Methods to Import Windows Live Mail to Thunderbird

Yash Sinha
Yash Sinha | Published On - 15 Sep 2022 |

Read time: 6 minutes

Windows Live Mail is a free application developed by Microsoft in 2007. It was included with Windows Vista and was widely accepted during that time. This mail client is a part of Windows Essential, which supports Windows 7 or earlier versions. Microsoft discontinued Windows Live Mail after it reached its end of life on 10th Jan 2017. It means that Microsoft will no longer provide updates and technical support for the specific mail client. Despite this, many users are still using it. The recent update in the Mozilla Thunderbird offered an innovative way for users to replace Windows Live Mail with Thunderbird.

Mozilla Thunderbird has gained huge fame in the market due to its impressive features such as cross-platform availability, message management, easy accessibility, junk filtering, etc. It provides a quick search option by which users can instantly search their emails from the mailbox. Thunderbird is an open-source mail client that offers users various add-ons and extensions. In addition, it allows users to filter their emails instantly via its quick filter option. Apart from this, the emails stored in Thunderbird are in the MBOX file format. You can use this lightweight application not only in Windows but also on Mac and Linux OS.

Methods to Convert EML to MBOX

In Windows Live Mail, the emails are stored in the .eml file format. To convert EML to MBOX, we need to export the EML file of Windows Live Mail and import it to Thunderbird. This task is not complicated until you don’t have thousands of EML files to import. To perform this, there are two methods available that are listed below:

  • Manual Method
  • Automated Method

Manual Methods to import Windows Live Mail into Thunderbird

Importing EML files to MBOX will help you avoid many Windows live mail issues. You can perform the manual method by using two different approaches that are as follows:

  • Import Export Wizard Approach
  • Drag and Drop Approach

Import Export Wizard Approach

To import Windows Live Mail into Thunderbird using the Import Export approach, you need to use the Import Export add-in. But note that this utility is not available for users using the newer version of Thunderbird because this approach is not available after Thunderbird 78. The Import Export Wizard approach includes two phases that are listed below:

  • Install and configure the ImportExport add-on
  • Import EML to Thunderbird

Install and configure the ImportExport add-on

To follow this method, you need to know the location of EML files. First, you need to install the ImportExport add-on from the official add-on page of Thunderbird. Next, install the ImportExport add-on in the Mozilla Thunderbird by following the below steps:

  1. Open Thunderbird and click on Menu->Add-ons and Themes.Menu Add-ons and Themes
  2. Click on Settings> Install Add-on From File.Add-on From File
  3. Input the ImportExport add-on file in .xpi format and click Open. click open
  4. Finally, you will see that the specific add-on is successfully added to the Thunderbird.added to the Thunderbird

Import EML to Thunderbird

  1. After successfully adding the add-on to Thunderbird, it’s time to import the EML file of Windows Live Mail into Thunderbird. For this, you need to create a new folder in Thunderbird.create a new folder in Thunderbird
  2. Right-click on the specific folder and select ImportExportToolsNG > Import all messages from a directory > also from its subdirectories.select ImportExportToolsNG
  3. Now, select the folder where the EML files are stored. Click on OK.
  4. Finally, you will see that your EML files have been successfully imported to Thunderbird.EML files have been successfully imported to Thunderbird
  5. As you might have noticed, the above approach is time-consuming and includes a risk of data loss. Also, you can’t use this method if you are using the latest version of Thunderbird. Hence, this approach is not recommended for importing EML files to Thunderbird. You can use the below approaches for achieving the same.

Drag and Drop Approach

This approach is much simpler than the previous one, which can be executed by following the below steps:

  1. First, open Thunderbird and create a new folder in it.
  2. Go to the specific location of the EML file which you want to import into the Thunderbird.
  3. Now, simply drag your EML files and drop them in your Thunderbird folders.
  4. Finally, you will see that your EML files have been successfully added to Thunderbird.

This approach is quite simple but provides limited functionality. You can’t find and exclude unwanted mail using this approach. Also, it can import a limited amount of EML files; you need to import files in small portions if you have too many EML files.

Automated Method to Convert EML to MBOX

The automated solution uses third-party tools to import Windows Live Mail to Thunderbird. Nowadays, though many tools are available in the market, finding the most suitable one may be difficult. You must select an innovative tool like Kernel for MBOX to PST to achieve your desired needs. It can convert EML files to Thunderbird MBOX file format and is able to filter emails by different criteria such as From, To, Date, Subject, etc. In addition, it also offers a live preview of items before saving the mail in the desired location.

Conclusion

This blog has shown all the possible methods to import Windows Live Mail into Thunderbird. The Import Export method is limited to a few versions of Thunderbird. Hence, this is not always feasible. Another manual method, i.e., Drag and drop, is much simpler than the previous one but has limited application. As a result, the automated method is considered the best solution and can best fit all your needs. You can filter the emails based on different criteria such as From, To, Date, Subject, etc. It also offers a live preview of items before saving the mail in the desired location.