Your Ultimate Guide to Thunderbird: Read PST File Techniques

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A PST file, which is essential for Microsoft Outlook, stores your emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, and journals. It seamlessly syncs data with the Exchange Server and serves as a convenient backup for your local email. Sometimes, users need to read PST files in Thunderbird when they don’t have Outlook installed on their system.

Meet Mozilla Thunderbird is a free and simple desktop email program provided by Mozilla that can be used on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ubuntu. Thunderbird provides an excellent email experience thanks to its features, such as rapid search, stored search folders, and smart message sorting. Many individuals migrate from Outlook to Thunderbird because of the amazing features.

Thunderbird prefers the MBOX format, which is compatible with other email programs, such as Apple Mail on macOS. If you’re considering switching from Outlook to Thunderbird, you can do it quickly by converting PST files to MBOX with the PST Converter Tool. It’s like shifting your emails effortlessly while keeping everything secure, including your folders and attachments.

Reasons to Import Outlook file into Thunderbird

  • Efficient Email Management: Thunderbird supports tab email browsing, which allows users to open numerous tabs for better email navigation.
  • Quick Content Search: The fast filter toolbar speeds up email content searches, delivering rapid results with many parameters for user convenience.
  • Robust Security Measures: Thunderbird has anti-malware, firewall, and spam filters to ensure a safe email environment.
  • User-Friendly Features: For extra convenience, add an address book with a single click and set an attachment reminder.
  • Flexible User Interface: Thunderbird has a versatile but efficient user interface that caters to a variety of user preferences.

Import PST to Thunderbird Without Outlook Manual Methods

Many people are perplexed about how to read PST files into Thunderbird for free; however, the truth is that Thunderbird does not allow you to directly import Outlook data into Thunderbird. As a result, Outlook to Thunderbird migration is accomplished just by converting PST to MBOX file type. If you wish to use the manual technique, first import an Outlook PST file in MBOX format, then import the MBOX file into Thunderbird. The manual process is long and requires technical knowledge. Migration of PST to MBOX can be carried out using some manual techniques to export Outlook emails to Thunderbird.

Let’s look at those manual techniques to import PST files into Thunderbird.

  • Export Outlook data to Thunderbird.
  • Google Take Out to export Outlook PST to MBOX.
  • Microsoft Outlook provides the GWMMO tool. You can utilize it.

Method 1: Export Outlook PST files to Thunderbird

Start by running Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird on the same device, and then you can easily export Outlook emails to Thunderbird by executing these steps:

  1. Select the Start button and then Default Programs. Establish your default programs.
  2. Now select Outlook from the Programs tab and click Set this program as default. To save the changes, click OK.
  3. After that, launch Mozilla Thunderbird and click on the Display the Thunderbird Menu option.
  4. Navigate to Tools >> Import.
  5. Choose Mail, or you can select the Import Everything option and click Next.
  6. Select Outlook as the file type and click Next.
  7. Lastly, click on the Finish button to complete the import process.

This will export all your emails from the Outlook email client to the Thunderbird interface.

Method 2: Use Google TakeOut to import PST files into MBOX file format

In this approach, the configuration of the Gmail account in your Outlook program is required.

After the configuration of the account, follow these steps carefully:

  1. Open your Google Mail account, navigate to Settings >> Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and select the radio button “Enable IMAP.”.
  2. Launch Outlook and go to the File >> Add Account option.
  3. Enter the login username and password of the Google account.
  4. Now create a new folder within the newly configured Gmail ID and move the desired Outlook emails to that folder.
  5. Afterward, log in to your Gmail account using Chrome and open Google Takeout.
  6. In the “Select Data to Include” tab, uncheck every option other than Mail. Also, under the “All Mail Data Included” section, click the box labeled “Include all messages in mail.”. Once you’ve completed that, click next.
  7. Now, in the Customize archive format tab, specify the delivery method, export type, file type, and size, and hit the Create Archive button.
  8.  While your archive is being created by Google, you can download the ZIP file containing the Outlook contents in MBOX format. Click Download to download the ZIP file to your local machine.
  9. Extract the downloaded ZIP file into a convenient directory. You will encounter the MBOX file containing all your emails.
  10. Open these emails using the Mozilla Thunderbird Email Client.

Method 3: Configuration of Gmail in Outlook Account

Outlook and Thunderbird allow you to handle numerous IMAP accounts seamlessly. Thunderbird allows users to import PST files into their specified email accounts. If you already have a Gmail account that is linked to your Outlook profile, follow the instructions below.

  • First of all, start by setting up your Gmail in Outlook.
  • Drag and drop your Outlook emails into the Gmail folder.
  • Create a new folder in Gmail if you want your Outlook emails to show up there, then drag them in.
  • Once you’ve moved your Outlook emails to Gmail, link the same Gmail account to Thunderbird.
  • Once Thunderbird is linked to your Gmail, you can easily see your Gmail emails in Thunderbird.

These are the manual methods that are mentioned above. By using these methods, we can easily import PST files in Thunderbird.

Method 4: Experts Choice Automated Solution to Thunderbird read PST files

We recommend utilizing the PST File Converter. This program is a useful solution that allows you to import PST files into Thunderbird without Outlook or size limitations. When you import emails, all attachments and data are preserved.

The converter offers an easy-to-use interface, making it suitable for both technically knowledgeable and non-technical users. There is no need for any additional installations because it is a stand-alone solution that functions without the need for any technical assistance. So, instead of wasting time, simply download the PST to Thunderbird Converter and begin the procedure.

Follow these steps to import or read PST Files Into Thunderbird by using the PST Converter

  • Download and launch the PST Converter on your device.
  • To add a PST file, select either Single/Multiple Files or Folder.
  • Hit Select Files to choose a PST file, and click Open to add it.
  • Now, you can preview and select the email folder from the tree structure.
  • From the drop-down list, choose the PDF file format.
  • Click the Save to Path option to save it where you want it.
  • Finally, click the Convert button to begin the conversion process.


Thunderbird is an excellent option for effortlessly reading PST files. Its advantages, such as its ability to function on several platforms and its ease of use, make it an excellent choice. Thunderbird makes migrating simple, whether you choose to handle things manually or use third-party tools for speed. Feel free to choose the technique that best matches your needs, guaranteeing a smooth transition to a more flexible email system.

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