Want to Import PST to Thunderbird? Here Comes the Trick!

Written By Kumar Raj
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 8th, 2022
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Despite being a feature-rich and versatile email program, Outlook is a paid email application and charges a high maintenance cost. For this reason, Outlook users want to switch to some freeware email service provider like Thunderbird which is also reliable. Once people move to Mozilla Thunderbird, they need to import PST to Thunderbird to access their old data. The sad part is that most users do not know how to import the file accurately. Hence, this blog will discuss the ultimate solution for all the Outlook users who are planning to import PST files to the Thunderbird email program.

Before moving further, let’s have a look at a user query to understand the situation:

I have been Outlook user for a long time, which I used for both personal and business purposes. Recently, I have decided to move to Thunderbird, a free yet smart email application. Now, I need to move my data from PST file into Thunderbird. Can anyone help me by informing me which is the best approach to import PST file in Thunderbird? Please suggest!”

What are the Methods to Move PST to Thunderbird

Users may choose between the available techniques to transfer Outlook data to Thunderbird from the PST file. Here we have enlisted both manual and automated solutions.

Let’s Explore the Manual Method first!

Import PST to Thunderbird Using Manual Techniques

In this approach, users need to configure a Gmail account in Outlook and then export the PST emails to the Gmail account. After that, they can extract this data via Google Takeout in the MBOX file which is supported by Thunderbird. This completes the PST to Thunderbird migration process. Here comes the step-by-step process to implement the process.

  • Open your Gmail account and go to Settings >> Forwarding and POP/IMAP >> Choose Enable IMAP and Save the changes
  • Launch Outlook and navigate to File>> Add Account option and enter the credentials of the Gmail account to configure the same
  • Once the Gmail configuration with Outlook is completed, create a new folder and copy and drag the desired Outlook emails to the newly created folder in the configured Gmail ID
  • After that, log in to the Gmail account and open Google Takeout (https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout) by entering the accurate credentials to import PST to Thunderbird
  • From Select Data to include an option, choose Mail and click Next
select mail in takeout
  • Under Customize archive format, specify the File type, Archive size, and Delivery method, and hit the Create Export button to import PST to Thunderbird
customize takeout options
  • Now, download the ZIP file that contains the Outlook data using whichever delivery method you have selected
  • The emails are downloaded in the MBOX file which is present in the Mail folder
  • Then, import this file in Thunderbird using the ImportExportTool NG add-on by clicking on Tools >> ImportExportTools NG >> Import MBOX file to access the PST emails in the Thunderbird application.

Google Takeout has its own issues and errors like not receiving the download link even after days, error in the middle of download, etc.

Are you also having a tough time while implementing the manual method and looking for alternatives? If yes, then read on to explore the professional method!

An Expert Approach to Import PST to Thunderbird

With the help of PST File Converter, users can directly convert their mailboxes into MBOX files in a matter of minutes. Since Mozilla Thunderbird supports MBOX, this utility is highly recommended by experts to get the job done. After all, it effectively lets a user export Outlook PST to Thunderbird. Moreover, the tool does not pose any file size restriction on the source PST files. The software also comes with an added option to maintain the folder hierarchy of the resultant file, which is one of the highlighted features of the tool

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Since this is a 2-step process, we divided the method accordingly. The first part involves converting PST to MBOX file. And in the second part, we import the resultant file in Thunderbird.

Part 1 – Export to MBOX

Steps to Import PST File to Thunderbird are:

Step 1. Click Add File in PST to Thunderbird converter

Step 2. Browse the PST file to import into Thunderbird

Step 3. Preview PST emails & attachments

Step 4. Click on Export to begin converting PST to Thunderbird mailbox.

Users can navigate to the location where the resultant mailbox will be saved.

Part 2 – Import into Thunderbird

Users can import the resultant file into Thunderbird via the free ImportExportTools NG add-on. The steps to do so are as follows:

  1. Install the add-on on your Thunderbird application, if not done already
  2. Right-click on the Local folders and select ImportExportTools NG
  3. After that, select Import MBOX file
  4. In the window that appears, click on the OK button and browse the MBOX file received after conversion
  5. Voila! Users can now access all the PST emails in the Thunderbird application easily.

There is another way to import MBOX file to Thunderbird i.e, via professional software. Users can visit the link to know more.

Multiple Reasons to Export PST to Thunderbird

  • Multiple Compatibility: Thunderbird is compatible with almost all operating systems. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and UNIX. Especially for Linux and UNIX users, Thunderbird is a better option. If you use multiple devices with different OS, then import the PST file to Mozilla Thunderbird.
  • Personal Preference: There are chances where users use different desktop-based email clients for home and office. In order to access all the emails under one email platform, then it is wise to import the Outlook PST file into Thunderbird.
  • Spam: Spam filtering is a great feature of Thunderbird. This is one of the reasons why users want to migrate PST files to Thunderbird.
  • Security: Data security is one of the major concerns seen among the users in which Thunderbird renders the best security option. Hence, users need not have to worry about their data when they try to export Outlook PST data files to Thunderbird.
  • Unchargeable Application:  Thunderbird is free of cost application. This is another major reason to import PST to Thunderbird.

Author Suggestion

Thunderbird is one of the popular email applications that comes with numerous useful features. People who want to access MS Outlook data in Mozilla Thunderbird need to import PST to Thunderbird. This blog clearly states the different approaches to seamlessly transferring Outlook PST files to Thunderbird email program.


By Kumar Raj

He is an ardent tech enthusiast and has a specialization in simplifying complex tech topics. With a knack for staying ahead of the curve, he provides readers with up-to-date insights into the ever-evolving tech world. When he is not writing, he enjoys exploring new gadgets and is actively engaged in tech communities.