How to Switch From Thunderbird to Outlook 2019/2016: A Complete Guide


Thinking about how to switch from Thunderbird to Outlook application painlessly? But do not know how to migrate previous data in Outlook application? Then, just relax! In this blog, we are going to illustrate some easy-to-operate solutions on how to move from Mozilla Thunderbird to Outlook PST 2019/2016/2013/2010 without losing any email data. So, stay on this page and grab the best method suitable to export MBOX file to PST Outlook.

There are two approaches discussed in this segment:

  1. Manually using IMAP Configuration
  2. Automatic Conversion Mechanism..go to

Let’s Start With IMAP Configuration to Migrate Thunderbird Account Data in Outlook

If the user has few emails in T-Bird account and wants to import in Outlook, then you can try the IMAP Migration technique. Before using this approach, there is a need for a webmail account like here we use Google account. After that, proceed with the below instructions.

Note: Make sure you have enough amount of time because this method consumes long hours.

Step 1: Setup Gmail Account in Mozilla Thunderbird

In order to migrate from Thunderbird to Outlook, initially Google account has to be configured in Thunderbird application whose data will be going to import. Afterward, move the emails into Gmail Inbox folder. For this, follow the below instructions.

Note: The following steps were performed on Thunderbird 60.4.0 version.

1. Launch Thunderbird and click on Tools >> Account Settings to open its wizard.

2. From the Account Settings window, click on the Account Actions button and opt Add Mail Account option.

3. Now, enter your Name, Gmail ID and associated password in respective boxes in Set Up an Existing Email Account window. Then, click on Continue to validate the account.

4. Once the account verified, select IMAP radio-button from the next window. Afterward, click on Done to proceed further.

Note: If you wish to check the account settings, then click on Manual configuration. Make sure that port number for the incoming and outgoing server should be 993 and 465 respectively.

5. As soon as you click on the Done button, it redirects to the browser where you need to enter the same Gmail email address and click on Next.

6. After that, you need to enter the password and hit the Next button.

7. In order to give permission to Mozilla Thunderbird to access Gmail emails, click on Allow.

8. Now, wait for some time till the Gmail accounts data synchronization has been done. Once it has completed, it looks like this.

Once the account has set up, just drag the emails from Thunderbird account folder and drop into recently added Gmail inbox. And once you have done by transferring the emails, then proceed further.

Step 2: Move Emails from Thunderbird to Outlook

Once the emails have been transferred to webmail, go through the following process to export Thunderbird to Outlook:

1. Open Outlook 2016 or 2013 and click on File tab from the blue-ribbon.

2. From the pop-out menu, select Add Account to configure new IMAP-enabled profile.

3. From Add Account window, enter the name, Gmail address, and password in Your Name, E-mail Address, and Password box respectively. Then, click on Next.

4. An acknowledgment message appears on Outlook interface, just click on Finish.

5. Now, copy the T-Bird emails from Gmail Inbox that imported in the first step to Outlook inbox or customized folder.

However, IMAP Technique is Not An Ideal Approach

The above method is good to migrate a few emails from Thunderbird to Outlook. But, the same workaround becomes cumbersome when a large number of emails needs to be imported. Also, there are situations when orphan Thunderbird file i.e., MBOX is available in the system. In such cases, you will first need to import it into Thunderbird and then carry out all steps above to get them in Outlook. So when you have lots of time and a configured Thunderbird & Outlook account, only then use the IMAP migration.

Tired of Manual Ways? – Use the Ideal, Familiar & Efficient Method

It is evident from above that IMAP technique is not suitable for data migration while switching from Thunderbird to Outlook. Thus, it is important to have a solution that can overcome all the downsides of IMAP technique. For this, take the help of a smart tool named as SysTools MBOX to Outlook Converter.

The prime function of this utility is to convert Thunderbird emails into Outlook supported PST format in the nick of time. Apart from this, the tool also makes T-Bird emails more flexible to other platforms by saving the messages in EML, MSG, NSF, HTML formats.

What’s more- This software can be used in multiple scenarios, for example – If the Thunderbird account is configured in the system, then it uploads the data files straight from the profile. Else, you can easily locate the orphaned MBOX file directly from its location and convert into preferred file type. And once you have the .pst file, then import them into Outlook application using Import and Export wizard. Interestingly, the resultant PST file can be easily transferred into Outlook 2019/2016/2013/2010/2007.

Final Say!

Migration from one desktop-based mail application to another for better mail communication experience is not as sweet as sugar. And it becomes more difficult to import data from the previous program to new application when both support different file formats like Thunderbird & Outlook. Therefore, in this post, we have discussed two different techniques that let readers know how to switch from Thunderbird to Outlook.

Frosty Orange
Frosty Orange
F. Orange works as a technical analyst in a reputed data Recovery firm. He has been researching various aspects of data recovery, email migration, and email backup and wishes to share the gained knowledge through blog/guest posts.


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