How to Export Thunderbird Message Storage Type to PST?

Chirag Arora | Modified: 2019-04-15T13:12:58+00:00 | Email Conversion|

Want to Move the Thunderbird Message Storage Type to PST? Well, no matter what type is set for your Thunderbird accounts, export them all into Outlook PST with the provided unique solution.

Mozilla Thunderbird is a cross-platform email client loaded with multiple features to make emailing easier. It focuses on providing users with advanced spam filters, quick searching and easier access to their emails with smart folders. Despite that people are still moving from Thunderbird to Outlook in search of a more secure and sophisticated platform. And that is why we will be explaining how exactly to do this step-by-step in order to obtain 100% conversion without losing attributes. But before that, there is something that users need to know about Thunderbird.

Thunderbird Message Storage Types

Mozilla Thunderbird actually supports two kinds of storage types: one is MBOX and other is Maildir. The difference between these two is that MBOX stores all emails of a particular mailbox folder(say Inbox, Drafts, etc.). On the other hand, Maildir uses one file per email concept and generates one file for each message stored in Thunderbird. The important thing to notice here is that MBOX is the default storage type. And that the storage type of an already configured profile cannot be changed.
In this article, we will explain how to convert Thunderbird message storage type to PST no matter what it is set to MBOX or Maildir.

To know which storage type setting exists for your Thunderbird account, simply follow the steps:

  • Open Thunderbird and got to Tools > Account Settings
  • Now hit the Server Settings option corresponding to that account which you want to export to PST
  • You will see a greyed out filed associated with Message Store type. See this field to know in which format is your account set to save messages. Most likely it will be the default setting i.e., File per folder(mbox).

thunderbird store type


Export Thunderbird MBOX Message Storage Type to PST

No matter what or how you search for Thunderbird to PST conversion, ultimately all results will end with the recommendation of specialized software. There are several reasons for this:

  • One is simply that there is no other method present for direct conversion.
  • Another being that all workarounds result is some sort of distortion to email messages, be it loss of images and attachments, missing message headers, addresses, or some level of data loss.
  • The third being that no manual workaround is completely free. It will some way or other require you to waste a lot of time and effort without fruitful results. Or would simply want you to compromise with email originality after conversion with a lot of missing details.

Limitation of such sort results in the development of specialized tool such as SysTools MBOX to PST Converter. The intention is to provide users with a utility that can not only convert the Thunderbird message storage type to PST but can do that with utmost accuracy. It makes it possible to undergo conversion without losing any email attributes

Steps to Transfer Thunderbird Message Storage Type to PST

Cover the following steps to convert emails from set storage type of Thunderbird to the dedicated format of Outlook i.e., PST.

1. Run the SysTools Converter Software and hit Add File

2. Select Thunderbird and go with default profile configured setting

3. Now choose the account in order to export its storage type to PST

step 3

4. View all the emails along with attachments in the software panel

step 4

5. Once done, export the emails in PST in one click

step 5

Multiple customizable options are also provided within the interface such as selective export with email filters, multiple formats to convert into, split PST, etc.


Since Mozilla Thunderbird can be set up with two kinds of storage type(MBOX and Maildir), the process of converting them to PST becomes a complicated one. However, we do have a unique solution that can export Thunderbird message storage type to PST without any dependency on its type. No matter if your store is MBOX or Maildir, the software can automatically detect all the emails within and transfer them to Outlook PST indefinitely.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What message storage type does Thunderbird uses?

Mozilla Thunderbird uses MBOX format as the default message storage type. However, it also supports the maildir format which is a single file per email file format.

How can I change Thunderbird message storage type?

There is an option in Tools >Account Settings > Server Settings to switch the message storage type. However, if it is greyed out, then you can change by going to Tools > Options > Advance.

I have backup files with me. Do I require Thunderbird for export process?

No, Thunderbird is not mandatory for the process completion. The backup files in MBOX, maildir or EML format can be directly used for exporting in Outlook.

Except Outlook, what other formats can I export my data to?

Other than PST, you can export your storage data into EML, MSG, NSF and HTMl format.

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