How to Export Thunderbird Mail to MS Outlook?

MS Outlook is a popular email client, it is known for its user-friendly interface, high security and many more advanced features. To get all these benefits, many users export data from Mozilla Thunderbird to Microsoft Outlook. Although Thunderbird is also among one of the best email clients but for business purposes Outlook is more preferred. Thus, if you are also looking for a simplest approach to export Thunderbird to Outlook then we have here explained a proper approach to move Thunderbird data to Outlook.

Why do we need to Convert Thunderbird Mails to Outlook PST Format?

Thunderbird stores all the data in MBOX files while Outlook uses OST and PST files to save the data. Due to the difference in file format used by this application it is not possible to transfer data directly. Hence, we need to convert Thunderbird Mail to Outlook supported format. There are some users who has the need to open Microsoft Outlook PST file or OST file into Thunderbird. And, for this, there is an entirely different approach.

How to migrate Thunderbird Mail items to Outlook using Gmail IMAP?

The technique comprises of 4 segments. For the conversion of Thunderbird emails, you need to perform the following steps:

Step 1: Enable IMAP protocol for your Gmail account

  • Log-in to your Gmail account.
  • Click on Setting icon and then select ‘Settings’ option.
  • In setting look for ‘Forwarding POP/IMAP’ option.
  • Now select ‘Enable IMAP’ radio button under IMAP Access.
  • Finally click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Step 2: Log-in to Thunderbird using your Gmail account

  • Start Mozilla Thunderbird and click on the Accounts option.
  • Go to Tools and choose Thunderbird Options
  • Click ‘Email‘ under ‘Set up an account’.
  • Now provide your account details like username, Gmail id and password.
  • After that, click ‘Continue‘ to proceed.
  • Click the IMAP radio button and then click on ‘Done‘.

Step 3: Copy Thunderbird Mail items in Gmail Account

  • Create a new subfolder in your Gmail account.
  • On the left panel, Right-click on your Gmail account and select the option ‘New Subfolder’
  • Enter a name for that folder and then go to ‘Create as a subfolder of’ select your Gmail Account
  • Click on the option ‘Create Folder’
  • Then copy all your Thunderbird email to this new made Gmail folder in Thunderbird
  • Wait for the Thunderbird emails to get copied to the Gmail server.

Step 4: Sign-in to MS Outlook using Gmail IMAP Account

  • First, open MS Outlook.
  • Sign in to your Outlook account with that same Gmail that you have used for Thunderbird.
  • Let Outlook sync all the Gmail folders including the new folder that you created in Thunderbird. This may take a while.
  • Once synced, migrate thunderbird to MS Outlook for that copy the folder and paste in your new Outlook account.

Note:  Instead of copying mail items and folders, you can export the Gmail folder that contains Thunderbird mailboxes to PST file by using MS Outlook Import/Export wizard.

Limitations of manual method

Users generally encounter problem while converting emails using manual method. This is because it is a very complex and lengthy process. It takes a lot of time to sync email folders at every stage. The process completely destroys the hierarchy of folder after conversion.

Instant Solution to Transfer Thunderbird Mails to Outlook

To quickly convert Thunderbird data to PST file format it is wiser to opt MBOX to PST converter tool. You can convert the MBOX file associated with your thunderbird profiles and convert it into PST file format using the tool. MBOX to PST converter ensures that your data will not get changed or lost. Beside this, if you have an orphan MBOX file to convert into PST file then also this tool can be used.


We have discussed both manual and automated method for Thunderbird to Outlook transfer. Both can perform this task but manual method take a lot of time. However, one can instantly migrate Thunderbird emails data to Outlook with MBOX to PST converter tool. Third party solution is always recommended over manual methods but it is up to you to decide which way you want to go.

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