file. Many open-source email clients use MBOX files to store their mailboxes. These clients are Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Power mail, etc. The user can employ these email clients to manage their email communication. If a business requires an email client that provides more benefits than mere email communication, then MS Outlook is the best candidate.
MS Outlook can create unlimited accounts to configure a variety of servers and provide them additional features to use contacts, calendar, appointments, journals, etc. But, to use Outlook, the MBOX users need to convert MBOX files to Outlook-supported PST format.
Try automated tool Kernel for MBOX to PST Converter to convert MBOX/MBX/MBS emails to PST, DBX, EML, Office 365 and Exchange Server.
Why is MS Outlook Preferred Over MBOX Email Clients?
Before going for the conversion, it is good to understand the advantages of PST over the MBOX format:
- PST supports multiple types of data
MBOX format is suitable only for email messages as it has a simple format. But the PST format can support emails, contacts, tasks, calendars, notes, and more mailbox items.
- Advanced format
PST format is very advanced for storing mailbox data systematically. But the MBOX format is very simple, and emails are saved sequentially in a text file.
- Outlook supports Exchange accounts
MS Outlook is designed for Exchange connectivity. So, it supports all Exchange versions, including Exchange 2019 and all Office 365/Microsoft 365 plans. And it is possible to work in offline mode in Outlook.
- More control and better security features
Outlook provides more control for users and offers advanced security features for emails and attachments such as Anti-spam, password protection, etc.
- Frequently updated
Outlook and PST format are updated periodically to meet the new communication requirements. MBOX and its email clients, being open-source, are not updated periodically.
- Better backup options
To export a data file, Thunderbird requires third-party add-ons, whereas Outlook can export without needing any add-on in either PST or CSV format. The Exchange account that creates the OST file can be backup in the PST file.
- Archived mailbox
MS Outlook can auto-archive emails without moving the emails deliberately. In Thunderbird, you need to create a new folder and then move emails into it.
A Simple Method to Move MBOX Emails to Outlook/PST
To migrate from an MBOX email client to Outlook, you will have to convert your MBOX file to a PST file. To move the MBOX format emails to PST, you have to follow these three simple steps:
- Save MBOX emails as EML files.
- Drag and drop the EML files to Outlook.
- Export emails to PST files.
To save emails to PST files, you can use the Export feature of Outlook.
Save MBOX Emails as EML Files
Most MBOX email clients will have a feature to save emails as EML files. We have shown the process for Thunderbird:
- Open the MBOX email client. Right-click on a folder and click New Folder option.
- Enter a name and click Create Folder.
- Select all the EML messages you want to migrate and move them to the newly created folder.
- Now all the emails are present in the folder.
- Choose all the emails and select the Save as option. It will save the emails in EML format to any desired location.
Export Emails to an External Folder
There is another method to export selected emails to an external folder – using an add-on. It can be used to export a large number of emails from multiple folders.
- Open Mozilla Thunderbird and click the ‘Display the thunderbird’ icon with three horizontal lines.
- Click Add-ons>>add-ons, then choose the Get Add-ons option.
- Choose ImportExportTools add-ons and click ‘Add to Thunderbird’.
- In the Software Installation wizard, click the Install option.
- After adding the add-on successfully, you can restart Thunderbird.
- After opening Thunderbird, you can choose any folder and right-click it. Click ImportExportTools NG>>Export all messages in the folder >>EML format.
- Select a destination folder and save the EML file there.
Drag and Drop EML Files to Outlook
MS Outlook can access EML emails. This is how you can import EML emails to Outlook:
- Open the folder where EML files are saved. Select all the emails and simply drag and drop them to any Outlook folder.
Export Emails to PST Files
- To export the emails to a PST file, follow Fil > Open & Export > Import/Export.
- In the Import/Export wizard, choose Export to a file and click Next.
- Select Outlook Data File (.pst). Click Next.
- Go to the folder where EML files are saved and click Next.
- Input a location for the new PST file, choose the desired option, and click Finish to end the process.
Note: You can also assign a password to the newly created PST file.
- A new PST file is created at the desired location.
Convert MBOX to PST Using Email Clients
Apple Mail is a major email client that uses the MBOX file, but the process to convert MBOX to PST is a tricky one here. You need to complete the conversion in several stages like the following:
Stage 1: Use Apple Mail
- Start the Apple Mail on your system.
- Click File >> Import Mailboxes.
- Select all the files that you want to import into the MBOX. Click Continue.
- Browse to the location where you have saved the MBOX file. Choose all the required files to import and click Continue.
- After the process is complete, click Done. But, make sure that all the required files are present in the Import Section.
Stage 2: Use Eudora
- You need to append the MBOX files extension. For example, rename the data file ‘Adam’ to ‘Adam.mbx.’
- Move the newly renamed Adam.mbx file to the directory location where Eudora saves its files. (C:\Documents and Settings
- Start the Eudora application and double-click the ‘Adam.mbx’ file.
Stage 3: Use Outlook Express
- Start Outlook Express and follow File >> Import >> Messages.
- Choose Eudora from the list and click Next.
- Go to the location where you have saved the Adam.mbx and click OK.
- Follow the next steps to complete the import steps and check if the files have been imported cleanly.
Stage 4: Use Outlook
- Start Outlook and click the File option.
- Select the Import/Export wizard and click the Import option.
- Follow the steps to import the whole content from Outlook Express to Outlook.
- First, select the Import from another file and folder option and click Next.
- Then, on the next page, select Import Internet Mail and Addresses and click Next.
- Next, select Choose Outlook Express 4.x, 5.x, 6.x or window mail option and proceed.
- Select the DBX file now to finally import it to the Outlook application.
The difficulty with the above process is that some email clients used in it are outdated or discontinued.
Limitations of Manual Method
- During the conversion of MBOX to PST, there is always a requirement for other email applications to implement the conversion. Hence there is always a need for one such application.
- When converting and transferring emails from one application to another, there are high chances of data loss and changes in the original format, resulting in bugs or errors in the application.
- In the manual approach of conversion, there is the requirement for different application, if any of these application stops working, then MBOX to Outlook conversion approach may also get fails.
An Automated Method to Convert MBOX to PST
Both the methods to convert MBOX to PST format require complicated steps and various applications or add-ons to complete the conversion. There are chances that the contents from MBOX can become corrupt as it is not a professionally created database but an open-source file created to hold simple emails. So, using a professional MBOX to PST converter is a good option for normal users. Kernel for MBOX to PST converter Converter can easily export the data from the MBOX platform to Outlook. It lets the user filter the data based on different criteria like To, From, Subject, Date, and attachment.
Advantages of MBOX to PST Converter
- Completes the conversion process in only 3 steps – select, convert, & save.
- Filters to select important emails from the MBOX file.
- Full support to more than 20 MBOX clients.
- Support for all versions of MS Outlook (2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003).
- Preview of selected items before conversion.
The preference of Outlook over MBOX-supported email clients due to advanced features and options integrated within the former tends users to move their existing MBOX data to Outlook. The blog includes the free manual ways like EML drag/drop and multi-staged export of MBOX files through multiple email clients like Apple Mail, Eudora, Outlook Express, etc., with a detailed process explanation. Owing to non-ignorable challenges linked with the native ways, a professional tool is recommended for the best and quick results.
Video Tutorial for MBOX to PST Converter Tool
A- Drag & drop is an important part of this manual process. If you cannot do it, you should use our software to convert MBOX files to PST.
A- Yes, you said it right. The EML files contain only the message body. If you have any emails with attachments, you should move them using the software.
A- The second method mentioned in the article is tricky. If you do not have Outlook Express, you should use the first method.