A Complete Guide to Export MBOX File to Mozilla Thunderbird

Updated On - November 4, 2022 by Henry Bray |

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Do you want to export MBOX files to Thunderbird? In this post, you will get all the details related to the requirements of exporting MBOX files into Thunderbird. We have mentioned here some of these requirements as a result of which users need to import MBOX files into Thunderbird.

There is no specific reason as circumstances may vary for users wishing to export MBOX files to Thunderbird. The main reason is to open the MBOX file without the native email client. As we already know that various email applications store their data in an MBOX file. Users who want to open these MBOX files without their native email application will need some MBOX-compatible email clients. As you know, Thunderbird is a free application and works on both Windows and Mac systems; therefore, most users choose Thunderbird to open the MBOX file.

NoteIf you have just installed Thunderbird on your system, you need add-on to import or export file on your local machine.

How to Convert MBOX files to MSG format

How to Export MBOX files to EMLX format

Before we proceed to export MBOX files into Thunderbird, let us take a short brief on Thunderbird and MBOX file format.

What is Mozilla Thunderbird?

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is an open-source, cross-platform, and is free email platform. It has a range of options for PC so that you can integrate several mailboxes with POP or SMTP protocols. Thunderbird is responsive, lightweight information which works well. It stores all your contacts, emails, and other files in the mailbox, widely known as MBOX. It might be important to import the MBOX file in Thunderbird as it is among the most popular email platforms.

We will figure out the MBOX file location on Windows Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10.

Location of Thunderbird MBOX files

  • Type in %APPDATA% in Search Box on Windows Start menu.
  • Click the “Roaming” item which appears on the menu.
  • Now go to Thunderbird > Profiles. In this folder, each folder is a profile on the PC.

You can also go to your profile folder directly at this path – C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>\

Along with Mozilla Thunderbird, some of the most popular email clients supporting MBOX formats are Apple Mail, Netscape, etc. Pro users widely use MBOX format for business. Here is the complete manual method to import MBOX to Thunderbird client –

Manual Method to Export MBOX Files into Mozilla Thunderbird (in Mac/Windows)

Here are the ways to add MBOX to Thunderbird. You may need to follow these methods because of different needs.

Import MBOX in Thunderbird (Windows)

First, users have to install the ‘ImportExportTools’ add-on to import MBOX to Mozilla Thunderbird. It is important to ensure that a backup of the MBOX file is created to avoid any chance of data loss if the import process gets interrupted or fails.

  • Go to Tools > ImportExportTools > Import MBOX file on Thunderbird. Import one or more MBOX files directly in the dialogue box appeared. You can also change the option selected according to your needs and click OK.
  • Choose the MBOX file and click “Open.” The MBOX file is imported to Thunderbird.

Import Apple Mail MBOX file for Mac in Thunderbird

If you would like to switch to Thunderbird for Mac OS with a manual process, go through this step-by-step process below –

  • Open Thunderbird on the local system on Mac to start the process.
  • Go to Tools > Import option.Steps to export MBOX files into Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Now, it’s time to choose the Mail option from several options displayed in the existing wizard and click Next.export MBOX files into Thunderbird
  • Now it will show up on a screen. Choose the options Apple Mail and click “Next” to proceed.Transfer emails from MBOX files into Mozilla Thunderbird
  • You can see the Apple Mail folder in LHS of Mozilla Thunderbird after the import process. It will have all your mail data.MBOX to Mozilla Thunderbird

Export Gmail MBOX to Thunderbird

Here are the detailed steps covered in the import process of Gmail MBOX data to the Thunderbird client. In case of using Thunderbird in Windows operating system –

  • You have to configure a Gmail account in Thunderbird client after the Launch Thunderbird on the System.Step 1
  • Now restart Thunderbird client and right click on the account and select settings from the list.Export MBOX file to Thunderbird
  • Go to local directory and copy the path of the location by clicking on Server settings.steps 3
  • Paste the copied path on Windows Explorer address bar and click Enter.Step 4
  • It will show up some files under the given location.
  • Now move MBOX file to the folder that has been opened.Step 5
  • Now restart the Thunderbird email client again and check left side to see content of Gmail under Local Folders in Thunderbird.mbox to thunderbird migration tool

In Thunderbird for Mac, you can easily import the MBOX file of Gmail into Mac Thunderbird by choosing File and importing Mailboxes. Then, select the MBOX file and access the contents without any problem in the Thunderbird account.


I have used the above methods almost to import MBOX into Thunderbird. Well, I need to focus some light on the cons of adding MBOX files or importing them to your Thunderbird manually.

  • It doesn’t allow importing the files in batches.
  • Thunderbird has no tool inbuilt to import MBOX files as detailed above.
  • There is always a risk of data loss.
  • The manual method is vulnerable to file corruption most of the time.

So, I recommend you import files carefully. You can use MBOX to PST Converter to convert Mbox files in just a few clicks. No Technical skill is required to access this application.

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Author: Henry Bray

Henry Bray is a young technologist and content a Content Writer at Regain Software, loves to write about MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, Mozilla Thunderbird and many more email applications.

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