Find, know or Locate Default Location of MBOX Files Storage

Updated On - April 29, 2023 by Armaan | Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you are using an email client that supports MBOX files, you may need to know the default location where these files are stored on your computer. This can be useful if you want to back up your email messages, migrate your email to a different client, or troubleshoot issues with your email. In this article, we will explain how to find the default location of MBOX files for different email clients on different operating systems. Stay tuned!

Let’s learn a little about MBOX files

MBOX is a file format used to store email messages, including attachments and metadata, in a single file. It is commonly used by email clients such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and Mozilla’s Seamonkey. Basically, MBOX files remain  locally on your computer, or on a remote server and accessed through an email client using protocols such as IMAP or POP3.

Common Uses of MBOX Files

MBOX files serve several purposes and are used in various scenarios, including:

  • Email Storage and Archiving: MBOX files are often employed as a means of storing and organizing email messages. Users can save their emails locally in MBOX format to retain a copy of their communications for future reference or offline access.
  • Email Migration and Transfer: When switching between email clients or platforms, MBOX files are commonly used to facilitate the migration or transfer of email messages. The messages stored in one email client can be exported to MBOX format and then imported into another client that supports MBOX files.
  • Email Backup and Recovery: MBOX files are utilized as a backup mechanism for email data. By creating regular backups in MBOX format, users can safeguard their important emails and easily restore them in case of data loss or system failures.
  • Collaboration and Sharing: MBOX files enable collaboration and sharing of email messages. Users can share MBOX files with others, allowing them to access and view the contained emails, making it convenient for teams or individuals to collaborate on specific email threads or projects.

MBOX File Structure

An MBOX file consists of multiple email messages concatenated together. Each message is separated by a specific marker or separator line.

  • Header Section: The header section of an MBOX file contains information about the email message, such as the sender, recipient, subject, date, and other metadata.
  • Message Separator: A message separator line indicates the beginning of a new email message within the MBOX file. It helps separate individual emails from one another.
  • Message Body: The message body contains the actual content of an email message, including the text, HTML formatting, and any attachments associated with the email.
  • Timestamp and Metadata: MBOX files may include timestamp information and additional metadata for each email message, providing details about when the message was sent or received and other relevant information.
  • Encoding and Character Sets: MBOX files can support various encoding schemes and character sets to handle different languages and special characters used in email communication.
  • Handling Attachments in MBOX Files: Attachments within an MBOX file are typically encoded or stored separately, and the email messages reference them accordingly. This allows for the inclusion and retrieval of file attachments associated with each email message.

Understanding the structure and purpose of MBOX files is crucial for effectively working with them, whether it’s for storage, migration, backup, or collaboration purposes.

Find Default Location of MBOX files on Windows PC

On a Windows PC, the default location for MBOX files will depend on the email client that you are using. However, if you haven’t made any changes during the installation of your email client, then maybe the location will remain the same. Here are the default locations for some common email clients:

Mozilla Thunderbird: Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings[Your Username]\ApplicationData\Thunderbird\Profiles[Profile Name]\Mail\Local Folders

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10: C:\Users[Your User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles[Profile Name]\Mail\Local Folders

Eudora: Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings[Your Username]\ApplicationData\Qualcomm\Eudora\Mail

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10: C:\Users[Your User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Qualcomm\Eudora\Mail

Apple Mail (on Windows): Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings[Your Username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\Mail

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10: C:\Users[Your User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\Mail

Note: The [Your User Name] and [Profile Name] variables in the above paths and you should replace it with your Windows user name and the name of the profile that you are using in the email client.

Finding the Default Location of MBOX Files in Thunderbird

Basically, on Windows devices, the data of every email client (like Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Eudora, etc.) usually remains in a default location. We have already shown the location on the above table.

However, if you have somehow unknowingly changed the default location, then to find the default location of MBOX files in Thunderbird, follow these steps:

  • Open Thunderbird and select the “Local Folders” section of your email account.
  • Then choose “Properties” from the menu bar after right-clicking on the “Local Folders” segment.
  • Locate the “Local Folder Properties” > “General” tab.
  • The default location of MBOX files in Thunderbird is displayed in the “File Name” field. This location is usually a folder on your computer’s hard drive,
    such as “C:\Users[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles[Profile]\Mail\Local Folders”.

We have shown the steps only with the Thunderbird email client. As Seamonkey, Eudora and other email clients require the almost same steps.

Find the Default Location of an MBOX File on a Mac Device

In a Mac operating system, the default location for MBOX files is typically the “Mail” folder within the “Library” folder of your user account. To find this location, follow these steps:

  • Open Finder and select “Go” from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  • Hold down the “Option” key on your keyboard, and the “Library” option will appear in the menu. Just pick “Library” to view the Library folder.
  • Navigate to the “Mail” folder within the Library folder. This is the default location for MBOX files in a Mac operating system.

Alternatively, you can use the following path to access the Mail folder directly:

Default MBOX Location

Note that the “~” symbol represents your home directory, so the path above is equivalent to:

Default MBOX Location 2

Finding the Default Location of MBOX Files in Apple Mail

Generally, the MBOX files are stored in the “On My Mac” section of your email account. To find the default location just follow follow these steps:

  • Open Apple Mail and select the “On My Mac” section of your email account.
  • Right-click on the “On My Mac” section and select “Get Info” from the context menu.
  • In the “On My Mac – Info” window, click on the “Mailbox” tab.
  • The default location of MBOX files in Apple Mail is display in the “Location on Disk” field. This location is usually a folder on your Mac’s hard drive, such as “~/Library/Mail/V6/[Username]/[Account]/[Mailbox]”.

Do you need a MBOX to PST conversion?

Generally, MBOX and PST are file formats used to store email messages. If you have email messages stored in an MBOX file and you want to import them into Outlook, you will need to convert the MBOX file to PST format.

There are several manual and free methods for doing this. However, it’s important to note that MBOX and PST files can contain a large amount of data, and the conversion process can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Therefore, using any third-party MBOX Converter tool is beneficial in such situations. We suggest using the Regain MBOX to PST converter.

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $29


To conclude, the default location for MBOX files will vary depending on the email client and operating system that you are using. On a Windows PC, the default location for MBOX files is usually in the “Application Data” folder. On a Mac, the default location is usually in the “Mail” folder within the “Library” folder.

Author: Armaan

Hello I have been working in Regain Software for the last 6 months. I have been in the field of writing for many years and worked with many Data recovery companies. Here I am writing technical blogs, Software User Guides and manual methods for email conversion and cloud migration. Now, working on all products of our company. Thanks you

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