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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail Apps
After a day-long ordeal, I discovered a way to import all e-mail from Outlook Express (Windows PC) into Apple Mail (Mac OS X), using Microsoft Entourage (Mac OS X) as an intermediary. This was all done using just drag-and-drop and point-and-click with just these three apps -- no scripts are necessary. There are other ways to do this it seems, including setting up IMAP servers and such, but I found this method to be easier. If Entourage is your target, you'll have to modify the procedure below, but it should be straightforward. I've chosen to use Apple Mail to get familiar with its features.

This method preserves all attachments and headers from Outlook Express from my observations. Getting all my email transferred over took me a few hours to complete including experimenting with the method (I had over 1400 msgs, about 15 MB in the Inbox and Sent folders in my case), and a bit of work, but it is not difficult.

Before starting, I make no guarantees of any kind of this procedure, especially of its correctness; it has worked for me and I am simply passing it on in case you may find it useful. Use at your own risk. I am not responsible for any damages, data loss, etc. that this procedure may cause directly or indirectly. That aside, I'm running:

Mac - G4 867 Mhz 640MB:
  • Mac OS X 10.2.8 Jaguar, Mail 1.2.5 (v553), Entourage v10.1.4 (030702) SR1
PC - P3 900 Mhz 256MB:
  • Outlook Express 6 6.00.2800.1106, Windows 2000 Professional SP4 Build 2195
Which versions of the above programs you're running may or may not make a difference.

The procedure is:
  1. Export Outlook Express (PC) messages to files using its drag and drop feature. On your PC, run Outlook Express ("OE") and select all messages in "Inbox" folder (I used Control-A), and drag and drop all of the selected messages to an empty folder (I named my folder 'Inbox'). The drop took a little over three minutes on my PC for exporting 1028 messages.

    Verify that the number of files created matches the number of msgs in your OE Inbox (right-click on the Inbox icon in OE and select Properties to get that number). By the way, the exported files are ".eml" files which have the header and body of the message, in plain text format. Fortunately for us, OE has this convenient feature.

    Check if any ".nws" files were created (or anything besides .eml). If so, I found that Entourage didn't accept files with the .nws extension. I had two of these for some reason and both were junkmail, so I deleted them. You may have to rename yours to .eml if you wish to convert these over, but I haven't tested to see if renaming it will work. Repeat all of the above for your other OE folders ("Sent," etc.) Each OE folder should have a separate Windows folder.

  2. Transfer these Windows folders/files to your Mac. I used an external HDD formatted as FAT32 to copy the folders over; of course, you can use any method.

  3. Use Entourage (Mac) as the intermediary to convert to MBOX format (if Entourage is your target and not Mail, all the better). In Entourage, create a new subfolder folder branching off "On My Computer." In Mac OS, select all the .eml files which came from OE "Inbox" and drag and drop them into this new subfolder in Entourage (the cursor will show a + sign if Entourage allows you to do the drop. If it doesn't, check that you only have .eml files and try again; I found Entourage accepts .eml and not .nws to be dropped). Note that this operation would take a little while to complete; Entourage, or Mac OS, may not respond for a few minutes. (It took my Mac three minutes to drag and drop 1028 .eml files.) You'll have to do this for "Sent" and your other OE folders, but not now; you have to do this one folder set at a time.

    Entourage will create one folder with one message inside it for each .eml file you drop in it (e.g. for 1028 msgs, 1028 folders will be created, each with one message inside it). The messages are considered imported to Entourage at this point, though in an inconvenient fashion. You'll be using a "Mail View" to consolidate all such messages into one view, of which an MBOX file can be created.

    CAUTION: If you drop messages into your Entourage Inbox unintentionally (or other built-in folder), you can end up with thousands of subfolders underneath it which will have to be deleted one by one and not as a group. It's possible to delete them manually, but it is not pleasant. Please be careful and just drop the messages only into your new subfolder.

  4. Create an Entourage Mail View that excludes all folders (even the one new subfolder). For Criteria, set Match "if all criteria are met," "Folder Is Not Inbox," "Folder Is Not Outbox," etc.). This'll be a nuisance if you have lots of Entourage folders, but hopefully it can be managed. The point is to identify the messages just imported and consolidate them in one view listing. Check the view for errors. Sort it by date and scroll through from the start to end to check if the topmost and bottommost messages have either empty dates or today's date and time in it. If there are such messages, these are errors and you can correct or delete them if you wish.

    If you wish to correct them, look in these messages and pick out text that you can use to identify the .eml file where it came from (using Finder search). These messages will have "From" or "To" in the beginning of the message after the header, all you'll need to do is change them to "Fromx" or "Tox" or similar to prevent the message body to be confused as part of the header. Delete the entire drop subfolder and empty the deleted items folder in Entourage and start over with the drop, and check again if there are any more errors.

    When all the messages look good to you, or if you choose to just delete the ones with errors, then make sure Entourage is finished populating the view, then select and drag and drop the Mail View folder (the view icon, not the messages) to your Desktop. This will create a ".mbox" file on your Desktop with the name of the view.

    At this point you can generate separate mbox files for your OE "Sent" and other folders; however, you must delete the new subfolder you created in Entourage, and empty the deleted items folder and start over with a new Entourage subfolder before doing each drop -- otherwise the view will pick up messages from previous drop(s).

  5. Import the Entourage .mbox file(s) using Apple Mail. In Apple Mail, select File -> Import Mailboxes, select Standard mbox files and point it to the folder with your .mbox file(s). Ensure each .mbox file is checked. After clicking ">>", Mail will start importing one message at a time.

    Check the number of msgs imported into Apple Mail (shown when the mailbox is opened in Mail) -- the number should match the number of .eml files fed into Entourage. If it doesn't match, a common error is the Entourage Mail View wasn't populated completely when it was exported to mbox; start over with the import into Entourage and make sure the view is finished populating. Another error is the From/To error mentioned above; if you chose to just delete the bad messages, the numbers won't match exactly. Also, make sure the deleted items folder is emptied between each drop to avoid duplicate messages.
At this point, if everything went as planned, messages in the Apple Mail's Import mailboxes are ready to be moved into your In, Sent mailboxes. If this worked for you, congratulations! Enjoy your new Mail setup.
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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail | 20 comments | Create New Account
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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: woodstone on Mar 31, '04 11:12:25AM


Wow, that's quite a lot of work.

I used a program called DbxConv. This program converts Outlook Express mailboxes (dbx) to the format used by Apple's Mail (mbox).

For me, the whole proces took about 10 minutes!

http://people.freenet.de/ukrebs/dbxconv.html



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: pochrox on Apr 06, '04 04:10:16PM

Thanks for the info. I also gave the utility a try and as far as I can tell, the utility does the same job. Yes, it was a lot of work doing it via Entourage; I wish I came across this utility earlier (I searched in Google but missed this one).

I had a small hitch either with the utility or Apple Mail--Apple Mail imported my Inbox.mbx (1030 msgs) as 1 big msg. So I imported instead into Entourage and it worked properly there; then I used Entourage to generate the mbox to import to Mail.



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: gnanic on Mar 18, '05 06:43:21PM

Hey this seems like a great idea. This is what I tried doing, but it did not work. I downloaded DbxConv. Since the DbxConv was a WinZip file, I extracted it to a new folder on the desktop. I went to the New Folder on the desktop and I saw the file in there DbxConv.exe. I coppied a outlook email file to the New Folder next to DbxConv.exe. I went to msdos and I typed in dbxconv *.dbx, and then I get a message saying: "bdxconv is not recognized as an internal or external command." I dont know if I am doing something wrong or what is happening. If you ave any information to give me please do. I would really appriciate that. My e mail address is goran_nanic@yahoo.com. Once agin if you have any information on this please let me know.

Thank you...



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: insolution on Mar 31, '04 03:47:33PM

The conversion utility DOES look a lot simpler.

Q. Does anyone know of a way to convert mail from Outlook 2001 (not Express) on OS 9 to Entourage X? There is no "Outlook for OS X" client that I'm aware of.

The Microsoft "official" way is to upload the Outlook (mac) data to the Exchange Server and then re-download it to Entourage--not practical for some of our graphics folks who have a lot of attachments. It is taking 2-3 mins per MB on a 100BaseT network and Outlook 2001 (OS 9 only) crashes with more than 2-3 MB at a time.

Are there any utilities out there to do this Mac-to-Mac without using the Exchange Server?

Scott



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: meall on Apr 04, '04 10:05:00AM

The simplest way for that is still to used what is on the Switch pages on apple.com: use the free 60 day .Mac account.

You just create the account, configure it in Mail and Outlook PC, from Outlook, copy your email to the .Mac account then in Mail copy them back on your Mac. Done.



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Easy way on 10.3
Authored by: pat9017 on Apr 06, '04 08:38:57PM

To import in 10.3, just take all the mail, drop it in entourage, then seperate it how u want into different folders, then open Mail, go to import mailboxes, click Microsoft Entourage, then click mailboxes. This will cause Mail to search Entourage's mailboxes. When it is done searching, click the mailboxes you want to import and then click ok. In about two to three minutes (maybe more if u have more messages) all ur emails will be in a new folders under the import folder in Mail. (when u use this way u don't need to mess around with the view option)



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: panther10-3 on Apr 07, '04 06:26:35PM

I don't have an IMAP server that works, because I have over 250MB of email, and more than 5,550 messages. How would I transfer the mail to my mac? DbxConv didn't work -- for some reason it removed all the attachments.

Also, is there a way to bring it back to my PC if Mail.app doesn't end up working with such a large volume of email?



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail and Thunderbird
Authored by: bezvardis on Dec 03, '04 03:15:45PM

I will describe, how I did that. Short background - I came to another country to study with all my PC-created documents on a CD. On that CD I also wrote my old Outlook Express (.dbx format) files thinking that I would be able to install on a new computer that I planned to buy. I bought PowerBook. In addition I decided not to use Apple Mail (too tiny characters when I type my reply) and move to Thunderbird instead. This is how I got all my mailboxes into Thunderbird. The intermediate steps include Entourage>Apple Mail. So whoever likes any of these programs may stop at earlier stage.

1. On a PC I converted my all dbx format mailboxes into mbx. Use the program dbxconv which is here described earlier. It runs from DOS and all you have to do is to type 'dbxconv inbox.dbx' if you want to convert file called inbox.dbx. Just make sure that the program is on the same folder with the files. It makes the task easier. Then transfer all converted files to Mac. I used CD-RW drive on the PC.
2. Copy all converted files on your mac and change their extension from mbx to mbox.
3. Drag and drop the newly created .mbox files to entourage. Entourage immediately understands what you want and asks if you want to import. Press 'yes' and it is done.
4. Close Entourage. Open Apple Mail and through File>Import mailboxes do what it asks. It is pretty simple from there. Now you can open all imported mailboxes and allow Mail to index and do whatever it wants. Am not sure if that is essential but I did it.
5. In finder open your Library from there Mail>Mailboxes. Copy all the mailboxes and paste them, eg, to your desktop.
6. ctrl click on mailbox. Click Show Package Contents. There you will find a file called simply mbox. Copy this file to the following directory Home>Library>Thunderbird>Profiles>******.default>mail>local folders. And rename the file to whatever you want to call the mailbox.
7. Open your Thunderbird and see the mailbox there. The step 6 has to be done separately for each mailbox so I hope you don't have too many :-)

The most problematic in all this in case you (like me) don't want to support Microsoft, is where to get MS office or Entourage. You will have to think creatively here :-)



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: duganne on Jan 09, '05 04:00:44AM

I found the suggestion posted by pochrox to be the best by far for converting OE files for use in Entourage and Mail on Mac. However, on OS10.3.7 and Entourage from Office 2005 for Mac, the files went directly into the new subfolder after having dragged and dropped them from the saved PC OE files on my Mac desktop. They did not create separate folders for each message, they transfered directly as new unread messages. End of story. I was delighted and I could not have done it had you not enumerated the steps to make it possible. The discovery that the messages needed no further processing after dropping them into the Entourage sub-folder was a final delight. Thank you!



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: ekitel on Jan 20, '05 02:58:05AM

this is the easy way: http://people.freenet.de/ukrebs/dbxconv.html



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: ekitel on Jan 20, '05 03:16:39AM

sorry somebody already said that, I should read more before posting, sorry again



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: pochrox on Feb 10, '05 12:59:39AM

Just to give credit where it's due, I found today that someone has posted a similar hint earlier than the one I posted above (it's not exactly the same, but close). It's at http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/user/view/cs_msg/9928. Well, I guess this wasn't the first time it was discovered. Thanks to everyone for sharing your tips and for the kind words as well!



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Use Thunderbird
Authored by: bikerdude on Jun 04, '05 09:48:51AM
Here is an easy way too: use Mozilla.org's Thunderbird email client as the middle man, not only for emails but address book data conversion to Apple Mail. Thunderbird has a nice wizard to import OLE6 emails and address book, and then can export to Apple Mail compatible standards (mbox for emails and LDIF for address book). A more detailed write up here.

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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: GalaxiaGuy on Aug 14, '05 02:33:41PM
There is another simple free way to do it; use Netscape as an intermediary. Full details are available at http://www.oliverbrown.me.uk/2005/08/14/a-use-for-netscape/.

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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: ftlbaby on Oct 28, '06 06:57:55PM

Today I transferred email from Outlook Express 6 on Windows 2000 Professional SP4 to OS X Tiger's Mail.app. This is how I did it.

1. Download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. Current version is 1.5.0.7.
2. Launch and choose to import from Outlook Express. (Clean up the Outlook email and empty the trash first.)
3. Copy the mail folder to the mac from the Thunderbird profile folder. I used a FAT32 formatted USB drive.
4. Add .mbox to all the files inside the mail folder you just copied that don't already have an extension. I used A Better Finder Rename for this.
5. Launch Mail.app and choose import from the File menu.
6. Select Netscape/Mozilla and go!

I hope this helps someone, because I had trouble following all the other tutorials. And I hope someone who goes thru this process fills in all the little details that I left out (such as the default directory of the mozilla profiles folder and the extension of the mozilla mail index, etc.)



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: ftlbaby on Oct 28, '06 08:47:49PM

Today I transferred email from Outlook Express 6 on Windows 2000 Professional SP4 to OS X Tiger's Mail.app. This is how I did it.

1. Download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. Current version is 1.5.0.7.
2. Launch and choose to import from Outlook Express. (Clean up the Outlook email and empty the trash first.)
3. Copy the mail folder to the mac from the Thunderbird profile folder. I used a FAT32 formatted USB drive.
4. Add .mbox to all the files inside the mail folder you just copied that don't already have an extension. I used A Better Finder Rename for this.
5. Launch Mail.app and choose import from the File menu.
6. Select Netscape/Mozilla and go!

I hope this helps someone, because I had trouble following all the other tutorials. And I hope someone who goes thru this process fills in all the little details that I left out (such as the default directory of the mozilla profiles folder and the extension of the mozilla mail index, etc.)



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: ghr on Nov 03, '06 11:35:39PM
I tried this procedure with Outlook Express 6.0+. It uses .dbx files.
Thunderbird (latest available today) did not import anything at all.
After reading other posts on the web, I used the free DbxConv http://people.freenet.de/ukrebs/dbxconv.html to convert the .dbx files to .mbx files on the PC.
I then copied these to OSX Tiger (Intel), changed the extensions to .mbox and then imported them into Mail (using the Other option).
Easy.

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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: xebrawerx on Feb 12, '09 12:47:20PM

That hint was absurdly tedious.

Here's what I did yesterday using IMAP email to accomplish the same:
1. Created a temporary email account with your ISP,
3. Created a folder structure in that account that mimicked the end-user's structure,
3. Setup an IMAP account in Outlook Express to point to the temp email account,
4. Copied the messages from the OE In Box and other folders to the same places in the IMAP account,
5. Setup in OS X Mail the ability to retrieve the IMAP mail,
6. Drag the messages to a local folder structure,
7. Delete the IMAP account and settings on the Mac and PC that pointed to it.

Far less tedious. Only have to be patient enough to allow your emails to upload then download on IMAP.



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: trevorbsmith on May 18, '10 01:42:13PM

You can drag and drop batches of MS Outlook .msg files from a Windows machine to MailRaider. It reads them and identifies attachments. Unfortunately, it seems to only save 1 message at a time, which is a pain.

http://www.45rpmsoftware.com/45RPM/mailraider.html



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Import Outlook Express (PC) emails into Mail
Authored by: mpa on Jun 24, '10 06:56:47AM

I wonder if it would work, but if you missconfigure your incoming mail server in Outlook (so it does not download your mail automaticaly), and resend yourself all you saved mail and download it in to your mac, you would have the messages transfered without any other software.



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