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Methods to Import MBOX to Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On May 2nd, 2024
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading
Category Conversion

Currently, the MBOX file format is the most widely used file format for storing mailbox items by many email clients. For example Thunderbird, Mac Mail, Entourage, Eudora, Powermail, etc. In fact, there are several cases where users need to import MBOX to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, or 2003 versions. To do this, one needs to export MBOX to Outlook data file (PST) format. Generally, it is due to work-related requirements that users prefer Outlook over MBOX email clients.


Technical Introduction of MBOX and PST file formats

MBOX is a generic file format that comes in multiple variations such as mbx, mbox, mbs files. As a matter of fact, each email client uses a separate variation like Thunderbird makes use of MBOX files without extension, Apple Mail prefers the .mbox extension files, Opera uses .mbs files, etc. Here, one thing that remains common in each of them is that the storage is limited to emails and attachments. And the file header remains same.

However, PST files are the proprietary file format of Microsoft. In fact, it stores copies of messages, contacts, calendar events, and other items. Moreover, Microsoft software, for example, MS-Outlook, and MS-Exchange apps support PST file format. Overall, because of its usability and portability features, it is preferred over MBOX.

In addition to that, both the MBOX email clients as well as Microsoft Outlook do not provide any native facility for email transfer between them. Due to the technical implications of these email formats, users need to convert MBOX to PST file first for accessing their emails in Outlook 2019, 2016, and 2013.

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Free Method to Import MBOX to Outlook

Here, we will take advantage of a free email client i.e., Thunderbird as an intermediate to move MBOX files into Outlook PST format. For this, you just have to follow these easy steps:

  1. Use Mozilla Thunderbird to Import MBOX File
  2. Convert Emails to EML Format
  3. Drag and Drop Files into MS Outlook
  4. Export Emails to Outlook PST file

#1 Use Mozilla Thunderbird to Import MBOX File

  • First, download and install the Thunderbird email client. Configure it with any dummy or valid webmail account

install thunderbird

  • Now, go to the Tools menu and click on the Add-on option (Press the Alt key if the menu is hidden).

click on add-on option

  • Here, search for importexport in the search bar.

search for importexport ng tool

  • Then, Click on Add to Thunderbird button corresponding to ImportExportTools NG.

add to thunderbird

  • Here, hit the Install Now button to install this free add-on and restart the Thunderbird application

install the free add-on

  • Then, select Local folders in the mailbox list and go to Tools > ImportExportTools NG > Import mbox file.

import mbox file to outlook

  • After that, proceed with the instructions and select the MBOX file(s) to import. You will see the imported MBOX file appearing under the Local Folders mailbox.

#2 Change Emails to EML Format

There is no direct way to export MBOX to Outlook account. And this indirect method makes use of the EML format to complete the objective.

  • Open the imported mailbox file and select all the emails that you want to move to Outlook.

select eml files

  • Then, right-click on them and select the Save As option.

save mbox emails as eml

  • Specify a location to save your emails as EML files. You will find all your emails in the selected folder.

#3 Drag and Drop Files into MS Outlook

  • Create a new folder in Outlook interface. Now drag and drop all the saved EML files into this mailbox folder. All your emails should start appearing once the files are imported.

You will notice that Outlook does not preview some emails. There is nothing you can do about it. The only alternative to this free solution is to open EML files in Outlook by right-clicking on it one at a time and then, use “Move to” to move them to a Outlook folder. And that’s a really really long process.

#4 Export Emails to Outlook PST File

If you specifically desire PST files, you can use the native Import/Export feature of Outlook 2019 for this.

  • Go to the File menu and select Open & Export > Import/Export.

use import export mbox to outlook

  • Then, select the Export to a file option and hit Next.

select export to file option

  • Choose Outlook Data file(.pst) and again hit Next.

select outlook pst file to export

  • After that, select the mailbox folder in which EML files were imported and hit Next.
  • Provide a location to export the emails and click Finish.
  • Finally, a PST file will appear at the selected location.

Reliable & Automated Way to Import MBOX to Outlook

The manual method is quite a time-consuming and lengthy process for exporting MBOX files into Outlook. It could be a good approach if the user has to perform this conversion on less number of emails. Furthermore, users require to have technical knowledge of both Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook to succeed in this method.

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Therefore, in order to avoid the drawbacks of the manual method, it is better to go for professional solutions. Such tools like MBOX to PST Converter offer a varied set of features that makes the conversion process easier for users. Moreover, It allows users to select particular emails/files to convert into Outlook PST format. As a matter of choice, you can even filter out emails based on a date range.

The demo version allows to convert 25 emails per folder to Outlook PST for free and preview all the emails along with attachments.

Steps to Import MBOX to Outlook Using This Tool

  • Step 1: Launch the software and click “Add Files” to start the import MBXO to Outlook process.

launch mbox to outlook tool

  • Step 2: Click “Next” and Import MBOX files into it.

import mbox files

  • Step 3: “Preview” all the Emails and Attachments once the MBOX emails get scanned.

preview mbox emails

  • Step 4: Set the Export type to “PST” and save the file at the desired location.

select pst

  • Step 5: Import the PST file into Outlook with the free native option.

Import PST File in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013

If you do not know how to import PST file into Outlook, then follow the steps given below:

  • In MS Outlook 2019, go to File and select Open & Export > Import/Export

import-export menu of outlook

  • Now, select Import from another program or file in the Import and Export wizard

select import from another file option in outlook 2019

  • Then, choose the option Outlook Data file(.pst) and hit the Next button
  • Afterwards, navigate and select the PST file that you wish to import into Outlook and apply other options as per preference. Click the Next button.

select pst file to import into outlook

  • Lastly, choose Import items to the current folder and click Finish.
  • Now, all your data is successfully imported into MS Outlook 2019 in a matter of seconds.


Though manual methods to import MBOX to Outlook are free of cost and easily available, but these are quite a time taking and tedious practices. In fact, it doesn’t matter which email client users are working with, moving its data into Outlook is not easy. So, in this article, we have discussed solutions corresponding to, how to import MBOX to Outlook for free.

Here, we have also provided information about an automated MBOX Extractor that quickly generates PST file and import them into Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013. It’s equally important that you be sure to try the free trial version before deciding on anything!


1. Is there any manual way to import MBOX files to Outlook for free?

Yes, there are free methods that can transfer your MBOX to Outlook. These are explained in the article with screenshots.

2. Are the given solutions applicable to all Outlook versions?

All the proposed methods are applicable to MS Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2007, and 2003 versions.

3. Can I get a method that can convert emails without using Outlook as my Outlook is installed in a system where I cannot install any software?

Yes, of course. It is possible to convert your mailbox without the MS Outlook platform. After using the professional solution to get the resultant PST file, simply move the file to the system having MS Outlook.

4. Although I also want MBOX files in Outlook compatible format, I actually require MSG files. What method should I use?

The automated smart solution has your answer. Other than PST, it also allows you to convert MBOX to EML, MBOX to MSG, HTML, PDF, EML, and NSF formats.

5. Will I be able to import MBOX to Outlook on Mac OS?

The proposed free solutions are applicable for Windows PC only. However, you can use Mac MBOX Converter software to get the job done. The process using the free demo version is given below:

Quick Steps to Import MBOX to Outlook

  • Step 1: Launch MBOX to Outlook Converter.
  • Step 2: Click “Add Files” to import MBOX files.
  • Step 3: Choose “PST” and click “Export”.
  • Step 4: Import the file into Outlook.