November 10, 2005

Moving from Mac Mail to Outlook Express

These days it's not too difficult to change email clients if need be. Most clients come with powerful import and export tools, allowing for a fairly smooth transition. This week, however, I ran into an exception when trying to move email messages from Mac Mail 2.0 to Outlook Express 6. The experience left me with the impression that these programs are bitter enemies and loathe the idea of interoperating with each other. Here's some instructions on how to make it work (note: you will also need Eudora 6.2+ free edition installed on the PC):

Starting in Mac Mail do the following for each mailbox you wish to transfer (In, Sent, Deleted, etc.):
  1. Select all messages and choose File -> Save As from the main menu. Choose "Raw Message Source" as the format and a name for the group of messages and click the "Save" button. Even though there are no obvious "export" commands from Mac Mail, this will effectively create a file in standard mbox format. However, Outlook Express will not directly import this file type so we'll have to play with it a bit.
  2. Transfer the file you just created to the PC.
  3. Open the directory C:\Documents and Settings\[Account Name]\Application Data\Qualcomm\Eudora (you will need to go to the View tab under the Tools -> Folder Options menu and select "Show Hidden Files and Folders" to be able to view this folder).
  4. If appropriate, rename the file you created in step 1 to match one of the mailboxes in this folder (In, Out, Junk, Trash, etc). Assign this file a .mbx extension.
  5. Copy the file from the previous step into the folder you opened in step 3. (Important! Only do this if you don't mind overwriting the email in your Eudora application).
  6. Open Eudora and view the mailbox you just copied. This will firmly establish your .mbx file as a Eurdora mailbox. Don't worry if the text in your messages doesn't look quite right - this will soon be remedied.
  7. Open Outlook Express. Select File -> Import -> Messages from the main menu. Choose "Eudora Pro or Light" and go through the rest of the wizard. This should properly import all your messages from the selected mailbox into Outlook Express.
A twisted solution? Yes, but it's the only one that I could get to work! If you know of an easier one please post a comment detailing your experience.

21 comments:

Tim Gaden said...

I'd probably just give this conversion utility or Emailchemy a try.

Tron said...

Thanks for your comments, Tim.

In the midst of my task I actually tried the elmx to mbox conversion utility you mentioned. It does a good job of turning messages into mbox format...however this format still can't be directly imported into Outlook Express 6.

I did not try Emailchemy, but it looks quite promising. Supposedly it is capable of translating Mac Mail 2 messages into some formats that can be directly imported by Outlook Express 6. Sweet simplicity!

Anonymous said...

I tried this with Outlook Express 6 and Eudora 6.2 - no luck. I receive an error "Not all of the messages could from the folder 'In' could be imported. An Error has occured."

Kirk

Anonymous said...

It is great man........Superb........Just wants to say thanx....

Joey said...

Hey to all of you working on this. I have just the exact backwards of an issue. I am trying to go from Eudora(PC) to Outlook Express(PC). Now I got some easy directions which worked on all my Mailboxes except for my Inbox. The error I get is Not all the messages from the folder'In' could be imported. The kicker is that it doesn't import any of them. I know it's not a size issue because one of my boxes has 8,551 messages and they all came over. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Anonymous said...

hi you are so great. i am very thank you. I spent a morning for it.
thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it worked for me. Initially I got an error when trying to import the messages into outlook so I tried again but this time only importing a few at a time instead of the whole inbox at once. This worked at treat.

Steve said...

Great solution! Thank you so much!

A lot of steps, but it definitely works, and it's fairly straightforward (and free)! For a one time activity, it definitely works. Probably would not recommend for repeated use or synching purposes.

I used this approach to take it one step further - I needed to get my Apple Mail into Outlook 2003 on a PC. The only way to do this was to do the Eudora import into Outlook Express first, then perform the Outlook import on that. Eudora is not listed as an import option in Outlook 2003.

CHIPS Computer Consulting said...

That was great.. thats what I get for leaving a hosted provider.. they sent me this guys whole mailbox in .mbx when I know they use Exchange... took me 45 minutes but with your directions I was able to get it done. This does work with Outlook Express 6..

Anonymous said...

Very good working solution!!
I used Apple mail + Eudora 7.1 + Outlook express 6 to import to Outlook 2007.

This was for customer and I just wanted working solution that I don't have to try and get frustrated. It requires steps but every step counted and worked.

I wasn't able to import Eudora to Outlook 2007 directly, but I could import from Outlook express to Outlook 2007.

Thank you for the solution.

roupen said...

Are subfolders handled in this? For example, I have inbox A with subfolders B, C, D, etc. Thanks.

Tron said...

Hi Roupen,

Unfortunately it's been several years since I arrived at this solution and I don't remember if subfolders are handled appropriately. Perhaps someone else who has gone through this process more recently may have some insight?

Anonymous said...

Hi to all,
I did as described above, but in the best case all my emails have been transfered without any attachments and still with some problems caused bye the different linefeeds of mac and windows. However, I am quite sure that none of the above has save its attachments. So I switchted to emailchemy. It was about 24 euros, but it transferred my nearly 10000 emails without a single problem! I appreciate any feedback to electronicpeter at gmx dot de

Gillian said...

hi, i've been trying to import my emails from Apple Mail into Outlook. I've gotten as far as renaming the files as .mbx But neither outlook or outlook express are importing them. The error message says one of your files is open or may currently be in use. Please advise.

Alexis said...

For import mail data I very often use next tool-recover inbox outlook express.It is free as far as I know and helps me very quickly.Moreover software can really helps to restore corrupted mailboxes in Outlook Express format and it is very easy.

Alex said...

Today I was in net and saw there one interesting tool-convert .ost .pst.I tried and I was lucky.Utility solved all old corrupted mails in 30 seconds.Moreover it helped my sister too and without payment.Splendid program to my mind.

Mathias Ricken said...

This worked great. No need to buy anything. Thank you!

Alex said...

I had many such problems for long time. But once I couldn't solve one unpleasant situation some months ago. As luck would have it this morning my friend advised a nice tool, which in my view is able to resolve other problems such as this - outlook express repair.

arden said...

thanks so much

glad there are folks like you willing to puzzle thru this sort of thing and then share it

thanks again

arden

Moni said...

I used the software at http://www.movemymailtomac.com and it worked perfectly: got all my Outlook 2010 mail converted into Apple Mail. It even found some very old mail from Outlook Express that I had long forgotten about and imported it into Mail.app :) It costs 5 bucks but for me it was worth it. Hope this helps anybody.

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