Ways to Import PST Files to Mozilla Thunderbird

Akash Tiwari Akash Tiwari Updated On - 31 Dec 2019

MS Outlook, as we know, is probably the most versatile and widely used email client all over the globe. Many small, as well as large business organizations use Outlook in combination with Microsoft Exchange Server and Office 365 to manage emails, calendars, meetings, and events. Though with rich features and functionalities, Outlook comes with a price to pay. This perhaps is one of the major reasons that users migrate from Outlook to a reliable application that is cost-effective. Here, Thunderbird being an open-source and a free email-client application, plays a crucial role in gaining the attention of the users.

Thunderbird is an open-source desktop-based email client application that can be accessed on multiple platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ubuntu operating systems. Designed and developed by the Mozilla Foundation; Thunderbird allows users to manage emails, News feeds (RSS), Newsgroups, and other mailbox features. It supports “.mbox” as the default file format to save data, which indeed is supported by many email client applications like Apple Mail, The Bat!, etc.

Reasons to Migrate PST to Thunderbird

As we have discussed, Thunderbird is an open-source email client that can be deployed on several platforms. There are several other governing factors that make Thunderbird a reliable and effective program for users to migrate.

  • Supported by multiple platforms:
  • Thunderbird is compatible with almost all platforms like Windows, MacOS, UNIX, Linux, and Ubuntu. It is the most preferred email client for Linux and UNIX users.

  • Spam Filtering:
  • Spam Filtering is much better as compared to Outlook and other email client applications.

  • Data Security:
  • Thunderbird provides the best security features in the market.

Export PST to Thunderbird – Manual Methods

Migrating Outlook mails to Thunderbird client is not as easy as it seems. Thunderbird doesn’t provide any direct option to import Outlook PST files. So, Outlook to Thunderbird migration is solely achieved by the conversion of PST to MBOX file format.

Conversion of PST to MBOX can be carried out by several manual as well as automated techniques. Here we have listed some popular manual techniques to export Outlook emails to Thunderbird.

Import Outlook PST to Thunderbird

If you are running Outlook and Thunderbird on the same machine, then you can easily import Outlook mails to Thunderbird. Just follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Make Outlook your default program for sending/receiving emails. Go to the Start button and click Default Programs >> Set your default programs.

Step 2: Select Outlook from the Programs tab and click Set this program as default. Then click OK to save the changes.

save the changes

Step 3: Now, launch Thunderbird and click on the Display the Thunderbird Menu option.

Display the Thunderbird Menu

Step 4: Go to Tools >> Import.
Tools to Import

Step 5: Select Mail, or you can select the Import Everything option and click Next.
Select Import Everything

Step 6: Select Outlook as the file type and click Next.

Select Outlook  as the file type

Step 7: In the last window, click on the Finish button to complete the import process.

This will import all mails in the Outlook email client to the Thunderbird interface.

Use Google Take Out to export Outlook PST to MBOX

This approach requires configuring Gmail account in your Outlook program and eventually exporting emails from Outlook to Gmail. Migration from PST to Thunderbird is then achieved via Google Takeout. The step-by-step process to implement the method is mentioned below:

Step 1: Open your Gmail account and go to Settings >> Forwarding and POP/IMAP and select the radio button “Enable IMAP.”

Enable IMAP in Gmail Acccount

Step 2: Launch Outlook and go to File >> Add Account option.

Launch Outlook to add account

Step 3: Enter the login credentials of your Gmail account and hit Enter.

Your Outlook is now configured with the same Gmail, for which you have changed the IMAP settings.

Step 4: Create a new folder within the newly configured Gmail ID and move the desired Outlook emails to that folder.

Step 5: Now, Log in to your Gmail account using Chrome or any other efficient browser and open Google Takeout (https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout).

Step 6: From the Select data to include tab, deselect all options, and check the Mail option only. Also, make sure to check the Include all message in Mail option provided under the All Mail data included category. Click Next after making the necessary changes.

check the Mail option

Step 7: Now, in the Customize archive format tab, specify the Delivery method, Export type, File type & size, and hit the Create archive button.

Create archive format

Step 8: Once your archive is generated by Google, you can download the ZIP file containing the Outlook data in the MBOX file format. Click Download to download the ZIP file in your local machine.

download the ZIP file

Step 9: Now, extract the downloaded ZIP file in a convenient directory. You will get the MBOX file containing all your emails, including spam and trash.

extract the downloaded ZIP file

Step 10: At last, import the downloaded MBOX file using the Thunderbird email client.

Note: Thunderbird requires installation of an Add-on feature to import files. Download and install the Add-on ExportImportTool and relaunch Thunderbird in order to import files.

If you are facing difficulty while implementing these lengthy and time-consuming native methods, try using an automated third-party tool for conversion of PST to MBOX file format. Kernel for Outlook PST Repair is an excellent tool to convert PST to MBOX.

Export PST to Thunderbird – Automated Method

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair allows users to repair corrupt PST files and eventually save them in popular formats like MBOX, DBX, MSG, EML, etc.

In order to execute conversion of PST to MBOX using Kernel for Outlook PST Repair, the following steps must be considered:

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Step 1: Open Kernel for Outlook PST Repair on your machine.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair

Step 2: Select the mode to add files to the interface, i.e. for a single file, select “Recover Single File” and for multiple files select the “Recover Multiple File” option.

Select the mode to add files

Step 3: Browse for the folder containing the PST file that needs to be repaired or converted. Select the file and click Open.

Open the PST file

Step 4: Then, Click Next.

Go for Next process

Step 5: Read the process information and click Finish.

Finished the process

Step 6: The interface will display the folder and subfolders as per the folder hierarchy. To save the required folders, click on the Save button. You can also choose the required options from Saving Options.

choose the required options from Saving the file

Step 7: Under the Select Output Type window, select the MBOX file as the output type and click Next.

select the MBOX

Step 8: Select the desired filters to save specific data from your converted MBOX file. If you do not want to filter or save specific data from your file, click Next anyways.

elect the desired filters to save specific data

Step 9: Specify the email client and click Browse to provide a destination path to save the converted file.

provide a destination path to save the file

You will be notified when your converted MBOX file gets saved to the specified location. Click OK to finish the conversion process.

finish the conversion process

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If we look at the various methods discussed so far, the one with lesser steps, quick results, and trusted source will always catch the user’s attention. Summing up, the only way to get the most effective results in a short interval of time is to use a reliable third-party tool like Kernel for PST Repair.