Import an MBOX file using Thunderbird.

An MBOX file is one file containing many email messages in a row. can import an MBOX file into your Searchable Web Archive.

We can also export your Searchable Web Archive to an MBOX file. You can then import it into free email software like Thunderbird.

Are free email software programs available?


Thunderbird is a free, open source email reader for Windows, Macintosh and Linux Operating Systems.

Many people consider Thunderbird the best email reader available. It has many features and optional functions that can be added.

To download Thunderbird, click this link and then click FREE DOWNLOAD.  

Can I import or export emails with Thunderbird?


In order to import or export, Thunderbird needs the ImportExportTools add-on. This add-on will add a new menu item allowing you to import/export in MBOX format.

To get started, the Add-on needs to be installed first, then restart Thunderbird. After the restart, you can then use the import/export feature.

How do I add the ImportExportTools feature to Thunderbird?

Step One - Download the Add-on

Unfortunately, ImportExportTools is not one of the built in Add-ons that can be installed from within Thunderbird.

  • Next, save the Download to your computer.
    The filename may be similar to this:  importexporttools-3.3.0-sm+tb.xpi

Step Two - Open Thunderbird

  • Open the Tools menu, and choose Add-ons.
    A new tab will open.
  • Click the Extensions menu.
  • Open the Settings drop down (gear).
  • In Settings, click Install Add-On from File.
  • Navigate to your Downloads folder, or wherever you saved the file in Step One.
  • Select the downloaded file, and click the Open button.  
    Downloaded filename may look like this:    importexporttools-3.3.0-sm+tb.xpi
  • Approve/acknowledge the Install add-ons only from authors you trust warning window.
  • Click Install Now button.
  • Click Restart now link.

Thunderbird will shut down and reopen with a new menu item.

At the bottom of the Tools menu will be the new option - ImportExportTools.

Step Three - Import the MBOX file

  • Open your Thunderbird email account.
  • Click Tools > ImportExportTools > Import mbox file.
  • Select Import directly from one or more mbox files.
  • Click OK.
  • Navigate to the file location of your MBOX file.
  • Select the file, and click Open.


A new folder is now located in the Thunderbird sidebar that contains your imported messages.