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Convert MBOX to PST – A Complete Tutorial

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On October 14th, 2022
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Conversion

Converting one email format to another has always been a major hurdle for many users. Different email formats, like MBOX and PST, support different encoding and even their ability to store data of various kinds may vary. That’s why you cannot just change the extension of one file type to another and think that the file is successfully converted. The best way is to use applications, free or paid, to get the job done. From this article’s perspective, it simply means converting MBOX to PST file.

Before we start describing the methods, please understand that PST is the official format of Microsoft Outlook. So, the methods will hold true and even imitate the methods to import MBOX to Outlook. After all, a single step separates them from each other.

Topics Covered in this Article

How to Convert MBOX to PST?

Do note that the methods hold true for all kinds of MBOX file regardless of their origins and/or associated email platforms.


Free Method to Export MBOX File to PST

Although we are using Thunderbird mail client here, you are free to use any other email client that supports importing the MBOX file.

Note: Please import the MBOX file into the email client of your choosing first. Only after that will IMAP configuration can send over the data to PST at the end.

Step 1: Add Email Account via IMAP

1. Create a new email account and enable IMAP settings in it. If you choose Gmail as the email account, then go to its settings >> Forwarding & POP/IMAP and choose the Enable IMAP option.

enable imap option

2. Then, save the changes.

3. Once the settings are enabled, it is time to configure the account in Thunderbird.

4. Run Thunderbird and enter the name, email address and password of the new email account.

5. Then, select IMAP and click the Done button.

6. Once the account is configured, copy all the emails from the imported file and move them to the new email account.

Step 2: Repeat the Process for Outlook

Now, all the MBOX emails are available in the new email account. So, by accessing the email account in another email client, you can get access to the MBOX email messages it contains. So, follow these steps that help in converting MBOX to PST file by giving you access to the MBOX file in PST supported email client.

  1. In the Gmail settings, go to Forwarding & POP/IMAP and choose the Enable POP option.
  2. In MS Outlook, open the File menu.
  3. Click the Add Account button.
  4. Enter the email id and click the Connect button.
  5. Now, choose the POP option. POP allows you to directly download all the emails from the email server to your computer in PST format.
  6. Enter the various details such as incoming mail server, outgoing mail server, username and password.
  7. Now, go to More Settings and tick the first option in the Outgoing server tab.
  8. Then, move to Advanced tab, and enter 995, 465 and TLS option in the text fields respectively.
  9. Click Ok and Test the Account settings. If there is a problem with the password, then generate app specific password on Gmail and use this password to set up the account.
  10. After the test result comes out positive, simply click the Next button to finish setting up the account.
  11. Once the email client downloads all the MBOX emails in PST format, you can find the PST file at the default location (drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook).

Expert Method to Convert MBOX to PST

The above-discussed manual technique is tedious and overwhelms a lot if you are dealing with high numbers. Therefore, many users seek the help of professional solutions that in exchange of a small sum, automates the entire process.

MBOX Extractor is one such tool. It allows converting MBOX to PST in bulk, thereby overcoming the one obvious disadvantage of the manual method.

Download Now

The software generates a PST file supported by all the current versions of MS Outlook. It keeps the integrity intact along with the attachments.

Step by Step Convert MBOX to PST

Step 1: Run the software on your Windows system.

Step 2: Choose ‘Select file/folder from file system ’.

Step 3: Preview all the MBOX emails.

Step 4:  Click on Export button to convert MBOX to PST format.

Wrapping Up

Email conversion has always been a hot topic between people who have either switched or are switching to another email client. Especially if it involves two of the most popular yet distinct email formats i.e., MBOX and PST. Through this guide, we hope to transform you experience and help in converting MBOX to PST files before they could anything.


Does the method work for Gmail MBOX file?

Yes, both the given tools support Gmail MBOX file.

I have synced the account, but Outlook creates an OST file and not PST. What to do?

Please note that PST file is only created when the account is configured using POP protocol. Another option is to directly export the data using Import/Export option.