Find the Default Location of MBOX Files in Different Email Clients

3 mn read

There are some cases when users should know the location of MBOX files. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain how you can locate MBOX files on various platforms and the best way to import MBOX files.

MBOX file is a file format, where multiple email messages are stored in one file. Here, The text messages in MBOX files are saved in 7-bit ASCII format, and attachments are encoded format. The MBOX files work with many email clients like Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Eudora, and Entourage. Earlier, MBOX files were only used for UNIX, but now they are available on Windows and MacOS also.

MBOX files save the files in a concatenated manner. It starts with the From line, continues with Non-from lines, and ends with Back lines. The first message is separated by a separator line, followed by the next one with two end lines, and finally, the file ends with a blank link.

Variants of MBOX Files

MBOX files have been modified over time and now it has four different formats, that serve various purposes.

  1. MBOXO file format: This file format is used by Eudora. Here, the messages and the attachments of the file are kept in two individual folders. And also, it uses a constant string “???@???” in place of the sender’s email address.
  2. MBOXRD file format: The file format is used by some email clients such as Qmail, Thunderbird Netscape, etc. It shows the beginning of a message with a ‘From’ string either on the header or the body of the message.
  3. MBOXCL file format: In this, the content-length header is used in locating the beginning of a message in place of the ‘From’ line. 
  4. MBOXCL2 file format: the functioning of this file is the same as the MBOXCL file which is using content-length to show the start of the message. But there’s only one difference, it does not transform the email message before saving.

Note: both MBOXCL and MBOXCL2 files are used in UNIX ‘System V’ mailboxes. 

Now, in the next section, we are going to see the default location of MBOX files.

Default Locations of MBOX Files

For the most part, the MBOX file is located in ‘C:\User\Library\Mail\Mailboxes\Directory’. But the location is different depending on which email client you use. Following are the default location of MBOX files on different platforms.

  • Entourage: C:\Users\user_name\Documents\Microsoft User Data\Office 2008 Identities\Main Identity
  • Eudora: C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\Application data\Qualcomm\Eudora Folder
  • SpiceBird/PocoMail/Opera Mail: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\spicebird or pocomail or opera mail\mail
  • The Bat/Sylpheed: C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\The Bat mail or Sylpheed\mail name
  • Seamonkey: C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Mozilla\SeaMonkey\Profiles\\Mail

Ways to Find the Location of MBOX Files

We show you where the MBOX file is located, now we show you ways to find the MBOX file in Windows and Mac OS.

Locate the MBOX Files in Windows 2000 and XP 

  1. Click on the Start button on the bottom left of the home screen. Now, select the Run option.
  2. Type “%appdata%” in the search bar and press enter.
  3. Now, click on the Thunderbird folder from the list of options.
  4. Then, select the profiles folder and click on “%AppData%\Thunderbird\files\sample.default

If the application data is hidden, then we have to show the hidden first. For this, open Windows Explorer. Go to tools, click on Folder options, and then View. at last select Click on shows hidden files and folders. Then, you can directly follow the path: C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\[name].default\Mail\Local folders.

Locate the MBOX Files in Windows 7 and above 

  1. Click on the Start option on the bottom left panel of the home screen.
  2. Now, on the search box, enter %AppData% and search it.
  3. In the menu options, select the Roaming item.
  4. Last, select Thunderbird. Then, Profiles. Every folder that appears on the profiles folder is a profile on your pc.

You can also follow the direct path by C:\Users\<Windows user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\profiles\<Profile name>

Or you can use the Thunderbird menu path: first Help, then Troubleshooting information. Click on the Show Folder button.

Locate the MBOX Files in Mac OS

  1. Select Home Folder and click on Library folder.
  2. Also, click the profiles folder and then, ~Library\Thunderbird\Profiles\Sample.default

Locate the MBOX Files in Windows Unix and Linux

  • For Linux and Unix: ~\.thunderbird\<Profile name>
  • For other third-party build: ~\.mozilla-thunderbird<Profile name>

Both OS have hidden folders. So, you have to first unhide them by clicking View and then Show hidden files.

Import MBOX Files 

So far we have discussed the location of MBOX files and how to find them. It’s important to know where your MBOX files are located, especially when importing them into Outlook. In this, we convert MBOX files into PST so that it saves the data securely. For converting the files, there is no direct method. In that case, we use SysTools software to convert MBOX to PST files. The software is free and converts the file in just a few minutes. Also, it offers various features like split PST files, Date filter, maintaining data integrity, etc. hence, the tool is the best method to convert MBOX files into PST files.


In this article, we share the default location of MBOX files in different email software. Steps to find the MBOX file in Windows, mac, and other platforms. And also give reasons for importing MBOX files. We also share the best method to convert MBOX files into PST.

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