Mozilla Thunderbird and MS Outlook are the most popular email client for Windows Operating system. The big organizations use Outlook as the default email client while Thunderbird is preferred by individual users and small industries.
In this article, we will discuss why a user should import Thunderbird to Outlook and the complete process to do so. But before that, let’s compare Thunderbird and Outlook first.
Comparison b/w Mozilla Thunderbird and MS Outlook
- It is a free and open source email client.
- Runs on Windows, Mac and Unix OS.
- Stores mailbox data in MBOX file format with no extension.
- Supports all standard protocols: IMAP, POP, SMTP
- Lacks advanced security features.
- No native support for Exchange server.
- Not available for mobile platforms.
- Needs to be purchased. Also comes as a part of Office 365.
- Runs on Windows and Mac OS.
- Stores mailbox data in PST or OST file format.
- Supports all standard protocols: IMAP, SMTP, POP.
- Advanced security features.
- Support for Exchange server.
- Available on mobile platforms.
Why Import Thunderbird Mail to Outlook?
For home users, Mozilla Thunderbird is more than enough. But it cannot comply all the needs of an organization. Due to lack of funds, a small organization may use Thunderbird, but it quickly shifts to MS Outlook once the scalability increases.
- Outlook and Exchange have the same developers – Microsoft. Therefore, both applications are integrated to work with each other flawlessly. Since, many medium to big organizations use Exchange, MS Outlook automatically becomes the favorable email client.
- Outlook offers more advanced security features than Mozilla Thunderbird.
- Outlook can be accessed on mobile platforms which enables a user to work on the go.
How to Migrate Thunderbird to Outlook?
Users can opt for any of the two methods explained below. The first method is divided in 3 sections while the second method is a professional software.
Method I. Import Thunderbird to Outlook via IMAP
You will need a Gmail account for this method. So, create a new Gmail account and then follow the given steps:
Step 1: Enable IMAP & Less Secure Apps
- Log in to the Gmail account, click Gear icon and select Settings option.
- Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- Check Enable IMAP box.
- Click Save changes.
- Now, go to myaccount.google.com.
- Click Security.
- Allow less secure app access.
Step 2: Configure in Thunderbird and Import Emails to Gmail
- Run Mozilla Thunderbird and go to Tools menu.
- Select Account Settings.
- Click on Account Actions from the bottom-left and select Add Mail Account.
- Enter the Gmail credentials and click on Continue button.
- Make sure that IMAP box is checked and click on Done button.
- The account is configured.
- Create a new folder in the newly configured Gmail account.
- Select all the Thunderbird emails that you want to import into Outlook.
- Right-click on Copy To, select the new folder in Gmail account.
- The emails are copied into the Gmail account.
Simply open the Gmail account on your browser to check all the Thunderbird emails are successfully copied.
Step 3: Configure in Outlook and access Thunderbird emails
- Open MS Outlook.
- Click File menu and select Account Settings >> Account Settings.
- Click on New to open the Add Account Setup window.
- Enter the credentials and click Next.
- Outlook will validate the account and click Finish.
- Once the account is configured, open the Thunderbird emails.
- Copy all the emails and move them into any Outlook folder.
- This takes care of the import process.
Note: This method is very time consuming and not feasible for a non-technical person.
Method II. Import Thunderbird Mail to Outlook with Software
Email migration is a difficult task. To simplify the things and make the process easier, users can try professional software Quickdata MBOX to PST Converter. It is the one of the best tool to convert Thunderbird emails to Outlook PST format. There are multiple file formats to export: PST, PDF, NSF, EML, MSG, and HTML.
- Download and Install the conversion software.
- Click the Add File button and select the Thunderbird option.
- Choose Default Profile Configured and click Next.
- Select the email accounts configured in the Thunderbird client and click Process.
- The software will preview the Thunderbird emails.
- Next, select the PST format and click the Export button to start conversion.
You can watch the short video to understand the working of the software:
Users can try the free demo version of the converter software that export first 20 emails per folder. Once you convert Thunderbird emails to PST and import them in MS Outlook. For importing, use the native Import/Export option in File >> Open & Export menu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the Outlook versions that I can import Thunderbird emails into?
A. Users can import Thunderbird to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 & 2003 with both the two methods.
Q. I don’t have the Thunderbird application installed but have the Thunderbird MBOX files. Can I convert them into Outlook?
A. Yes, you can. While the first method requires Thunderbird, the second method has the option to directly import MBOX files and convert them into PST for Outlook.