How to convert Mbox to Plain text (.txt files)

Aid4Mail is the best Mbox to Plain Text converter tool on the market. Compared to competing tools:

  • Aid4Mail is faster.
  • More accurate with no data loss.
  • Recovers emails from corrupted mbox files (more common than people imagine).
  • Offers more control over the conversion process.

If you don’t have Aid4Mail yet, you can experiment with the free trial version or purchase a low-cost 2-week Aid4Mail Converter license.

Aid4Mail can convert your mbox files to plain text in a batch. The text files (.txt) it creates can be opened and viewed in any basic editor like Windows Notepad. You can preserve email images and attachments, storing them separately in their native formats. They can then be opened directly in any compatible software.

You can also customize how emails are converted. For example, decide how much of the message header to include. And whether to save emails as individual files or combine them all into a single file.

Please follow the steps below to batch convert mbox files to plain text with Aid4Mail. For any setting that’s not specifically mentioned, you can either use the default (preset) value or consult the Aid4Mail 5 User Guide for details. You can open it from Aid4Mail by pressing the F1 key.

Step 1: Open Aid4Mail’s settings

Aid4Mail settings showing the session name set to "John Doe Mbox to Plain text". The Source and Target sections are expanded but not set. The Filter section is not expanded.

  1. In Aid4Mail, select the Settings tab.
  2. Update the Session name to so it describes for the task at hand. In this example, we will be converting John Doe’s Mbox files to Plain text so we’ve entered John Doe Mbox to Plain text as the session name.
  3. Below the session name there are three sections: Source, Target and Filter. Each can be displayed or hidden by selecting the +/- symbol next to the section heading. This tutorial requires them all to be displayed.

Step 2: Set Mbox files as your source

Source settings for the Mbox format

  1. In the Format list, select Mbox files.
  2. Set the Location of your Mbox files, either writing it directly in the field or by using the Select button to browse your file system. Set a single Mbox file, or a folder containing Mbox files, or a folder whose hierarchy (anywhere below it) contains Mbox files. For this example, we’ve set a folder called JohnDoe.
  3. Choose whether to Remove journaling envelope if your email files are journaled.

Step 3: Set Plain text as your target

Target settings for the Plain text format. 

  1. In the Format list, select Plain text.
  2. Specify where you want your Plain text files to be saved. You can write directly in the field or use the Select button to browse your file system. If you want to save all of the emails to a single text file, turn-on the option Export to a single text file.
  3. Select an option for the Folder structure of the exported mail. Usually you’ll want to keep it the same as the original, so choose Same as source folder structure.
  4. Select an option for the File name of the exported Plain text files. For this example we selected Use a template to create a custom file naming template.
  5. For the custom File name template, {LocalMessageDate}-{Subject} was added. Each Plain text file will have the emails date and subject as the file name. Select Insert to see all available template options.
  6. Select an option for the Email header configuration. You can select one of the default options in the drop-down list or you can create your own by using the Add button. Aid4Mail allows you to fully customize which items of information from the emails you want added to the HTML files. As shown below, there are 95+ items that can be selected. For this example, we are using Email with basic header and extracted attachments.

    Step 4: Set your filter (optional)

    1. Under Folder filtering, pick Folder selection. Your Mbox files folder structure will appear in the box below.
    2. Select the folders you want Aid4Mail to process. The others will be skipped.

    Step 5: Run your Mbox to Plain text conversion

    Select the Run button or Session > Run from the menu. Aid4Mail will convert your chosen Mbox files to Plain text. It will automatically open the Progress tab so you can monitor what’s going on. Once finished, you will find full reports in the Progress log and, if relevant, the Error log.

    That’s it!

    We hope you found this tutorial helpful in showing you why Aid4Mail is the best Mbox to Text converter on the market. As shown above, Aid4Mail can convert Mbox to text reliably and quickly.

    If you’re looking for further information, first take a look through the Aid4Mail 5 user guide and our knowledge base articles.

    If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning Helpdesk.

    If you’d like to buy an Aid4Mail license, please visit the online store.

    Or if you’d like to try Aid4Mail first before purchasing, download a free trial and run your own tests converting Mbox to Plain text. We want you to have full confidence in Aid4Mail!

About Fookes Software

Fookes Software Ltd
La Petite Fin 27
1637 Charmey (en Gruyère)

For over 25 years we have been developing award-winning tools and productivity software. We also have more than 20 years of expertise in the field of email processing and analysis.

Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, law firms, universities, and professionals specializing in e-discovery and forensics from around the world.

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