How to Open MBOX File in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010

Edwin HofferTechnical Expert
This article will help users to open Thunderbird MBOX files in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 easily. Here, professional method MBOX Converter tool is provided to solve the technical jargon faced by users. The user will be able to understand the incompatibility issue between MBOX and Outlook.


If you want to learn how to open MBOX files in MS Outlook 2016, 2013 or 2010, continue reading this post. Besides describing a solution to this issue, we will also focus on the compatibility issue of MBOX and Outlook. 

Whether you are a technical expert or not, you may need to export MBOX to Outlook 2016. The reasons for this can be anything. It can be for transferring data of an email client that supports MBOX to MS Outlook. You may have migrated from Thunderbird to Outlook and want to export your data. Apart from these, you may also get hold of some orphan MBOX files and you only use Outlook.  

Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains the same and that is to use Outlook to open an MBOX file. The bad news is that you cannot directly open MBOX file in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 or any other version. You must be curious to know the reason for that and that is covered in the next part. 

Understanding the Incompatibility Issue between MBOX and Outlook

In the present time, numerous email clients exist and these clients save their data in different file formats. Though some file formats like MBOX are supported by more than one email client, Microsoft Outlook does not support the MBOX format. Rather it supports OST (if connected to Exchange Server) and PST format, in which it saves all its data. For this reason, Microsoft Outlook cannot open Thunderbird MBOX files directly. But there is a way to open MBOX files in Outlook 2016. 

How to Resolve "Cannot Open MBOX in Outlook" Problem?

Though trying to read an MBOX file using Outlook will not give any result, there is a way around this issue. Since MS Outlook supports PST files, users can easily convert the MBOX file into PST format and then open it. This small trick can save us from the troublesome situation. Here, we will tell you how to convert MBOX files into PST and thus open the file in Outlook. 

Two Part Solution to Open MBOX File in MS Outlook 2016  

The entire process can be split into two parts. In the first part, the MBOX file will be converted into PST. In the last part, that PST file will be imported into Outlook. 

A) Convert MBOX into PST


In order to migrate any Thunderbird MBOX file into Outlook PST, the use of a conversion tool is a must. SysTools MBOX Converter is a reliable program that allows the mentioned migration. Perform these steps to import MBOX files to Outlook. 

  1. Download and launch the tool. Click on Add file.   
  2. Click on Default Profile Configured radio button and select the email client. If you have orphan MBOX file, choose Select File(s)/Folder from File System.   
  3. Select the necessary items when all items get displayed for preview.   
  4. Select PST option and click Export to begin the conversion process.  

B) Import PST File in Outlook 2016

Once the MBOX file data is converted into a PST, it is time for importing that file in Outlook. If you are using a 2016, 2013, or 2010 version of Outlook, you can follow these steps to import the PST file into Outlook. 

  1. Open MS Outlook profile and click on File
  2. Click on Open & Export>> Import/ Export option   
  3. Select Import from another program or file>> Click on Next   
  4. On the next page, select Outlook Data File (.pst)>> Next.   
  5. Click on Browse button and navigate to the folder where the preferred PST file is saved. Select the file and it will be shown in the wizard.    
  6. Choose other options according to your need. Click Next.   
  7. Enable the radio button of "Import items into the current folder" option, as we are not importing it to Office 365.   
  8. Click Finish and the importing process will start. A progress bar will appear that will show the status of this process. With the end of the process, that bar will go away.  

 Why Choose SysTools MBOX Converter?  
 Users may want to know why they should choose SysTools MBOX to PST Converter for the migration process. The reason is simple and straightforward. This application can migrate any MBOX files to PST without any data loss. Here are some prime reasons why this software is trusted by thousands of users worldwide:  
  • Loads data from both MBOX file and configured profile   
  • Standalone tools with no need of Outlook installation   
  • Batch conversion of multiple MBOX files into Outlook PST   
  • Migrates email attachments keeping their original format   
  • Supports 64-bit version of Windows Operating System   
  • Views folders in multiple viewing styles before conversion   
  • Option to split resultant PST file according to chosen size   


Through this post, readers have learned how to open MBOX files in Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010. Since Outlook does not open Thunderbird MBOX files, conversion of Thunderbird files into Outlook is an integral part of this solution. The entire process of MBOX to PST conversion have been depicted here. It is expected that users can follow this guideline and perform the method successfully. 


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