Learn the Best Way to Import Mail From Outlook Express to Thunderbird

Move discontinued Outlook Express mail to Thunderbird

The Mozilla Thunderbird logo.


Microsoft discontinued Outlook Express beginning with Windows Vista. It was superseded by Windows Mail in subsequent Windows releases. At that time, all of an Outlook Express user's emails were located in a folder named "Outlook Express." If you still have that folder and can locate it on your Windows computer, you can import the Outlook Express mail into Mozilla's Thunderbird email client.

Import Mail From Outlook Express in Mozilla Thunderbird

If you were happy with Outlook Express before it was discontinued but now are (or hope to be) even happier with Mozilla Thunderbird, you probably want to import all your Outlook Express email. Fortunately, getting it into Mozilla Thunderbird is easy. Thunderbird has an import feature that does it painlessly.

To import messages from Outlook Express into Mozilla Thunderbird:

  1. ​Open Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Select Tools | Import... from the menu bar.

  3. Click the radio button next to Mail.

  4. Click Next >.

  5. Highlight Outlook Express in the list.

  6. Click Next > again.

  7. Read the list of what Thunderbird was able to import.

  8. Click Finish to begin the transfer of files.

Mozilla Thunderbird imports all your local Outlook Express folders into subfolders of a mailbox called "Outlook Express Mail" under "Local Folders." You can move them to other folders to integrate them fully with your Mozilla Thunderbird experience by dragging and dropping them to desired folders.

Thunderbird still has an active software development team and still being supported by Mozilla, but this could change if funds dry up. (As of Feb. 2019)