Import Thunderbird Mail to Outlook – A Complete Tutorial
Updated: The following blog has been updated to fulfill the needs of users of all Outlook versions. It is applicable for importing Thunderbird to Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 & 2003.
Mozilla Thunderbird is one of the most prominent email clients, which is used to store the complete information of Thunderbird in the User Identity Profile folder or user-defined location. But, sometimes due to bugs, virus attack or unexpected errors, Thunderbird email client crashes, and the mailbox gets corrupted. The errors can occur at any time and lead to data loss or corruption in Thunderbird.
On the other hand, Microsoft Outlook is a renowned email client that stores its entire information in PST format. MS Outlook also offers various advanced features which are not available in the Thunderbird program. Therefore, most of the Thunderbird client users are in need to import Thunderbird emails into Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010.
Let’s take an example of a user who wants migrate their emails from Thunderbird Profile to Outlook.
“Please help me!! I have been using Mozilla Thunderbird for the last 7 years. So a huge chunk of data has accumulated over these years. Due to professional reasons, I had no choice but to switch to Outlook and there is just no way I can transfer my Thunderbird data over to Outlook account. The manual method I used took a lot of time and still a chunk of data is nowhere to be found. I have to get this done urgently. Can someone provide me with the methods to do so without losing data?”
Topics Covered in this Article
How to Import Thunderbird Mail to Outlook?
Do note that the Thunderbird email client can work on either of the two files to store the data, they are namely:
So, the article defines solutions that can be applied to both file formats.
Free Method to Import Thunderbird to Outlook
- Run Thunderbird and click File > New > Existing mail account.
- Enter your login details and click ‘Done’.
- Run Outlook and click File > Add Account.
- Enter the same login details and finish configuration.
- Import is successful.
For those who don’t understand the brief steps, you can get the detailed configuration method below. Keep in mind that by configuring the same account in both Thunderbird and Outlook, you will be able to access Thunderbird’s data in Outlook. You can, then, choose to copy/move the emails to Outlook and delete the email accounts to keep the data in Outlook application.
The complete set of instructions is divided into different steps.
For importing Thunderbird mail into Outlook program, first, you have to add Gmail account to Mozilla using IMAP Configuration. Remember, if the data is large in size, it can take days to complete.
Step 1: Adding Any Email Client Account via IMAP
Go through the below mentioned steps to move emails from Thunderbird to Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, etc. Although any webmail application can be used for this process, we will be opting for Gmail.
1. First of all, add Thunderbird account with Gmail and then, enable the IMAP option in Gmail account by following these options:
- Log in your Gmail account.
- Then, click on Gear icon & open the Gmail settings under the Gmail page.
- Select options Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- Next, choose the Enable IMAP option.
- Now, configure your IMAP account.
- Finally, click on the Save Changes option.
2. After that, run the Thunderbird application on your local machine. Go to Tools >> Account Settings. The Select Account Actions >> Add Mail Account. Then, enter the name, email address, and password to open Thunderbird account. Click on the Continue button to proceed further.
3. Next, enable the IMAP checkbox & then, go to the manual configuration process.
4. After that, enter all the required information in the incoming and outgoing section.
- Incoming: imap.gmail.com, Port: Either993 (SSL) or 143 (very infrequently 585 (SSL)
- Outgoing: smtp.gmail.com, Port: Either 25 or 465 (SSL) (very infrequently 2525)
5. Then, click on the Re-test button if you have filled everything correctly, then, the task will finish completely. After this, choose to Create a new Account option.
6. Now, you can Check your Gmail account by opening Thunderbird Profile.
7. Then, drag messages from Thunderbird to configured Gmail Profile
Step 2: Repeating IMAP Config in Microsoft Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016
After configuring Thunderbird with Gmail account, now you need to setup Microsoft Outlook Profile with Gmail configuration. So, follow these steps for importing Thunderbird mail to Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013 which are mentioned below:
1. First, go to the File menu and click on the Add Account.
2. Then a dialog box will appear, select option – Manually configure server settings or additional server types and click on Next button.
3. Then, go to the Internet Email option and click on Next button.
4. Now enter the name, email address, and password in the dialog box.
5. Go to Account Type and select IMAP option for IMAP email account.
6. Now, you need to type imap.gmail.com for Incoming server and smtp.gmail.com for outgoing server. Then, click on the More Settings option.
7. In the Outgoing Server, select Outgoing Server (SMTP) requires Authentication
8. After that, click on Use Same Settings as My Incoming Server option & enter 993/995 port number in the Incoming Server Port.
9. Next, choose This Server Requires an Encrypted Connection option. For IMAP mail account, setting the type of encryption to SSL.
10. In this step, in the outgoing server Port, type 587/465 port number. Then, set the type of encryption to TLS & click OK button.
11. Now, select the Test Account Setting option for checking the account settings.
12. Finally, you will receive a message like “your account settings are correct”. Then, click on the Next button to close the dialog box. All files will be transferred to MS-Outlook successfully.
Expert Method to Import Thunderbird to Outlook
The above-discussed manual approach is very long and time-consuming. Therefore, many users are looking for a trusted automatic solution that can overcome manual procedure limitations. So, users are suggested to use reliable software like MBOX to Outlook Converter tool. It allows migrating Thunderbird emails to Outlook in bulk as well as selective emails.
The tool can also import emails from Thunderbird User Identity into Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003 along with its associated attachments. In addition, it will maintain the folder hierarchy and data integrity after the conversion process.
Steps to Export Thunderbird Mail to Outlook
- Run the converter software on your system.
- Click ‘Add File’ and select ‘Thunderbird’.
- Select the Thunderbird account you want to import to Outlook.
- Select ‘PST’ and click ‘Export’ button to start conversion.
- Click File > Open & Export to import PST in Outlook.
Screenshots are below:
1: Launch the software on the Windows system.
2: Choose ‘Thunderbird’ and select relevant MBOX files to export.
3: Select the Thunderbird profile you want to export data from.
4: Preview the scanned Thunderbird emails in tool’s interface.
5: Select Outlook PST and click on ‘Export’ to execute the conversion process.
If you want to transfer contacts, then refer to the article – How to Export Thunderbird Address Book to Outlook
Import Thunderbird Emails to Outlook (Maildir)
Thunderbird supports one more file format to store emails i.e., Maildir. The main storage mechanism used by the Maildir format is different from the MBOX format. Unlike the MBOX file format, it stores a single message per file and has its own perks. For example, backup of required email is really easier. Thus, there are some users who choose the Maildir file format to store Thunderbird emails. Now, here is one query commonly asked by Thunderbird Maildir users:
“Does anyone out there know any solution to export Maildir to Outlook? Whenever I tried to look for a method to switch from Thunderbird to Outlook, I only get to know about MBOX to PST conversion. But, here all my emails are saved in Maildir format so want to know how can I export Maildir to PST format.”
Direct Method to Process the Files
There is no direct manual solution available to process maildir files. To achieve the same, a user is advised to take the help of some third-party tool. SysTools Maildir converter is one such application that helps users in the same.
The software is designed in a manner that it export all emails along with attachments to PST format. Moreover, whenever a user is required to transfer selective emails from Thunderbird to Outlook, the tool offers a date-based filter option. Apart from all this, the application is compatible with all latest MS Windows OS versions.
Steps to Export Thunderbird to Outlook Format
1. Install and open the software on the local machine
2. Now, from the left panel, Browse the Thunderbird Maildir files that you want to convert
3. After that, right-click on the selected files and click on the Export option
4. Select the PST file as an Export type and Browse the destination location
5. Click the Export button again.
There are many advantages of using Outlook as an email application due to which users are searching for a solution to import Thunderbird mail to Outlook. Considering the requirement of users, we have discussed here both manual and automatic processes. But, it is recommended to use the SysTools application which is a perfect, simple, and instant solution to import Thunderbird files into Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 & 2003.
Will these methods work for Thunderbird Local folders?
Yes, the methods are completely relevant for local folders.
Can I sync Thunderbird with Outlook instead of migration?
Thunderbird and Outlook are two distinct email clients. You cannot sync them. However, you can configure the same account on both email clients using IMAP to sync data between them.
Which method should I use (MBOX or Maildir) to export Thunderbird folders to Outlook?
The default format for Thunderbird is MBOX. That’s why the Thunderird converter software recommended here is actually the MBOX one. It provides you with the option to directly fetch data from the configured Thunderbird profile, so you don’t have to look for it yourself. This makes it easy to preview and convert data as per need.
What do I do to move the emails directly to Office 365 account?
For this, go through our article on Thunderbird to Office 365 migration.