How to Export Outlook Emails to Thunderbird

MS Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird both are commonly used email clients among Windows users. Often, people migrate from Outlook to Thunderbird and then they face the need to export Outlook email to Thunderbird as Outlook emails contain important data.

How to Export Outlook Emails to Thunderbird

Since the data migration process between Thunderbird and Outlook is a complex one, people search for a quick yet reliable solution for PST to MBOX conversion. Their search for the migration approach ends here as this blog will discuss how to export Outlook emails to Thunderbird.

Let’s have a look at one relevant user query:

I am an Outlook user but recently, our company decided to move to Thunderbird. So, we will be switching to Mozilla Thunderbird in the coming months. In my Outlook account, there are some important emails and contact. I want to access those data in my Thunderbird account too. Can anyone tell me how can I export my data from Outlook to Thunderbird? I am open to any type of solution. Thanks in advance.”

Why do People Want to Export Outlook Emails to Thunderbird

There can be multiple reasons for a user to transfer their email data of Outlook PST to Mozilla Thunderbird. Here are some of the main reasons behind this migration:

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email application. Users can move to this email client from Outlook to reduce the cost.

Mozilla Thunderbird also offers a portable version, unlike MS Outlook. Due to this feature, many people switch to Thunderbird and hence, need to export Outlook PST data into MBOX.

Sometimes, people need to change their email client from Outlook to Thunderbird because of the organizational decision.

How Can I Export Outlook Emails to Thunderbird

If you want to perform Outlook to Mozilla Thunderbird data migration, there are two ways. In the first method, you have to move the data manually. In the second method, you need to use conversion software to execute the conversion.

Method 1: Transfer emails to Thunderbird from MS Outlook Manually

For exporting Outlook emails to Thunderbird in the same system, follow the instruction. Make sure that you have MS Outlook and Thunderbird installed on your computer:

a. Click on Windows Start button. Now, select “Default Programs” –> “Set your default program”.

b. A list will appear where you need to select Outlook. Now, click on “Set this program as default” option. At this point, Outlook will become the default email client of your computer. This is a mandatory step to perform this migration.

c. Open Mozilla Thunderbird on your computer. Click on Tools –> Import from the Menu.

d. Select Mail radio button and click on Next.

e. From the list that will appear, choose Outlook before clicking on Next. On the next page, Click Finish.

f. If you want to move any other Outlook data item like contacts, repeat the whole process. On step d, choose Address book or other options instead of Mail.

g. Access “Default Programs” of your computer. Now, make Mozilla Thunderbird the default email client of your system.

Method 2: Migrate Outlook Emails to MBOX with Converter Tool

The manual approach to transfer Outlook PST emails in Thunderbird MBOX is a complex one. People without technical expertise will find it hard to perform the process successfully. If you are looking for an easy solution for Outlook PST file data to MBOX conversion, you must choose SysTools Outlook to MBOX Converter. This application can convert any Outlook PST file into MBOX suitable for Mozilla Thunderbird. It takes only a few minutes to execute the entire migration process. Whether you want to export Outlook email to Thunderbird located the same system or separate system, the tool will get the job done for you.

Top features of Outlook to MBOX Converter

  • Convert any size of Outlook PST file into MBOX file
  • Exported MBOX file is compatible with all supported applications
  • Option to maintain folder hierarchy of Outlook PST file
  • Compatible with both ANSI type PST and UNICODE type of PST
  • Microsoft Outlook installation is a must for data conversion
  • Suitable for all Windows OS including Windows 10


Hundreds of people switch from MS Outlook to Thunderbird every day. During the migration process, people usually face problems during data transfer as they do not know how to export Outlook emails to Thunderbird. If you also have the same requirement, read this write-up. Here, we have combined two useful techniques to migrate email data from Outlook to Thunderbird. Users can choose any method they want. Since the manual method has some limitations, the prescribed application is the better choice between these two.

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Article Author Details

Sandra Diaz