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How to Convert MBOX to EML Files for Free?

Written By Sophia Grace
Marco Devin
Approved By Marco Devin  
Published On November 22nd, 2022

If you are looking to convert MBOX to EML format? then, keep reading. In this article, we explain various freeways for MBOX to EML conversion with attachments. also, here you will get the complete information about both file formats.

Before we proceed any further let’s revise about MBOX and EML file format.


MBOX short for Mailbox is a file format used to store email messages in a concatenated manner. It stores a folder of email messages in a single file. This is slightly risky because if you lose the MBOX file then, all your data is gone.

It is a popular format among many email clients. Despite that, it falls short in comparison to the EML file format in terms of how many programs support it.

The EML format saves an email message in a single file. It saves the message content in a plain text format. It is a preferred choice for sharing email files as it is compatible with many programs.

Along with these, there are many benefits to Converting MBOX to EML files. Let’s see what they are.

Advantages to Convert MBOX to EML Files

  • EML file format is highly compatible with multiple email clients.
  • EML saves messages in a plain text format. Hence, it can be opened in text editors as well. For example, Notepad and Word Document.
  • In terms of sharing, MBOX files are difficult to share. As the recipient would only be able to access those MBOX files if they have any compatible email client
  • MBOX files are bigger in size in comparison to EML files.
  • EML files save each message in an individual file. Whereas, MBOX files save a folder of messages in a single file.

Let’s move on to the methods you can use to Convert MBOX to EML format.

Methods to Convert MBOX File to EML

We read how converting MBOX to EML has its own advantages. There are various methods you can use to convert your MBOX files into EML format.

To execute these methods, you must have the Thunderbird email client installed beforehand. Manual methods to Convert MBOX to EML files.

  • The Drag and Drop Method
  • The “Save As” Option
  • Using the “ImportExportTools NG” add-on.

Let’s see the step-wise tutorials to execute these methods.

Method 1: Convert MBOX to EML Using Drag & Drop Method

One of the simplest methods you can use to Convert MBOX to EML files. It is exactly as the name suggests i.e., you simply have to drag and drop your messages from Thunderbird in your desired location folder or desktop.

This method saves the dropped message files in EML format.

Method 2: Using The “Save As” Method

This is another simple method to Convert MBOX to EML files. Using this method, you can convert one message at a time.

Follow the given instructions:

  1. Open Thunderbird on your computer.
  2. Go to the folder which has the emails to convert.
  3. Select the email message you want to convert.
  4. Right-click on that email.
  5. In the dropdown menu, select Save As option.
  6. Now browse and select the location for the file to be saved.
  7. Click on the “Save”.

With this method, your files are saved with a .eml extension at your desired location.

Method 3: “ImportExportTools NG” Tool to Convert MBOX to EML Files

This method requires you to install the ImportExportTools NG add-on in your Thunderbird. This add-on is free. Using this add-on, you can export either a single message or all your emails in bulk, as per your need.

If you don’t have the add-on installed then, follow the steps to install the add-on in your Thunderbird.

Step 1: Install the ImportExportTools NG

  1. Open Thunderbird on your computer.
  2. Click on three horizontally stacked lines.
  3. Select add-ons and themes. A new window will appear.
  4. Type Import Export Tools NG in the search bar.
  5. Select the first option and click on Add to Thunderbird in front of it.
  6. The add-on is added to your Thunderbird now.

Now that you have the add-on installed, you can proceed further with exporting your MBOX files.

Step 2: Convert MBOX to EML Using the Add-On

  1. Open Thunderbird on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the mailbox you want to export.
  3. Select ImportExportTools NG >> Export all messages in the folder >> EML Format.

    Convert MBOX to EML

  4. Browse and select the location for the EML files to be saved.
  5. Lastly, click Save to begin the conversion process.

Now your MBOX files are successfully converted into EML format.

If you have orphan MBOX files that you wish to Convert MBOX to EML files, you can do so by using the above method. But you will have to import MBOX files to Thunderbird first.

To do that, Follow the given instructions.

  1. Open Thunderbird on your computer.
  2. After that, right-click the folder in which you wish to import the MBOX files.
  3. Select “ImportExportTools NG” >> “Import MBOX file”.
  4. Choose “Import directly one or more MBOX files”.
  5. Lastly, click “OK“.

Now your MBOX files have been imported into the selected folder in Thunderbird. To export these files, refer to the method above this one.


There is more than one way to Convert MBOX to EML files. In this blog, we covered three of the easiest and most popular free manual methods. You can use whichever one of these fits your requirements.