Emails are an indispensable medium of communication among professionals, corporates, and individuals. Therefore, they look for a perfect email client, which is user-friendly and comes with easy-to-manage features.
It has been witnessed that in recent years many users have left the Mozilla Thunderbird platform for Microsoft Outlook. It doesn’t mean that Thunderbird doesn’t offer what its users are looking for. Though it offers features, like junk filtering, cross-platform support, message management, and support to its client, it is still losing its user base to Outlook. The main reason for users to switch from Thunderbird to Outlook is its configuration, asking users for additional functionality that is very extensive. On the other hand, MS Outlook is providing improved features and security, easy sorting, and focused inbox, along with easy installation on Windows.
Why do users switch from Thunderbird to Outlook?
Here are some reasons that compel users to switch from Thunderbird to Outlook:
- Thunderbird does not have a spam filter, whereas Outlook comes with a powerful spam filter to prevent phishing attacks.
- Thunderbird does not include a task and calendar list.
- Thunderbird does not focus on security and stability due to its slow development process.
- Outlook offers the configuration of complex rules to automate workflow, along with the management of email messages.
- Thunderbird supports various email clients but that support can only be configured with add-ons.
Methods to Migrate Thunderbird Data to Outlook
If you’re planning to switch from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook, then you need to also export or migrate emails and other mailbox data from Thunderbird to Outlook. As you may know, Thunderbird stores and saves mailbox data in MBOX format, whereas Outlook supports PST format. The difference in the data file formats of the two email clients makes exporting data from one to another a difficult task.
Here are different methods to transfer emails and other items from Thunderbird to Outlook:
1. Use Gmail IMAP to Move Emails from Thunderbird to Outlook
The process of exporting Thunderbird emails to Outlook using the Gmail IMAP method involves three phases.
Phase 1: Enable IMAP in Gmail
- Log in to your Gmail Account and go to settings.
- Then, tap on the ‘See all settings’ option.
- Click on ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ on the right and tap on ‘Enable IMAP’ under ‘IMAP Access’.
In case, you have turned on the two-step verification privacy settings in your Gmail account, then you will not be able to access the less secure apps. Therefore, it is suggested to turn off two-step verification.
To disable two-step authentication in your Google account,
- Go to https://myaccount.google.com/security.
- Sign in and then click ‘2-Step Verification’.
- Enter your password again to verify.
- Then, click ‘Turn Off‘ to disable 2-Step Verification.
To enable less secure app access,
- Go to https://myaccount.google.com/lesssecureapps.
- Click on the ‘Allow less secure apps’ toggle switch to turn ON the option.
Phase 2: Sign in to Thunderbird using your Gmail Account
- Launch the Thunderbird application and choose the Accounts option.
- In the Set Up an Account section, select Email. Now, provide details of your Gmail account, i.e., Name, Email Address, and Password.
- Click on the radio button next to IMAP (remote folders) option and click Done.
- Allow all the permissions asked by the wizard.
- Now create a new folder and export your Thunderbird emails to it.
Phase 3: Configure Gmail in Outlook and Transfer Thunderbird Emails
Add the same Gmail account to Microsoft Outlook. To do so, follow the steps below.
- Open Outlook and navigate to File > Account Setting > Account Settings.
- Click on the New button, under the Email tab.
- Add your Gmail account by providing the Gmail ID and password.
- After the successful configuration, close the account setting option.
- Here, visit the Gmail account and expand the mailbox folders.
- Now, click on the newly created folder to find your Thunderbird emails.
2. Save Thunderbird Emails in EML and Move to Outlook
In this, you need to first convert Thunderbird email files into EML format and then drag and drop these EML files into Outlook. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Convert Thunderbird Files into EML Files
- First, create a new folder on your system.
- Then, run the Mozilla Thunderbird email client.
- Next, open the Messages folder.
- Now, select a single email or the entire inbox.
- Then, right-click on selected items and then click on the ‘Save As’ option.
- Save the selected emails (in EML files) in the new folder.
Step 2: Drag and Drop EML Files into MS Outlook
- Launch MS Outlook on your Windows PC/Laptop.
- Create a new folder in Outlook and give it a name.
- Open the folder where you have saved the Thunderbird emails (EML files).
- Select the EML files. Drag and drop these files into the new folder in Outlook.
- Now you can access your Thunderbird emails in Outlook.
Limitations of the Above Manual Methods
Technically, the manual methods are not suitable to export large mailbox data from Thunderbird to Outlook. Any technical error may cause data loss and data corruption.
- The manual method (Gmail IMAP) of data transfer from Thunderbird to Outlook is not suitable for non-technical users as it requires knowledge of three different email clients.
- The complexity of the manual methods makes them time-consuming and tedious.
- If any issue arises during the process, you might be forced to start the process from scratch.
Easy Way to Switch from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook
To overcome the limitations of manual methods, you can use a professional MBOX to PST converter software, such as Stellar Converter for MBOX. The software is designed to provide the easiest possible way to convert Thunderbird MBOX file into Outlook PST file, without any file size limit. You can then import the PST file into Outlook using the Import Export wizard.
Apart from Thunderbird, Stellar Converter for MBOX supports over 17 MBOX-based email clients, including Opera Mail, Entourage, Webmail, Eudora, Google Takeout, Netscape, Evolution, Apple Mail, and many more.
In this article, we have provided different methods to migrate data from Mozilla Thunderbird to MS Outlook. We have mentioned detailed steps to carry out the processes to migrate/transfer data from Thunderbird to Outlook. In addition, users can directly export MBOX files to Office 365.
However, the manual methods for exporting data from Thunderbird to Outlook are lengthy and cumbersome. Therefore, the best and simplest option for a quick migration process is to use the Stellar Converter for MBOX software. It offers many user-friendly features to make the whole MBOX to PST conversion process a piece of cake.
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