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How to Open a MBOX File

How to Open a MBOX File

An MBOX file is a mailbox format that stores email messages one after the other as a plain text. Each individual message within mbox file stored in EML format. So you can open an MBOX file with any text editor or viewer like Text Lister or Notepad.

To preserve important data and reduce the risk of losing it, you may want to open MBOX files backed up from your email account. This will help prevent a mental breakdown if your Gmail account mailbox experiences issues, is hacked, or becomes inaccessible. Consider the critical information in your Gmail account – would you want to lose it?

How to back up your email messages on Gmail

  1. To back up your email messages, simply go to “My Google Account,” click on Data and Personalization.
    Personalization in Google Account
  2. Then scroll down to download your data and click it. On the next page, click on deselect all and scroll down till you get Mail.
    Download your data from Google Account
  3. Click on next, then choose the doc type & size, and tap “create export.” That’s it. You now have your exported mailbox data.

Now, let’s learn how to access and open an MBOX mailbox file.

Different messaging software stores emails in different mailbox formats, which are often conflicting. If you’re seeking ways to open MBOX file, you will find the right tactics in this guide. Whether using Microsoft software or Apple applications, you will be able to access the contents of the mailbox files.

The Best Way to Open MBOX files in Windows and Mac

How to open an MBOX file in Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, or 2019?

No matter the Outlook version you have, you can use it to access your MBOX data. However, the downside of this is that Microsoft Outlook can’t open MBOX files directly on Windows. However, you can convert them into a PST or EML format to open using Outlook. Alternatively, you can use another mail client like Thunderbird, Live Mail, or Apple mail to open your email messages and mailboxes.

1) How to Import MBOX emails into Microsoft Outlook

Do you want to change your mailbox email files to a favorable version that MS Outlook can open on Windows or macOS? Here are the steps you can take to view your backed-up mail messages.

Step 1: First, download the MBOX to Outlook transfer software. Once downloaded, install it on your PC.

Convert Mbox to Outlook in 1-2-3 steps

Download for freeFor Windows 32/64-bitPurchase from $29.95Unlock all features
* - The unregistered version converts a limited number of messages

Step 2: If your Microsoft Outlook version is 32 bit, choose the 32bit transfer software, but if it is running on 64 bit, choose the 64bit transfer software.

Shortcuts for different Outlook editions

Moreover, you need to ascertain the Microsoft Outlook software version on your computer. You can do this by opening your Outlook software, tick on File > Office account > About Outlook, and it will show you whether you are using 32bit or 64bit Outlook. Read how to check your Outlook version.

Step 3: Once the installation is complete, open your MBOX to Outlook conversion software.  On the top menu bar, select “Mode” to choose the “Import to Outlook” option.

Step 4: Click on the three dots to browse the folder with your mailbox email data. Then tick “Scan Folders.” Once the scanning process is complete, press the “import” button.

Step 5: You will be prompted to choose a destination folder and location to import your mail.

Step 6: Close the conversion software when the importing process is complete. Then open the MBOX files in your MS Outlook software.

2) How to convert MBOX to PST format

Personal storage format (PST) stores outlook data as compared to MBOX that only stores email messages. Hence, when you convert to PST, you can open it in Microsoft Outlook. Here is how you can convert MBOX to PST to be able to view them in Outlook;

Step 1: First, download the MBOX to Outlook Transfer software.  Install it on your PC.

Step 2: Run the mailbox conversion tool depending on your Outlook version, 32bit or 64bit.

Step 3: On the top menu bar, select “Mode” and choose the “Save to PST file” option.

Selecting mode - Save to PST ile

Download for freeFor Windows 32/64-bitPurchase from $29.95Unlock all features
* - The unregistered version converts a limited number of messages

Step 4: Select the folder where the MBOX file is located. Click “Scan Folder” and once the scanning process is complete, tick “Save PST.”

Step 5: The conversion tool will prompt you to choose the PST name and destination folder.

Step 6: Close the conversion tool once the process is over. If you want to view the mailbox data, open your MS Outlook software, press file > Open and Export. Choose the “Open Outlook Data File” option and choose your PST file to view in Outlook.

Open PST in Outlook

i) How to open a PST in Windows:

  • Open your Microsoft Outlook software, push File > Open & Export, then select Outlook Data File.
  • Navigate and open the PST file on your PC.
  • On the left vertical panel of the Outlook window, scroll down the folders until you get the specific one you want.

ii) How to open a PST in MAC

  • Open the Microsoft Outlook application.
  • Click the File option on the menu bar, on the dropdown, select Import.
  • Click “Outlook data file,” select the doc and tap Next. Import the file.
  • Once the import process is complete, tick Done and close.

3) How to export MBOX messages to EML file format

Not only can you view your MBOX files in Outlook through PST, but also the EML format. An EML format allows you to open your data using various email clients. Hence, it breeds more flexibility, and you can view it in any of your mail applications.

Step 1: Download the MBOX to Outlook transfer software and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and on the top menu bar, choose “Mode” and select “Export to EML files.”

Mbox to EML format conversion

Step 3: Click on the three dots to browse where your mailbox docs are located. Once selected, tap on Scan Folders. Once the scanning process is complete, select “Save EML” and choose a destination folder.

Step 4:Once, the exporting is complete, use a mail application to open the EML files.

4) How to Import MBOX Files into Live Mail

Step 1: Run the Windows Live Mail software.

Step 2:Select the EML file you want to import.

Step 3: Then press the mouse button firmly, drag the selection into a folder in your Live Mail app. Then release the mouse button.

Step 4: The selected EML will be imported.

5) How to Open MBOX files in Mac

How to open MBOX files in Mac Mail App?

Step 1: Navigate to your computer applications, search for Mail App.

Step 2: Once the Mail app opens, click on File. On the dropdown select, “Import Mailboxes.” A popup will appear. Tick on “files in MBOX format.” Click on continue. On the new window that will appear, look for the doc.

Step 3: Go back to the mail app, choose mailboxes to see an array of folders and mailboxes. Then click “import” and select from the list of MBOX files. Now, you can access them.

6) How to View mailbox emails

Windows MBOX Viewer is also essential when you want to view mailbox emails.

Step 1: Download the MBOX viewer app. When downloaded, unzip the folder and click on the “mboxviewer” application to set it up.

Mbox viewer software

Step 2: Once installed, tap on the File option on the top menu bar. On the dropdown, choose “select folder.” On the popup window, browse to find your desired MBOX file and click OK.

Step 3: Open the MBOX viewer. On the left-hand menu bar, tick on the doc you want to read. It will start importing. Wait till it completes.

Step 4: At the top, you will be able to see a list of all your emails. Click any of the emails and read them from the bottom box.

7) How to open MBOX files in Thunderbird

You can also use Thunderbird to view an MBOX file. However, you will need to use the ImportExporttools plugin for a smoother mailbox transfer.

Step 1: First, download Thunderbird software.

Step 2: Once it completes, download the Importexporttools add-on for Thunderbird. Alternatively, open your Mozilla Thunderbird software, tap on the Tool option on the top menu bar and choose “Add-on” on the dropdown. Search for the ImportExporttools add-on there and add to Thunderbird.

Thunderbird add-in Import Export tools

Step 3: Click on the Tools menu, choose the Import MBOX option on the dropdown.

thunderbird tools

Step 4: Now, you can view your mailbox messages at ease.

Final Thoughts

Backing up your emails is essential and will help you when you want to recover some important data. You can use any of the options described to open your MBOX files and convert them to favorable formats. Also, while downloading some software, be careful not to download malicious adverts that may cause an issue to your PC.

You may also want to know:

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keep getting a message saying : Impossibile to import in this folder (imap or newsgroup type)
any way to fix this?

Use menu “Mode” and enable mode which imports messages into new PST file. Don’t try to import into online account (IMAP, Exchange) if your server is not allowing that.

Storing and reading emails locally.
Hi I downloaded all my gmail emails in mbox format. I wat to be able to access them.
If I use Thunderbird or Outlook, are they gonna retreived by the company and stored in there servers. OR they gonna stay stored in my client machine?
Thank you

It depends on how your email account is configured. If you using POP3 protocol to retrieve your emails, the are stored locally, otherwise (IMAP, Exchange Server) your emails are stored on the email server side. If you want to store your messages locally in Thunderbird you should import them from saved Gmail mailboxes to the Local Folders section. If you want to store your emails locally in Microsoft Outlook, you may use Gmail to Outlook Transfer utility to import messages into local PST file (Outlook Data File). This will guarantee that your emails are stored locally.

Hi guys, I would like to lit you know that your mbox transfer software the only one that can work with new Google Takeout labels and folders. I tried a lot of mailbox converters and they all convert the solid mailbox file “All mail Including Spam and Trash.mbox” into the same named folder “All mail Including Spam and Trash”. With your software I was able to split it into Outlook folders and all emails appear sorted well after the conversion!

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How to Open a MBOX File

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