Home Outlook Can Thunderbird Read PST Files? How?

Can Thunderbird Read PST Files? How?

Can Thunderbird read PST files

In this article we are going to explain the most asked question that is:

Can Thunderbird read PST files?

Let us have a look at how you can read PST files in Thunderbird.

Outlook is one of the highly recommended tools for Windows. It is the best email client for a business, organization, and those who handle individually more than 100 emails in a day. When we talk about email handling software, then we discuss Outlook, because it is one of the topmost email clients for Windows. And one of the most important things that all users must know that Outlook supports PST file format. No matter which file you read or convert, there is always a compatible file type and that is the PST file (Personal Storage Table).

When we talk about Thunderbird then it means we have a file type that is compatible with Thunderbird and it is MBOX. Thunderbird is an open-source desktop-based client which can be accessed on multiple platforms like Mac and Windows. Thunderbird is developed by Mozilla Foundation.

Reasons to read PST file in Thunderbird

Thunderbird is more advantageous then Outlook, that is why users often look to switch from Outlook to Thunderbird. So, he/she will need to access there Outlook PST data in a Thunderbird. Below are some of the advantages why Thunderbird(MBOX) is preferred over Outlook(PST):

  • Supported by multiple platforms: Thunderbird MBOX files can be accessed on any OS, like Mac OS, LINUX, UNIX, WINDOWS, etc. Whereas Outlook PST users have to stick only with Windows or Mac.
  • Spam filtering: Thunderbird spam filtering is much better than the Outlook and other email client applications.
  • Data security: PST files may have a chance to corrupt and may become inaccessible in Outlook. Whereas, MBOX file remains healthy in most situations. PST is bounded only with an Outlook for the work, which means PST only works with Outlook, and thus there is a chance to corrupt the file and the user will be stuck for a long time.
  • Free of cost: MS Outlook is more expensive for many normal users and at a point in time for MS Office they need to buy the license version. Thunderbird is available as open-source or free on the web.

Can Thunderbird Read PST files? If Yes, then How?

For importing the PST file in Thunderbird we can use a tool such as SysTools PST to MBOX Converter.


This tool is widely used for transferring PST files in a Thunderbird. For the execution of the entire process, it will take less time. It also maintains the folder structure after the conversion. During the entire process, there is no loss of data. In Thunderbird, convert ANSI & UNICODE PST file. Also, it supports windows 10.

How to Convert PST to MBOX

  1. Run the software application on your system
  2. Click on “Open”.
  3. Hit on the “Browse” button and select the PST file that you want to read in Thunderbird.
  4. Now, click on the next “Browse” button to provide the destination path whereas converted file will be saved.
  5. Maintain the hierarchy of the same folder using the “Yes” radio button. If you don’t want to maintain a hierarchy, then click on the “No” button.
  6. To start the conversion process from PST to MBOX format, click on the “Export” option.
  7. Search the location where you save your converted file.

After conversion, now we have to import MBOX to Thunderbird. And the steps regarding this process are given in the next section. Follow it to resolve the query – Can Thunderbird read PST files?

Import MBOX to Thunderbird

  1. Firstly, open Thunderbird.
  2. Click on “Tools” and choose “Add ons”.
  3. Click on “Extension” and search import-export tools, then click on the Enter button.
  4. Check for import-export tool ng in the search bar and click on add to Thunderbird.
  5. In Thunderbird right click on the local folder and click on import-export tool ng and select import mbox file.
  6. Then choose the preferred import option and click on the “OK” button.
  7. Then select the mbox file to read the PST file in Thunderbird.
  8. The file is successfully imported.

By these two methods “Convert PST to MBOX” and “Import MBOX to Thunderbird”, Thunderbird can read the PST file easily.


In this blog, we have discussed how can Thunderbird read PST files. It is a two-step process that requires conversion of PST file to Thunderbird mbox followed by importing of MBOX file in Thunderbird. We have also discussed the reasons why we need to convert PST to Thunderbird.

A Freelancer Tech Geek. Love to seek knowledge in technical arena and share it with folks. Did research on different technologies and like to share solutions to the problems.