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How to Import Emails in Thunderbird With These Simple Steps

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 15th, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading
Category Thunderbird

There are several instances when a user decides to switch to Thunderbird for their email management needs, but don’t know how to import existing emails into the app. Moreover, many users have old Thunderbird data with them but are unable to import old messages to Thunderbird. Not anymore! This article will guide you through the process of easily importing messages to Thunderbird.

Thunderbird is a free and open-source email client developed by Mozilla. It offers a suite of features including customizable themes, multiple account support, and advanced search options. Importing email into Thunderbird gives you access to all your email in one central location, even if you’ve used several different email clients before.

Preparing to import

Before starting the import process, make sure your Thunderbird is updated to the latest version. You can go to Help > About Thunderbird to check the current application version and update it. After that, you can begin the import process.

How to Import Emails in Thunderbird Depending on Source

Thunderbird offers several ways to import email messages, depending on the source of the emails you wish to import.

Import emails in Thunderbird from another email client

If you’re switching to Thunderbird from another email client, such as Outlook or another Thunderbird installation, Thunderbird offers a built-in importer that can transfer emails, contacts, and settings.

  • Open Thunderbird and select ‘Tools‘ from the top menu bar.
  • Select ‘Import‘ and select email client to import.
  • Now, click on ‘Continue‘.
  • Select the folders to import and complete the transfer.
  • Click ‘Finish‘ to complete the import process.

import messages in thunderbird from another client

Import messages in Thunderbird from a file

If you have saved your emails as a ZIP file, you can import them into Thunderbird by following these steps:

  • Open Thunderbird and select “Tools” from the top menu bar.
  • Select “Import” and choose “Mail“.
  • Select the “Import from a file” option, and click Continue.
  • Choose “Import backed up profile” and click Continue.
  • Locate the folder where you saved your emails and select the ZIP file.
  • At last, click “Start Import” to import the emails in Thunderbird.

import old emails in thunderbird from a file

Import Email Messages in Thunderbird – All-in-One Solution

To import messages from MBOX, no-extension files, EML, EMLX, and Maildir files, you can opt for Thunderbird Import Wizard. It is the all-in-one solution to import all kinds of files associated with Thunderbird. This software detects the configured Thunderbird accounts and provides you the option to import your data in it directly. You can find information about the various import scenarios on the following web pages:

You can download the free trial version of the tool here:

Download for Windows Download for Mac Purchase Now

This free trial version uploads 25 emails/folder into Thunderbird. To remove this restriction, you have to purchase the corresponding license.

How to Import emails into Thunderbird

  • Step 1: Launch import wizard on your computer.
  • Step 2: Select the File type to import into Thunderbird.
  • Step 3: Click Add Files to add email files.
  • Step 4: Select the Thunderbird folder to store emails.
  • Step 5: Click Import to finish the transfer.

Watch the Video to View the Complete Process

Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Check login credentials: If you are having trouble login into your email account, double-check the login credentials and ensure they are accurate.
  2. Check file format: If you are importing emails in Thunderbird from a file, make sure that Thunderbird supports the file format.
  3. Manual Method: If the steps showcased in the manual methods appear differently on your Thunderbird application, then the app is not updated. Also, the ZIP file in the manual method refers to the file that contains the backup of your Thunderbird profile.
  4. All-in-One Solution: This solution uses a professional tool and supports a variety of file formats. Please ensure you import messages in Thunderbird’s POP account or Local Folders. It is technically impossible to directly import emails into an IMAP account and so selecting such accounts will not yield any results.


Importing emails into Thunderbird is a straightforward process that can be done in just a few simple steps. With this article, you should be able to import old messages easily in Thunderbird and begin taking advantage of its powerful features. If you encounter any issues, refer to the troubleshooting section for help. Happy emailing!


Q – How can I import emails from another email client into Thunderbird?

– To import emails from another client like Outlook or Apple Mail, first open Thunderbird, then go to Tools >> Import >> Mail and follow the prompts to select the email client from which you want to import.

Q – Can I import emails that are saved as individual files into Thunderbird?

– Yes, you can. If your emails are saved as .eml files, you can simply drag and drop them into a Thunderbird folder. For .mbox files, you might need to use the professional approach or place the file in the local directory of Thunderbird.

Q – Is it possible to import contacts along with emails into Thunderbird?

– Yes, you can import contacts. However, this is done separately from emails, not along with them. Go to Tools > Import > Address Books to import contacts from other email clients or files.

Q – How to import old emails to Thunderbird?

– To import old emails into Thunderbird, first open Thunderbird, and go to Tools> Import > Mail. Then select the source client and follow the on-screen instructions. Make sure to ensure Thunderbird is updated for the smoothest process.