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How to Convert PST to MBOX – Best Practices

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On December 2nd, 2022
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Converter

Converting PST to MBOX files is a challenging task if you are not aware of certain technicalities regarding the conversion. Here, in this how-to guide, we will explain how to convert PST files to MBOX format for free using certain email clients. We will also take a look at the professional solution that removes the complexity in conversion and hence is recommended by experts.

Fundamentally, PST and MBOX have different origins. Although both are considered mailbox formats that store emails, PST is capable of storing much more data like contacts, calendars, tasks, etc. In addition, PST is a mailbox format of Microsoft products like MS Outlook. While MBOX is a basic mailbox type used by popular email clients like Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc. across all platforms.

Reasons for PST to MBOX Conversion

There are several reasons why someone would want to convert a PST file into MBOX format. We have listed the popular ones below:

  • Migrating from Outlook to Other Email Clients – When a user is working on MS Outlook on the Windows platform and wants to switch to other email clients like Thunderbird, Mac Mail, etc., it will require OST/PST to MBOX conversion.
  • Want to Open Orphan PST file in Current Email Client – If a user receives a PST file through any means (backup file, sent by colleagues, downloaded from the internet, etc.), and wants to open it in his/her MBOX-related email client, then the conversion is necessary.

Now, let us start with the methods.

How to Convert PST to MBOX with Email Clients

Before executing this method, you must check if Microsoft Outlook is the default email client on your computer. For this, search “Default App Settings” in the search bar on your taskbar and set Outlook as the default app for Email. Then, do the following:

  • Open Outlook and make sure the PST database is present in it. If not, import the PST file in Outlook.
  • Now, quit Outlook and run the Mozilla Thunderbird email client.
  • Click on the Tools menu (hit the Alt button if the menu bar is not visible).
  • Select Import from the Tools menu.

select import from tools menu

  • Choose Mail from the Import window and click the Next

click mail option

  • Then, select Outlook from the list of options given and click the Next

select outlook

  • A folder named “Outlook Import” will appear under Local Folders containing all the Outlook PST emails.
  • Close the Import window.

Now, we have completed the process of exporting Outlook emails to Thunderbird. Now, we will work on generating the MBOX files containing these emails.

  • First, install the ImportExportTools NG add-on in Thunderbird.

export all emails to mbox

  • After that, right-click on the Outlook Import folder and select ImportExportTools NG.
  • Click on the Export folder with subfolders.
  • Choose the location to save the file and click Select Folder
  • Voila! All your PST emails are saved in MBOX files.

Note: Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook are two important applications that must be installed for the manual method to work. You cannot change PST to MBOX format without using another email client. It is only possible if you use a professional solution like the one recommended below.

How to Convert PST to MBOX with Expert Solution

It is easy to convert PST files to MBOX format using PST Converter, an amazing tool recommended by experts. It makes sure that the emails are kept intact throughout the conversion process. Plus, you do not need any email clients for the conversion process. It is an ideal solution to preview the PST emails easily and then convert them into MBOX format.

Working Steps of the Professional Tool:

Step 1: Install the PST to MBOX Converter tool.

run pst to mbox converter

Download the Tool on your system and click the Add File button from the ribbon bar.

Step 2: Select the PST file and scan its content.

add pst file

Browse the PST file from the computer and click the Add button. You can also use the Advance Scan mode if the file is highly corrupted.

Step 3: Preview all the PST file items.

preview pst items

The software will display all the PST items in its preview panel in 8 different modes. Click the Export menu button to proceed to the next window.

Step 4: Select MBOX as the Export type.

select mbox format

Select the MBOX file format from the list of given options and apply advance settings (date range option), if required.

Step 5: Export PST File to MBOX format.

click the export button

Select the destination to save the file after conversion and click the Export button to convert PST file into MBOX format.

The process is complete. You now have the MBOX file containing all the PST emails.

Observational Verdict

It is evident from the how-to guide that when it comes to converting PST files into MBOX format, the professional approach trumps the free manual method. Whether it’s independence from email applications or the ease with which it works, the tool is far better than the complicated and time-consuming free method. So, try out the free demo version of the professional solution and start exporting your PST files to MBOX now.