Can Thunderbird Export to MSG File to Use Emails in Outlook?

Ashwani Tiwari | Modified: 2020-06-30T12:14:01+00:00 | Email Migration|

Mozilla Thunderbird is a desktop email application having cross-platform implementations. It is free and open-source with the ability to achieve better functionalities via external add-ons. While Outlook is a Windows and Mac-oriented email client developed by Microsoft. Both these desktop email applications are among the most popular ones used for both personal and professional purposes.

Sometimes, users have a need to convert Thunderbird emails to MSG files. The reasons behind this email migration can vary from user to user. But the end requirement remains the same. Hence, in this post, we will provide the best way using which Thunderbird export to MSG files easily. But before that, let us look at some user queries.

User Queries:

“Hello, I work from home and use Mozilla Thunderbird application for email management. A new job requires me to switch to Outlook so as to provide them with data in .msg format. Since all the emails there are backed up onto the server as MSG files. So I am stuck with no way to export Thunderbird emails to .msg format. I really don’t want to have to use Outlook… Any ideas would be a great help!”

“Hi, I have some clients who require data in MSG files. However, being a Thunderbird user, I am unable to complete this request. I have already looked for ways to export Thunderbird messages to MSG but even the ImportExport addon does not provide this format. So, I will really appreciate it if someone can suggest me a way to get this done quickly. Also, the data is quite large.”

Considering the user queries, one gets to know some reasons out of many, as to why users wish to convert the emails from Thunderbird to MSG file format. Now we will see the complexity involved in such cases and how we can overcome them.

Know How Thunderbird Export to MSG File?

MSG is a proprietary format of Microsoft. Hence, Thunderbird cannot read or write it no matter what. In fact, no email application can read or write this format unless its a Microsoft app. This makes it impossible to import or export MSG files in Thunderbird email client using native means.

However, there is certain software that can overcome these complexities and export Thunderbird emails to MSG in a matter of minutes. Incorporated with advanced algorithms, these tools can change the encoding of email files so as to export them as MSG files. MBOX Converter is one such utility. With the ability to carry out the batch conversion, this unique tool can export multiple messages from Thunderbird to MSG files in the least possible time.

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The following guide will brief users about the migration process. Simply select the MSG format in the Export menu to get the required conversion.

Complete Process to Export Thunderbird Emails to MSG

We have explained the conversion process in two forms: Brief & Elaborated Manner. Users and read the steps, take a look at the screenshots and even opt for the complete how it works guide as per their understanding.

Step by Step Method to Export Thunderbird to MSG
  • Step 1: Run Thunderbird to MSG Converter on Windows system
  • Step 2: Select “MBOX Files” for Thunderbird to MSG Conversion
  • Step 3: Preview Emails of Selected Thunderbird Files
  • Step 4: Choose “MSG” as Export format
  • Step 5: Export is Complete.

In Elaborated Manner:

#1: Run Thunderbird to MSG Export wizard on the Windows system and click on “Add File” button to proceed.

launch thunderbird to msg converter

#2: Select “Mozilla Thunderbird” and choose either of the options to continue:

  • Default Profile Configured: It will scan the Thunderbird application on your system and automatically fetch all the configured email accounts .
  • Select file/folder from local system: It will let you browse the mailbox files of Thunderbird that you need to convert to MSG. 

select scanning method

#3: View the emails and attachments of Thunderbird database in the software panel. Click “Export” from ribbon bar to proceed.


#4: Choose MSG radio button so that Thunderbird export to MSG file and apply the Naming convention that you wish to use for saving the converted files.

thunderbird export to msg

5: Export selected/complete emails along with attachments to MSG format. Upon successful conversion, simply open the location to verify the files.

open location

The above process defines the brief steps for the successful migration of Thunderbird email messages to the MSG file format. The data of each email will be stored in individual MSG files. There is no requirement of installing MS Outlook or any other email application. For more detailed steps, plz visit here.

Benefits of Using Thunderbird to MSG Converter

  • Simplicity: The first and foremost benefit of this utility is the conversion of Thunderbird emails to MSG format without any complications. The tool is easy to use and provides straightforward mechanics to export Thunderbird mailbox files to MSG format.
  • No Data Loss: The algorithms embedded in this utility prevents any kind of data loss from occurring. All the email components such as inline images, formatting, attachments, header details – the software preserve them all without exception.
  • Flexibility: The tool offers multiple ways to show how Thunderbird export to MSG files.
    • Users having configured Thunderbird Account: The auto-detection capability allows Thunderbird to MSG converter to automatically fetch the database of Thunderbird.
    • Users having Thunderbird mailbox files: The tool also supports MBOX to MSG conversion without Thunderbird. Here, batch import emails by adding the local Thunderbird mailbox files (those with no extension) via file/folder mode.
  • Folder Structure: Folder hierarchy plays a vital role in managing emails efficiently. This utility understands that and maintains the complete folder structure during conversion. Naming conventions are also present.
  • Emails Preview: For user convenience, the software provides a preview panel for displaying all the Thunderbird emails and attachments. You can even use this pane for selecting individual emails for conversion.
  • Wide OS Support: This Thunderbird to MSG converter has been tested to run smoothly on all the latest Windows platforms including Win 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, Vista and 2000. Not only this, a separate variant for Mac platform also exists for exporting Thunderbird emails to MSG on Mac OS.

For Mac variantof the tool, visit Mac MBOX Converter.


This post describes a proficient solution to handle the query: Can Thunderbird Export to MSG? Since .msg is a proprietary Outlook format, it is not supported by Thunderbird. Which makes this migration seem impossible at first. However, with Thunderbird to MSG converter, this process becomes really easy to handle. Users can experience the smooth and error-free conversion via the free trial for the software. Upon satisfaction, the license version can be chosen accordingly.

Common Queries:

Is it possible to export Thunderbird emails to MSG in bulk?

Yes, the given steps can be used to easily export multiple Thunderbird emails to MSG in bulk. You can perform both batch and selective migration as per requirements.

How do I convert Thunderbird to MSG on Mac?

There are no manual methods present for such conversion on Mac OS. you will have to use Mac MBOX Converter for such a task.

Can I export Thunderbird messages manually?

There is an add-on that can be downloaded into Mozilla Thunderbird. It will enable users to access around 5 export formats including MBOX, HTML. However, for conversion to MSG, another solution is required. Read the article to know more.

Is PST option available to access emails in MS Outlook?

Yes, other than Thunderbird to MSG conversion, you can also convert all your emails into PST format using the same solution. The resultant PST file will be compatible with Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013 and lower versions.

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