Originally developed for Unix, the use of the MBOX file is to store email messages in a long, concatenated manner. MBOX format has now become the most common mailbox storage format on major operating systems. Despite that, many users want to convert MBOX to EML files. There are several reasons behind this behavior which we will discuss in the next section. However, the primary focus of the blog is to provide users with simple methods for converting MBOX file to EML files. And yes, with some of these techniques, users can retain the original email properties and folder structure.
MBOX vs EML – An Overview of Both the File
MBOX is a mailbox storage file format that stores multiple email messages in a single file. Thus, losing a single MBOX file can result in a complete loss of mailbox emails. A variety of email applications, both operational and discontinued, support MBOX format such as Mozilla Thunderbird, Entourage, Eudora, Apple Mail, etc.
EML is an email file format that stores a single email message in a single file. An EML file is compatible with far more email applications as compared to the MBOX file, such as MS Outlook. Also, the formatting of EML file makes it easier to open with text editors and browsers.
So, if a user wants to store each email message in a separate file, he/she will prefer to have EML files over the MBOX files. Let us start with the free manual methods first.
Free Methods to Convert MBOX to EML Files
Looking at it objectively, there are three methods by which a user
can convert MBOX file to multiple EML files. Two of these three
methods are manual method that requires an email client, preferably
Mozilla Thunderbird. The methods are listed below:
It has been seen that attachments and folder structure are common
queries associated with email conversion. Thus, we will include it in
detail while explaining each method.
Use Save As option to convert single email message from MBOX file to EML
This method is convenient for converting a single email message
from Thunderbird MBOX file. It can also be used for transferring
selective emails into the .eml files. Simply follow the given steps:
Click on the mailbox folder that has emails for
Select an email message and right-click on it.
Choose the Save as option.
Select the location to save the file and name it
This will save the message with .eml extension. The attachments
are saved within the EML file. To replicate the folder structure,
users will need to manually create folders and save the emails in
Use Thunderbird Add-On to Convert Multiple Emails At once Into EML
This method requires an add-on to be installed in Thunderbird for a successful process. This add-on allows both selective and bulk export of a complete mailbox folder within the MBOX file. Simply follow these steps to install the add-on and export the MBOX emails to EML files.
Run the email client.
Click on Tools from the menu bar and select Add-Ons. (Press Alt key if the menu bar isn’t visible.)
Search and install the ImportExportTools NG add-on compatible with the email client.
Restart the email client and select the folder within the MBOX mailbox.
Right-click on it and choose ImportExportTools NG.
Select Export all messages in the folder, then click EML format.
Choose the folder to save the messages and click the Select folder.
All the emails will get saved into EML files with the same name as the email subject.
With this method, a complete folder within the MBOX files can be saved to the hard drive. Each email message retains its attachments. However, for folder structure, users will have to create folders and sub-folders exactly the same as in MBOX.
Use MBOX to EML converter to Export Mail from
Multiple MBOX Files at once
The automated solution i.e., MBOX to EML converter can perform every task of the above-given methods. Additionally, it also allows users to export multiple MBOX files to EML at once. Other benefits of using this method are:
It works with MBOX files of all kinds and origins.
It helps a user to select and convert only the preferred emails.
A user can also select a specific folder(s) within the MBOX file(s) for conversion.
The naming convention option allows saving MBOX emails as EML file with preferred naming sequences.
Users can also preview the emails.
Maintains the folder structure and attachments automatically.
Step 1: Run MBOX to EML converter and select “Add file”.
Step 2: Choose MBOX file(s) for conversion from the system.
Step 3: Select “EML” and apply “Naming conventions“.
Step 4: Click “Export” to start converting MBOX files to EML files.
There are several methods using which a user can export his/her MBOX file into the common .eml format. This article demonstrates the three fastest methods to do so. Users can choose any of these methods as per their requirements. Do note that while attachments are maintained in each solution, only the final method automatically replicates the folder structure of the MBOX file. It is, by all means, the best way to convert MBOX to EML in batch.