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How to transfer emails from Thunderbird to Outlook?

How to transfer emails from Thunderbird to Outlook?

Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer – User’s Manual

Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer icon This user’s manual covers the process of converting and transferring emails and attachments from Thunderbird to Outlook. Due to the difference in data formats used by these programs and their general approach to storing data, direct import with integrated tools or functions is impossible, and such migrations require the use of specialized conversion software like Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer. The program automates nearly 99% of the process, but still requires some user involvement, and the article below describes it in detail.

Content of this instruction:

File and folder selection

All our products are designed to automatically detect the location of the source data files of corresponding programs. However, if the Thunderbird to Outlook converter software fails to detect the path to .msf data files and mailing list automatically, there might be an issue. For starters, there might be conflicting profiles, identities, corrupted registry entries, or other minor issues that are making auto-detection impossible.

However, this is not always possible. However if Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer utility fails to detect the path to *.msf data files and mailing list automatically, this may be a sign of conflicting profiles, identities, a registry corruption issue or another minor issue rendering path auto-detection impossible. It will also happen in situations when you have multiple Identities or Thunderbird data files are copied from another system – that is, when Thunderbird has never been installed on the user’s system.

In case the program fails to locate your *.msf emails automatically, click the “…” (Browse) button to open the standard Windows folder selection dialog and select the source folder manually. By default, Thunderbird stores emails in a profile folder located here:

C:\Documents and Settings\%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\XXXXXXXX.default\Mail\


C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\XXXXXXX.default-release\Mail\Local Folders\

Where %USERPROFILE% is your username, and XXXXXXXX is a sequence of arbitrary characters.

Please note that the “Application Data” folder is hidden by default and will not be visible in the dialog.

To make hidden folders visible, do the following:

  • Open Windows Explorer (Ctrl+E) , click on “Organize” and select the “Folder and Search Options” command from the menu.
  • Switch to the “View” tab
  • In “Advanced settings”, find the “Hidden files and folders” node and expand it
  • Enable the “Show hidden files and folders” radio button
  • Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option
  • Click OK.

Doing this will unhide hidden folders and allow you to select the one containing Thunderbird source files in the manual mode.

IMPORTANT: Please bear in mind that Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer tool is capable of detecting the main Thunderbird profile location automatically if Thunderbird email client is installed on the same system. However Thunderbird profile may contain several Identities and Account records. In this case it is required to select the proper source directory manually. For multi-identity configuration we recommend to process each email account separately. Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer program can extract and convert data from damaged mailbox files of all supported formats and import them into 2010, 2016, 2019 and earlier versions of MS Outlook.

While working on Thunderbird to Outlook conversion software, we pursued the goal of automating as many complex operations as possible, and we’ve got most of the process covered by our tool. Your role is restricted to making a couple of simple choices and confirming your selections. You have three options: direct Thunderbird import to Outlook, saving messages to a new standalone outlook PST file, or extraction of Thunderbird mail to EML files The first scenario is fairly self-explanatory, while the second and third allow you to copy the resulting file(s) to any type of drive or cloud storage or transfer it to another system.

DownloadFor Windows 32/64-bitPurchase $24.95Unlock the Full Version

Alternative Scenario

If you still have the Mozilla Thunderbird installed at your computer, you may use menu Options | Account Settings | Server Settings to check the location of the email message store. The value of the field “Local Directory:” is what you need.

  1. Locate the email files
    Run Thunderbird and click Options > Account settings
  2. Click on Server Settings
    On the next page, click on server settings. On the Local Directory part, you will see the location of your Thunderbird emails.

Location of Thunderbird message store

Prior to starting the conversion

When you delete or move messages from one Thunderbird folder to another, the source mailbox file remains unchanged as the original message is simply marked as deleted or moved and becomes hidden from view. In order to correct the message indexing and optimize space occupied by the mailbox files we recommend to “compact” Thunderbird folders before you start the conversion.

  • To compact a single folder, right-click on the Thunderbird folder name and select Compact.
  • To compact all folders, select menu File > Compact Folders.

Compaction progress will be shown in the status bar.

Important! Exit Thunderbird email client prior to running the Thunderbird to Outlook conversion procedure. Thunderbird may block one of the mailboxes data files and this will cause the share violation error during conversion.

Saving emails from Thunderbird to a standalone PST file on your hard drive

If you want to convert Thunderbird emails to Outlook PST format ( .msf to .pst ), but don’t want to export them to Outlook right away, you can save the files to a PST format on your HDD for future use. The Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer software will still require Microsoft Outlook to be installed on your system to convert thunderbird emails to outlook PST files.

For successful PST conversion follow these steps:

DownloadFor Windows 32/64-bitPurchase $24.95Unlock the Full Version

  1. Download Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer software
    Download and install the latest version of Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer software on your PC. Installation normally takes less than a minute and does not require any additional components or libraries to be downloaded.
  2. Check your Microsoft Outlook Version
    Simply open your MS Outlook software, click on file > Select Office account and click “About Outlook”. This will help you find out the version.
    Outlook version info
  3. Run the Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer Software
    If your MS Outlook edition is 32-bit, you have to use the shortcut which launches the 32-bit conversion utility, otherwise you have to run the 64-bit tool. Both shortcuts became available at your computer desktop after the installation.
    Thunderbird Transfer icons
  4. Locate the .msf files
    The program should automatically detect the location of the source *.msf and mailbox files. If it doesn’t, click on the “…” (Browse) button and select the necessary folder on the hard drive (see “File and folder selection” for details). You can also use the File->Open command.
    Use browse button to select the Thunderbird message store
  5. Run the Folders Scanning
    Click the “Scan Folder” button (Find Storages button in old software versions), the program will show a list of available folders (email containers) in the large text area in the center of the program window. You may deselect there a folder(s) which you do not want to be processed, for example, to skip the Inbox emails, you may uncheck the Inbox container.
    Thunderbird email folders will be shown
  6. Choose a proper Mode
    On the top menu bar click on Mode and select “Save to PST File” mode.
  7. Close Mozilla Thunderbird
    Exit Thunderbird if it is still launched. Click on “Save“. The program will prompt you for a folder that the resulting PST file will be saved to. Select the location to save the PST file and confirm to save.
    The program will create the copy of Thunderbird folders in Outlook and transfer emails accordingly
  8. Conversion Complete
    Wait until the program has finished processing all the files. Full details about the items being processed will be shown in the log window.

The resulting PST file can be immediately copied to another system and loaded to Microsoft Outlook using menu File -> Open -> Outlook Data File…

Open PST file in Outlook

If Thunderbird is not installed on your system, you can still use Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer software. Just copy the Thunderbird data folder from any other system and convert its content into a PST file. Copy the PST file to the destination system and load it in Microsoft Outlook to access the converted emails.

Direct transfer of emails and attachments from Thunderbird to Outlook

This can only work if you have Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook on your system.

Here is what you need to do to transfer your data:

DownloadFor Windows 32/64-bitPurchase $24.95Unlock the Full Version

  1. Download the Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer Software
    Download and install the latest version of Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer program on your PC. The Installation is fast and easy, and does not require any additional tools to be downloaded.
  2. Run the Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer Software
    Run Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer tool. (Use the proper edition for your Outlook type)
    Choose 32 bit or 64 bit icon
  3. Locate the source files
    The program should automatically detect the location of the source files. If it doesn’t, click on “…” (Browse) and navigate to the necessary folder on the hard drive (see “File and folder selection” for details). The same can be accomplished using the File->Open command.
    Use browse button to select the Thunderbird message store
  4. Scan the Folders
    Once you have selected a folder and its name has appeared in the Source Folder field, click on “Scan Folder” or use the File->Scan Folder command to start searching for mailbox (mbox) files in the specified folder. The names of available Thunderbird mailboxes will be shown in the large text field occupying the central part of the program window.
    Thunderbird email folders will be shown
  5. Import and choose a destination folder for your email files
    Click “Import” to start importing your selected messages to Outlook. A new dialog box will appear and you will need to choose a destination folder for your imported messages. Full details about processed items will be shown in the log window.
  6. Once the process is over, you can launch Outlook to access your messages.

Alternatively, if you want to export your Outlook messages, go to File > Open and export > Import/Export. A dialog box will appear and you can choose the function you want.

How to Export Thunderbird emails to Outlook using the drag and drop method

  1. Open your Mozilla Thunderbird software
    To export thunderbird to outlook emails, open your Mozilla Thunderbird software. Click on the messages folder you want to migrate.
  2. Select the messages to export
    In the folder, choose all the messages that you want to export. Right-click on the selected messages and choose the “save as” option from the menu.
  3. Choose a destination Folder
    A dialog box will appear and you will need to choose a destination folder to save your EML files. It is advisable to create a new folder on your desktop before you save the EML format files. Rename it and then click “Select Folder” and it will export the messages.
    Thunderbird EML save as
  4. Import your emails to Outlook
    Now you can import Thunderbird emails to MS Outlook. Drag and drop all the EML files from the new folder to a mailbox folder in Outlook. If you drag and drop the folders, the content will remain as it was.

Read how to convert Thunderbird contacts to Outlook or PST file.

Final Thoughts

Thunderbird to Outlook Transfer software helps move your emails and attachments from one application to another in virtually no time.

If you encounter a problem while converting your emails using our product, please contact our support team with a description of your problem, and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

You may also want to know:

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Find out ☛ How to migrate from Thunderbird to Outlook? ➦ Read on the ☛ ☚ ✔ Complete description on how to identify the place where Thunderbird emails are stored and convert them to PST format or import Thunderbird emails to Outlook How to import [Thunderbird mail into Outlook?] - User manual and instruction |

After reading this instruction I have only one question now – how to convert also my Thunderbird address book to Outlook contacts?

Looks good, but Ii also need to export an old email account to outlook (I can’t set it up as I have forgotten the password and no longer deal with the original supplier of the email account, although I still get emails for this account)
Can you help please?

Hi, Alan, there is not enough information unfortunately to guess something, please drop us a letter via the contact form, we will try to help you.

Hi Gordon
Thanks for the reply but I have resolved my issue.

I have tried the software repeatedly. HOW DO I enter the activation code?>?>?> I try to enter it and it says to try it first. Starting to think this is a ripoff! I PAID!!! GIVE ME THE COMPLETE VERSION…

According to the EULA terms, you have to ensure that software works properly prior to obtain the activation code. You have to save the result and make sure that the result suits you. This is exactly what is indicated in the message that you have received. Please read the activation instruction.

Is there actually a way to transfer address book and and e-mail archive from Thunderbird to Outlook? Thanks.

Sure, start from reading this instruction. If you have any difficulties, please contact us here for assistance.
You may convert Thunderbird address book as well.

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How to transfer emails from Thunderbird to Outlook?

time to read: 8 min