Wednesday, 28 October 2015

How To Access MBOX File In MS Outlook

This article describes how the user can access MBOX file to PST file format in MS Outlook.
Every email client comes with certain features and options, which provide customization for its users. So, at times there is a requirement to shift the data from one email client to other. MBOX and PST are two main file formats used by most of the email clients.

What is MBOX & PST Format?

MBOX- It is the file format used by Mozilla Thunderbird email clients, which stores the emails, calendar, contacts, etc., on the hard drive of the user machine. It is also used by Apple Mail, Eudora, Netscape, Spicebird, etc.

PST- It is the file format used by Microsoft Outlook, which is used by most users. This format serves as a common format to migrate by users of other email clients.

What is The Need to Switch from MBOX to PST?

Cross Platform-Thunderbird is a cross platform application and works with Windows, Linux, as well as Mac.
Easy Handling And Management - PST format provides the facility of handling the data easily as it is more flexible than MBOX in terms of storing more than just emails.
Easy Offline Mode Availability - As Outlook can be used both online and offline hence it is a better option.
Trusted Provider - Outlook comes from a trusted brand, Microsoft, which is more renowned and commonly used by users worldwide, than Mozilla Thunderbird.

What Are the Options to Perform MBOX to PST Conversion?

MBOX to PST conversion can be done manually as well as by using a third party tool. Although the manual procedure requires you to be technically well verse, but it is handy and doesn’t cost a penny.

Manual Methods

MBOX to PST conversion can be done by using webmail like Gmail, Yahoo or a Hotmail account.

IMAP - With the use of IMAP, various webmail services can used for synchronizing or migrate the data from MBOX to PST. It requires some settings to be applied on the webmail, which is listed below:-
1. Enable IMAP instead of POP3 in settings.

2. Then configure the respective webmail in MBOX email client by providing the username, server name, port, etc., information asked for.

3. Now create the same folders in your webmail as present in your MBOX based client.

4. For performing the synchronization, copy the folders to webmail. This completes one side of the synchronization.

5. Now configure the webmail in Outlook and download the data by performing send/receive.

6. Now create same folders in Outlook and copy the data from webmail.

Exchange ActivSync – It can be used to transfer the MBOX client data to Outlook and then save it in PST format. With the help of this, mobile platforms can also be synchronized.

Use of Plugin or add-ons - There are plugins or add-ons available, which can convert the MBOX data to PST.

Limitations of Manual Methods

1. There is always a risk of data loss.

2. It involves many steps, which make the process time consuming.

3. Complex errors or corrupted files can’t be used.

4. Limited to a certain size up to which they can be used.

5. Sometimes the output data can be broken or corrupted.

6. Low quality outcomes.

Third Party Tool

Many third party options for MBOX to PST conversion are available in the market which are different in customization along with providing features. Some support advanced features to convert to various file formats, enhanced view for analysis, ease of use and monetary satisfaction.


  • It overcomes all the difficulties and limitations of the manual methods.
  • Provides many options to import / export data.
  • Helpful in sudden conversion and access of MBOX to PST conversion by any enterprise.


Many users work on email client supporting MBOX file formats. Meanwhile, at times the requirement to shift / switch to MS Outlook for Windows emerges. Various options to convert from MBOX to PST are there. However, they have their own set of limitations and advantages. Sensitive and important data should always be given priority and thus, be processed using only a third party tool, as they are reliable.

I hope that the above article helps users know the options to convert MBOX to PST.

If the above tips help you to solve the issue, do mention it in the comment. For any query or suggestions related to the article, feel free to ask. J


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