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Thunderbird - Exporting Local Mail

Best Effort Support Only

This document contains instructions on using a non-Microsoft email client, such as Apple Mail or Thunderbird. Microsoft does not recommend these clients for use with Office 365, and there are often significant limitations in client functionality as a result.

Because of this, the DoIT Help Desk is only able to offer best effort support for these clients, and certain issues may require the use of a Microsoft client in order to be resolved. For more information on Office 365 client support, please see: Office 365 - Which clients/protocols will be supported?.

This document will provide step-by-step instructions on how to export local mail from Thunderbird.

Important: These instructions include using a 3rd party application which is not supported by the Help Desk or UW-Madison Office 365 team.


  • There is no native export function for local mail in Thunderbird, however, the software "Aid4Mail" offers many export options, including converting local mail to a .PST file. It can be acquired from
  • Aid4Mail only works on Windows. If you are running a different operating system use the directions below from Mozilla to backup and restore your profile to a Windows installation of Thunderbird.
  • Backing up a profile
  • Restoring a profile backup
  1. Open Aid4Mail.
  2. Select Mozilla Thunderbird as the mail source. Select Include mail in trash to include this data in the export. Click Next to proceed.


  3. Select the local folders to export. Check the box to Include subfolders. Hit Next to continue.


  4. Leave the Filter source messages check box blank and hit Next.


  5. Choose the Office Outlook PST file option and hit Next.


  6. Choose a save location for the file and hit Next.


  7. On the Export Options screen leave the default settings selected (see image below) and hit Next.


  8. Click Start to begin the export process.


  9. When mail is finished processing hit the Close button to complete the process.


Keywords:microsoft office 365 o365 migrating transition prepare preparatory mozilla .pst backing up back restoring a profile subfolders messages outlook export local email   Doc ID:39200
Owner:Help Desk KB Team .Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2014-04-15 11:22 CDTUpdated:2020-08-13 18:22 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Office 365
Feedback:  4   2