cant import mail

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Thread Starter
Feb 15, 2005
At work I use MS Outlook. At home I've just installed Mozilla Thunderbird.

I made a backup of my Outlook mail today, and saved it as an Outlook file (PST). I'm now trying to import it in Thunderbird and its not working.

EDIT - please skip to edited part / update at bottom

There were 3 import options (as in I choose the file type or something) one was Eudora, one was Outlook, one was Outlook Express.

When I click Eudora it said No mailboxes were found to import, even though it never asked me the path to import the file from.

When I click Outlook it says "there is no email program associated to perform the request action, please install an email program." This is the most baffling of the 3 error messages, as I believe Thunderbird IS the email program.

When I click Outlook Express it actually somewhat behaves like you'd expect (except for the part that I dont actually use Outlook Express at work), it asks the path I want to import from. But when I navigate to that path it doesnt show the file in there, ie its not a recognized file type. When I just select the relevant folder, it says no mailboxes were found to import.

I'm hoping someone can help!


EDIT - I've just found apparently you cant import Outlook mail into Thunderbird directly. I would first need to install Thunderbird on my work computer, then import from Outlook into Thunderbird, then export from Thunderbird, and then import into my Thunderbird at home. That's not going to happen. At work we cant install other software, its simply not an option. Sooo what's the alternative? I've just tried importing the PST file into Windows Live Mail, and also installed another client called MailBird, none of which worked. And they all ask me for login details. I dont have access to my work email address from home so that's not really relevant, and in fact I dont have a password on my email at work, just on my work computer. Do I need to give all this information?


Retired Moderator
Apr 25, 2000
Hi bigdan

You would need to have Microsoft Outlook installed on your computer first. Microsoft Outlook has to open the file to export it to Thunderbird.

I have seen, but not tried, a few instances of software that claims it can extract messages from .pst files to .eml format or another format. That software most likely has a soft trial of letting you know there are messages but you would need to purchase the software to see the results.

Not knowing the number of messages, in the .pst file, I don't know if saving the messages as .pdf files would be helpful?
If Windows Mail is installed on the same computer as Microsoft Outlook, you could try Importing the .pst file into Windows Mail.

Other than that your IT people may have other solutions. :)


Oct 2, 2003
install outlook onto your home PC - you need the pro version with outlook , then you can import from outlook on your home PC
you only need to use the trail version

However, are you allowed to have the PST file from work and what will this achieve ?
As its only a snapshot of the email and contacts
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