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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Converting Thunderbird (mbox) to Outlook (pst)

    Does anyone have any inclining of an idea on how to EASILY convert Thunderbird email to Outlook? I've done extensive research into this and it appears either I have to recreate the folders in OE, convert the mboxs to emls individually, and then drag-n-drop the emls into OE. Since I have 1.29GB of email in ~ 6000 folders, this would take FOREVER.

    I found a product called Aid4Mail that costs $50 that would do the trick in 5 minutes. But the price is a bit steap.

    Anyways, wondering if anyone has a quick, easy, and free solution.

    Thanks!

    -Chris

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    <bumpity bump>

    I'm still working on some other solutions, just trying to avoid spending that $50. But man this Aid4Mail software is working slick. I might just spend the dough.

    -Chris

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    I decided to just spend the $50 and get Aid4Mail. After doing some more research, it definately seems to be worth it. I wrote a review on the newest version, I'll include it here:

    Aid4Mail v1.5 Professional Review

    By Chris Jenkins
    implexant.com
    July 4, 2005

    Reason for Publishing This Review

    While I am not normally in the habit of writing and publishing reviews, I recently experienced what I consider to be a very odd and unnecessary problem. This problem was very simple in nature, but I found the current solution to be time consuming. My goal in publishing this review is to educate other users with a similar problem.

    My Dilemma

    For about fourteen months I have been using Mozilla’s new POP3/SMTP Thunderbird mail client to receive, send, and manage my 1.3GB of email. I made the switch over to Thunderbird because of a problem that I experienced with Outlook which left me at a dead end with no solution. No one was able to solve my problem, so I just started looking for a new email client. Thunderbird attracted me because it offered a backend that was very light on system resources, a user interface that was streamlined and efficient, and it had all the features I thought I could ever need. Unfortunately, on that last point, I was wrong. After purchasing a Dell Axim X50v Pocket PC, I have quickly realized that I desperately need Outlook 2003 back in my computing experience as Thunderbird 1.0.2 does not currently support PPC syncing (contacts or mail).

    This brings us to the punch line: there is currently no efficient solution (other than Aid4Mail) for moving large amounts of email from Thunderbird to Outlook or even Outlook Express. The only free solution is to slowly export one folder from Thunderbird by converting each email from mbox format to eml and then import those emails into Outlook Express while manually recreating folders one by one. This is a tediously slow process. With over 1GB of mail and approximately 6,000 folders, this solution would take literally dozens of hours of manual labor. Now this is where Aid4Mail saves the day!


    The solution

    In my recent quest for a faster solution, I ran across Aid4Mail. According to the developer, Aid4Mail is “a user-friendly Windows tool that helps you migrate your email messages to a different mail client, export them for viewing through Internet Explorer, MS Excel, or a database, convert them to extract or re-insert attachments, and archive them to save space or for compliance with legal requirements.” The thing I love about Aid4Mail is that it will automatically extract my email directly from my Thunderbird profile folders into a neatly packaged PST file that Outlook 2003 can easily read.

    How It Works

    When starting up Aid4Mail, the software will ask you which program currently holds the mail you want to work with. Aid4Mail currently supports over twenty individual mail formats, leaving a mighty good chance that it will work with any mail program you might have up your sleeve. Most important for me, Aid4Mail fully supports the Unix/Generic mbox format, which is what Thunderbird uses. After selecting Mozilla Thunderbird as my mail source, I continue to the next screen where Aid4Mail automatically finds my Thunderbird profile with all my mail intact. The following screen asks me for my target format, for which I select the MS Outlook PST file option. The target settings screen follows up with a target location (where the new PST file will reside), I quickly select my location and click next. Aid4Mail now gives me some detailed options. I ask it to preserve all message in full format and restore the previous folder structure (very important to me). Aid4Mail includes many other options that I will discuss later. The next window includes a start button, which when pressed, will begin the amazing process of converting my 1.3GB of mbox email into a neatly packaged PST file ready for Outlook’s consumption.

    For the purposes of this review I used the Aid4Mail trial version which only converts the first 50 messages of each folder, so I was unable to get an accurate estimation of the amount of time it would take to convert a full 1.3GB of email. Even with doing the first 50 messages in each folder, it outputted a 350MB PST file in about five minutes, so my guess would be that 1.3GB would take twenty to twenty-five minutes. This is incredibly zippy considering that it would have taken me countless hours to do this manually, and the fact that a manual process would be prone to human error. I was also fascinated with the fact that Aid4Mail churned through my mail without crashing, stuttering, or spitting out any error messages: it just simply did the job.

    Other Exciting Features

    Aid4Mail served my purposes by simply taking my large amount of mail from Thunderbird into Outlook in under twenty-five minutes. However, this software package can do so much more.

    Something I found exciting is that Aid4Mail can take your email and convert it into an MHT format for easy viewing in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Excel. This would be a great way to archive your email say once a year to a CD/DVD which could be quickly pulled out and viewed without the hassle of opening the email data files in an actual email client. It also creates files so that when the CD/DVD is inserted to the drive, it automatically launches the browser and archived email. This is quite popular with people in a forensic field of employment, Jody Adair, Fookes Software Support, told me.

    Aid4Mail actually converts mail from some email products in better shape than it was in the original email program. It does this by fixing the known bugs and rebuilds Eudora, PocoMail, Calypso, and Courier mail back into standard MIME messages. Some other bugs are fixed in other email clients’ mailboxes as well. Many mail programs incorrectly display the status flags like Priority, Read, Replied, Attachment, etc. Aid4Mail correctly displays them in the converted mailbox index grids! Aid4Mail actually converts copies of the email. I have been assured by Fookes Software that at no time will Aid4Mail edit existing mailboxes in the many supported email programs.

    Aid4Mail also includes a handy feature that will export your mail directly into a zipped file format, ready for a quick archive onto CD/DVD or server storage. My perception is that the folks over at Fookes Software did their research on saving consumers time! What a great idea for cutting out another step in archiving old email.

    Version 1.5, just released, includes an option for date and text filtering. The date and text filtering options appear to be great new tools for someone wanting to archive based on strict date standards, or only archive email containing certain text. Kudos to Fookes Software for another innovative solution!

    The Company Behind Aid4Mail

    Oftentimes you purchase software from a large company like Microsoft without a real feel for what kind of support the company will offer you if you have questions or concerns. This is not the case at Fookes Software, based in Charmey, Switzerland. Jody Adair of Fookes Software, US Division (based in Florida), was kind enough to write me two or three lengthy emails, answering all of my questions regarding licensing, pricing options, and software features. He was even generous enough to make a long distance phone call to recap our email conversation. I was 100% thoroughly impressed with the company’s ability to answer questions and concerns before and after a purchase. Rest assured that if you purchase software from Fookes Software, you will be receiving some of the best support in the industry; no question will go unanswered.

    Conclusion

    In short: get it. Now! Aid4Mail is worth every penny of the $49.95 for the professional version (to get MS Outlook, MHT, CD, and ZIP support) because it will allow you the freedom to roam from email client to email client without the fear of "will X software client support X format in the near to distant future?" Now you don’t care, because you have Aid4Mail to convert formats for you. Plus with the creation of CDs, and using like a weekly/monthly backup system, you’ll find plenty of use for it in the future. Even if your email client has the conversion features, chances are the Aid4Mail will convert those files faster, without crashes, for an error free transition. I can’t translate into words what a feeling of freedom this brings to the management of my email files. The ability to easily and quickly archive my email into almost any imaginable format has simply put the icing on the cake.

    Information and Links

    For more information on my experience with the Aid4Mail software, feel free to contact me at chris@implexant.com. Below are links for Aid4Mail:

    Fookes Software: Aid4Mail.com
    Last edited by implexant; June 19th, 2008 at 09:39 PM. Reason: update links

  4. #4
    Father V2.0 washe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by implexant
    Does anyone have any inclining of an idea on how to EASILY convert Thunderbird email to Outlook? I've done extensive research into this and it appears either I have to recreate the folders in OE, convert the mboxs to emls individually, and then drag-n-drop the emls into OE. Since I have 1.29GB of email in ~ 6000 folders, this would take FOREVER.

    I found a product called Aid4Mail that costs $50 that would do the trick in 5 minutes. But the price is a bit steap.

    Anyways, wondering if anyone has a quick, easy, and free solution.

    Thanks!

    -Chris
    Just wondering what issue you with Thunderbird to move back to Outlook...

    I have been using it since 6 months ago, still I dont have 1.3 GB off mail, but it will be good to know your for the upcoming future
    someone is more skilled than you!

    http://s7.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=23753

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by washe
    Just wondering what issue you with Thunderbird to move back to Outlook...

    I have been using it since 6 months ago, still I dont have 1.3 GB off mail, but it will be good to know your for the upcoming future
    The longer version

    Quote Originally Posted by implexant
    For about fourteen months I have been using Mozilla’s new POP3/SMTP Thunderbird mail client to receive, send, and manage my 1.3GB of email. I made the switch over to Thunderbird because of a problem that I experienced with Outlook which left me at a dead end with no solution. No one was able to solve my problem, so I just started looking for a new email client. Thunderbird attracted me because it offered a backend that was very light on system resources, a user interface that was streamlined and efficient, and it had all the features I thought I could ever need. Unfortunately, on that last point, I was wrong. After purchasing a Dell Axim X50v Pocket PC, I have quickly realized that I desperately need Outlook 2003 back in my computing experience as Thunderbird 1.0.2 does not currently support PPC syncing (contacts or mail).

    This brings us to the punch line: there is currently no efficient solution (other than Aid4Mail) for moving large amounts of email from Thunderbird to Outlook or even Outlook Express. The only free solution is to slowly export one folder from Thunderbird by converting each email from mbox format to eml and then import those emails into Outlook Express while manually recreating folders one by one. This is a tediously slow process. With over 1GB of mail and approximately 6,000 folders, this solution would take literally dozens of hours of manual labor. Now this is where Aid4Mail saves the day!
    I also edited the review, I should have included a more detailed explanation.

    -Chris

  6. #6
    Father V2.0 washe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by implexant
    The longer version



    I also edited the review, I should have included a more detailed explanation.

    -Chris
    Ok.. I tought you had a glitch or something with the software...

    It would be a nice request for the mozilla fundation to add that feature to thunderbird on future releases..
    someone is more skilled than you!

    http://s7.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=23753

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by washe
    Ok.. I tought you had a glitch or something with the software...

    It would be a nice request for the mozilla fundation to add that feature to thunderbird on future releases..
    Definately. Of course, the nice thing about Aid4Mail is that is offers so much more. You can use it for backup, extraction, importing, and tons of other things. Plus I've noticed it's alot more efficient and "clunk free" as apposed to, say, Outlook's OE to Outlook importing feature.

    -Chris

  8. #8
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    OMG your crazy to pay $50

    I found IMAPsize to work fine for free

    1. Download - http://www.broobles.com/imapsize/download.php
    2. Install
    3. Open program -> Tools -> mbox2eml
    4. Locate your Thunderbird files
    (Typically - C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\Someweirdnumbers.default \Mail\
    Files of type: All Files (*.*)
    Select "Inbox"
    5. Choose your directory to store the converted files
    6. Click Convert
    7. Drag files right into the Oulook Express Inbox window
    8. Open Outlook2002/2003 and move files from Outlook Express with the easy wizard.

    Worth 50 bucks to me!

  9. #9
    Member brandon184's Avatar
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    Ever considered using IMAP instead of POP? Makes switching between email clients pretty much seamless. All mail & folders are stored on the server.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourCrazy
    I found IMAPsize to work fine for free

    1. Download - http://www.broobles.com/imapsize/download.php
    2. Install
    3. Open program -> Tools -> mbox2eml
    4. Locate your Thunderbird files
    (Typically - C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\Someweirdnumbers.default \Mail\
    Files of type: All Files (*.*)
    Select "Inbox"
    5. Choose your directory to store the converted files
    6. Click Convert
    7. Drag files right into the Oulook Express Inbox window
    8. Open Outlook2002/2003 and move files from Outlook Express with the easy wizard.

    Worth 50 bucks to me!
    You obviously fail to read what I wrote.

    I have over 6,000 folders. Exporting to EML does NOT keep folders.

    Your method works great if you only have 10 emails and two folders.

    -Chris

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandon184
    Ever considered using IMAP instead of POP? Makes switching between email clients pretty much seamless. All mail & folders are stored on the server.
    Nope, no way. I don't trust my email to any server

    And yes, that makes me anal.

    -Chris

  12. #12
    Member brandon184's Avatar
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    Hmm... Kooky. I look at it the other way. I maybe back my system up (important files) once a week. Whereas the server my mail resides on is backed up once or twice a day.

    Brandon

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivanv
    IMAPSize actually works very well with huge mbox files (gigabytes) and does sort eml files into adequate folders. It is not specialized for Thunderbird to Outlook conversion as Aid4Mail is, so it is not as powerful in this conversion (you have to do some manual work along the way), but it can do the job and save you 50 bucks...
    Really? Because when I tried to use IMAP size, it did not keep my original folder structures.

    Aid4Mail worked instantly, and like a charm.

    But ya, it did cost $50USD.

    -Chris

  14. #14
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    Well your just a smarty pants

    Chris... put your ego back in your pocket for a sec

    If you want all your mail to sit in it's pretty folder then drag the folder(s) out of the inbox/sent/templates and into the main account chris@closeminded.com then transfer the folders to eml format and move it to a outlook express. Ooooh and quit whinning, I posted this online not just for you, but for everyone.

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member implexant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourCrazy
    Chris... put your ego back in your pocket for a sec

    If you want all your mail to sit in it's pretty folder then drag the folder(s) out of the inbox/sent/templates and into the main account chris@closeminded.com then transfer the folders to eml format and move it to a outlook express. Ooooh and quit whinning, I posted this online not just for you, but for everyone.
    Great, glad it worked well for you.

    -Chris

  16. #16
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    Just Rude

    Quote Originally Posted by YourCrazy View Post
    Chris... put your ego back in your pocket for a sec

    If you want all your mail to sit in it's pretty folder then drag the folder(s) out of the inbox/sent/templates and into the main account chris@closeminded.com then transfer the folders to eml format and move it to a outlook express. Ooooh and quit whinning, I posted this online not just for you, but for everyone.
    What a charming fellow. I too have wanted to switch back from T-bird, and my many, many "pretty folders" are HOW I ORGANIZE MY BUSINESS EMAILS. I have tried using IMAPSIZE and found that not only does it involve a lot of work, it also exports the converted files with the conversion date on them, not the original receipt date. With is kind of important when I'm trying to track down what happened when last year because my boss or my customer wants to review a program's events. But that's me, I'm just one of those compulsively organized types. I also don't throw all my tax information into a shoe box and throw it at my accountant on April 13th.

    If you have a system that works for you, hurray for you. But please don't presume to speak for "everyone", because I for one have been finding this thread to be fascinating.

  17. #17
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    I can commiserate with your issue. All these lousy free converters suck as they don't maintain the file structure. I have been trying to convert away from Thunderbird since 30 days after converting TO it last year (in 2006). However, our "friends" at Mozilla made it a one way door (I thought that trick was patented by our friends at MS). I have over 6GB of email. For you folks whose answer is to not have as much, save yourself your ebreath - that is not a solution to the problem. I hope this $50 program works, as I'd pay 4 times that if I get a workable solution!

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    lol

    LoL all the supporting replies have 1 post, total. like new registered user's..
    and have the same grammar and views as Chris...
    anyway, I was just reading this post. and lol'd

    Sound's like someone is trying to sell the Software they made for 50 Dollar's,
    but not that i Honestly care.

    I found a free way of doing it just fine

  19. #19
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    lol

    LoL all the supporting replies have 1 post, total. like new registered user's..
    and have the same grammar and views as Chris...
    anyway, I was just reading this post. and lol'd

    Sound's like someone is trying to sell the Software they made for 50 Dollar's,
    but not that i Honestly care.

    I found a free way of doing it just fine

  20. #20
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    thankssssss

    Quote Originally Posted by YourCrazy View Post
    I found IMAPsize to work fine for free

    1. Download - IMAPSize Download
    2. Install
    3. Open program -> Tools -> mbox2eml
    4. Locate your Thunderbird files
    (Typically - C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\Someweirdnumbers.default \Mail\
    Files of type: All Files (*.*)
    Select "Inbox"
    5. Choose your directory to store the converted files
    6. Click Convert
    7. Drag files right into the Oulook Express Inbox window
    8. Open Outlook2002/2003 and move files from Outlook Express with the easy wizard.

    Worth 50 bucks to me!

    heyyy thanks a lot, that will help me surely

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