Today, emails are created, managed, and stored in very different systems. These are web-based, desktop, and mobile environments. Their users often switch to Outlook as it offers multiple benefits. From enhanced security to wider office functionality, the reasons vary. However, the challenge remains the same: how do you import old emails into Outlook?
This email client may open files with extensions like MSG, EML, and PST. Systems like Thunderbird or Gmail use MBOX to save messages. Today, dozens of formats exist, and conversion is often inevitable. Fortunately, there is mail transfer software — Outlook software developed for migration purposes. Meanwhile, users who want to transfer their emails manually are often disappointed. Why?
Obstacles to Manual Transfer
Suppose you have hundreds of old emails stored in Thunderbird. How can you import them into the new system? Due to the clash of formats (MBOX vs. PST), dragging and dropping is not an option. The systems speak radically different languages.
You have a dilemma: to use a converter (which will produce a guaranteed result in seconds) or try moving the data by yourself. In the second case, you will need a good understanding of both email clients, plenty of spare time, and patience. Here is what the manual path includes. You need to:
- create a Gmail account (unless you have one),
- connect Gmail to Thunderbird,
- import the MBOX files to Gmail in Thunderbird,
- configure Gmail to Outlook.
Each of these stages is a sequence of steps (up to 10!) in itself. You need to be an experienced user to do everything properly, but accuracy is still not guaranteed. Data loss is a common problem: during transfer, some bits of information may be lost or damaged. In most cases, there is no native method, and tinkering is risky.
How to Choose the Best Software
Creators of third-party tools may capitalize on human laziness, but only to an extent. Many people would rather click a few buttons than reading and follow lengthy instructions. Still, converters are also indispensable. As the formats are irreconcilable, the only way to guarantee precision is via automation. Here is what you should look for:
- intuitive interface which is understandable at first glance;
- quick transfer that will save you hours;
- guaranteed accuracy of transfer;
- the integrity of data, including folder structure, attachments, images, etc.;
- no limits on the volume of emails you can move;
- secure transfer;
- hassle-free migration in only a few steps.
Often, you only need to specify the source and the format of the output. Some converters identify source files automatically. You may choose between direct import to your Outlook profile and the creation of a standalone *pst file.
Why Take Unnecessary Risks?
When users search for such solutions, they look for reliable methods. They want to preserve the original encoding, structure, and attachments. Even when manual transfer is feasible, it is long and unreliable. The most popular migration tools have a trial period, so you can test them for free.