How to Open MBOX File in Thunderbird: Top 3 Methods

If you are a technical person, you must be aware of MBOX file. This file format is used by different email clients of Windows and Mac. Even Gmail Takeout and Google Vault data is also saved as MBOX format. It takes a MBOX supported email application to open this file and that is why, many people ask: how to open MBOX file in Thunderbird.

I downloaded some of my official email data from Google Vault and now I am stuck with the output MBOX file. For personal communication, I use Mozilla Thunderbird.  I do not know how to open MBOX file in Thunderbird?  If there is an easy method, please suggest me. Kindly remember that I need all the emails with complete metadata. Thanks.

In this blog, you will find the answer to this much asked question. We are going to include full description of three differently methods of opening MBOX file in Mozilla Thunderbird. Read them all as these are proven solutions to read and view MBOX files data on Windows.

How to Open MBOX File in Thunderbird: Proven Solutions

Thunderbird email application saves and supports MBOX file. Hence many people choose to open MBOX file using Thunderbird. To do so, they may try any of the following methods.

Use third-party Add-on to Move and Open MBOX File

For thunderbird, there is a third party add-on available named ImportExportTools NG. This helps users to import and export different file types into Thunderbird.  This add-on also supports MBOX file import in Thunderbird. To use this, try these steps:

  1. Make sure that you have this add-on installed on your Thunderbird.
  2. Click on Tool menu and place your cursor on ImportExportTools NG.
  3. Select Import MBOX file option and navigate to the location of MBOX file.
  4. Select MBOX file and continue. The add-on will import it in TB and you can open MBOX file in Thunderbird.

Ultimate Technique to Open MBOX File in Thunderbird

The above mentioned method is not completely successful in importing MBOX data in original format. Therefore, many applications have been developed to perform the same task with ease and accuracy. The best solution to Open MBOX file in Thunderbird is Thunderbird Import Wizard. This application is suitable to import any MBOX file in any Thunderbird profile without changing its properties. The working method of this tool is also simple.

  1. Install Thunderbird Import Wizard Tool on Windows system.
  2. Click on Add File(s) option for one MBOX file and select Add Folder option for multiple MBOX files.
  3. All selected MBOX files will be added to the tool. Click on Next.
  4. For complete import, select All Mails. For date-based selective opening, choose Apply Filter option and enter the date range.
  5. From Select Identities, select the destination profiles of thunderbird.
  6. Click on Import button and wait till the tool notifies you about import completion.
  7. Open thunderbird to open and use the imported MBOX data.

Traditional Copy-Paste Method

There is an old method that people use to perform to open MBOX file in Thunderbird. This one is a tricky one that new users might find difficult to implement.

  1. Open Thunderbird and click on Option -> Account Settings.
  2. Copy the directory path of Local Directory. This is the location where files are located.
  3. Open Windows Explorer and pasted the path on address bar and press Enter. Local Directory location will open.
  4. Using a different explorer window, navigate to the location of MBOX file and copy. Before copying, make sure to give the file a proper name.
  5. Paste the MBPX file in the Local Directory of Thunderbird.
  6. Now, restart Thunderbird and it should show the MBOX file and its data under Local Folders section.

Which Method is Best to open MBOX File in Thunderbird

According to thousands of users who tried these methods to open MBOX file to Thunderbird, the automated software named Thunderbird Import Wizard is the most preferred choice. Its users mentioned these following points as its benefits:

  • Import all emails of MBOX file along with attachments
  • Complete metadata export including signature and images
  • Date-filter based selective migration of MBOX data
  • Option to import MBOX file on any configured profile
  • Add multiple MBOX files at a go with Add Folder option
  • Also import Maildir and EML to Thunderbird


If you are looking for the answer to this question “how to open MBOX file in Thunderbird”, this blog is the one for you. It provides you with different methods that you can apply to resolve your problem. All the solutions are proven but the mentioned software offers you the professional-level accuracy.