Tips to Import Thunderbird MBOX to Office 365 In Easy Steps

A Multifaceted Approach to Import MBOX to Office 365

Growing size of an organization and its needs, change the preferences too. Thus, the variety of email clients available today is justifiable owing to the expanding requirements. Despite being a client suitable for small-scale level of usage, Thunderbird has been quite popular among users. However, at a certain point the business requirements grow out of its potential. Thus, email client that are more professionally suitable and capable are looked for. The present scenario is that of Cloud computing, so that is where users go when they switch from Thunderbird too. Therefore, the need to import MBOX to Office 365 is encountered by many with change in time. This blog explains the possibilities of carrying out one such conversion along with the challenges involved.

mbox to office 365

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Desktop Client vs. Cloud Service

Emailing services today are available in two different forms desktop based and web based which has further expanded into cloud-based service. Both the service providers are productive from their own perspective.

Desktop emails are safer as compared to web and cloud based service providers. The storage of all emails exchanged through the user account is stored locally on the user’s own machine. Thus, they are safe from being hacked or misused by any means (unless the machine access is shared).

On the other hand, web-mail clients or cloud services are extremely good at providing unlimited storage and platform independence. All this is provided by the service provider and all you have to do is avail the service from any part of the world simply because the data is online.

However, safety and data control is provided more via desktop mail clients than cloud services. Despite all, the benefits of working with a cloud platform suppress local clients.

Why Choose Office 365 Over Mozilla Thunderbird?

Following is a brief account of why users choose to import MBOX to Office 365.

Thunderbird is a desktop client featuring:

  • Emailing service that generates storage in plain text file on local machine.
  • Personal information management rendered via calendaring, tasks, & contacts.
  • Import and export facility provided with the help of a third party add-on.
  • Is a cross platform application that can be accessed on Windows, Mac, & Linux.
  • Generates an application-independent MBOX format local storage for messages.
  • Weak Security Provision: Data storage readable even on a simple text editor.

Office 365 on the other hand offers:

  • Is a cloud based service that offers different subscription packages for users.
  • Designed considering different organization sizes & business requirements.
  • Is a completely collaborative platform for communication, data share, & storage.
  • Offers great data storage which is further expandable via package upgrade.
  • Suite of applications for organizations: Office suite, Skype, Exchange & more.
  • Accessible from desktop computer, mobile device, & any geographical location.

Considering the above comparison, who would not want to import MBOX to Office 365 to choose cloud service? Therefore, it is better to understand your requirements before making a move. This helps you choose the right platform among all the others available.

Thunderbird, as an individual client, is a great service provider. However, when compared to a cloud service, it stands nowhere. Technically, that is what sets apart two different services and users prefer to convert MBOX file into Office 365. When considered from a business point of view, this leads organizations to make a switch for greater productivity and better collaboration. We always go for the best and not second best.

Possibilities to Convert MBOX to Office365

Discussed above are some of the reasons that bring in a conflict between Thunderbird and Office365. Based on the same, following section gives an overview of the possibility to import MBOX file to Office 365.

No Direct Connectivity

Thunderbird doesn’t offer any such feature that ensure direct connectivity of its data with a webmail service or a cloud storage. Neither is there a connectivity generating feature nor does it generate a file format that is importable from MBOX to Office 365 (like; PST).

Outlook PST and Office365

Office365 is the cloud based application suite from Microsoft. Therefore, it is in some means connected to Microsoft and its services; directly or indirectly. Thus, it not only supports exporting mailboxes as a Personal Storage Table file, but can also import the file.

Despite the fact, that there is no direct connection between Thunderbird and Office 365 to carry out the MBOX to Office 365 migration, there still are indirect workarounds to the same.

  1. Migrate data from Thunderbird to Microsoft Outlook (for desktop)
  2. Attain the respective personal storage file and import Thunderbird MBOX into Office365

Workarounds to Migrate MBOX to Office 365

You can generate a connection between Office 365 and Thunderbird by implementing the following workaround to import MBOX to Outlook:

  1. Pull out emails from Thunderbird:
    mbox-to-office-min Image source

    • Select messages that you need to move from MBOX to Office 365
    • Create a New Folder on the desktop or any other folder path of your choice
    • Drag and drop the selected emails in the newly created folder to create local copies of emails in ‘.eml’ extension
    • Alternatively, you can also use the Thunderbird add-on – ImportExportTools when the number of emails to be exported is bulk
  2. Select the folder
  3. Go to Tools and from the ImportExportTools option select ‘Export all messages in the folder’ as ‘EML’ format
  4. Select the folder path of your choice

TIP: Alternatively, you can also choose HTML format as the preferred choice as Outlook’s single message file is formatted in HTML format.

  1. Transfer the emails into Outlook:
    1. Open the folder path where Thunderbird emails are saved as EML
    2. Select all the messages using ‘CTRL+A’ command
    3. Create a new Personal Storage Table file on Outlook or create a new folder in an existing PST
    4. Drag and drop selected messages into the desired folder of the Outlook profile of your choice to Convert MBOX to Outlook

NOTE: Microsoft Outlook does not officially support EML file but still reads it, as they are simple text files. However, there is also a possibility of a certain portions not being readable due to incompatibility. Under such circumstances, one can opt to export MBOX to PST.

Final Stage: Once the output is generated, i.e. you have a PST file consisting of Thunderbird emails, you can now import MBOX to Office 365 via PST. You can either use Azure software or send Microsoft authorities an encrypted hard disk consisting of the PST file to import into Office 365, as the only two available options to convert MBOX file to Office 365.

User Friendly Alternative

Using a third party application to convert MBOX to Office 365 is comparatively more productive as compared to all the suggested workarounds. The best thing about using software programs is that they offer:

  1. An automated solution
  2. Guaranteed output (solution)
  3. Instant data migration
  4. Unlimited data transfer
  5. Trial before investment

Thus, it is better to go for commercial solutions to perform a direct and guaranteed successful solution. It demands investment but at the same time offers solutions that you exactly need without any compromises, i.e. import MBOX to Office 365 directly.

James Smith

James Smith is a freelancer technical blogger. A knowledge seeker in arena of Technology, interested in sharing Information through Internet among people. Researched on email clients issues, data recovery solutions, data management techniques & is now willing to share all the knowledge gained through Blogs.
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