Add MBOX to Thunderbird & Access MBOX File in Mozilla Thunderbird

Most of the time, a user is stuck in a situation where he is unable to access MBOX files in Thunderbird application. This is when the user requests to add MBOX to Thunderbird. Let’s take a look at the user scenario. “Recently, I received some old MBOX files from one of my colleagues, that is to be utilized to generate a report. Unfortunately, I am facing some trouble in opening MBOX files in Mozilla Thunderbird. Some confidential information is stored inside these MBOX files hence, I cannot share them with someone else. I have tried all solutions that I can find to open files but failed in each attempt. Even re-installing of Thunderbird application did not work for me. I guess I might have to add MBOX to Thunderbird email client but I have no idea how to perform the procedure. Can someone please simplify the procedure for me as am not a technical person?”

Reasons for Adding MBOX to Thunderbird

  • If the user has exported various file format into MBOX and now needs to add them to Mozilla Thunderbird.
  • In case of old MBOX files that might be stored inside a hard drive or any external storage, when required to read and open in Thunderbird.
  • In case of changing the email client and accessing all MBOX files in the new application say Thunderbird, then it requires transfer of MBOX files.
  • There can also be need of adding MBOX files to Thunderbird from the different application but with file format like Apple Mail to Thunderbird.

These are some of the reasons that force a user to add MBOX file to Thunderbird. In order to achieve this, there are two basic methods used. One involves the use of inbuilt free utility while the other method includes the use of a professional tool. Let’s start by giving you an expert solution.

Automated Approach to Add MBOX to Thunderbird

Looking at the growing need to add MBOX file to Thunderbird, experts have come to a conclusion that use of the automated solution is the best approach. It comprehends the utilization of a professional tool that is specifically designed for adding MBOX to Thunderbird email client. The software import MBOX file into Thunderbird in just a couple of minutes and retains data structure. The user can easily add multiple MBOX files into Thunderbird at one time. Also, data security is also maintained during the procedure so the user does not face the loss of data. All these features prove that the use of a tool is the best way to add MBOX file to Thunderbird. Moreover, the manual method is also discussed in the following section of the blog.

Manual Trick to Add MBOX file to Thunderbird Application

Note: If you are having a newly installed Mozilla Thunderbird application then, you need to have Import/Export Add-on installed on your local machine. With the help of add-on Import/Export utility, the process of adding MBOX can manually be performed. But before starting with the procedure, it is suggested to take the backup of MBOX files. Because manual method too is pone to some data loss and has limitations. In such situations, backup of MBOX files will help you to restore data files. After taking the backup, add MBOX to Thunderbird by following steps:
  1.  Open and Run Thunderbird application on your system.
  2. Navigate through Tools followed by ImportExportTools. Here click on Import files from the listed options.
  3. This will open an Import MBOX file window. From the displayed window, select directly one or more MBOX file option.
  4. In case of subdirectories, the user can opt for Import one or more MBOX files, including subdirectories option. Then select the OK button.
  5. Proceeding further, browse for the location of MBOX files in your system to add MBOX to Thunderbird.
  6. Finally, click on Open Button to start the procedure.
Once the procedure is completed, you can easily open MBOX files in Thunderbird application without any issue. Moreover, you can store the Imported files on any secondary storage device to access them in any compatible email client. But if you are unable to add MBOX file to Thunderbird using manual method then go with the automated solution. This is the only alternative approach that will help you achieve the result. But as said earlier, there are some limitations associated with this methods. Let’s take a look at them.

Major Drawbacks of Manual Method

  • Manual method cannot add multiple MBOX files to Thunderbird at one time.
  • The Folder hierarchy is not retained after adding MBOX files into Thunderbird.
  • There is a possibility that data integrity is compromised during the manual method and the user might face data loss.
  • Requires a lot of effort and time to implement the procedure.
Some of these limitations force a user to look for an alternative approach to add MBOX to Thunderbird, which would be more beneficial. Where automated solution comes into the picture to provide fast and better results.


The blog clarifies the user’s problem for not able to access MBOX files in Thunderbird application. Both manual and automated solution has been discussed to add MBOX to Thunderbird with all their limitations. Experts suggest using the automated solutions for better and more accurate results. Which also saves a lot of time and effort which is a limitation of the manual method.

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