Mozilla Thunderbird is an open-source application that renders services like email management, RSS Feeds, Junk Filtering, client chat, etc. It provides cross-platform support, which means that the Thunderbird client is free to download and can be installed on all major operating systems like Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, and Linux.

Thunderbird, for sure, is an email client of the modern age, but many professionals nowadays choose to opt for a more secure and advanced platform like MS Outlook. And users are willing to migrate from Thunderbird to MS Outlook must rely on either a manual approach or automated methods for the MBOX to Outlook PST Converter.

Reasons for Thunderbird to Outlook Migration

There are several governing factors that prompt users to migrate their Thunderbird mailbox data to Outlook-

  • Many Thunderbird users have continuously reported that they experience issues like error messages, frequent deletion of emails, user profile display issues, etc.
  • Thunderbird is a good choice when all you need is an email facility and nothing more; on the other hand, Outlook offers much more than just emails. Outlook has an in-built calendar, Task list, and Contact list.
  • Being part of Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook is much more popular than Thunderbird and consists of enterprise-level features and quality customer support.
  • Outlook supports accounts of POP3, IMAP, or Exchange Server better.
Export Thunderbird Emails to Outlook PST (Windows, Mac, and Linux Versions)

Thunderbird and Outlook have entirely different native file formats that don’t facilitate any data exchange. Therefore, to export Thunderbird to Outlook, you first have to convert Thunderbird’s MBOX file to PST format.

Note: The default file format supported by Outlook for Windows is PST, whereas, for Mac, it is OLM.

In the later sections, we have thoroughly elaborated the conversion process for Thunderbird emails to Outlook.

Migration on Mac Machine

Suppose you are using Thunderbird and Outlook both on a Mac system, and you want to migrate Thunderbird emails to Outlook for Mac. What are the steps you need to follow to do that?

There is no direct Thunderbird to Outlook converter software that will instantly complete the transfer process. Therefore, you first need to convert Thunderbird emails to OLM file format to achieve the migration on a Mac machine. For that, you can use a third-party MBOX file to PST Converter. Though OLM is the native file format for Outlook on Mac, it can import PST files too; thus, you can manually import the converted PST file to Outlook for Mac mailbox without any additional procedures.

Migration on a Windows Machine

The most recommended way to migrate Thunderbird emails to Outlook on the Windows environment is to use reliable third-party software to do the conversion task for you. However, you can also opt for a manual approach if you are unwilling to use any third-party Thunderbird to Outlook converter software.

The migration on the Windows platform is achieved by implementing these three consecutive steps:

  1. Convert emails from MBOX to EML format
  2. Import EML to Windows Live Mail.
  3. Export emails from Windows Live Mail to Outlook PST.

We will go through each step in a more detailed manner.

Exporting Emails from Thunderbird to EML format

The first step to converting MBOX to EML format is manually locating the required email messages via the Thunderbird client. Once found, follow the given instructions carefully.

  1. Select the messages that are to be exported. You can either select individual messages or press Ctrl + A to select all emails in the desired folder.
  2. Right-click on the selected items and select Save As > EML files.
  3. Select a destination path to save the EML files and click the Save button.

Selected emails will get saved to the specified location with the extension (.eml).

Import EML to Windows Live Mail

The second step involves importing the saved EML files to Live Mail’s mailbox. You can do it manually by following these steps:

  1. Launch Live Mail on your Windows machine. Create a new folder or choose an existing one to move the data.
  2. Launch Windows Explorer and locate the folder containing EML files.
  3. Select the required EML files that are needed to be exported to PST and drag & drop those emails to the desired Live Mail folder.
Export emails from Live Mail to Outlook PST

At last, you must export the imported data from Live Mail to Outlook PST. To do that, follow the given instructions:

  1. Launch Live Mail; go to File > Export emails > Email messages.
  2. In the Live Mail export wizard, select Microsoft Exchange and click Next.
  3. In the Choose Profile dialog box, select Outlook as the profile and click OK.
  4. Now, select the required EML folder that needs to be exported to Outlook and click OK.
Export Thunderbird mail items to Outlook via Gmail

To convert Thunderbird to Outlook’s PST, your Gmail account can be put into excellent use. For that, you need to follow the following steps-

  1. Enable the IMAP settings in the Gmail account
  2. Set up your Gmail account in Thunderbird
  3. Copy the mail items of Thunderbird to your Gmail folder
  4. Set up the same Gmail account in MS Outlook as well
  5. Export the mail items file to your desktop as a PST file
Automated Tool for Thunderbird to Outlook PST Migration

The manual process to export Thunderbird to PST requires a lot of precision and skills. For a novice user, it isn’t effortless to perform the migration without proper guidance. Therefore, one should always look for third-party resources to make the migration process easy and quick.

Kernel for MBOX to PST Converter tool is the most recommended tool to convert Thunderbird’s MBOX file to Outlook PST. This third-party software converts the data leaving the quality and integrity of the data intact.

Follow these simple steps to convert MBOX files to PST format via this tool:

  1. Launch the MBOX Converter tool on your system. Install Thunderbird to PST converter software
  2. Select the mode to add files for the conversion task. To add more than a single MBOX file, select the “Select File(s)” option, whereas to import an entire folder containing MBOX files, choose the “Select Folder” option. Once the mode is selected, click Browse to locate the folder containing MBOX files. Select mode to add files for conversion
  3. Select the required MBOX file and click Open. Then, click on the Finish button. Navigate to the directory containing the Thunderbird MBOX files
  4. The next window contains the preview of the mailbox data associated with the selected MBOX file. You can see the mailbox folders on the left panel. Select an individual item to display its email contents. Once you are done previewing the data, click on the Save button to save the required file. Select MBOX file and open
  5. A new window on your screen will appear as soon as you click the Save button. Select PST file (MS Outlook) as the output format and click Next. Click finish to complete adding files
  6. You can filter the data in the next window to save only specific files for your converted PST. Apply the desired filters and click Next. Preview of emails and other mailboxes
  7. To manage huge data files, you can use the Split option provided by the tool. Click on the Split option and choose the size available from the drop-down list. You can also add a prefix to the file name. Both changes are optional, in case you don’t want to make these changes, click Next. Select PST as a saving option
  8. Browse to specify a destination path to save the converted PST and click on the Finish button. Select filter option
  9. Click OK to finish the conversion process. Split large PST files

Wrapping Up

Thunderbird uses a common file format to save its data, whether deployed on a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine, whereas Outlook uses PST on Windows and OLM on Mac. For Windows users, to convert Thunderbird to Outlook, the most recommended way is to go for it is a third-party Thunderbird Mail Backup software. This tool can convert MBOX, MBS, and MSF files to Outlook PST, DBX, EML, or MSG from more than 20 clients, including Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Google Takeout, Eudora, ZohoMail, etc. Thus, it can be called a one-stop solution for exporting MBOX to Outlook PST, Office 365, and Gmail.