Switching From Mozilla Thunderbird To MS Outlook 2019

Switching from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2019

by Micah James — 2 years ago in Review 5 min. read

Mozilla Thunderbird is one of the most widely used email clients and offers several features, like junk filtering, cross-platform support, message management, and more. On the other hand, MS Outlook stood out from other email clients owing to its improved features, like better security, focused inbox, easy sorting, and more. Due to this and various other reasons, users prefer Microsoft Outlook over Thunderbird. However, migrating to Outlook from Thunderbird is not easy as Thunderbird uses MBOX files to store mailbox data, whereas MS Outlook supports PST format.

If you’re switching from Mozilla Thunderbird to Outlook 2019, follow this article to know the processes/steps to export emails from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2019.

Methods to Export Emails from Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2019

Here we’ll discuss two manual methods to export/migrate Thunderbird emails to MS Outlook.

1. Export Thunderbird Emails to MS Outlook using IMAP

There are three phases under this method.

Phase 1: Enable IMAP settings in your Gmail account.

  • Go to the Settings icon on your Gmail.
  • Click on the See all Settings option.
  • Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  • Under IMAP Access, select the Enable IMAP option.

Enable IMAP settings in your Gmail account

Phase 2: Sign into Thunderbird using Gmail

  • Click on the Accounts icon in your Thunderbird application.
  • Under the Set Up an Account section, click on the Email icon.
  • A new tab will open wherein you can enter the details – Your Name, Email Address, and Password.
  • Once you click on Continue, a new window will pop up.

Sign into Thunderbird using Gmail

  • Under the Configuration Found in Mozilla ISP Database section, select IMAP (remote folders) and click Done.
  • Next, create a new folder and export all your Thunderbird emails to it.

a new folder and export all your Thunderbird emails

Phase 3: The final step is to set up the same Gmail account in Microsoft Outlook.

  • To do so, navigate to File > Account Settings > Account Settings > New.
  • Fill in your Gmail login details and click the Connect button to continue.
  • You may now use Gmail to access your Thunderbird inbox from Outlook.
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Phase 4: Export Thunderbird emails to PST

  • Log in to your MS Outlook 2019.
  • Under the Open & Export section, click on the Import/Export icon.

Export Thunderbird emails to PST

  • An Import and Export Wizard tab will open, under which you’ll have to select Export to a File and click on Next.

Export Thunderbird emails to PST

  • Under the Create a File of Type option, select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.
  • From the Select, the Folder to Export From tab, select the folder where you exported all your Thunderbird files (refer to PHASE 2 for clarity) and click Next.
  • Browse a location in your local drive from the Browse tab under Save Exported File As and click Finish.

Export Thunderbird emails to PST

Now you’ve created a PST file of your Thunderbird emails; you can access it in MS Outlook 2019.

2. Drag and Drop Emails from Thunderbird to MS Outlook

You need to first convert the Thunderbird emails into EML format and then import the EML files into Outlook. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Convert Thunderbird Email Files into EML files

  • Create a new folder on your desktop and name it as per your choice. For instance, let’s name it Office Files.
  • Now, run the Mozilla Thunderbird client, open the email folder, and select the emails you’d like to export to MS Outlook 2019 (
    you can select one or multiple files to be exported).
  • Now drag the emails and drop them into the Office Files folder (the emails will be saved with the .eml extension).

Tip: To export multiple files, you can click on any email, hold the Shift Key, and press the Arrow Up or Arrow Down key.

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Step 2: Move .eml Files to MS Outlook

  • Open MS Outlook 2019 and create a new folder (let’s name it Outlook Files).
  • Now, open the Office Files folder.
  • Select the files and drag and drop them into the Outlook Files folder.
  • The .eml files have been successfully moved to Outlook.

Drawbacks of the Manual Methods

  • Not suitable while migrating a large database from Thunderbird to Outlook.
  • Unexpected technical errors – do not show any migration files and fails.
  • Not suitable for non-technical users.
  • Time-consuming and lengthy process.
  • High chances to lose emails during the migration process.
  • If the internet connectivity drops in between, you’ll have to start from scratch again.

Easy Way to Switch from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2019

To overcome the limitations of manual methods, you can use Stellar Converter for MBOX. It is an ideal tool for converting Thunderbird emails (MBOX file) into Outlook-supported PST format. The software can convert MBOX files into PST without any file size limit. It supports over 17 MBOX-based email clients, including Opera Mail, Entourage, PocoMail, Webmail, Eudora, Google Takeout, SeaMonkey, Mulberry, Netscape, Evolution, Spicebird, Apple Mail, and more. Moreover, you can also save the MBOX emails in Office 365, RTF, PDF, and HTML formats.

Steps to Convert Thunderbird MBOX Files into PST using Stellar Converter for MBOX

Note: Identity Folders/MBOX files are required for the conversion.

  • Launch Stellar Converter for MBOX.
  • From the ‘Email Client’ option in the dropdown menu, select Thunderbird.
  • Now, click on the ‘Select Identity’ option to browse and choose the Identity folder for adding Thunderbird MBOX files to convert them.
  • After selecting the MBOX files, click on the ‘Convert’ option.
  • After the conversion process, the software lists all the Thunderbird mail items. Now, click and preview all the individual emails with their attachments.
  • Be sure to exit Outlook. Select “Save Converted File” from the “Home” sub-menu.
  • After selecting the PST format, click the Next button.
  • Choose where you want to save the file (your computer, an external disk, etc.) by clicking the “Browse” button, and then select “Save.”

You may now use the Outlook Import and Export Wizard to import the New PST file into your Outlook account and complete the transition from Thunderbird to Outlook.

Finally, you can import the New PST file into your MS Outlook account through the Outlook Import & Export Wizard.


Above, we have provided ways how to switch from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2019. We have mentioned detailed steps to carry out the process like a pro. Converting emails from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook 2019 has never been so simple before. For an easy and quick migration process, you can use the Stellar Converter for MBOX software.

Micah James

Micah is SEO Manager of The Next Tech. When he is in office then love to his role and apart from this he loves to coffee when he gets free. He loves to play soccer and reading comics.

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