HOW  TO  IMPORT  E-MAIL  FROM  MICROSOFT  OUTLOOK  INTO  MAC  MAIL


One of the biggest problems moving to the Apple Mac (OS X (Mountain Lion or Mavericks) from Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) with regards to e-mail is how to transfer Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) e-mail into Mac MAIL. Microsoft Outlook 2010 stores its e-mail inside a .PST formatted file and Mac MAIL stores its e-mail inside a .MBOX formatted file that is actually the contents of all e-mail within one mailbox (folder) - A bit like a zip/compressed file. Even though Microsoft Outlook 2011 (Mac) can be used to import a Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) .PST file this is not always possible.

      

Why? The main reason for many people is because they find Microsoft Outlook 2011 (Mac) way too expensive, especially after spending £1,000+ on a new Apple Mac, Accessories and Additional Software and therefore don't like the idea of spending another £180+ just to import their e-mail using Microsoft Outlook 2011 (Mac). They would rather loose the Microsoft Outlook 2011 (Mac) experience in favour of a cheap and easy way of transferring existing Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) e-mail. Another reason is because many people use Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) at work, for free, and now need to transfer those e-mails onto their personal/business Apple Mac computer for whatever reason(s). They may have become mobile and/or self-employed for example.


After searching the internet and trying out some technical "so-called" solutions along the way for transferring e-mails, including the use of Mozilla Thunderbird, I finally found a working solution that is easy and cheap to implement - I later tried and tested the solution myself to make sure it really did work, and it did - Here is that solution:

STEP  1  -  EXPORT  YOUR  E-MAIL  FROM  MICROSOFT  OUTLOOK  2010

The first step to transferring your Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) e-mails is to export them to a .PST file - Instructions Here. Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) will allow you to manually select (tick) e-mail and contacts folders amongst other items before actually saving them (exporting them) into a .PST file, ready for importing into the following PST Bridge Pro software. Do NOT export to a local folder on your Windows computer - Try and save (export) the .PST file directly onto a Flash Drive (Memory Stick/Pen) or USB Hard Drive for an easier life.

STEP  2  -  BUY  CONVERTER  SOFTWARE  -  IMPORT/EXPORT  E-MAILS

Once you have your .PST file saved (exported), onto a Flash Drive (Memory Stick/Pen) or USB Hard Drive hopefully, the next step is to buy the PST Converter software called PST Bridge Pro, which currently costs £21.48. It is two Apple Mac applications built into one - PST Viewer and PST Exporter. Together they allow you to view and convert (export) the contents of a Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) .PST e-mail file into a Mac Mail .MBOX file (e-mail mailbox/folder). You basically import (open and view) a .PST file and convert it (export/save it) into a .MBOX file (e-mail mailbox/folder) which you can then import (open and view) with Mac Mail. PST Bridge Pro can convert e-mail messages and keep their attachment(s). I have tested it out with really large .PST files and it works.

You can try out the demo version which allows you to convert 10 E-mails from each folder within your Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows) .PST file; so if you want to be a cheapskate you could always split your PST e-mails into folders containing 10 E-mails or less before using the demo version of PST Bridge Pro. Saying this; PST Bridge Pro is really ideal for those with large .PST files whereby it would be impossible to use the cheapskate method just mentioned. Not only that, it really is a piece of software worth buying.

Disclaimer - Please note: Although the softwares mentioned within this section worked for me and performed their import and export services/functions/procedures as expected and explained in this section - In other words, they worked for me without any problems whatsoever - You should NOT interpret the wordings in this section as a suggestion that you should buy and/or use any or all of the softwares mentioned within this section. If you decide to buy any or all of the softwares mentioned within this section you do so at your own decision and risk.

STEP  3  -  IMPORT  THE  MBOX  FILE  INTO  MAC  MAIL

At this point you should have a .MBOX file (e-mail mailbox/folder) stored on your Flash Drive (Memory Stick/Pen) or USB Hard Drive. In this final step to transferring your e-mails you first need to open the Apple Mac application called MAIL (also known as: Mac MAIL), if it's not open already, and then click on its window to make sure it is the active window. From there you then need to import (open) the .MBOX file (e-mail mailbox/folder) by clicking on the FILE menu and selecting the IMPORT MAILBOXES menu-item.



Fig 1.0  Make sure Mac MAIL is the active window - Click on the FILE menu and then select the IMPORT MAILBOXES menu-item.

Clicking on the IMPORT MAILBOXES menu-item will bring up the Export Wizard. This is a mini-application built into Mac MAIL that guides you through the Export procedure. Forget that though because I will be your tour guide of course! The first step of the Import Wizard asks you which type of file you want to import (open). For this example, because you will be importing a .MBOX file, you need to click on the FILES IN MBOX FORMAT radio (circle/dot) button.

Take note of the Import Wizard's wording - You will now be asked for the location of one or more files in mbox format or a folder containing them. Remember what I said above; Mac MAIL stores its e-mail inside a .MBOX formatted file that is actually the contents of all e-mail within one mailbox (folder). In other words, as you will see in a minute, I will be telling the Import Wizard to import from a folder called BUSINESS that contains more than one .MBOX file. There is more than one .MBOX file in that folder simply because a .MBOX file was created for each category of e-mails/folders I had in Microsoft Outlook 2010 (Windows). You might have one .MBOX file called INBOX.mbox that contains all the e-mails from your INBOX folder and one .MBOX file called SENT.mbox that contains all the e-mails from your SENT folder for example. Anyway, for now, just click on the CONTINUE button to proceed.



Fig 1.1  Select the FILES IN MBOX FORMAT option and then click on the CONTINUE button to proceed

After clicking on the CONTINUE button the IMPORT File Requester will appear asking you for the location of a single .MBOX file or a folder containing many .MBOX files. In this example I am going to navigate the file requester to the BUSINESS folder on my Flash Drive (Fig 1.3 below).

As you can see from the screenshot below; A .MBOX file is actually a folder that contains three files - The Info.plist file, the Table Of Contents file and the actual MBOX file. You could actually navigate the file requester to that one actual MBOX file and select it, if you only wanted that one actual MBOX file importing, but as this example is showing how to import many actual MBOX files in one go from within a BUSINESS folder that contains many actual MBOX files as well as many Info.plist and Table Of Contents files there is no need to select one actual, individual, MBOX file.


In other words, I could select the actual MBOX file (the file called MBOX) that resides in the Leaflets.mbox file (which is actually a folder!) but I need the import wizard to search through all the other files within the BUSINESS folder, such as the Amazon.mbox file and Angela.mbox file, in order for it to then import their actual MBOX files (files called MBOX) regardless what happens or doesn't happen to the Info.plist file and Table Of Contents file.



Fig 1.2  This is what a folder containing .MBOX files looks like

Once I have navigated the file requester to the BUSINESS folder on my Flash Drive I then need to select that BUSINESS folder and click on the CHOOSE button (Fig 1.3 below). The Import Wizard will then search the chosen (selected) BUSINESS folder for .MBOX files (Fig 1.4), which really contain e-mail mailboxes (folders) at the end of the day. If any .MBOX files are found they will be listed (Fig 1.5), otherwise you will receive an error message (Fig 1.6).



Fig 1.3  Navigate the IMPORT File Requester to your MBOX file or folder, select that MBOX file or folder and then click on the CHOOSE button.




Fig 1.4  The Import Wizard is now searching the chosen (selected) BUSINESS folder for .MBOX files




Fig 1.5  The Import Wizard has finished searching the BUSINESS folder and has found some .MBOX files

When the import wizard has finished searching your selected folder for .MBOX files (above) it will, as mentioned above, either list the found .MBOX files (above) whereby you can then untick any .MBOX files you do NOT wish to import or it will show you an error message (below). Assuming .MBOX files were found and you wish to import them all simply click on the CONTINUE button (above) to proceed.



Fig 1.6  The Import Wizard could not find any .MBOX files in the selected folder

The last stages of the import wizard, once it has found some .MBOX files, is to import them into Mac MAIL. In the example below the import wizard is currently importing a .MBOX file called Leaflets.mbox which is a .MBOX file (e-mail mailbox/folder) that contains all the e-mails I have received from the company who prints my Business Leaflets. When the import wizard has finished importing all the .MBOX files, from my BUSINESS folder, all that remains is to click on its DONE button (Fig 1.8).



Fig 1.7  The import wizard is currently importing a .MBOX file called Leaflets.mbox which contains more than one e-mail




Fig 1.8  When the import wizard has finished importing all the found .MBOX files click on its DONE button

With the import finished you can now view the e-mails within each imported mailbox (folder) - As you can see; Apple have not done themselves any favours by calling everything MBOX. If you are still confused!! The MBOX file called Leaflets.mbox for example contained three files - Info.plist, Table Of Contents and MBOX. So Leaflets.mbox could be thought of as a compressed folder or zipped/archived file if you like. The actual MBOX file within the Leaflets.mbox file (MBOX compressed folder or zipped/archived file) contains the actual e-mails.


Furthermore; Because each set of e-mails are stored inside a file called MBOX it makes it impossible to have all MBOX file in one folder - You could never have the MBOX file (set of e-mails) inside Leaflets.mbox residing inside Amazon.mbox simply because Amazon.mbox has its own MBOX file (set of e-mails).....and its own Tablet oF content file and Info.plist file. Hopefully you followed that! If not, don't worry.....just follow the screenshots!



Fig 1.9  The imported Leaflets mailbox (folder), with sub-mailbox (sub-folder) called MBOX, has all my Leaflet related e-mails inside it.

If you have an old Apple Mac that uses Entourage 2008 .rge files the Import Wizard can import them directly without the need of the PST Bridge Pro software. Regardless of how you import e-mail, if you use Mozilla Thunderbird you can use its IMPORT Apple Mail function (TOOLS menu >> IMPORT menu-item) to import e-mails from Mac MAIL (use Thunderbird's APPLE MAIL import option).