Export Thunderbird to Outlook

Two Ways to Migrate Thunderbird to Outlook: One Simple, One Free

Converting your email from Thunderbird to Outlook? Unless you’ve found a converter you can trust, you’re faced with a challenge.

  • Outlook won’t import your mail from Thunderbird.
  • There aren’t many free or low-cost email tools that support this conversion.
  • The solutions most often recommended on the Web have significant drawbacks.

And here’s the worst of it: You know if you make the wrong decision, you could end up wasting hours of your precious time and still lose your valuable email data.

But don’t worry! A good solution does exist.

In a moment, we’re going to tell you about a conversion tool that’s perfect for your needs. It’s an affordable tool that was designed specifically for this type of email conversion challenge. Most people agree that it’s a huge time saver, but in the interest of fairness, we’d also like to tell you about a free method for getting your conversion done.

The free method is great if money is tight. The other is better if you value your time and accurate results. Keep reading to know which is best for you.

Export Thunderbird to Outlook – the Free Way

This method requires four programs: our free MBOX Converter, Windows Explorer, Windows Live Mail (WLM) and Office Outlook. However, the Thunderbird program is not required.

Start by installing Aid4Mail MBOX Converter and Windows Live Mail if you haven’t already got them on your computer. You’ll need to download Windows Essentials to install WLM.

Screenshot of Aid4Mail MBOX Converter
Screenshot of Aid4Mail MBOX Converter

First, convert your Thunderbird files to EML with Aid4Mail MBOX Converter.

  1. Open Aid4Mail MBOX Converter.
  2. Click the Choose Source Files tab and select Thunderbird from the list.
  3. Next add the root folder of your mailboxes to the list by clicking on the Add Folder button.
  4. Click the Set Target Options tab or the Next button.
  5. Next select the EML files option near the top of the list.
  6. Confirm or change the target folder name.
  7. Click the Start Conversion tab or the Next button. Then click the Start button.
  8. Close Aid4Mail MBOX Converter once your mailboxes have converted to EML files.

Then follow this 14-step procedure for converting EML files to PST. (This is based on Windows Live Mail 2012. Other versions may differ slightly.)

  1. Open the Windows Live Mail program.
  2. Select the Folders tab and click on the New folder icon to open the Create Folder dialog box.
    Type a folder name, select the folder in which it should be created, then click OK.
  3. If you have multiple folders with EML files, repeat step 2 until you’ve recreated the folder structure of your source EML messages.
  4. Select the target folder for your EML files in Windows Live Mail.
  5. Select your EML files in Windows Explorer and then drag-and-drop them into the email list panel in Windows Live Mail.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for every matching source folder containing your EML files.
  7. When you’re done, the contents of your target folders will match those of your source folders.
  8. Now click on the dark blue tab with the “down” icon in Windows Live Mail.
  9. Point to Export email in the drop-down menu, and then click Email messages.
  10. In the Windows Live Mail Export wizard, click Microsoft Exchange and then click Next.
  11. Click OK when you see this message:
    This will export messages from Windows Live Mail to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange.
  12. Choose your target profile name in the Choose Profile dialog box, and then click OK.
  13. Click All folders to import all your messages, and then click OK. Or, click Selected folders, choose the folders that you want to export, and then click OK.
  14. Click Finish when the Export Complete screen appears.

You should now see your mailbox folders and messages under Imported Folder in Office Outlook.

As you can see, exporting Thunderbird to Outlook without a conversion tool can be a cumbersome process. Sadly, it isn’t always accurate, either. In conversions using this free method, email contents can get lost. Let me explain.

“Free” Often Includes Hidden Costs

When it comes to email conversion tools, you typically get what you pay for. While you may still choose the free method, you need to be aware of your potential risks.

  1. Broken images. After migration with Windows Live Mail, photos, graphics and other images inserted in your messages now show up as broken pictures in Outlook. They aren’t visible in the body of your emails (see screenshot below.)
  2. Loss of SMTP headers. Using the free method, your emails will lose their original email SMTP headers (the top part of the email, where email addresses, subject and time stamps, and encoding marks are located). If you value the integrity of your messages, especially if you work in the field of computer forensics, this is a serious problem.
  3. Time consuming. If you have many accounts to migrate, transferring your emails manually will take a lot of time and energy.

The screenshots below show the result you get using the free solution (left) compared to using Aid4Mail Professional (right):

Export after using the free method
Same email converted with Aid4Mail

It’s true. “Free” may initially appear to be a cost savings, but when you factor in the hours it takes to migrate your emails—and the low-quality outcome—you may actually save money using a commercial tool.

Ready to learn about a simple solution that saves both time and money, and produces much better results? Read on…

Migrate Thunderbird to Outlook – the Better Way

For quick and easy email conversions that don’t sacrifice quality, there’s only one tool you should consider: Aid4Mail.

Instead of 14 complicated steps (using the free method), you have only three simple ones. And you’ll love the results:

  • No data is lost in conversion.
  • It automatically restores your mailbox folder tree in Outlook without any manual intervention.
  • It correctly transfers the status information of your emails (like unread, replied, forwarded, and flagged) to Outlook.
  • And, if necessary, you can also export your messages directly to Office 365—or to Microsoft Exchange—using our Aid4Mail Professional edition.

Here’s how it works… Read more >

  1. Open the user-friendly wizard interface.
  2. Select Mozilla Thunderbird as your source and Office Outlook PST file as your target.
  3. Click Next until you reach the last screen and then press Start.

That’s it!

We’ve made the entire process as streamlined as possible. Aid4Mail provides context-sensitive help on each wizard screen (in addition to a well-documented user manual), so it’s easy to learn—even for first-time users. And you only need Office Outlook installed. There’s no need for MBOX Converter, Windows Explorer or Windows Live Mail.

Aid4Mail’s user-friendly wizard interface
Aid4Mail’s user-friendly wizard interface

Note that we also offer a special command-line edition if you need to migrate a large number of user accounts (see our large-scale migration page).

Thousands of Satisfied Customers Can’t Be Wrong

Aid4Mail has thousands of satisfied clients in more than 100 countries around the world. They include businesses of all sizes, government agencies, leading universities, as well as a large number of students and home users.

Some of them you’ll recognize: Harvard University, MIT, NASA, US Department of Justice, Hewlett Packard, Hoffmann-La Roche, The British Library and Credit Suisse.

Others we can’t name because of non-disclosure agreements. But we can tell you this: Our mail processing engine is so good, it’s used to power services of a leading search engine and a prestigious financial institution in NYC with offices around the world.

These brands have the budget to select the finest resources for every project they complete. If Aid4Mail is their first choice, shouldn’t it be yours as well?

Here’s What our Users Had to Say About Aid4Mail

“Totally awesome – have been wanting to get away from Tbird for months as it has gotten progressively unreliable – finally got to the “I gotta do something now!” point and your stuff worked like a charm.”
– Robert McCoy, USA
“Bought your program (the best $20.00 I ever spent) and it worked PERFECTLY moving EVERYTHING into Outlook.”
– Berkeley F Fuller, USA
“It's a rare treat to use SW that right away does just what I want it to and just as advertised. Huge thanks!”
– Gerry Sollner, USA
“The conversion from Thunderbird to Outlook today went great! Once again Aid4Mail got the job done beautifully. I will continue to use and recommend your software…”
– Michelle Fenley, USA
“In our testing, even with large mail files Aid4Mail produced problem-free exports in a few seconds.”
– PC Magazine, USA
“I hated to spend money to get mail from one program to another, but I know I would have pulled my hair out without your program.”
– Richard W., USA

Ready to Buy Now? It’s Quick and Easy

We offer Aid4Mail licenses that cover many different uses at very competitive prices—as low as $29.95 US. Click on the button below that best matches your needs…

Email Migration
I need to export my personal mail (or less than 20 people’s mail)
Store Page »
Large-Scale Migration
I need to convert 20 or more people’s mail. More info…
Store Page »

System Requirements

  • Operating System: Aid4Mail runs under Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Server 2012, 2008 and 2003. Both Windows 32-bit and 64-bit are supported.
  • Mail Client Programs: Aid4Mail supports all versions of Mozilla Thunderbird and the 32-bit version of Outlook 2010/2013, as well as Outlook 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000.
  • Internet: Online license activation, validation, and re-activation require an internet connection.

Prefer to Try Before You Buy?

If you’re not ready to buy, no problem. Simply take advantage of our free trial and start using Aid4Mail today.

There’s no sign-up form to download Aid4Mail and you can run it in trial mode for as long as you need. Take it for a test run. See for yourself how easy it is to use. We want you to be confident that Aid4Mail is fully compatible with your computer and does what you need.


Now is the time to finally export all your email from Thunderbird to Outlook—and do it with the most accurate, user-friendly tool on the market today.

Aid4Mail can handle your email migration challenges—so you can get on with your more important tasks. We’re the email specialists. Let us do our thing… so you can do yours.

Get your license now and start transferring your mail today.


Still unsure of which option is best for you? The table below gives you a side-by-side comparison of Aid4Mail’s commercial version and Aid4Mail MBOX Converter:

User-friendly wizard program with context-sensitive help
Automatically finds your Thunderbird mailbox files
Can skip deleted messages and hidden unpurged mail
Dates of exported EML files conveniently match message dates
The EML folder structure matches your source mailbox hierarchy
Automatically transfers your Thunderbird folder structure to Outlook
Does not require time-consuming manual processing
Can export mail from Thunderbird to Outlook in one step
Converts mail status information like unread, replied, flagged
Pictures in the message body are correctly displayed in Outlook
Can restore detached Thunderbird attachments
Supports 40+ mail formats

Aid4Mail’s commercial version is unmatched in its accuracy and preserves more information during conversion than any of its competitors, both free and commercial.

And with its user-friendly wizard interface, you can easily configure the export task step-by-step (see our tutorial on how to export emails from Thunderbird to Outlook with Aid4Mail).

Get Aid4Mail now. You won’t regret it.