How to open a Mbox file in Thunderbird, Mac, and Windows

how to open mbox file in windows

About Mbox files

The Mbox file extension was generated for email mailboxes used to store and arrange messages that are sent and received through email. Electronic messages are stored and assembled in a file as a series of plain texts as per the general concept. Mbox is nothing but a file format that has data and will be saved on a computer file. Thus, it describes how bits are used in the form of a digital storage method. The file formats like the PNG file format that saves bitmapped pictures through data compression algorithms are lossless and used for these particular data types. These are restructured data that are regenerated and copied from the original file. The different compression processes comprise lossy compression that compacts pictures by deleting unnecessary info in bits. This outcome in small file size. There are three ways to open an MBOX file – Thunderbird, MAC, and Windows.


Open the MBOX File using Thunderbird.

Let’s look at how to open the MBOX file using Thunderbird.


If you exported a mbox file from another system like the Google export API or have a file from a Unix machine, it is the most effortless process to use a mail reader to assess and arrange the mailbox. This comes in handy when you are required to search texts or need to search attachments.

Presently, there is a shortage of extensions and plug-ins for Thunderbird 10.0 X for windows. Mbox files can’t be imported through any alternative. But, if Mbox files are placed in the Local Folders directory, they will be indexed through Thunderbird and appear as a Folder.

Below mentioned are the steps. If you have installed Thunderbird, initiate from step 3.

1. First Download and then launch Thunderbird

On the launch, it might ask you Thunderbird would like to access your contacts. Tap on Don’t Allow. If it prompts “Use Thunderbird as he defaults client for:”, Email option would then be unchecked. Also, Use Thunderbird as he defaults client for: and Allow Spotlight to search messages unchecked. After that, click “Skip Integration”.

2. Mail Account configuration

You require to let it generate a Thunderbird account. Now, you have the directory configuration to put the mbox file in the correct location. The simplest method I discovered is through a false Gmail account or your Gmail account. Don’t provide the password. After that, “Create Account” to formulate the directory configuration.

For Thunderbird 31:

· Would you like a new email address?

· Don’t select “”

· Then, select “I think I’ll configure my account later.”

· Go to Accounts, then Create a new account: 

· Select “Newsgroups.”

· Go to Identity:

· Your Name: Firstname Lastname

· Email Address: your email address

· External Server:

· Newsgroup Server:

· Account Name: XYZ

· You have now finished the process.

For Thunderbird 45:

· Would you like the latest email address?

· Uncheck “”

· Then, select “I think I’ll configure my account later.”

· Go to Accounts, then Create a new account: 

· Select “Newsgroups.”

· Identity:

· Your Name: Firstname Lastname

· Email Address: your email address

· External Server:

· Newsgroup Server:

· Account first name: Unused news

· Completed

· (At bottom) Thunderbird comprises calendaring function by incorporating the Lightning addition. Then, the “Disable” option.

· Leave Thunderbird, then relaunch it.

· Go to Tools and Account Settings.

· Select Unused news

· Go to Account Actions, then Remove Account 

and click OK

3. Search your Thunderbird Directory of “Local Folders.” 

Select Local Folders and go to View settings for this Account to know the location of local mail folders.

C:\Users\myself\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\syg8c7w1.default\Mail\Local Folders

 (You are required to enable “Show hidden files, folders, and drives) 

4. Drag and drop Mbox into Local Folders

Leave Thunderbird and then steer to your Local Folders directory in the explore page and drop your mbox file there. You need to alter the name to user-mbox0 or some short username.

5. Surf mbox

Start the Thunderbird again, and you need to visit the mailbox in your Local Folders list.

Open a Mbox file using MAC.

Go to the Computer Applications and search for the Mail application to open the Mbox files in the mailbox on Mac. After it gets open, choose the File menu. From the dropdown option, select ‘Import Mailboxes’. A popup will appear then. Ensure the ‘Files in Mbox format’ checkbox, and tap Continue. Now, search the file from the dialogue box. Return to the email application, choose mailboxes to search an array of folders and mailboxes. After that, select Import and select from the group of Mbox files. 


Open a Mbox file using Windows?

1. Download the software from this site

2. Install and then open the windows software.

3. Choose ‘Email Client and select Next.

4. Then, go to ‘Add Files’ to put one file and tap ‘Add Folder’ to add a folder.

5. Select the Finish option.

6. After the scanning of the chosen file is done, you will see a sample of the content.

7. Select any item to view the sample.

8. Choose the ‘e’ icon, which is beside the Folder List, to save the mail list in HTM format. Select a destination folder and select OK in the folder dialogue box.

9. Thus, you will be able to see the HTML file with the specifications on the consequent Mbox email.


The above mentioned were the ways to open a Mbox file in Thunderbird, MAC, and Windows. I hope all the three ways are straightforward and follow the steps in the same manner, and you won’t face trouble next time opening a Mbox.

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