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How to Convert Thunderbird Emails to PST Format – 100% Export Methods

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On February 1st, 2024
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading
‘How to export Thunderbird emails to PST for Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, etc ?’ is a common query among Thunderbird users irrespective of their profession or requirements. And here in this blog, you will get 100% working methods for Thunderbird export to PST process.

Table of Contents

Most of the users that require Thunderbird export to PST solutions are first-time users. The probability of a user looking to convert Thunderbird emails to PST is very low if he/she has already performed the conversion beforehand.

With the exception that the previous method was incompetent and resulted in the loss of data. Exporting Thunderbird to PST can be rough if you are a new user. With little to no experience in judging the quality and performance of the methods claiming to convert Thunderbird to PST format, loss of time, effort & data is guaranteed.

After filtering out the five to six available methods, you get the best possible solutions to convert Thunderbird emails to PST file.

Understanding the Concept of Mozilla Thunderbird Data Files

Being a desktop email client, Mozilla Thunderbird has a storage file format that it uses to save all the emails along with attachments. As a Thunderbird user, you probably know about MBOX files that store the mailboxes of Thunderbird. But there are users that work with Maildir files also. The difference between MBOX and Maildir is that MBOX stores Thunderbird data as files per mailbox (example: Inbox, Drafts, etc.). On the other hand Maildir stores data in a single file per message, i.e., one Maildir file is created for each email.

Click on one of the given options to jump to your required instructions to export Thunderbird to PST format:

  1. For Converting Thunderbird to PST
  2. For Exporting Thunderbird Maildir to PST

try tool to convert thunderbird emails to pst

Phase 1 – Converting Thunderbird Emails to PST

Ways to Export Thunderbird to PST (For MBOX Files)

The method that works almost every time, provided that the users are willing to opt for it, is by using the IMAP method. For this process, we will first configure an email account in both Thunderbird and MS Outlook and then proceed with the conversion from Thunderbird to PST file.

Since the most used web email service is Gmail, we will define the complete steps with screenshots below:

Note: Believe me its not that much easy as you think. But its also true that it is a free way to export Thunderbird mails to PST format.

I. First enable the IMAP option in Gmail Settings:
  • In your Gmail account, click on the ‘Gear‘ icon, and select ‘Settings‘.
  • Go to the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP‘ tab and choose the radio button corresponding to the ‘Enable IMAP‘ option.
  • Then, click on ‘Save Changes‘ and log out of the account.

gmail imap settings

II. Now, configure this email account in Mozilla Thunderbird

Run Thunderbird and follow the steps:

  • Firstly, go to ‘Tools‘ > ‘Account Settings‘ and select ‘Account Actions‘ > ‘Add Mail account‘.
  • Enter your name, email account address, and password in the designated sections.
  • Click on ‘Continue‘, choose ‘IMAP‘, and click on ‘Done‘.
  • At last, you can click on the mailbox folder that appears on the Thunderbird interface to access your new email account.

email account in thunderbird

III. The Third Step

It requires you to transfer the emails that you need to convert from Thunderbird to PST into the Gmail Inbox. Simple drag and drop the messages into the Gmail folder or select and use the copy/move option of Thunderbird.

IV. Access the Same Email Account in Microsoft Outlook

In order to export Thunderbird to Outlook PST, you need to access the Thunderbird data via the same email account in MS Outlook. Use the following steps to do so:

  • Firstly, run Outlook, go to ‘File‘ > ‘Add Account‘ > ‘Manual Setup‘ > ‘Next‘.
  • Then, choose ‘POP or IMAP‘ > ‘Next‘.
  • After that, enter details as shown in the screenshot below:

email account in outlook

  • Now click on ‘Advance Settings‘ and mark the first option in the ‘Outgoing Server‘ tab.
  • In the ‘Advanced tab set port numbers as 993/995 and 465/587 respectively.

export thunderbird emails to pst format

  • At last, click on ‘Ok‘ and ‘Test Settings‘. Click on ‘Next‘ when every detail is verified.

You will have all your emails in Outlook. You can also export Thunderbird emails to PST with the native Import/Export option of MS Outlook.

Convert Thunderbird Emails to PST Professionally

It is clear that the manual approach is quite stressful and lengthy. You also require a fair amount of technical guidance as well as access to both email clients. This task in itself is time-consuming and impractical for most users. Thus, it is recommended to opt for a hassle-free tool such as EmailDoctor MBOX to PST Converter. This software can convert Thunderbird mailbox to PST without the requirement of MS Outlook. It provides an efficient mechanism that allows both batch and selective conversion to its user.

Before going through the steps of Thunderbird to PST conversion using software, take a look at the following infographic:

features of thunderbird to pst converter

Here’s how to export Thunderbird into Outlook PST:

  • Firstly, launch converter for Thunderbird to PST format.

download and run export tool

  • Then, click on ‘Add File’ button on the Thunderbird to PST software.

add thunderbird files

  • After that, click on ‘Thunderbird’ and select desired option to export Thunderbird mailbox files.

select thunderbird file / folder

  • Afterward, choose ‘Default Profile option‘ to auto-fetch the Thunderbird database.

auto-fetch data

  • Alternatively, use the ‘Select File/Folder‘ option to add the Thunderbird mailbox.

manually import files

  • Ten, preview the emails on the tool’s interface. Click ‘Export’ button to continue the Thunderbird to PST conversion process.

preview data to thunderbird export to pst

  • For selective conversion, mark the email checkboxes and right-click to Export them.

selective export

  • Select the appropriate options such as ‘PST’, ‘Split PST’, etc.

choose pst option

  • At last, click on ‘Export’ button to start converting Thunderbird emails to PST format. Here view the Thunderbird to PST conversion progress report.

convert thunderbird emails to pst

This is how you can easily export all your Thunderbird mailbox data into PST format. This data is now easily accessible in Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, etc.

Migrate Thunderbird Emails to PST (for Maildir)

When it comes to Maildir files, no manual method can transfer them to PST format. Your immediate requirement is conversion software. You may not find many result-oriented tools. That’s why we have included the best tool to transfer Maildir from Thunderbird  to PST. Click on the Download button to download the free demo version of the software for free.

Download Now Purchase Now

This free version exports 25 emails/folder which is enough to test the efficiency and performance of the software.

Phase 2 – Importing to Outlook

Got PST File? Import it Into Outlook

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook on the computer.
  2. Click on File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export. This action opens the Import and Export Wizard.
  3. In the Import and Export Wizard, choose Import from another program or file >> Next to proceed.
  4. Choose Outlook Data File (.pst) >> Next to move to the next step.
  5. After that, browse and select the PST file.
  6. Decide how to handle duplicates and click Finish.

Outlook will start importing the contents of the PST file immediately.

Observational Verdict

With every launch and update of email clients, the cycle of email migration takes a new turn. Everyone seeks the best possible application for personal or professional use. And MS Outlook provides them with the most benefits. If you are also among these seekers who wish to export Thunderbird emails to PST format, then you now have the 100% working solution to do so. Simply try the free manual method or opt for the best Thunderbird to PST converter and access all your files in Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 & 2007.


Q: What is Thunderbird?

A: Thunderbird is a free and open-source email client developed by Mozilla. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

Q: What is PST format?

A: PST (Personal Storage Table) is a file format used by Microsoft Outlook to store email messages, calendar events, contacts, and other data.

Q: Why do I need to convert Thunderbird emails to PST format?

A: If you are switching from Thunderbird to Outlook or need to access your Thunderbird emails in Outlook, you will need to convert them to PST format.

Q: Is there any free method to convert Thunderbird emails to Outlook PST format?

A: There is no direct free method to convert Thunderbird emails to PST format, but you can configure an empty email account in both Thunderbird and Outlook to transfer data between them. Thus, indirectly providing you with PST file.

Q: Can I convert Thunderbird emails to PST format on Mac?

A: Yes, you can use “MBOX Converter for Mac” to export Thunderbird to Outlook PST format on Mac.

Q: Will exporting Thunderbird to PST format delete my original emails?

A: No, the converter will create a copy of your emails in a new PST file. Your original emails will remain intact.

Q: What should I do if I encounter any errors during the conversion process?

A: If you are using the software, you can contact our support team for assistance.