A Complete Guide to Export MBOX Files to Mozilla Thunderbird

Updated On - October 24, 2023 by Deepika Singh |

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 Export 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.

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

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?

Export MBOX File to 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.

Export 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.

Export MBOX file in Thunderbird

  • Launch Mozilla Thunderbird on your computer.
  • Next, right-click on the email account name in the left-hand pane of the Thunderbird window and select “New Folder.” Give the folder a name and click “Create Folder.”
  • Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of the Thunderbird window and select “Add-ons.”
  • In the Add-ons Manager, search for “ImportExportTools” and click “Add to Thunderbird” to install it.
  • Once you have installed the ImportExportTools add-on, you can import the MBOX file into Thunderbird.
  • Right-click on the folder you created in step 2 and select “ImportExportTools > Import MBOX file.
  • ” In the file selection dialog box, navigate to the location of the MBOX file you want to import and select it. Click “Open” to begin the import process.
  • After you have selected the MBOX file, Thunderbird will display a message asking you how you want to import the messages.
  • You can choose to import all messages or only selected messages. After making your selection, click “OK” to start the import process. The time it takes to import the messages will depend on the size of the MBOX file.
  • Once the import process is complete, you can verify that the messages have been imported successfully. Open the folder you created in step 2 and check that the messages are there.

You can also check the other folders in Thunderbird to ensure that the imported messages have not been duplicated.

Export 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.

Export Apple Mail MBOX file for Mac in Thunderbird

  • Now, it’s time to choose the Mail option from several options displayed in the existing wizard and click Next.

choose the Mail option

  • Now it will show up on a screen. Choose the options Apple Mail and click “Next” to proceed.

Select Apple Mail

  • You can see the Apple Mail folder in LHS of Mozilla Thunderbird after the import process. It will have all your mail data.

Import MBOX files of 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.

Export Gmail MBOX to Thunderbird

  • Now restart Thunderbird client and right click on the account and select settings from the list.

select settings option

  • Go to local directory and copy the path of the location by clicking on Server settings.

Click Server settings tab

  • Paste the copied path on Windows Explorer address bar and click Enter.

Manual guide to transfer MBOX Files to Mozilla Thunderbird

  • It will show up some files under the given location.
  • Now move MBOX file to the folder that has been opened.

steps to export mbox to thunderbird

  • Now restart the Thunderbird email client again and check left side to see content of Gmail under Local Folders in Thunderbird.

Free guide

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. 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: Deepika Singh

My self Deepika Singh working as a Technical Writer in Regain Software. Having 4+ years experience in Writing Technical blogs, Manual Guides and Articles. I am working on all Regain Software products.

One thought on “A Complete Guide to Export MBOX Files to Mozilla Thunderbird”

  1. Avatar Noman says:

    Really informative and helpful – It helped me understand the process of transferring an MBOX file to Mozilla Thunderbird in a simple way. Thanks!

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