How To Import Mail From Outlook into Apple Mail

Importing mail from Outlook on the PC to Apple Mail on the Mac might not be really straightforward. There’s no Mail Migration Assistant or anything like that, but at least there’s a free and simple way of migrating all your Outlook mail to your Mac!

As you may know, Outlook on the PC uses a .pst file to store your mailboxes. This is a proprietary Microsoft format (as with most Microsoft file formats), and so you need a converter. There are paid converters on the market, but if you don’t want to spend on them, there’s a way to do this using the freely available Mozilla Thunderbird email software. The great thing about this method is that attachments are preserved, so it’s pretty ideal.

So here are the steps:

  1. On your PC, install Mozilla Thunderbird
  2. In Mozilla Thunderbird, go to Tools >> Import and select “Mail”. Next, select Outlook, and all your Outlook mail will be imported.
  3. Now open Explorer and browse to C:/Documents and Settings//Application Data/Mozilla/Profiles/…
  4. You may have to go down to a specific folder after that, but you know you’re at the right place when you start to see a bunch of files, some with a .msf extension, and sounding a lot like your mailboxes in Outlook
  5. Grab all the files that don’t have the .msf extension, and copy them to your Mac, putting them all in a folder somewhere
  6. Rename all these files, by adding a .mbox to the end of them all. If you have a ton of mailbox files, you can use Automator to automate this task.
  7. Now launch Apple Mail, go to File >> Import Mailboxes, and point it to the folder that you saved all your mailbox files under.
  8. And…that’s it!

With that, Apple Mail should bring in all your mailboxes and you’ll see them nicely in your Apple Mail window. Done!

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Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.

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