Free Ways to Import MBOX File to Gmail

import mbox to gmail

February 27th, 2022 ~ File Management Tips, Gmail Tips ~ 5 Minutes Reading

Many internet users are searching the query – “how to import MBOX to Gmail“. So, after researching the topic, we are here to help solve this query by using the best free methods.

As we all know, Gmail is a well-known and widely used web-based email application. It helps us manage our emails and other items like contacts, calendars, notes, etc. As well as providing additional functionality to consumers.

Many people are considering switching from their existing email client to Gmail as a result of the advantages it offers them.


Reasons to Import MBOX Files to Gmail

As mentioned before, Gmail is a popular cloud-based email client. That is why people import MBOX to Gmail. so, let’s examine some users’ queries.

“Hey, I am searching for a method to import my MBOX email to Gmail. I looked for a long time but was unable to find the ideal answer, so please advise on a possible alternative. – Kylie from USA”

“Hello I am rosy from Australia. Well, I have a large number of MBOX files that I would want to import into Gmail; thus, please offer some freeways for me– Rosy from Australia”

“Hi, I took backup of my Gmail account earlier using Takeout. It gave me an MBOX file. I would like to upload this MBOX file into another Gmail account. Is there a free method available for this?– Stephen from UK”

Manual Method to Import MBOX to Gmail for Free


  • Firstly, install Mozilla Thunderbird on your pc.
  • Allow IMAP for the Gmail account into which you wish to import the data.

I. How to Enable IMAP Access for Your Gmail Account

  1. Open the Gmail application and click on the Gear icon.

    And press on “Add to Thunderbird

  2. And select the “Settings” option from the drop-down.

    select the “Settings” option

  3. Now select Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and press on “Enable IMAP”. (If this feature is previously activated, you may skip this step completely.)

    select forwarding and POP/IMAP tab

  4. Now press the “Save Changes” icon to complete the procedure.

    press the “Save Changes” icon

II. How to Configure Gmail account into Thunderbird

To easily upload MBOX emails to Gmail, we need the help of an MBOX email client. Here, we will use the free Mozilla Thunderbird application for this task.

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird and click on Email in Choose what to set up. If it is your first time opening Thunderbird, you will automatically get a window to set up account.

    Open Mozilla Thunderbird

  2. Now enter the login details of the Gmail account which you want to add and click the Continue button.

    Now enter the login details

  3. Now choose the IMAP option and the “Done” button.

    choose the IMAP option and the “Done” button

III. Method to Download ImportExportTools NG Add-on

In Thunderbird, to easily import MBOX files to Gmail, one needs the help of an add-on. Here, we will tell you how to install this add-on on your system.

  1. In Thunderbird press on the 3-rows button from the right corner and choose the “Add-ons and Themes” option.

    In thunderbird press on the hamburger button

  2. Now, enter ImportExport in the search bar and press the Enter key.
  3. Click on the ImportExportTools NG option.

    search the ImportExportTools

  4. And press on “Add to Thunderbird”.

    And press on “Add to Thunderbird

  5. Now click on the “Install Now” option and restart the application.

How to Import MBOX to Gmail Account Using Thunderbird

You can easily import MBOX files in Mozilla Thunderbird as it provides such a functionality. All it requires is the free add-on tool.

What we have done till now (required for importing MBOX in Gmail):

  • Configure Gmail in Thunderbird.
  • Install ImportExportTools NG Add-on.

Next, Step-by-Step Method to Upload MBOX Emails to Gmail

MBOX files cannot be directly imported in an IMAP account and we configured Gmail account using IMAP previously. Therefore, we will import MBOX to Local folders first, then move the emails to the Gmail mailbox.

  1. In Thunderbird, select Local Folders from the left-side panel.
  2. Right-click on Local Folders and choose “ImportExportTools NG >> Import mbox file.

    import mbox to local folders

  3. Select the option Import directly one or more MBOX files from the drop-down and click OK.

    Press on the open button

  4. Select the MBOX file(s) and press “Open”. The MBOX file would be loaded into Thunderbird Local Folders with a similar label.
  5. Click and drag the exported data into the label’s area underneath your Gmail Account’s label part to complete the import.
  6. Congratulations, importing MBOX into Gmail account is now successfully completed. You can open the account on your web browser to view your MBOX file content.

Note: If you are unable to locate the imported data in Gmail account (Mozilla Thunderbird), you may attempt restarting the application.

Please exercise caution while using the manual approach, since although manual methods are effective, they have certain limits and constraints. After all, manual methods are long and time-consuming procedures, and one incorrect step may result in the loss of your data.



Here, we discussed the manual methods to import MBOX files to Gmail account step by step. Also, as previously said, manual techniques have certain limitations. Thus, if you are comfortable and willing to take a risk with manual ways, you should do so; otherwise, you should use a third-party tool instead of manual methods.