How to Convert MBOX to EML Manually And Automatically in Batches?

Last Updated: September 18, 2022
Indeed, MBOX is considered one of the most commonly used mailbox formats, thus, losing this file may turn to the loss of other essential data.
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It is well-known that mailing programs use different file formats to store and distribute users’ files. MBOX is one of such extensions, which is needed for storing the emails in a single doc.

Indeed, MBOX is considered one of the most commonly used mailbox formats used to send billions of emails per day, thus, losing this file may turn to the loss of other essential data.

That is also why some people prefer to convert their MBOX files to EML to store each mail in a separate file or create the appropriate archive.

In this post, we will explain several methods you can use to convert MBOX to EML, as well as the key differences between these two formats.  

What Is The Difference Between Formats?

It is clear that different mailing services use various formats to store users’ data. In situations, when you need to replace the mailing program with another one, which is incompatible in format, you need to understand how to solve the migration problem.

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Several noticeable differences between these two file formats explain the necessity to migrate between them. Before deciding how to import MBOX into Outlook, let’s have a look at these differences:

  • To keep your emails in a single doc it is convenient to use the MBOX extension, while for one-by-one file storage, it is better to choose EML
  • Most mailing services support the MBOX extension, which makes it more suitable for manual migration between similar mailing clients. Even though the EML format is not so popular, there are still some services that use it
  • EML doc is easier to view in Notepad or alternative text editors, or even browsers;
  • Some mailing apps support both file extensions for data storage. That is why these programs can be used to view or even convert files, etc.

Below, we will tell you in detail what you should do to transfer MBOX files to EML manually and automatically.

MBOX To EML Conversion: Manual Step-by-Step Guide

If you use Thunderbird as your desktop mailing client, you can also use it to convert your files into EML format. There are two possible ways to do it:

1. Use The Save As Option

It is a quick and reliable method to convert your emails into EML with the help of Thunderbird’s built-in function. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how you can do it:

  • Launch the Thunderbird app on your computer;
  • Choose the appropriate email folder or particular emails for further conversion;
  • Right-click on them and select Save from the drop-down menu;
  • Select the destination folder to save all the files converted;
  • Then, press on Save.

This way, you can save all the MBOX files of your interest as standalone EML analogs. Even though you can save your files with attachments, you will still have to work on the folder structure, as this method doesn’t organize files as they were displayed before. 

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2. Use Special Add-ons

The functionality of Thunderbird can be improved by the use of special add-ons. For complex migrations, you can use the appropriate add-ons for Thunderbird to convert MBOX to EML.

With add-ons, you can export letters in bulk, similar to the use of special software for migration.

Still, you can do it for free and use it as much as needed. However, you should install the appropriate add-ons first. For this, open your Thunderbird program, and press on Tools – Add-ons in the menu bar.

Find the ImportExportTool and install it. After the add-on is installed, you can restart your program to continue the migration.

For this purpose, right-click on the folder you wish to convert and select the EML format and destination folder. Done!

Automatic Methods: Pros And Cons

There are some software products allowing you to convert your files automatically. If you have a standalone file, you can use numerous online converters for further migration.

Many people prefer using third-party applications to increase the security of their migration, prevent data leaks, or even migrate between two different mailing programs.

Also, if you wish to preserve the hierarchy of the folders, you are recommended to use professional conversion tools. However, you should also get ready to pay for these services, but some of them can be used for free or within a free-trial period. 

Select the migration method that better suits your needs and meets your expectations. We hope that this article helped you to understand what method to select.

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Written by Allison Langstone

Allison produces content for a business SAAS but also contributes to EarthWeb frequently, using her knowledge of both business and technology to bring a unique angle to the site.