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How to Export ZOHO Inbox to mbox using Thunderbird in

A Step-by-Step Guide for Windows and macOS.

Alex's avatar
By Alex
Export Zoho Email Inbox to mbox | GoodByEmail

The process involves first syncing your Zoho account with Thunderbird and then exporting your emails from there. This can take some time, but hey, a big advantage of this method is that it's 100% safe, as you are not giving your emails away to third-party companies.

Step 0 - Enabling IMAP Access in Zoho Mail

Make sure that IMAP Access is enabled in the Zoho Mail interface.
Login to www.zoho.com/mail > Settings > Mail Accounts > IMAP Access > Enable IMAP Access by clicking the checkbox

Step 1 - Install Thunderbird

If you haven't already, download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. It's a free, open-source email client.

Step 2 - Add Zoho Account to Thunderbird

Open Thunderbird, in the menu bar, navigato to "Tools" and click on "Accounts Settings", then "Add Mail Account". Enter your Zoho credentials and let Thunderbird automatically configure the server settings.

Zoho Add Mail Account

Step 3 - Sync and Download Emails

Once added, Thunderbird will begin syncing with your Zoho account. Wait until all your emails are downloaded and synced.

Optional: Setting Up your Zoho Account Manually

If Thunderbird doesn't auto-detect your Zoho Mail settings, you might need to input them manually. Here's how:

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Setting Up the Incoming Server

  • For individual Zoho users: Server Name: imap.zoho.eu, Use Port: 993, with Normal Password as the authentication method.
  • For organizational accounts on Zoho with domain-based access: Server Name: imappro.zoho.eu, Use Port: 993, with Normal Password as the authentication method.

Setting Up the Outgoing Server

  • For individual Zoho users: Server Name: smtp.zoho.eu, Use Port: 465, with Normal Password as the authentication method.
  • For domain-tied organizational accounts on Zoho: Server Name: smtppro.zoho.eu, Use Port: 465, with Normal Password as the authentication method.

When inputting your username, make sure to use your full Zoho email (e.g., [email protected]). If you're utilizing a separate Outgoing email, specify that address instead.

Once you've input the settings, hit "Done". Be aware: Using the "Test" option may return an error and possibly reset your manually entered settings.

A heads-up for those using TFA: If you've enabled Two-Factor Authentication, you'll need to produce and employ an App-specific Password.

Step 4 - Export Zoho Emails to mbox

  1. Download all your emails to Thunderbird
    • While downloading emails locally may take time based on your inbox size and internet speed, it ensures no data is shared with third parties; monitor the download status at the bottom left corner.
    • Thunderbird automatically downloads messages for offline use, ensuring your mbox files contain all required data without removing them from the server. Do ensure your computers is left up and running until the download completes.
    • Note: To ensure Thunderbird retains messages locally and on the server (its default setting), right-click on your email account, select Settings, then Synchronisation & Storage and select the options shown in the screenshot below.
    • Thunderbird Default Synchronization & Storage options
  2. Accessing the Profile Folder:
    • Launch Thunderbird.
    • Click on the burger icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner.
    • Hover over Tools and select Open Profile Folder.
    • Thunderbird Settings Menu Burger Icon
  3. Locate the mbox Files:
    • Within the profile folder, find the ImapMail directory (or Mail for POP accounts).
    • Notice how the subfolders are named after your email domain, like imap.zoho.com, imap.gmail.com or outlook.office365.com.
    • Dive into the relevant domain directory to view files corresponding to your email folders. Your mbox files are right there, ready to be used! They are the ones without a file extension and matching your mailbox folder name (e.g. INBOX and Sent) and usually the most interesting ones are very large:
    • Thunderbird Email Contents folder sample

And that's pretty much it. You have successfully found all your mbox files created by Thunderbird, which can now be used for cleaning, backup and archiving purposes, or perhaps migrated to another email client.

Copy the INBOX file to another directory on your computer to use it with other tools and feel free to add the .mbox file extension if needed.

There you have it! Your Zoho emails are now exported in the mbox format.

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