How to Convert Mbox to Outlook

by Ken Burnside
Very large mbox-to-PST migrations can take hours.

Very large mbox-to-PST migrations can take hours.

Mbox is the open-source standard for email archives, and is the native file format for Thunderbird, OS X's email client, and for most Linux emailers. It's a common export format for Web-based email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't provide a native import filter within Outlook that imports mbox archives into Outlook PST files, but some third-party tools are available.

SysTools MBOX Converter

1

Download and install the SysTools MBOX Converter (link in Resources). Start the program normally.

2

Click on the "File" menu and navigate to the location of your saved mbox file.

3

Click "Add File" to add it to the list of files to convert. The program scans the files to get the data structure of your email inbox. With large files, this may take some time. Click "OK" when the scan is complete. All the emails in the mbox file show up in the preview pane. You may want to scroll through them and purge emails you don't want to archive. You can also look for attachments before the conversion.

4

Convert the emails you want to export by clicking to select them and then right-clicking anywhere in the preview pane. Select the export type -- *.pst -- from the pop-up window. You get the choice of exporting multiple mbox files to a single PST file, or one PST file per mbox file chosen. Select the option that works best for your email migration, and then enter the directory path for the output file.

5

Click the "Export" button.

6

Click "OK" after the export is complete.

Using MBOX to PST

1

Download and install MBOX to PST (link in Resources). Start the program as you normally would.

2

Select the email client you're importing the mbox file from. Click "Add Files." Locate the Mbox file you want to convert. The screen changes, giving you a choice of import options. You'll also be able to choose fields in the imported files and convert them to specific data types in the PST file, or convert all items in place. You see a check box for migrating attachments over as well.

3

Click "Next." The window changes and give you options to either add the data to a new PST file, or to merge it into an existing PST file.

4

Click "Convert." The conversion proceeds; very large files can take a significant time to convert. When the process is done, click "Finish."

About the Author

Ken Burnside has been writing freelance since 1990, contributing to publications as diverse as "Pyramid" and "Training & Simulations Journal." A Microsoft MVP in Excel, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alaska. He won the Origins Award for Attack Vector: Tactical, a board game about space combat.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images