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How to Export Gmail to Thunderbird: Complete Tutorial

Published By Raj
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 25th, 2024
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading

How to export Gmail to Thunderbird is common query among the users. If you are having the same question, read this blog for the reliable solution.

Gmail data is saved in the Server of Google and need Internet connection to access the emails. Users may need to access the data without Internet in certain unusual situations. Then, opening Gmail in Thunderbird is a viable option form them. Thunderbird is a free email application and does not internet connection to open its data.  But the question remains, how to export Gmail to Thunderbird. Read on to know the answer to this much asked question.

How to Export Gmail to Thunderbird – The Complete Solution

The full process of Gmail to Thunderbird data migration can be divided into two sections. First, we need to save the Gmail data in MBOX file and then move the MBOX file in Thunderbird. Let use tell you about both the parts one by one.

Download Your Data from Gmail with Google Takeout

In the first part of our activity, we need to extract the Gmail data on your local system using Google Takeout service. Follow this step by step method for downloading Gmail account emails in MBOX file format:

a. Make sure you log in to your Gmail account using the credentials. Then visit https://takeout.google.com/ from your browser.

b. Google Takeout site can be accessed.

c. Under “Select Data to Include” section, you need to click on “Deselect All”. Scroll down to select “Mails” option only.

d. You will see “All Mail Data Included” under Mail category. If you want to change that and want to export only emails from selective folders, click on the option and check the required folders.

e. Click on “Next Step”. Select Send Download Link Via Email as delivery method. Choose .zip as file type and select the file size as your choice.

f. Click on Create Archive option to begin the process.

g. You need to check on your Gmail account to for the MBOX file link as the archiving process may take hours depending on your mailbox size.

h. Once you get the email, download the MBOX file from the link given.

Import MBOX to Thunderbird with Thunderbird Importer

Once you have your Gmail data saved in MBOX format, you need to import the file into Thunderbird to access its data. Thunderbird Importer is a popular solution that easily imports MBOX file in Mozilla Thunderbird. During file import, the tool retains the original folder structure and meta information of the source MBOX file. This is how to use this tool for MBOX file importation.

Step 1: Launch Thunderbird Importer Tool on Windows computer

Step 2: Click on Add File (s) / Add Folder to navigate to MBOX file location and select. Click on Next button.

Step 3: If you want to apply date filter, check the box and add date range.

Step 4: Now, select the preferred Thunderbird profile from Select Identities drop-down menu. To Import into any IMAP configured account, select Local Folders. (After importation, you can easily move the MBOX file in IMAP account by dragging.)

Step 5: Click on Import to begin MBOX file importation. When it is completed, you will get a notification.

Note: There is an add-on available for importing MBOX file into Thunderbird name ImportExportTools NG. This add-on does not support importing inline images and signature of MBOX emails and often fails to move email attachments. Moreover, this add-on is not compatible with all the versions of Thunderbird.


This blog has been written for the users who have this query in mind: how to export Gmail to Thunderbird. There can be numerous reasons for you to have this particular need, but the solution is the approach that we have enlisted here. Users have to first export Gmail emails in MBOX format with Google takeout service and then import the MBOX file using Thunderbird Importer Tool. We have explained the method in simple small steps and users will have no difficulty exporting Gmail MBOX file to Thunderbird if they follow our guide.


By Raj

A technical analyst and a writer with innovative ideas when it comes to technology. Provides solutions, tips and tricks to get things done using technology.