How to Import EML Messages to Thunderbird?


Looking for a solution to import EML messages to Thunderbird? If yes, then you have come to the right page, because here we provide an easy way to transfer EML or EMLX data files in Thunderbird profile. But before we get to the solution, let’s learn more about EML and Mozilla Thunderbird.

EML is a popular format developed by Microsoft. This file stores a single message with subject, sender, recipient, date and several links. These file types are supported by major email clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc. Many people use this file for data sharing, backup and migration.

Thunderbird is open source email application developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It is not only for sending emails but also has many advanced features such as scrolling options, word filters, telemetry, crash notifications and many more. This is a very popular email service available for Windows and Mac. Mozilla Thunderbird uses the MBOX file format to store mail items. However, it is a free and open email client.

Reason to Import EML Messages to Thunderbird

  • Thunderbird is compatible with almost all operating systems. It supported with Windows, Mac OS, Linux and UNIX OS systems. Especially for Linux and UNIX users, Thunderbird is a better choice.
  • Users can use a variety of desktop email clients at home and work. To access all your emails in one email platform, Thunderbird is recommended.
  • Spam filtering is the best feature of Thunderbird. This is one of the reasons why users want to transfer EML data files to Thunderbird.
  • Data security is one of the major problems that users face and Thunderbird is the best solution. So users don’t need to worry about their data when exporting data.
    There are plugins available for the calendar and to-do list functions.
  • There are many customizable plugins available
  • Thunderbird provides a chat feature to interact with users on social media such as Twitter, IRC, Facebook, etc.
  • Affordable for small businesses. They can use all the features and benefits at the lowest cost.
  • Now we know the features and benefits of transferring data to Thunderbird. Let’s see how to manually import email addresses from EML to Thunderbird

Import EML Data Files into Thunderbird by Drag and Drop

  • Create a new subfolder >> right click local folder >> click new subfolder

New Folder

  • Enter the desired name (here we use: new EML folder). Click the Create Folder button to create a new subfolder

Create Folder

  • On the system go to all EML file storage >> select all EML files (CTRL + A)
  • In Thunderbird, select a new subfolder (we select the new EML folder) >> Drag the EML file from the local system to the new subfolder as shown

Drag the EML file

  • As you can see on the screen, all the EML files have been successfully processed into the desired text. Choose the emails files you want to open

EML files have been successfully processed

Import EML Messages to Thunderbird With the Import Export Tool

  • Download the free add-onImport Export Tool NG“. Save the importexporttools.xpi file to your system

Download Import Export Tool NG

  • Open Thunderbird, go to the menu, click the Tools tab, and then click Add-ons and Themes

Open Thunderbird

  • Start Mozilla Thunderbird, go to menu hit tools tab > Select Add-ons and Themes

  • Browse to the location on your system where the importexporttools.xpi file is stored. Select the importexporttools.xpi file and click Open

Browse to the location

  • Press the Add button. “ImportExport Tool” plugin installed

Press the Add button

  • Now click OK and restart Thunderbird

click OK and restart Thunderbird

  • Now create a new folder in Thunderbird. To do this, right click on the local folder >> click on New Folder option

click on New Folder option

  • Give the new folder the name you want (here we use the new EML folder). Click the Create Folder button
  • Right-click on the newly created folder and select ImportExport Tools NG, then select Import all files from directory > Select from subdirectories and (this option will import all subfolders of optional text)

ImportExport Tools NG

  • Select the desired folder on the system that contains the EML file (here we have selected the EML folder to be imported). Click OK

Select the desired folder

  • The EML file will be transferred to a new folder. You can also view all available EML files
  • Select a folder to view all EML files imported in Thunderbird.

view all EML files imported in Thunderbird

How to Find Out Where the Imported Data is Stored in the Local System?

  • Right-click the folder, and then click Properties

click Properties

  • The location field indicates the location of the MBOX file
  • The mailbox now shows the address: mailbox:///drive:/users/username/AppData/roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/something.default/mail/local folder/new EML folder
  • MBOX file path: drive: /Users/username/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/something.default/Mail/Local Folders/
  • Use “MBOX Path” to find the MBOX file on the system

Use MBOX Path

Note: Replace the invalid username, folder name, location and drive system with the correct username, folder name and drive.

  • Here you can view MBOX files, copy MBOX files to any storage device. (Here you can see the MBOX file without the new EML folder).

view MBOX files

If Manual Approach Failed

The manual process of moving EML files to Thunderbird has some limitations as follows:

  • This may cause data loss or corruption
  • This will not guarantee a complete migration
  • The file hierarchy is not preserved when the user manually moves the Thunderbird profile file
  • The difficulty of manual migration for non-technical users

Automatic Solution to Import EML Messages to Thunderbird Account

To overcome all the limitations of the manual method, we recommend using the reliable Thunderbird Import Wizard Tool. It is one of the best professional tools to transfer multiple files/folders containing emails from EML to Thunderbird profile without data loss.

This Utility is available for Windows and Mac OS systems. It supports batch import of multiple EML/EMLX files without any problem.  Also, this tool maintains the folder hierarchy during the conversion process. This tool has many advanced features like adding files, adding folders, using date filters and many more. Also, there is no file size limit when using this tool.

Free Demo Version: With the demo version, you can Import EML data projects for free. This version only allows you to export 25 items per folder.

Complete Guide to Import Multiple EML Files to Thunderbird Profile

  • Start the software on the system

Download Thunderbird Import Wizard

  • Use Add File or Add Folder to browse multiple EML files at once

Load EML Files

  • Select Thunderbird Profile to import EML files

Select Thunderbird Profile

Important: This tool imports EML/EMLX files into local Thunderbird folders and POP accounts. It is not technically possible to import files directly from an IMAP account into Thunderbird. Therefore, if you want to transfer files to an IMAP account, select “Local folder” to import EML messages. Then select all the imported emails in Thunderbird and right click and go here and select the IMAP account you want.

  • Now press the “Importbutton to start the process

Click on import Button

  • Finally, the import process is completed successfully. Click OK to complete the process

Complete task

  • Now you can open the Thunderbird mail program to view incoming emails.

view imported files


Many users start looking for similar solutions to import EML messages to Thunderbird. Since the Thunderbird email application supports Mac and Windows operating systems, many conversion methods depend on different platforms. So, in the above section, we explained the manual transfer from EML email to Thunderbird in both environments. However, if the user wants to import EML files into Windows Thunderbird, a solution is also recommended to perform the imported process. We are also introducing a process for importing EML messages into Thunderbird.

Read More: Export Zimbra TGZ Emails to EML


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