Email Import/Export Solutions

The web is full of free solutions for exporting mail but the pitfalls are rarely mentioned. This page lists the advantages and disadvantages of various methods and explains why using Aid4Mail is usually better.

If you need to process 20 user accounts or more, please visit our “Large-Scale Migration” page.

There are three types of methods you can use to transfer email:

  1. the integrated Import feature of your mail program;
  2. one or more free programs/services to create an importable format;
  3. a commercial solution like Aid4Mail.

The Pitfalls

The main problems encountered with free mail export solutions are that they can be extremely technical, time-consuming, and not very accurate. They may work fine for simple text-based email messages, but can demonstrate severe problems if messages contain any of the following:

  • File attachments
  • Embedded images and other media
  • Diacritical marks (like é, è, ç)
  • Non-Latin characters
  • Digitally signed emails (signed MIME)

To make matters worse, these problems may not be immediately evident because they only appear in certain email messages, and may be discovered once it is already too late and the originals have been deleted.

The screenshot on the left, below, shows some of these issues after a conversion from Outlook using the Thunderbird import tool. Note the problems with accented characters, the misplaced image, and the altered Chinese attachment name. On the right is the email message as it should be displayed, after conversion with Aid4Mail.

From Outlook using Thunderbird’s import tool.
From Outlook to Thunderbird using Aid4Mail.

Read on to see which mail conversion solution best suit your needs...


1. Integrated Import/Export Feature of Mail Program

This is often the obvious choice for users of mail programs that support the files to import. However, few realize that these integrated conversion tools are less than perfect and can sometimes result in the loss of valuable email information.

Benefits:

  •  Free.
  •  Easy to use (when it works).
  •  Usually fast (for limited number of accounts).
  •  In some cases can import address books and account settings.

Disadvantages may include:

  • Limited import/export options:
    • no support for your source files or target format,
    • cannot choose which mail folders or files to import,
    • cannot choose where to save imported mail folders,
    • cannot be automated (critical for large scale migrations).
  • Expects source mail in a specific location.
  • Fails to work if a special file is missing.
  • Poor conversion leaves certain types of email messages unreadable.
  • Loss of mail information such as:
    • email attachments,
    • inserted contents like pictures,
    • original message date,
    • status information (read, replied, flagged).

See some examples of poor email conversion.


2. Other Free Conversion Methods

This solution is often suggested on blogs and forums, and suits technical people who know what they are doing and don’t mind spending a lot of time over their conversion. It’s typically a manual process that involves using several free tools or services; each cover a small part of the conversion process to create files that can be imported by your email program.

Benefits:

  •  Free.

Disadvantages may include:

  • Time consuming.
  • Difficult to follow.
  • Poor conversion leaves certain types of email messages unreadable.
  • Loss of mail information such as:
    • email attachments,
    • inserted contents like pictures,
    • original message date,
    • status information (read, replied, flagged),
    • folder hierarchy.

See some examples of poor email conversion.

Using a free solution will save you money, but is it worth all the disadvantages? You may lose important mail data and only discover the problem weeks or years later when it’s too late.


3. Aid4Mail Software Solution

Aid4Mail is based on years of expertise in the field of email processing. It is suitable for both small and large scale mail conversion projects, from home use to large corporate migrations.

Benefits:

  •  Fast.
  •  Easy to use.
  •  Many conversion options, including:
    • choose which mail folders or files to export,
    • choose where to save exported mail folders.
  •  Supports over 40 email programs and file formats:
    • Office Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express,
    • Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, Apple Mail,
    • Outlook MSG and PST files, DBX, mbox, EML,
    • IMAP accounts, Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo! Mail,
    • and more...
  •  Business editions can convert mail to special formats like PDF, CSV, and XML.
  •  Supports local mail files that are disconnected from their email program (for example unmounted PST files).
  •  Handle mail files on external media (CD, DVD, USB drives).
  •  More accurate than competing solutions (including commercial ones).

Disadvantages:

  • Not free (price starts at just $29.95 US)

If you need an easy and reliable way to:

then the wait is over. Get Aid4Mail now and start migrating your email today.


Try Aid4Mail for Free

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. This way you can verify that Aid4Mail is fully compatible with your system and does what you require.


Ready to Buy Now? It’s Quick and Easy

Thank you for choosing Aid4Mail. With one license, you can process all your mail accounts on a single PC and Windows login account. It’s also fine to run Aid4Mail on a second PC to transfer your mail to it. But if you must migrate mail stored on 3 different PCs, or belonging to 3 different people, then you’ll need 3 Aid4Mail licenses. You can set the number of licenses on the next screen.

Aid4Mail Home
For Private Mail Only

  •  50% discount on renewal
     Can be used for email archiving
  •  Supports 40+ mailbox formats
  •  
     
     
     
     
     

Aid4Mail Professional
Professional & Private Mail

  •  50% discount on renewal
     Can be used for email archiving
  •  Supports 40+ mailbox formats
  •  Supports MS Exchange
     Process mail by date range
     Search/Filter emails
     Also converts to XML, CSV, PDF
     Use/create custom scripts
     Priority customer support

Double-check the system requirements here…

  • Operating System : Aid4Mail runs under Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Server 2012, 2008 and 2003 or Linux in conjunction with Wine. Both Windows 32-bit and 64-bit are supported.
    Windows NT4 / ME / 98 / 95 should work but are not officially supported.
  • Internet : Online license activation, validation, and re-activation require an internet connection (offline activation option available with Aid4Mail eDiscovery editions).
  • Hardware Requirements : 64 MB of RAM, 12 MB disk space. Pentium (or compatible) processor.

IF YOU’LL BE PROCESSING OUTLOOK/EXCHANGE:

  • Aid4Mail currently does not support the 64-bit versions of Office Outlook 2010 or 2013. But Windows 64-bit with Outlook 32-bit is fine.
  • Office Outlook (32-bit version) must be installed to process mail to or from Outlook/Exchange profiles, *.msg and *.pst files.
    If you don’t have Outlook, you can use Microsoft’s free 60 day trial of Office Outlook for Windows. Alternatively you can use their free standalone version of MAPI but note that it doesn’t support Unicode PST files (which may be used in Outlook 2003 and later versions).
  • Aid4Mail may not be compatible with Click-to-Run installations of Outlook 2010; you will need to re-install Outlook 2010 using another method following Microsoft’s instructions. This is not the case for Outlook 2013 which works fine with Aid4Mail 3.
  • If you have Outlook 98/2000 then it should be installed in Corporate/WorkGroup mode in order to process PST and MSG files. If it is installed in Internet Mail Only (IMO) mode, then only the default MAPI profile can be processed.
  • There may be compatibility issues with Outlook 97.
  • PST files from Outlook 2001 for Mac are supported, but not those from Outlook 8.x for Mac. Outlook 2011 for Mac can import PST files created by Aid4Mail.
  • Microsoft Exchange can either be processed through an Outlook/MAPI mail profile, or through the IMAP protocol in which case the Exchange server needs to be set up for IMAP access (see instructions).

Aid4Mail can read mail from:

  • Microsoft Exchange through Outlook/MAPI (1) (except Aid4Mail Home) or IMAP (2),
  • Outlook Personal Storage files (1) (*.pst),
  • Outlook MSG files (1) (*.msg),
  • Outlook Express versions 5 and 6 (*.dbx, *.eml and *.nws),
  • Outlook Express version 4 (*.idx and *.mbx),
  • Windows Live Mail (*.eml;*.nws),
  • Windows Mail (Vista mail client),
  • IMAP accounts,
  • Webmail services that offer IMAP access, e.g. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, FastMail, GMX Mail, Outlook.com, Outlook 365, etc,
  • Mozilla Thunderbird mailbox files,
  • SeaMonkey mailbox files,
  • Netscape mailbox files,
  • Apple Mail (Mail.app) message files (*.emlx),
  • Qualcomm Eudora mailbox files (*.toc and *.mbx),
  • Eudora OSE mailbox files,
  • Macintosh Eudora mailbox files,
  • Generic mailbox files (mbox, Entourage MBOX, Evolution, Berkeley mail, BSD mail, Unix mail format),
  • EML message files (*.eml),
  • MHT Web Archive files (*.mht),
  • Pegasus mailbox files (*.pmi, *.pmm, and *.cnm),
  • The Bat! mailbox files (3) (*.msb and *.tbb),
  • PocoMail mailbox files (*.idx, *.idb, and *.mbx),
  • Barca mailbox files (*.idx, *.idb, and *.mbx),
  • FoxMail mailbox files up to version 6.5 (*.box),
  • Opera mailbox files (*.mbs),
  • Calypso and Courier archive files,
  • Forte Agent mailbox files (*.idx),
  • Pine mbox files (with limited “From ” escaping),
  • PMMail message files (*.msg),
  • Maildir folders (local copies),
  • MSN Mail v8 (*.MailDB),
  • Mailbag Assistant mailbox files (*.mbg),
  • E-mail Examiner mailbox files (*.pmx),
  • Aid4Mail ZIP archives (*.zip).

Aid4Mail can export/save mail to:

  • Microsoft Exchange through Outlook/MAPI (1) (except Aid4Mail Home) or IMAP (2),
  • Outlook Personal Storage files (1) (*.pst),
  • Outlook MSG files (1) (*.msg) – only if source mail comes from Microsoft Exchange or Outlook files,
  • Windows Live Mail,
  • Windows Mail (Vista mail client),
  • IMAP accounts,
  • Webmail services that offer IMAP access, e.g. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, FastMail, GMX Mail, Outlook.com, Outlook 365, etc,
  • Mozilla Thunderbird mailbox files,
  • SeaMonkey mailbox files,
  • Eudora OSE mailbox files,
  • Netscape mailbox files,
  • PocoMail mailbox files (*.mbx),
  • Barca mailbox files (*.mbx),
  • Generic mailbox files, (mbox, Entourage MBOX, Evolution, Berkeley mail, BSD mail, Unix mail format),
  • EML message files (*.eml),
  • XML files (*.xml),
  • Plain text files (*.txt),
  • MHT Web Archive files (*.mht) - linked from an HTML index page or an MS Excel Workbook file (not available in Aid4Mail Home),
  • MHT files with tab-delimited data file for import into a database (not available in Aid4Mail Home),
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF files (not available in Aid4Mail Home),
  • Aid4Mail ZIP archives (*.zip).

Notes:

  1. To process (from/to) Outlook MSG files, PST files, and Outlook/MAPI mail profiles, Aid4Mail requires either a 32-bit version of Office Outlook or a standalone version of MAPI. For details, free options, and limitations, see the System Requirements.
    Only Aid4Mail Console can export a source MAPI profile or PST file to a target MAPI profile or PST file. With Aid4Mail Home, Aid4Mail Professional, and Aid4Mail eDiscovery, the workaround is to first export your emails to the Outlook MSG format, and then re-export those files to your target format.
  2. Microsoft Exchange can either be processed through an Outlook/MAPI mail profile (1), or through the IMAP protocol in which case the Exchange server needs to be set up for IMAP access (see instructions).
  3. Aid4Mail cannot process encrypted The Bat! mail files. In this case, you will first have to export your messages with The Bat! to a Generic mailbox format, which Aid4Mail can then process to any of the supported formats.
  4. Aid4Mail currently does not offer tools to convert address books, filters, or account settings from one format to another.
This low-cost option is for home users and students to use on email that is NOT work-related.

If you’ll be processing mail for your business, nonprofit or other organization, then you need Aid4Mail Professional.
A Two-Week license is intended for a one-time email migration or conversion. It’s valid for 2 weeks from first activation. This should give you enough time to experiment and then carry out your migration/conversion.

But consider this. If you spend just a little more, you get a One-Year license that you can use for other useful tasks – like email archiving, email data searching and extraction, and more… And it’s renewable in future years with a 50% discount!
We offer big quantity discounts, but they can’t be spread over multiple orders. So make sure you buy all the licenses you need now to get the best price.

You can set the quantity on the next screen after you click on the green button.
To transfer your own mail from an old computer to a new one, a single license is sufficient. However, you can’t use an Aid4Mail license on multiple computers at the same time, as stated in the EULA.
To do this you must have a license for every person whose mail is converted, in accordance with the EULA. If not, your license will be locked automatically. Note that purchasing additional licenses later is more expensive than buying all the licenses you need together in one order.
Yes, as long as you have purchased the correct number of licenses for your clients, in accordance with the EULA. For example, to process 3 people’s mail or mailboxes stored on 3 different PCs, you’ll need 3 licenses. If your client is a company, you’ll need the appropriate license(s) to cover their needs. Once you’ve used a license for one client, you cannot transfer it to another client.
Your license will be sent by email immediately after your order is accepted. If you haven’t received it within a few minutes, please check your spam folder before contacting us.
No. Like many other programs, Aid4Mail currently only works with the 32-bit edition of Outlook. Most users, even those with Windows 64-bit, have Outlook 32-bit installed.

Note that Aid4Mail is fully compatible with Windows 64-bit. See the System Requirements for more details.

P.S.

If you need a fast and accurate email conversion tool, you can trust Aid4Mail to do the job for you. Get your license now and start exporting your email today, or test drive Aid4Mail for free in trial mode and see for yourself how well it works.