How to Import an MBox Into Thunderbird

Written by sean hill
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How to Import an MBox Into Thunderbird
Lean how to import Thunderbird mbox files. (e-mail button showing @ ampersand for letters image by Peter Baxter from

Mozilla Thunderbird stores the text content of e-mails and other various settings in mbox files. These files are stored for each of your Thunderbird profiles in a collective folder called "Profiles." Mbox files can be imported and exported by simply downloading a Thunderbird add-on.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mozilla Thunderbird (version 3.0)
  • ImportExport Tools (version 2.3.4)

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  1. 1

    Go to the ImportExport Tools website (see "References"). Right click on the download link and select "Save Target/Link As."

  2. 2

    Save the XPI file to your computer's hard disk. Remember the save location.

  3. 3

    Launch Thunderbird. Select "Add-ons" from the "Tools" menu.

  4. 4

    Select "Extensions" in the new window. Click "Install."

  5. 5

    Navigate to your saved ImportExport Tools XPI file and click "Open."

  6. 6

    Click "Install Now" and close Thunderbird.

  7. 7

    Restart Thunderbird. Select "Import/Export in mbox/eml format" from the "Tools" menu. Click "Import mbox file."

  8. 8

    Navigate to the mbox file you want to import and click "Open."

Tips and warnings

  • Mbox files have no file extensions and are stored in a Thunderbird "Profiles" folder and its sub-folders. Any mbox file can be imported. An example of an mbox file is the "Inbox" file.
  • Finding your Thunderbird "Profiles" folder and accessing mbox files depends on your operating system. If you use Windows Vista, XP or 2000, select "Run" from the Start menu. Type "%AppData%" and press enter. If you use Windows 7, type "%AppData%" in the Start menu's search box. If you use Windows 95, 98 or ME, access "C:\\WINDOWS\Application Data" in Windows Explorer. If you use Mac, navigate to "~/Library" in Finder. After you have performed one of these options, the remaining steps are same for all operating systems. Open the "Thunderbird" folder and the "Profiles" folder is inside.
  • The old ImportExport Tools---version not work with Thunderbird versions 3.0 or higher.

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