It’s not easy for any user to access MBOX files in the Outlook email client. For a successful conversion, you must know the technical aspects of both MBOX & PST, as well as have the knowledge about the import/export feature of Microsoft Outlook. And this is no easy task. In this write-up, we will cover the various aspects of this email conversion and provide you with all the necessary information to convert MBOX files into Outlook PST format. Read the complete write-up to know more.

MBOX vs. PST – What’s & Why’s

It is common knowledge among email client users that MBOX is the most popular mailbox storage file format in use today. It is capable of storing emails and attachments of an entire mailbox folder in a single file. Therefore we get MBOX files for Inbox, Sent, Drafts, etc. Moreover, around 20 known email applications use the MBOX file format for mailbox storage. Some of these are:

  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Mac Mail
  • The Bat
  • Qualcomm Eudora
  • Microsoft Entourage
  • Mozilla SeaMonkey
  • Netscape Mail
  • Opera Mail

On the other hand, PST is exclusively used by the Microsoft Outlook application. It stores multiple data items such as emails, calendar, contact, notes, etc. in a single PST file. It is often referred to be an advanced mailbox storage file with complex structure. Outlook identifies this structure and provides the option to import the PST file in it. Unfortunately, there is no official way to do the same for MBOX files.

Then, How to Convert MBOX Files into Outlook PST?

Typically, you will find many solutions, both paid and free, to perform this operation. However, only a handful of them can actually convert MBOX files to PST successfully. We are introducing two of the most successful methods to handle this query easily. The first free method is viable for users who do not have a big database to transfer to Outlook. While the second method focuses on batch and bulk conversion of MBOX files irrespective of its size or number. You may go through both the methods and choose one as per your requirements.

#1 – Free Method for Small MBOX Migration

MBOX Email Client (Thunderbird)

  1. Open your MBOX email client and import the MBOX data into it.
  2. Select all the emails that you want to convert into PST from its mailbox folder.
  3. Right-click on any of the selected messages and choose the “Save As” option.
  4. Now browse the folder, which will store these email messages in EML format. Click on the “Select Folder” button to proceed.
  5. All the selected messages will be exported as EML files in the selected destination location.
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MS Outlook

  1. Open Outlook on your system and create a new folder that will store the MBOX emails.
  2. Next, drag the EML files from the system folder and drop them in the Outlook folder.
  3. Wait for all the emails to appear on the Outlook interface.

Exporting to PST File

If you require to convert MBOX files into Outlook PST format, you can export the emails once they are inside Outlook. The steps to do so are as follows:

  1. Click on the “File” button and select the “Open & Export” >> “Import/Export” option.
  2. Choose “Export to a file” and click on the “Next” button.
  3. Click to select the “Outlook Data File” option and proceed with the “Next” button.
  4. Select the folder containing the MBOX emails and proceed.
  5. Browse” the location to save the PST file and click on the “Finish” button.

#2 – Convert MBOX into Outlook in Bulk

The above solution is not feasible for exporting a large MBOX file since it has the risk of losing certain email attributes and header information. Moreover, the process is time-consuming and requires you to have a certain level of technical expertise.

So for the migration of multiple MBOX files or the large files, it is recommended to use third-party professional tools. SysTools MBOX to PST Converter is one fine tool suggested by experts and MVPs. It is an autonomous program to convert MBOX files into Outlook PST format in a seamless manner. This reliable tool also retains the email formatting and header information of the MBOX files during and after conversion.

Here’s how to perform MBOX to Outlook conversion with the software:

  1. Download, Install & Run the SysTools MBOX to PST Converter on your system.
  2. Click on the “Add File” button.
  3. Now, select MBOX files from the list and click on the “Next” button.
  4. Browse” and select single/multiple MBOX file(s) to import into the software.
  5. The tool will display all the MBOX content along with the folder list and emails in its interface.
  6. Next, select the “PST” file format and choose the location to save the PST file.
  7. Apply other settings and finalize the process with the “Export” button.
  8. In case you have imported multiple MBOX files separately, the tool will ask if you want to merge them into a single PST. Choose the appropriate option and continue.
  9. Finally, you have successfully converted MBOX files into Outlook PST format.

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Summing Up

Microsoft Outlook is the most popular desktop email client, whether it’s for business purposes or home users. But the fact it does not support the MBOX files becomes a big hurdle for users trying to switch over to Outlook platform. Through this write-up, we tried to eliminate this technical jargon by providing 100% assured ways to convert MBOX files into Outlook PST. While the free method focuses on transferring small MBOX files, the professional way is the most recommended method to export both small & large MBOX data. It retains the properties of emails and ensures trouble-free conversion without a hint of data-loss.

Stephen Renald

A technologist who writes about ways to get things done using technology.

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