Usually, on computers with a Windows operating system, the Outlook mail client program provided by Microsoft is used. Outlook.com is a web-based email service that has replaced Hotmail.
If we bought a new computer, we intend to restore it or change the email app and would like to transfer the messages: Outlook has a special function that allows you to export them in various formats.
Using the data export function included in Outlook, in fact, you can copy our messages from one computer to another or from one email client to another.
For software other than Outlook, however, the use of external solutions is required, which are not always free.
In this article we will address this topic, explaining how to export emails from Outlook, with a part reserved for other software as well.
To do this we will examine Outlook 2019 for Windows and macOS, but these indications may also apply to editions from 2007 onwards.
Export messages from Outlook
To learn how to export emails from Outlook, you need to:
- start the program,
- click on the File tab at the top left,
- select the Open and export item from the left sidebar,
- in the screen that opens, click on the Import / Export button to start the Outlook data import / export wizard.
Continuing from the next screen:
- select the item Export to a file from the list that is proposed to us,
- click on the Next button,
- choose the Outlook Data File (.pst) format from the formats available for export,
- click on Next,
- go to the mail folder to export (eg [yourbox] @ outlook.com),
- tick next to Include subfolders,
- click Next.
By default, the email archive file (backup.pst) is saved in the Outlook DocumentsFile folder, but you can choose another one: by clicking the Browse button.
It is possible to set a password to protect the exported messages by filling in the appropriate fields displayed at the beginning of the process.
- press the End key,
- exporting emails from Outlook starts.
The duration of the procedure depends on the number of messages to be saved and the power of the PC in use.
The resulting PST file will be useful for importing messages, both on Outlook for Windows and on the software version for macOS.
With a Mac you can export emails in Outlook using the Export function from the File menu. In this case the exported file will be in OLM format (not PST) and can only be used to transfer emails in Outlook from one Mac to another.
By dragging a folder from the program's sidebar to the desktop, there is still the possibility to save messages in MBOX format, which allows them to be imported into other e-mail clients.
Import the messages into Outlook
After exporting emails from Outlook to Windows, you can use the resulting .PST file to import emails to another computer.
In Windows you need to:
- start Outlook,
- click on the File tab, top left,
- select the Open and export item from the sidebar,
- press the Import / Export button.
On the next screen:
- select the item Import data from other programs or files,
- press the Next button,
- select the Outlook Data File (.pst) format,
- click on the Next button,
- open the previously created pst file, using the Browse button.
- click on Next and Finish,
- wait for the message import procedure to finish. Again, the duration of the procedure depends on the number of emails to be uploaded and the power of the PC.
With Mac to import previously exported messages from Outlook:
- call the Import function from the File menu, or
- press the Import button on the Tools tab of the program. Outlook for Mac can import both OLM and PST backups.
Import Outlook messages into other e-mail clients
Now it's time to learn how to import Outlook messages into another email client.
This is the case in which it is necessary to resort to different solutions based on the software we want to use.
Let's see as an example how to import emails into Thunderbird:
- you can use the import functions included in the program or use external solutions to convert Outlook PST files into Thunderbird compatible MBOX files.
To use the import features included in Thunderbird, Outlook must be installed on your PC and must be 32-bit version. And then:
- start importing messages from Outlook by opening Thunderbird,
- press the ≡ button at the top right,
- select the items Tools> Import from the new menu,
- put the check mark next to Mail,
- click on Next and choose Outlook as the program from which to import emails.
With a 64-bit version of Outlook or in the impossibility of installing the program on our PC, we have to use an external software capable of converting an Outlook PST file into an MBOX file, compatible with Thunderbird.
In this case, we recommend Convert PST to MBOX by Outlook Freeware, which can be downloaded for free.
Otherwise, compatible with all operating systems (Windows, macOS and Linux) with a license cost of $ 29,95.
Emailchey is also available in a free version where the sender and subject of messages are masked.
Let's see how to use Convert PST to MBOX to convert a PST file to the Thunderbird import compatible format:
- go to ,
- scroll the page to the bottom and click on Download free limited version,
- we can also proceed to download the full version (Advanced version) at a cost of € 19,95 which increases its functionality, such as the ability to choose the folders to include in the MBOX file.
After downloading the .exe file:
- double click on it,
- press the Install button, then click Next,
- accept the terms of service,
- press the Next button,
- choose whether to allow the installation of the Outloo addon, software that we will see another time,
- press the Install and Finish buttons to conclude the setup.
After starting the program:
- select the PST file from its icon, present on the line PST File or folder with PST files.
- press the icon next to the Target path for converted messages in MBOX format line,
- choose the name to give to the XBOX file you are creating,
- press the Run key to start the conversion.
Upon completion of the conversion:
- install ImportExportTools NG add-on in Mozilla Thunderbird, like this,
- download the add-on from the Mozilla Addons website,
- go to menu ≡> Thunderbird Add-ons,
- select the item Install add-on from file from the menu with the gear icon;
When the operation is completed:
- restart Thunderbird,
- create a new local folder by right clicking on Local Folders from the sidebar,
- go to menu ≡> Tools> ImportExportTools NG> Import Thunderbird mbox file;
In the window that opens:
- tick next to Import directly one or more files in mbox format,
- click on OK,
- select the MBOX file previously obtained with the conversion.
The messages will be imported into the sub-folders of the local folder created in Thunderbird.
Using Apple Mail, you can import MBOX files with Outlook emails by starting the application and selecting the Import boxes item from the File menu located at the top left.
How to save emails from Outlook web
If we have an email account on Outlook.com and we want to export its messages to Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail or any other email client, we need to:
- set up a new account in the program,
- fill in the form that is proposed to us using the following data:
- Name: the name to use as the email header,
- Email address: your Outlook email address,
- Password / Confirm password: the password of our email address in Outlook,
- IMAP server name: imap-mail.outlook.com,
- IMAP port: 993,
- IMAP encryption method: SSL / TLS,
- Nome server SMTP: smtp-mail.outlook.com,
- Porta SMTP: 587,
- Method of SMTP Criteria: STARTTLS.
Another choice may be to export Outlook.com messages to Gmail, in order to synchronize the two Web Mail services.
You can also download all Microsoft mailbox data in PST format directly from the Web. To do this:
- connect to the mailbox on Outlook.com,
- press the ⚙ icon,
- select the item View all Outlook settings,
- choose the General> Privacy and data items,
- click the Export mailbox button.
The export process can take up to 4 days. At the end we will receive a warning message or you can return to this section and press the Download button here to collect all the mail in Outlook in PST format.
How to save Outlook mail to PDF
To save an Outlook email in PDF, for all Outlook versions installed and also with Outlook from the Web, you can use the message printing function, selecting the PDF virtual printer to create a copy.