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How to import an MBOX file into Thunderbird

If you exported your email using Google Takeout or other services, you might have ended up with an MBOX file. To have access to those emails, you can import that file into Thunderbird, here’s how:

First you need to rename the file to something that Thunderbird will understand. Usually the file will have a long name and an mbox extension, for example: “All mail Including Spam and Trash.mbox“. Rename the file to a single word without any extension, like MyMail for example. This name will be the folder name in your email, so pick whatever you want to see there.

Open Thunderbird and go to your your Profile Directory. You can access this by going to Help->More Troubleshooting Information. A new tab will open and you will be able to click on Open Directory under Profile Directory. Now that you have that window open, close down Thunderbird and copy the MBOX file you just renamed into this folder.

Now re-open Thunderbird. You should be able to see all your emails under Local Folders->MyMail (or whatever name you chose). That’s it, you should be able to see all your emails there, search, etc.

If you want to backup these messages into another email account online, simply add an email account in Thunderbird, and configure it as IMAP. Once it’s setup, simply drag and drop the MyMail folder from Local Folders to the newly added email account Inbox. A new folder will be created with the same name and all the emails will start to be uploaded. Let it finish, and then your emails will be backed up in that server as well.

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