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Q: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format ( Answered 1 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: frederickh-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 06 Jun 2002 12:54 PDT
Expires: 13 Jun 2002 12:54 PDT
Question ID: 23346
Could anyone tell me how to get email currently in .mbox format (on my
Windows 2000) PC converted to .dbx format so that it can be read in
Microsoft Outlook? I realise there are a number of utilities to do the
conversion the other way (from dbx to mbox), but I need to go from
mbox to dbx. Any answers greatly appreciated.

Request for Question Clarification by carwfloc-ga on 06 Jun 2002 13:30 PDT
Hello frederickh,

Are you planning on importing your e-mail from Outlook Express to
Outlook on the same computer?  Or are you planning to export mail from
Outlook Express to be moved onto a different computer with Outlook? 
Either procedure can be easily explained, but they are different.  If
possible, can you please clarify this information?


Clarification of Question by frederickh-ga on 06 Jun 2002 13:38 PDT
I am not trying to import my email from Outlook Express to Outlook on
the same computer. Neither am I trying to export mail from Outlook
Express to be moved onto a different computer with Outlook.
The situation is this:
I have some mail from another mail program (Mail Warrior 3.6 on
Windows) which I have converted to .mbox format (the only format I
could acutally export the mail in), and I now need to get this .mbox
data into Outlook Express.
Hope that clarifies it.

Request for Question Clarification by jparnold-ga on 06 Jun 2002 16:23 PDT
Just a short clarification requested...

File extension ".mbx" and ".dbx" are Outlook Express file extensions.
The files for Microsoft Outlook is .pst.

Are you wanting to get your old mail to "Microsoft Outlook" or
"Outlook Express"? Importing from old applications of Outlook Express
to newer versions and the MIcrosoft Outlook application can differ.

Once you can tell me which application you want to update I can tell
you how to get the information moved to your new system.

Clarification of Question by frederickh-ga on 07 Jun 2002 01:08 PDT
Ideally I'd like to get the .mbox data into Outlook Express, but both
really would be good to know; I've tried adamf's idea below (to no
avail) and so if you could outline the procedure for getting .mbox
files into both Outlook Express 6 and Outlook 2000 then I'd be most

Clarification of Question by frederickh-ga on 07 Jun 2002 11:55 PDT
The procedure you told me to do does make a new folder appear when I
start up Outlook next time, but there's no messages within the folder
that I can click on - so it's imported an empty folder. That's where
it fails.
Also, with my Outlook Express 6, there's no "Folders.nch" file, just a
"Folders.dbx" so I deleted that and when I start up Outlook it
(correctly) creates a new "Folders.dbx" file, but the new imported
mailbox is empty with no messages ported across. Strange?  How can I
make the messages appear>
Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
Answered By: wengland-ga on 07 Jun 2002 14:06 PDT
Rated:1 out of 5 stars

The mbox mail format is the same one that Netscape 4.x uses.  

To import Netscape mail files into Outlook Express, just follow these
steps from Microsoft:

   1. On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
   2. Select the e-mail program you want to import messages from, and
then click Next.
   3. Verify the location of your messages, and then click Next.
   4. Choose All folders to import all the messages, and then click
Next. You can also choose Selected Folders to import messages from one
or more folders.
   5. Click Finish.


Hopefully this will work for you.

Other Links:

Importing messages from other programs:

Importing Microsoft Internet Mail Messages (.mbx files)  (This may
work as well; the .mbx extension means the file is in standard mbox

How to Import MMF Files;en-us;Q176267

Description of the mbox format:
frederickh-ga rated this answer:1 out of 5 stars
This is a very basic answer; all of this I knew before I started.
AdamF below is being much, much more helpful. (Thanks Adam)

Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: adamf-ga on 06 Jun 2002 14:53 PDT
Actually, Outlook Express is the tool you are looking for. It has a
'hidden' feature that will import old Internet Mail and News folders
which also uses the mbox or .mbx format.

This Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes how to manually get
Outlook Express to import old mbox folders. This should be exactly
what you need.;en-us;Q176523

AdamF - Researcher Applicant
Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: milesw-ga on 07 Jun 2002 09:58 PDT
You might consider using MBXtract, which will allow you to extract all
of the messages in MBX files to plain text files:

There is also DBXtract, which does the same thing for DBX files:

Yours Sincerely,

Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: adamf-ga on 07 Jun 2002 11:42 PDT
Can you tell me at what point the procedure I described did not work?
If there were any error messages or more information you can provide,
that would help.

Here are the basic steps you need to do summarized from the site:
(If your file does not have the .mbx extension, rename a copy of it to
that extension when you copy it over)

1) Copy the .mbx files to the Outlook Express\Mail folder. 

The Outlook Express\Mail folder is located in the following folder by

path \Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\Mail 

where path is the path to the Application Data folder. 

2) Rename the Folders.nch file that is located in the Outlook
Express\Mail folder. For example, rename the Folders.nch file to

NOTE : When you rename the Folders.nch file, your current non-default
folders are named Folder1, Folder2, Folder3, and so on. The
Folders.nch file contains a list of the folder names. When you rename
it, Outlook Express cannot find the list, so it must re-create the
folder names using default names.

3) Start Outlook Express. 

When you start Outlook Express, the [imported] folders should appear
in the Folder list. You can then rename the folders or move mail
messages between folders.

This was that link again:;en-us;Q176523
Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: adamf-ga on 07 Jun 2002 17:50 PDT

I figured out some of my confusion. There are actually two .mbx file
formats. The 'mbox' format, short for 'mailbox' is the somewhat
standard, mostly plain text mail folder format that most unix email
programs use. These files are often named using the '.mbx' extension.
For example with Eudora.

Microsoft wrote their own proprietary format for storing e-mail
messages which they gave the .mbx file extension to. This is not the
same format as the standard unix mailbox format.

Almost every version of Microsoft's Mail clients, from Internet Mail
and News, to Outlook Express 4-6, to Outlook 97-200x has changed the
microsoft proprietary mailbox format that it uses. From .pst files to
a variety of other index/data file naming.

Outlook Express has the built in ability to import 'mbox' format mail
folders, as wengland-ga said. The procedure he described should work
for importing the messages if they really did get exported into the
'mbox' format.

Here are the same instructions I found about using the Microsoft
Import Wizard:

"To Import Messages from Other E-mail Programs
Using the Outlook Express Import Wizard, you can easily import e-mail
messages from a variety of popular Internet e-mail programs, such as
Netscape Communicator and Eudora, as well as from Microsoft Exchange
and Microsoft Outlook.

On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages. 
Select the e-mail program you want to import messages from, and then
click Next.
Verify the location of your messages, and then click Next. 
Choose All folders to import all the messages, and then click Next.
You can also choose Selected Folders to import messages from one or
more folders.
Click Finish."

Now the catch is you have to specify which e-mail program you want to
import messages from.

I would suggest trying the 'Eudora Pro or Light (through v.3.0)' or
one of the Netscape mail formats, as those should be the closest to
the true 'mbox' format.

If this still does not work and you cannot import your messages, one
more thing that you can try is Netscape Communicator. Communicator has
the ability to import standard unix 'mbox' format messages. If the
messages are able to be imported into Netscape, and Netscape can
understand them, then it should be no problem for Outlook Express to
import them from the netscape format.

If you still cannot get anything to work, please tell me which version
of Outlook Express you are using, and open up your 'mbox' files in a
text editor and make sure the content is actually there. I will then
try to find anything else I can to help you out.

Hope this helps!
Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: adamf-ga on 07 Jun 2002 18:23 PDT
I discovered some additional background information. Apparently from
what I have read, Mail Warrior does not have the ability to export
mail messages. Either that is a new feature recently added that I do
not know about, or you used something like the kmx2mbox perl script
that converts Mail Warrior messages to standard mbox format.

Here is a quote from the Mail Warrior Forum by a user that reconfirms
what I said earlier, you want to import the messages in Outlook
Express as if they were Eudora messages:

"use my perl script, it converts uncompressed kmx mailboxes to mbox
format, that is almost the format that eudora uses

so later you can import in any place those mbox files using the
"import from eudora", or directly from mbox if your mail program
support it

get the win32 zip file and the lastest kmx2mbox and copy it over the
older one that the zip file have
the kmx2mbox doesnt import the files, they will stay in the attach

You might also learn something from this thread:

Apparently messages received with older versions of Mail Warrior (pre
3.6) did not have the complete headers saved in the .kmx files. When
you do the conversion to 'mbox' some fields will be missing. If your
mail messages are partially incomplete that could be the culprit.

Did you use that perl script to do the conversion to 'mbox'? Its
possible that it has some bugs in it. If you did use that script, I
can take a look at it and see if I see any problems, let me know.

AdamF Researcher Applicant
Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: frederickh-ga on 08 Jun 2002 06:37 PDT
Hi Adam, I have indeed used the latest version of kmx2mbox together
with Mail Warrior 3.6 to convert the messages to .mbox format and
opening the file up in a text editor shows all my messages, complete
with all header information present. So it seems they are in valid
.mbox plain text format (as used by Unix systems), but even trying
everything everyone has suggested thus far they won't go into Outlook
Express or Outlook. They should though, shouldn't they?! It's quite
Subject: Re: Converting Mbox mail to Dbx format
From: adamf-ga on 08 Jun 2002 08:40 PDT

Yes, they should import fine into Outlook Express.

I did not see any problems posted concerning kmx2mbox in the Mail
Warrior forum, but one step you could take would be to contact the
author of kmx2mbox and see if he can offer you any advice.

From everything I have read, Netscape is a bit better at handling and
importing the unix 'mbox' format for mail messages (as there is a
version of Netscape for linux and other OS that natively use the
'mbox' format). At the very least it would be a good test. If Netscape
is unable to import the messages, then we know it is not a problem
with Outlook Express. But if Netscape does import the messages, it
will then save them in Netscape format, and they should then be able
to be imported into Outlook Express importing them as Netscape
messages. You could then remove Netscape if you wanted to.

If you want to try this, you can download Netscape Communicator from:

Another question for you... Did you have versions of Mail Warrior
older than 3.6 (3.5 or earlier) installed previously that you used
before you installed version 3.6 of Mail Warrior?

I will take a look at Higuita's kmx2mbox script and see if I can find
any problems in it that might lead to producing a format that is
slightly off. But without having a kmx data file that I know will
break it, it will be difficult for me test. If I have time I will try
downloading Mail Warrior and making my own kmx file and try running
the script on it, then importing it into Outlook Express. Then at
least you will know if it is a problem with your email messages in
particular, or a more general problem.

Another possibility for a very difficult method is basically to log
into an IMAP server (IMAP has the ability to upload and download
messages, unlike POP3 which just has download) with Mail Warrior,
upload all of your messages onto the mail server, then log into the
mail server with Outlook Express and download all of your messages
there. Most people I know that go this route setup their own IMAP
server temporarily, as most ISP/free email providers will limit the
space of your e-mail account to 5-10 megs. There are free IMAP servers
for Windows that you could install temporarily and use to transfer
your mail if you cannot get anything else to work. If you ever decide
to go this route, I would be glad to post you instructions.

I hope this helps, and I will post more info if I get it. Really hope
you can get this working.

AdamF - Researcher Applicant

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