How to Convert Outlook Data Files (OST or PST) into Mozilla Thunderbird (MBOX)

How to Convert Outlook Data Files

Summary: This guide explains why Outlook users relocate their mailboxes to Thunderbird MBOX. It also summarizes an automated way to convert MS Outlook data to Thunderbird email client so that it can be accessed in a cross-platform environment.

Sometimes users may need to import emails from MS Outlook to Mozilla Thunderbird due to business or personal preferences. There are numerous causes such as access to different emailing clients at home and at organization, communication costs, personal requirements, etc.

While you make look at a manual procedure, however, Thunderbird does not provide any to import data from MS Outlook to Thunderbird. Thus, in the absence of a manual procedure, the email messages can only be imported using a third-party tool. Here, Stellar Outlook PST to MBOX Converter would serve the purpose as it easily converts Outlook mailboxes to MBOX files supported over a wide range of email clients. Follow the steps below:

Step #1: Install Stellar Outlook PST to MBOX Converter

To initiate Outlook PST to MBOX conversion procedure, install Stellar Outlook PST to MBOX Converter

Step #2: Upload Outlook PST File

Select Outlook Profile & MBOX Converter window will appear, you can either select the existing Outlook profile or PST file:

  1. Click on Select Outlook Profile and highlight to select any one from the given list of profiles, Or,
  2. Click on Select Outlook PST File and navigate to select the location of the desired file

Step #3: Find PST File

If the location of the PST or OST file is unknown, click on Find PST File button. Find Outlook PST window will appear. Follow the steps below:

  1. Specify a drive to initiate the scan in the corresponding Look in: box
  2. Specify File Type i.e. Outlook Data File (*.pst) or Outlook Data File (*.ost)
  • Make sure to select Find in Subfolders checkbox to find the file in the subfolders
  1. Also, click on Find in Folder button to find for the specific file in folders
  2. Click on Start button and tool will begin search for all the PST files stored within the given drive
  3. Next select the desired PST file from the given list of results and click on OK

Step #4: Specify Mail Client

In order to start PST to Thunderbird MBOX conversion process, it is important to mention the name of the email client application to which emails need to be imported. Select a mail client i.e. Thunderbird in Select Mail Client (MBOX) section. Next, click on OK to continue the conversion procedure

Step #5: IF PST is Password-Protected

Since PST files are used to store business-related information, it is essential to protect it using a password. In case the Outlook PST file is password-protected, the tool will prompt for the password. Provide the correct password in the Enter Password field.

Step #6: Conversion Process

Stellar Outlook PST to MBOX Converter software will begin the conversion procedure and the live conversion status will be displayed within the panel. The procedure can be interrupted by clicking on the Stop button

MS Outlook to Thunderbird converter tool will then display the preview of all converted mail items within the panel. To preview the convertible items, you will need to select the corresponding file or folder from the left pane

Step #7: Save the Converted MBOX Files

Once the desired PST files are converted to the MBOX file format, the next step is to save the converted files at a defined location on the hard drive. Click on the Convert to MBOX button from the toolbar to start the conversion procedure. Alternatively, you can select Convert to MBOX option from the File menu.

Step #8: Specify Storage Location

Stellar Outlook PST to MBOX Converter window will appear. Click on the Browse button to specify the storage location in Destination Path: field. Lastly, click on OK to accomplish the conversion procedure.

Additional Information!

To begin the PST to Thunderbird MBOX conversion process, it is helpful if the user knows the exact storage location for PST and OST data files. In reality, the storage location depends upon the version of MS Outlook application being installed on the machine as well as the Operating System release the app is running over.

If you are using MS Outlook 2010, the easiest way to locate Outlook data files (both OST and PST) is via following procedure:

  1. Open MS Outlook 2010 and click on File tab
  2. Click on Account Settings and then click on Account Settings once again in the right pane
  3. Click an entry on the Data Files tab and then click on Open Folder Location

MS Outlook 2010:

Location of Outlook Data File (.pst):

PST files being created over Outlook 2010 can be found navigating through Documents and then Outlook Files folder. In case, of Windows XP, the storage location for the PST is My Documents\ Outlook Files folder.

Windows 7 & Windows Vista:

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the PST file can be found at “drive: \Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook”

Windows XP:

In Windows XP, the location of the PST file is “drive: \Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook”

Location of Outlook Data File (.ost)

OST file synchronizes with the mailbox existing on Server running Exchange. Data stored within the OST file exists on Server too and can be recreated in case the existing OST become inaccessible.

Windows 7 & Windows Vista:

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the location of the OST file is at “drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook”

Windows XP:

In Windows XP, the OST file exists at “drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook”

In case if the OST file turns unreadable or inaccessible, it is recommended to delete it and then re-download it from the Exchange Server. The recreated OST file will work appropriately on Outlook application. But, if the PST file begins to work abnormally, it is advisable to run ScanPST (Inbox Repair Tool) to repair the file. It is important to note that ScanPST only works when corruption in the PST file is minimal.

Using Stellar Outlook PST to MBOX Converter, the Outlook PST files can be imported to the MBOX format. The converted files can then be accessed in Thunderbird, Spicebird, Netscape and SeaMonkey email clients. After conversion to MBOX file format, the email messages can be viewed on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android Operating Systems. This way, more accessibility is offered to email data and enclosed attachments.


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