Exporting Thunderbird Emails & Saving Into Multiple File Formats

admin | January 13th, 2020 | Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email client. It allows a user to manage multiple mail accounts at once irrespective of the email service. Thus, one can work with email accounts of Google, Yahoo, Outlook.com all at the same time. It is clear that you can access emails in Thunderbird, but the question is: Can Mozilla Thunderbird export emails?

The answer is yes, it can. While it does not come with advanced export functionality by default, it still lets you save the email messages on your computer. There is also an add-on that increases this capability by providing multiple file formats to export Thunderbird data. Before viewing the several formats and the functionality of add-on, let us first take a look at the export process without the add-on.

Mozilla Thunderbird: Exporting Emails to File

  1. Start Thunderbird.
  2. Click on the mailbox folder whose emails you want to export.
  3. Select the email messages.
  4. Use Ctrl+A for selecting all the emails present in the mailbox folder.
  5. Right-click on a selected message and select “Save As”.
  6. Choose the folder to store the exported files and click “Select Folder”.

Note: This method is applicable to most versions of Thunderbird. Also, using this method, one can save Thunderbird emails as EML files. An EML file is generated for each email message having same name as the subject of the email.

How to Export Thunderbird Emails Using Free Add-On

The free Thunderbird add-on is more convenient to use as it provides more options both in terms of selecting the emails as well as saving them. The first step is to download the “ImportExportTools” add-on. It can be done by going to Tools > Add-ons and searching for “importexport” in the search bar. Now that two separate editions will be available to install here. Download the one that’s compatible with your Thunderbird version.

The process to export emails from Mozilla Thunderbird is:

  1. Select the mailbox folder such as Inbox.
  2. Right-click on it and select ImportExportTools > Export folder.
  3. Choose the folder to save the exported file and click Select Folder.
  4. All the email messages in the folder are saved in a single MBOX file.

Note: This method is also applicable to multiple mailbox folders. You need to select multiple folders at once and right-click to proceed with the process.

The Thunderbird add-on also allows to export data in the following file formats:

  • EML
  • HTML
  • PlainText (TXT)
  • Spreadsheet (CSV)
  • MBOX file
  • PDF

For extracting email messages from Thunderbird in multiple file formats, follow these steps:

  1. Select the email messages either manually or with the Ctrl+A key.
  2. Right-click on one of the selected message.
  3. Choose Save selected messages option and choose the desired format.
  4. Browse the location to save file and click Select Folder.

What About Exporting to Other File Formats?

In many situations, users export Thunderbird emails so as to access them in other email platforms such as Outlook, Lotus Notes, Opera Mail, etc. While the add-on provides common file formats, it misses out on PST, MSG, and NSF. Also, during extraction to PDF, the tool does not embed attachments in the file. In such a situation, the user can take the help of Revove MBOX file converter. It provides multiple file formats to export Thunderbird emails. The tool also maintains the folder hierarchy and data integrity. It supports the following export formats:

  • PST
  • MSG
  • EML
  • PDF
  • HTML
  • NSF

download button

Steps for Exporting Email from Thunderbird:

  1. Run MBOX Converter and click “Add File“.
  2. Select “Thunderbird” and click “Default Profile Configured“.
  3. Preview Thunderbird emails in interface.
  4. Select file format and click “Export” button.
  5. Successful export process.

Conclusion

The post aims at providing users with methods to export Thunderbird emails in a seamless manner. There are three ways to do so:

  • Use the default Save as feature
  • Use the Free Thunderbird Add-on
  • And, use the Automated Tool.

We have explained all three ways in an understandable manner for users. Refer to the comparison table for a brief overview of all three methods.

Features Save As Add-On Software
File Formats EML EML, MBOX, PDF, TXT, CSV, HTML EML, PST, MSG, NSF, PDF, HTML
Export Complete Folder(s) No Yes Yes
Save Selected messages Yes Yes Yes
Folder hierarchy while exporting folders No Yes Yes
Naming convention No No Yes
Free Yes Yes Free demo version
Conclusion Good for saving a few emails messages in Thunderbird Good for extracting emails and folders in common file format Good for exporting Thunderbird emails and folders in common as well as commercial file formats