Export Outlook PST to MBOX Manually in Easy Steps


As we know that Microsoft Outlook stores all the personal information of users in the form of PST file format. Sometimes due to several bug or malware in the system may crash your Outlook. Now consider a scenario where Outlook getting crashed, with a healthy PST file. A top most reason behind any application getting crashed is the logical corruption or hard disk issue (also known as physical damage). So, in this situation, the best option is to migrate the Outlook PST file into MBOX i.e a widely used file format. It will also help a user to create an alternate email client when needed.

The best file format to be used in spite of PST is MBOX file format, as it is commonly used by most of the email clients like Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Entourage, Spice-bird, GyazMail, Sparrow, The Bat, Mulberry, Sylpheed, Opera, Power Mail, Postbox, Netscape, etc. But, both the file formats use different platforms and structure to store data. So it is very difficult for a normal user to convert PST files to MBOX. In this article, we are discussing two simple tricks to migrate data from PST to MBOX file format.

Note: Before performing the below steps on a duplicate PST file, make sure to take the backup of original PST.

Migrating PST to MBOX is a simple 2-Steps technique. It can be easily done with the following steps:

1. Sync Microsoft Outlook with Gmail using Internet Access Protocol in Gmail (IMAP)
2. Extract data from Gmail using Google Takeout

Note: If the user already has IMAP account configured with Outlook then skip to Step 2.

Step 1: Techniques to sync Outlook with Gmail using IMAP

Enabling IMAP in Gmail:

1. Log-in to your Gmail account
2. Click on Gear icon >> click on Settings
3. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP option
4. Now, click on Enable IMAP

Syncing Outlook with Gmail

1. Open Microsoft Outlook and go to file
2. Now, select “Add Account”
3. Enter required details in the provided fields, like Name, password, etc.
4. Click on “Manually configure server settings or additional server types” option
5. Click “Next” and then click on option next to “Internet E-mail” and then click on “Next” button
6. Fill required field in “Add New Account” screen
7. Change the “Account Type” drop down menu to “IMAP” and in “Incoming Mail Server” field enter “imap.gmail.com” & “smtp.gmail.com” in “Outgoing Mail Server” and fill other required field
8. Click on “More Settings” tab and then on “Advanced” tab
9. Change Incoming Server (IMAP) & outgoing Server (SMTP) as shown in the figure below
10. Now click on “Outgoing Server” tab
11. Select the “My Outgoing Server (SMTP) require authentication” checkbox and then on “use same settings as my incoming mail server”
12. Click OK and then Next
13. Now click Finish and OK to finish the setup

Load the old Outlook PST in a new Outlook IMAP account

You can simply add previously created emails, calendar, and other Outlook items by following steps:

1. Go to File
2. Click on Open & Export and then choose Import/Export
3. Select Import from another program or file and then click on Next
4. Select the Outlook Data File (.PST) and then click on Next
5. Browse PST file from its location and then Next
6. Now, click on Finish to complete the process.

As all emails, notes and calendar are exported in Outlook it will automatically get synced with Gmail as IMAP account works as a mirror image between the email server and email client.

Step 2: Save data from Gmail using Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a feature in Gmail to move the data in and out from Google in a simple way. It helps the user to download the data in a zip file. Follow the below steps to save Gmail data in the form of MBOX

1. Log in to Google Takeout.
2. Click on “Select None” option located on the upper- right panel. located in the navigation bar.
3. Now, select on “create an archive” button.
4. Now, it will open a new tab. Selecting Gmail in the service and finally click on create an Archive option.


When an archive file is downloaded, it will be saved with one of the following default file format i.e. ZIP, TGZ or TBZ file extension. After the extraction of a ZIP file, all Outlook items such as emails, calendar, notes, contacts, etc. that were previously present in the Outlook PST file will be converted into MBOX Format. After PST file conversion to MBOX, it can easily be synced in multiple email clients that support MBOX file format.

Advanced method to export PST to MBOX

By using Outlook data file to MBOX migration tool, the user can easily extract PST file to MBOX. A user can also recover or fix the Outlook data file, if it is corrupted and then export PST to MBOX. As the manual technique to convert PST to MBOX is totally free and saves user money. But it also takes time in exporting PST into MBOX. So, if the user wants to save their time then using a third party utility tool to migrate Outlook PST into MBOX is more beneficial.

Note: Some of the email client like Thunderbird have an issue in syncing MBOX files with very long names, and some special characters like '#' included in the file name create some crashing issue. So try to keep file name short without any special character in it.