How To Export Emails From Thunderbird To Gmail

How to Export emails from Thunderbird to Gmail?

by Sadiq Rehan — 4 years ago in Review 4 min. read

There are several instances where users have to import their mail from Thunderbird to Gmail format. We all know Gmail is a cloud-based email service that has various attractive features and advantages that permits the users to export Thunderbird files to Gmail.

Whereas, Thunderbird is a free desktop-based application that has some limitations in comparison to Gmail. Thus, a large number of users want to use this application but aren’t aware of the right approach to execute it.

If you are one of them and searching for the different techniques online. Then, guess what you have tapped on the right page. In this blog, users will know different solutions to perform the whole process. 

But, let’s see some user’s query first

User’s query 1.

‘I am a Thunderbird user and now want to export my folders to my Gmail account. Moreover, it is noticed many suggestions that infer the same thing i.e, create a Gmail account in Thunderbird and arrange my mail folders as subfolders of my Gmail account.

I already have these, but the problem is they are not shown in my Google Mail browser. So, I want to know the method by which I can observe them in my browser. Please help me.

User’s query 2.

I want to export my Thunderbird emails to Gmail, but I have no idea how to do it? I am looking for an easier approach as I am from a non-technical background. Anyone, please guide me on this. 

Now, let’s see what Thunderbird and Gmail stand for? So, we can understand it more precisely.
Also read: Top 3 Lessons I Learned from Growing a $100K+ Business

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free and open-source application that is used to send and receive email messages.

Moreover, it comprises numerous advanced features such as email management, spam filtering, address book, external themes, etc.

To configure Mozilla Thunderbird with any email id, users can use IMAP or POP3 protocols. Thunderbird works with MBOX or Maildir file formats to import and export email messages.


Gmail is a cloud-based application of Google. Many users utilize it free of cost. A large section of the world uses Gmail id for their email requirements as it is simple to use and has advanced features.

Some of them are- 15GB free cloud storage, spam filters, advanced-level security, multi-lingual support, etc.

Now, we get to know these terms clearly, so let’s move on to know the possible reasons.

Common reasons to import Thunderbird to Gmail

Some of the reasons that push users to import Mbox to Gmail are discussed below. These are-

  1. We all know that Thunderbird is a desktop-based email client. Whereas, Gmail is a cloud-based email service. The advantage of the cloud-based application is that users can access their emails irrespective of time, place, etc.
  2. Gmail permits its users to add Hotmail and Yahoo accounts so that it can manage within one account
  3. Gmail provides a big storage space to save a large amount of data in Gmail.
  4. Users can easily run Gmail accounts on all devices i.e., computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc. in comparison to Thunderbird.
  5. Users face issues while configuring their email id with Thunderbird after the crash.
  6. Due to the presence of Gmail accounts in computers for using Google’s services. Thus, users want to combine their email services into one to save time.
  7. Google keeps its user’s data fully encrypted. 

As of now, you know the peaks of Gmail over Thunderbird. You now know that these Gmail features are like icing on the cake. Thus, influence the users to move from Thunderbird to Gmail format.

Now, let’s move to the manual techniques that one can follow to import Mbox to Gmail.
Also read: The Top 10 In-Demand Tech Skills you need to have in 2021

How to export Thunderbird to Gmail Manually?

To perform the manual techniques users have to go through with these steps that are mentioned below. These are-

  • First, move to Gmail and log in via email and password.
  • Tap on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the page. From the menu, choose “Settings” to open the Gmail Settings page.
  • Now, hit on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” link near the top of the page.
  • Then, in the IMAP Access section, tap on the “Enable IMAP” radio button. To save the new settings, tap the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.
  • Now, launch Mozilla Thunderbird. Tap “Tools” from the resulting menu, choose “Account Settings”.
  • Hit the “Account Actions” button and choose “Add Mail Account” from the menu to launch the Mail Account Setup window.
  • After that, input your name in the Your Name box, Gmail email address in the Email Address box, and Gmail password in the Password box.
  • To connect to the Gmail account, tap “Continue”.
  • Next, hit the “IMAP (remote folders)” radio button to choose it, in case it’s not selected.
  • To add the Gmail account to Thunderbird, tap on the”Create Account”.
  • In the Local Folders section, choose a folder at the left to see the saved emails.
  • Press on “Ctrl” and tap on the desired emails to transfer them.
  • Right-tap on one of the emails, from the context menu. Then, choose”Move To”. choose your Gmail account and pick the folder for transferring the emails.

Why don’t users opt for the Forwarding messages?

If users are selecting forwar

++messages, then let me clear one thing that this is not a proper functional solution. In this, the emails will drop the original senders and the user is unable to view their sent emails.

Users will then not be able to use the Conversation View of Gmail which groups emails on the same topic. Hence, this method is not for non-technical users as it is quite difficult to execute the whole process.

By using this approach, one can manually move their emails from Thunderbird to Gmail.

If the user is not comfortable with the manual approach, then try another alternative tool. Users can try MBOX File Converter that can convert and export various Thunderbird MBOX files to Gmail, PST, EML, MSG, etc. File Formats. The software is supportive of Windows 10 and it’s all previous versions.
Also read: Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial Goals

Drawbacks of the manual solutions

Whenever a user has some issues they always look for manual solutions first. But apart from being liberal to use features, it also has some limitations that make the manual approach less effective. Let’s discuss them one after the other. These are-

  • The manual approach takes way more time to complete. In other words, it is a time-consuming and lengthy procedure.
  • Novice users are not eligible to operate, it requires technical skill/knowledge to perform. 
  • There is a higher probability of data loss. 

Last Remark

Users who want to convert their Thunderbird to Gmail can seek help from this article. An individual is free to use either of the solutions as per their comfort or need.

If a user is facing difficulty in using the manual approach, then try the automated approach. It is built up with a simple user interface and doesn’t require any technical skills. Hence, it can use by both technical or non-technical users. 

Sadiq Rehan

I am Sadiq Rehan a Freelancer, Social Media Expert, and Professional Blogger currently living in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. My interests range from technology to DIY. I am also interested in entrepreneurship, writing, and innovation

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Copyright © 2018 – The Next Tech. All Rights Reserved.