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How to Export Thunderbird Emails to Outlook? Best Solutions Only

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On November 9th, 2022
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading


Summary: This article describes the methods to export Thunderbird emails to Outlook. The solutions displayed in this article holds true for not only Outlook 2019, but also Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 & 2003.

The launch of the latest Outlook version added fuel to the already lit email migration of users from various email clients to Microsoft Outlook. One among them is being able to export Thunderbird to Outlook. With new and improved features, Microsoft Outlook is giving users more reasons to switch than before. Better security features, easy sorting, focussed inbox, and much more.

Although both these email applications are among the very best available, Outlook is still preferred for business purposes. And with its increased range of facilities, Outlook 2019 is definitely turning the heads of Mozilla Thunderbird users.

Quick overview:

Mozilla Thunderbird is an open-source email application that uses MBOX files (with no extension) to store all its emails and attachments. While Outlook is an email client of Microsoft available in the Office suite. It stores all kinds of mailbox items like emails, attachments, contacts, calendars, etc., in PST format.

User Queries Asking to Export Thunderbird Emails to Outlook

Query 1:

thunderbird to outlook query

Query 2:

thunderbird quety 2

There are several similar user queries all over the internet that demand Thunderbird to Outlook conversion guide. Hence, we have arranged some indigenous methods to help formulate the best ways to export Thunderbird emails to Outlook.

How to Convert Emails from Thunderbird to Outlook?

This segment comprises multiple techniques that have been successful over the past years for the conversion of Thunderbird emails. We will discuss them all one at a time.

However, keep in mind that every technique requires something in return. Some will require your time and effort, some will require your money. And then there are those which require you to compromise with data integrity. It entirely depends on the requirements of users in need.

Import Thunderbird Emails to Outlook 2019 with IMAP

This step requires you to configure a webmail account(say Gmail) with Thunderbird and Outlook. For those who don’t know how the steps are as follows:

I. First step is to enable IMAP settings in Gmail:

  • Create a Gmail account if you don’t have one already
  • Log in and go to Settings > Forwarding POP/IMAP
  • Here, select Enable IMAP radio button

gmail settings

II. Once done, we open the Thunderbird application which has all the emails that require transfer.

  1. Go to Tools menu button and hit the Account Settings option
  2. Here, go to Account Actions dropdown and choose Add Mail account
  3. In the window, enter your Gmail credentials and hit Continue
  4. Here select IMAP option and hit Done. The account will be added
  5. Now create a new folder in that Gmail account. Name it accordingly
  6. Now simply move all of your Thunderbird emails that you want to export to Outlook in this new folder
  7. Login to your Gmail account via a web browser to ensure all data is safely synced there

III. Now finally configure the same Gmail account in MS Outlook

  • For this go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings > New
    Here, enter your Gmail credentials and hit the Connect button.
  • Now the account will be set up and you can access the Thunderbird emails in Outlook via Gmail.

setup imap in outlook

Shortcomings: This whole procedure will take time for all emails to be synced. The manual load is also high. But more importantly, you will lose the folder structure with this as well as retaining data becomes difficult. There are chances of missing emails judging from various past occurrences.

Drag-Drop to Convert Thunderbird to Outlook

In this method, we will take advantage of the drag-and-drop functionality supported by both Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook.

I. First step is to Save Thunderbird data as EML files

For this, create a new folder on the desktop and name it as per choice;
Now in the Thunderbird application, select all the emails that you want to export to Outlook;

Afterward, simply drag and drop them into the newly created folder on the desktop. This will save them all as EML files.

II. Now Import all the saved files in Microsoft Outlook

For this, drag and drop all the EML files from the desktop folder to a mailbox folder in Outlook 2019.

Shortcomings: You can find this method in detail on almost every article available online related to exporting Thunderbird emails to Outlook. But, in reality, this method does not work or you could say that it is not technically feasible. Outlook treats the drag and drop EML files as attachments and hence won’t showcase the emails. So technically you cannot work with the Thunderbird data after importing it in Outlook with this method.

Instant Conversion Solution

Because the workarounds are manual tricks to convert Thunderbird data, they are not trustworthy. The best method for such a case is the direct conversion of MBOX file from Thunderbird to PST format via an automated tool – PCVITA MBOX to PST Converter. Since Thunderbird and Outlook are compatible with MBOX and PST formats respectively. By undergoing such conversion, all the MBOX information can be easily imported to the PST file without the intervention of human errors.

Some benefits of the software are as follows:

  • It is developed to serve all kinds of Thunderbird to Outlook migration needs:
    • Auto-detection of Thunderbird profiles
    • Or, scanning Thunderbird MBOX files for data
  • Retains both emails and attachments without losing information
  • Can import Thunderbird profiles data to Outlook
  • Provides preview of all data items within the interface
  • Customizable export options for selective email import
  • Conversion to UNICODE PST is easily accessible in Outlook 2019
  • And, the fast transfer rate for quick Thunderbird emails to Outlook 2019 migration

Download Now Purchase Now

The software is also available as a free trial version which allows users to export 25 emails from Thunderbird to Outlook for free. To enjoy unlimited data transfer, a licensed version need to be purchased.

How do I Export Thunderbird Emails to Outlook?

  • Step 1: Run Thunderbird Converter.
  • Step 2: Scan and add emails from the Thunderbird profile.
  • Step 3: Preview all Thunderbird emails.
  • Step 4: Select PST as the export type.
  • Step 5: Convert Thunderbird emails to PST.
  • Step 6: Finally, import the PST file into Outlook.

export Thunderbird emails to Outlook

Important Note: The software is also available for Mac users. All you need to do is to download the free demo version of the Mac variant and later upgrade it to full version to access all its capabilities. Try it now:

Download Now Purchase Now

Some Questions Regarding the Conversion

Q. Can I use the given solution for Outlook 2016 and lower versions?
A. Yes, the given approach is fully compatible with Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007.

Q. I have backup files of Thunderbird (in MBOX format). Can I export them to Outlook?
A. Yes, the last given method can easily export Thunderbird emails to Outlook 2019 regardless of whether backup files are used or Thunderbird itself is present.

Q. Do I need an Outlook environment for conversion?
A. We have defined multiple methods in the article out of which two require MS Outlook to be installed. However, one of the solutions easily works without Outlook.

Q. Can I transfer Thunderbird data of MAC origin to Outlook PST?
A. Yes, you can. But first, move the files from Mac to the Windows system to apply the given procedures.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft-certified expert who has assisted thousands of clients with Outlook & Microsoft Office 365 issues. He enjoys writing on email clients as well as data migration. He is always excited about giving troubled readers the most up-to-date knowledge, explanation, and refinements.