Updated On - February 21, 2024 by Nasir Khan |Reading Time: 8 minutes
In today’s interconnected digital landscape, email communication is pivotal in both personal and professional spheres. While MBOX and PST are two common email storage file formats, there might come a time when you need to migrate from MBOX to PST, perhaps due to changing email clients or organizational requirements.
In this blog post, we’ll take you through a step-by-step journey detailing the manual process to export MBOX to PST manually as well as professionally. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast eager to explore email data migration or an IT professional tasked with the responsibility, our guide will equip you with the knowledge and expertise to navigate the process successfully. From understanding the nuances of MBOX and PST formats to setting up the necessary tools and executing each conversion step meticulously, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s delve into the world of email file formats and master the art of MBOX to PST conversion!
What is MBOX and PST file format?
The MBOX (Mailbox) file format is a widely used standard for storing email messages. It’s a plain text file aggregating multiple email messages into one file. Each message in an MBOX file is separated by a special delimiter, making it easy to identify individual messages. MBOX files have been popular among various email clients and platforms, including Unix-based systems and open-source email clients like Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Spicebird, Eudora, Pocomail, etc.
On the other hand, the PST (Personal Storage Table) file format is proprietary to Microsoft. Microsoft Outlook uses it to store email messages, contacts, calendar events, and other items. Unlike MBOX, a single text file containing all messages, a PST file is more complex and structured. It can have multiple folders, subfolders, and properties, allowing for better organization of email data.
MBOX vs PST: A detailed comparison
While both MBOX and PST formats serve the purpose of storing email data, there are certain reasons why PST might be considered a better option in some scenarios:
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook: PST files are specifically designed for Microsoft Outlook, one of the most widely used email clients. Suppose you’re using Outlook as your primary email client. In that case, PST files provide seamless integration, allowing you to take full advantage of Outlook’s features, such as advanced search capabilities, calendar integration, and more.
- Richer Features: PST files support more data types beyond emails, including contacts, tasks, calendar items, and notes. This makes them suitable for comprehensive data storage, especially if you rely heavily on Outlook’s integrated features.
- Security and Encryption: PST files offer encryption options to protect sensitive email data. This can be especially important for business environments where data security is a top priority.
- Offline Access: Outlook allows you to work offline with PST files, enabling you to access your email data even when not connected to the internet.
- Compatibility and Migration: If you’re transitioning from one email client to Outlook, converting to the PST format might be necessary for a smooth migration. While various email clients support importing MBOX files, the compatibility and migration processes can sometimes be smoother with PST.
- Performance: In some cases, PST files might offer better performance, particularly when dealing with large email data. Outlook’s indexing and caching mechanisms can optimize the handling of PST files.
In other words, we can say the choice between MBOX and PST depends on your specific needs; the features you require for efficient email management.
Steps to Export MBOX to PST Manually
We here summarize two methods through which you can Export your important data from MBOX to PST file format:
- Manual Method: The manual method to export MBOX to PST is free; you do not need to spend a penny on the conversion.
- Third-Party Tool Method: Third-party solution provides the best results while converting your MBOX to PST format without taking much time.
1st Manual Method: Process to Export MBOX to PST manually using multiple email client
Step1: Move mailbox data to Apple mail
- First, Download Apple Mail and Run it on your system
- Now, Open Apple Mail and Click the file >> import mailboxes option.
- Now, you have to choose the option from where you want to import the data in MBOX format.
- Click on the Continue button and select the MBOX file location where you have to save the MBOX file.
- From the location, Select the MBOX files which you want to import and click on Choose and click Continue
- Once the import process is completed, click on “finish.”
Step2: Create a mailbox using Eudora
- You can add an MBOX file extension to the imported data file. You can rename the filename ABCMBOX to abcMBOX.mbx
- Move this renamed file to the Eudora directory, where Eudora stores its files. The default location of the file : (C: Documents and Settings user >> Application Data\Qualcomm\Eudora)
- Now you need to Open Eudora, double-click on ABCMBOX.mbx, and Close the application.
Step3: Import mailbox using Outlook Express
- First, you need to launch Outlook Express.
- Now, go to File Option and then the Import Messages
- Choose Eudora from the list of email applications and then click next for further Process.
- Now, you must browse the location to select the ‘.mbox’ file and click OK. Then click Next, then Next again >>Finish.
In Outlook Express, the imported data can be found in the Local Folders section.
Step4: Import Mailbox from Outlook Express to MS Outlook
- First, you need to Open MS Outlook to export files.
- Now, move to the File option and then go to Import and export
- After that, from the list, choose Import Internet Mail and Addresses and click on Next
- Now you can select “Outlook Express 4.x, 5.x, 6.x or window mail”. And then Click next
- Select the file to import and export from the browser option and click next
- Click finish after the Process gets completed.
Now, you can get your imported mailbox in your Outlook client. It may be located in the Personal Folder of Outlook.
You can select a manual or automatic solution to export from your MBOX to PST file format. Although, before you can conclude, you should know the drawbacks of the manual methods in advance that the users face while using them.
2nd Manual Method: Using Thunderbird and Outlook
In this method, you need only two email clients: Outlook and Thunderbird. Follow the below-given steps to convert MBOX to PST.
Step 1: Saving MBOX emails to .eml file format
- Open the Thunderbird, make right-click on the folder, and select the New Folder.
- Name it and create.
- Now make the selection of required emails and move to the newly created folder.
- Using the Save As option, save the selected emails in the EML file format.
- Finally, open the folder where .eml files are saved, and after that by drag and drop move them to Outlook.
The purpose of the above steps was to create EML files out of MBOX emails and move them to Outlook Application. Now, we will convert EML to PST file format.
Step 2: Convert EML to PST file format
- Open the Outlook, File tab>>Open & Export >>Import/Export.
- Now make a selection for the Export to a file option and click Next.
- Select the option Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.
- Now move to the folder where we have saved the EML files and click on Next.
- Select the destination location for the .pst files.
- Finally, click on the Finish button.
- The EML files will convert to the PST file format.
So, this is how we can convert MBOX to PST using Thunderbird and Outlook email clients.
Drawbacks of the Manual Processes:
In the manual Process of converting MBOX to PST, there are some shortcomings, which I have mentioned below; check it out once.
- The manual process cannot handle all data and attachments structurally however data alteration can occur while performing this task.
- Undoubtedly, the manual process takes lots of time to export MBOX to PST file format.
- The manual process does not support multiple conversions of MBOX files to PST file format.
- The manual process requires higher expertise and good technical knowledge because it consists of three or four long tricky conversion steps.
To avoid all these situations, you can use a third-party tool that is very simple and user-friendly; it does not take lots of time to export your MBOX to PST file format.
Professional tool to Convert MBOX files to Outlook PST file:
Users can easily open their MBOX files/folders in Outlook using this Regain MBOX to PST Converter software. It is reliable and does not let you lose any of your data. You can export single and bulk emails from the MBOX folder to PST format in one Process without any issue. This is the prominent method that does not have any kind of limitations as the manual Process has. The software is very simple and user-friendly, which makes the process easy.
Following are the steps to convert MBOX to PST file:
- Download and Install the Regain MBOX Converter software on your system.
- After installation, run the software and click on the Open option from the ribbon bar.
- Now you can browse the folder or paste the folder location into the textbox and click on the Next button.
- Now, the software will preview added MBOX files data. You can choose desired data to move.
- In the following wizard, choose whether to move into MBOX to PST, MBOX to EML, MBOX to MSG, MBOX to EMLX, HTML) and save in the desired file format.
- At last, the software will export your MBOX files into a selected file format and display a live log report to you.
- Once the saving process gets completed, you need to save the report and end the Process.
In this blog, we have discussed the way to export MBOX to PST manually as well as professionally. Now, the Manual and third-party methods are in front of you. So, now you can choose one of them, which is better for importing MBOX files to Outlook. After reading this blog, we believe you will not have any problem choosing the best tool. Must download the free demo version to explore this utility developed by Regain Software.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques1. What is the need to export MBOX to PST manually?
Ans. Manually exporting MBOX to PST can be useful when you want more control over the process or when third-party tools are not feasible due to specific requirements or security concerns.
Ques2. What are the prerequisites for manual conversion?
Ans. Before you start the manual conversion process, ensure you have access to the MBOX files you want to convert, a compatible email client, and Microsoft Outlook installed on your system.
Ques3. Is there a risk of data loss during manual conversion?
Ans. When performed correctly, manual conversion carries minimal risk of data loss. However, it’s crucial. Follow the steps carefully and creates backup copies of your MBOX files before starting the conversion process.
Ques4. What are the major steps involved in manual conversion?
Ans. Manual MBOX to PST conversion typically involves:
- Steps like configuring an email client for MBOX import.
- Creating folders for organizing emails.
- Using Microsoft Outlook’s import/export features.
Ques5. Can I convert attachments and metadata during manual conversion?
Ans. No, manual conversion not allows you to retain attachments, metadata, and other email attributes during the Process, ensuring a comprehensive migration.
Ques6. Is manual conversion suitable for large-scale migrations?
Ans. No, manual conversion can become time-consuming and less practical for large-scale migrations. In such cases, third-party tools or professional services might be more efficient.
Ques7. How do I ensure data integrity after conversion?
Ans. After conversion, thoroughly review your emails, attachments, and other elements to ensure nothing is missing or corrupted. Besides this, you can use Regain MBOX to PST converter tool to get 100% accurate results without data loss and alteration risk.