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Exporting Mail

Posted on 2004-08-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I need to know if there is a clean and neat way to export mail from the Macintosh 10.3.5 e-mail client  to a form that can be imported into Outlook 2003 for windows. I have been tasked with migrating our Macintosh machines to windows machines and need a way to move peoples mail from one to the other with out forwarding all that mail back to each user. Any ideas?
Question by:Bob Conklin
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 11846828
Mail.app uses traditional Unix style mbox format to store its mail.

Go to /Users/username/Library/Mail/Mailboxes
You will see several directories with a .mbox extenstion.  For instance:

drwx------   9 bjohnson  bjohnson       306 14 May 16:07 Apple.mbox
drwx------  10 bjohnson  bjohnson       340  6 May 14:34 Bioinformatics.mbox
drwx------   7 bjohnson  bjohnson       238 18 Aug 08:19 Deleted Messages.mbox
drwx------   9 bjohnson  bjohnson       306 11 Aug 21:56 Drafts.mbox
drwx------   7 bjohnson  bjohnson       238 19 Aug 15:04 INBOX.mbox
drwx------   6 bjohnson  bjohnson       204 16 Aug 13:42 Junk.mbox
drwx------   5 bjohnson  bjohnson       170 19 Aug 14:58 Outbox.mbox
drwx------   9 bjohnson  bjohnson       306  6 May 14:34 Party.mbox
drwx------   9 bjohnson  bjohnson       306 14 Aug 15:49 Sent Messages.mbox

These correspond to the Mail folders, so you will probably want to import
them individually into Outlook.  However the directories themselves are
not the actual mbox format.  Inside each one you will find several files:

-rw-r--r--  1 bjohnson  bjohnson      399 18 Dec  2003 Info.plist
-rw-r--r--  1 bjohnson  bjohnson   806912 18 Dec  2003 content_index
-rw-r--r--  1 bjohnson  bjohnson  7809313 29 Oct  2003 mbox
-rw-r--r--  1 bjohnson  bjohnson    84993 25 Jun 00:17 table_of_contents

The one named 'mbox' is the file you want to input into Outlook.  The
others are recreatable meta-data about the mbox file.

However that seems like quite a bit of work to do for a bunch of people that
are going to quit their jobs after you have forced them to give up Mac OS X
to use Windows instead.

Expert Comment

ID: 11865395
Importing individual mails into Outlook is going to be a painful way of importing thousands of mail messages for a group of people.

Far easier, is to convert to Eudora on the Mac, then convert to Eudora on the PC, then Import from there.

I'd say the installs would be about 15 mins per mac/pc.  So if you've just got 10-100 mails, then import them individually, more and then go via Eudora.

Author Comment

by:Bob Conklin
ID: 11871050
Hi Scorp888
Either I am missing something or I have to buy the program, but I downloaded the free version of Eudora and installed it on a test Mac and PC and I fail to find a neat way to move the mail from the MAC version to the PC version and have the PC open the mail in anything that resembles a useable form. Like I said I most likely am missing somehting but this looks as painful as anything I have tried so far.  

Accepted Solution

Scorp888 earned 250 total points
ID: 11879653
No, you can use the Advert supported version.


Is the article you need.

Both versions of Eudora keep their mailboxes in the same format (UNIX mbox). However, Macintosh and Windows file systems handle text differently, so line feed conversion must be done. You can do this by FTPing the files in ASCII (text) mode, or by using a carriage return/line feed conversion utility (like the shareware application CRLF). It's very important that you FTP or convert the files to take care of the carriage return/line feed processing.

On the Macintosh, open the System Folder: Eudora folder. You'll see your mailbox files there. Rename the mailboxes in the standard 8.3 DOS format, using the .MBX file extension (for example, In becomes IN.MBX). If you have files ending in .toc, ignore them; you won't be transferring them. Note that if you have some mailboxes grouped into folders, the folder names must have the extension .FOL.

If you're FTPing the files: FTP the .MBX files to a mailhost (or anywhere else you can FTP to). Make sure you do it in ASCII (text) mode. Then FTP them back down to the target PC. Do not copy any .toc files, as they are platform specific. If you're using the CRLF utility: Run the CRLF utility on each .MBX file while they're on the Macintosh. Then copy the files onto the PC, via disk or however is most convenient.

Put all these files into the Eudora directory on the PC that was created when you installed Eudora on that computer. Delete the DESCMAP.PCE file from that directory. When you launch Eudora, you'll see your mailboxes and messages as they were on the Macintosh, although the status (read, unread, sent, forwarded, etc.) and label information will be lost.

To convert your filters, rename your Eudora Filters file to FILTERS.PCE. Then FTP or convert it as you did the mailboxes, and put it in the top level of the Eudora directory on the PC.

As for Address Books/Nicknames, look in your System Folder:Eudora Folder for a file called Eudora Nicknames. Rename this file to NNDBASE.TXT. FTP or convert it as you did the mailboxes, and put it in the top level of the Eudora directory on the PC.

If you have a folder in your Macintosh's System Folder:Eudora Folder called "Nicknames Folder," and there are files in it, then do this: rename them to SOMETHING.TXT (they can be called anything you wish, but they must have a .TXT extension). Then FTP or convert those files. In the Eudora directory on the PC, look for a subdirectory called "NICKNAME" (no quotes, capitalization doesn't matter). It must be called exactly that. If you don't have such a subdirectory, create it. Then put the files into this subdirectory. (Do not put the NNDBASE.TXT file in this subdirectory). If you didn't have the Nicknames Folder on your Macintosh, or if it was empty, don't worry about this step.

You can then import from Eudora to Outlook.


Is a good procedure.

If you get stuck at any stage, shout again.


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