Microsoft has also developed Outlook for Mac users. While PST is the file format for Outlook windows version, Outlook for Mac saves files in MBOX format. Depending upon the organizations or devices a user is using, there might be a need to convert PST to MBOX format. There is minimal difference between the features of Outlook for Mac and MS Outlook, but what separates the two is the format in which files are stored.
So, if a user is shifting from Windows OS to Mac system then the Outlook data files need to be converted from PST to MBOX. There is a manual method to transfer PST to MBOX. By using this method PST to MBOX can be converted for free. Proper steps should be followed while PST to MBOX conversion.
Before beginning the conversion process ensure, you have taken the backup for PST files in MS Outlook and MBOX files in Outlook for Mac.
How to Convert PST to MBOX
PST files cannot be converted to MBOX format directly, it is a three-step process which involves
- Configure IMAP E-mail Account with MS Outlook
- Move the Outlook PST to IMAP mailbox folder
- Transfer the IMAP Mailbox data to Outlook for Mac in MBOX format
Add and Synchronize IMAP Mail Account with Outlook
- First Add Your IMAP E-mail Account to MS Outlook, it could be Gmail, Yahoo or any other
- Open MS Outlook, go to File and Account Settings
- Click on the E-mail tab and then New, select the option ‘Manually configure server settings or additional server types’
- Select account as Internet E-mail and server information as IMAP
- Enter the IMAP account details like username, password and in Incoming mail server type IMAP4
- Finally, select Finish and synchronize the account with Outlook
- Assuming the IMAP account is Gmail, log in to account and click on Gear icon to go to settings
- Click on the Labels tab and select ‘create a new label’ and Show IMAP is checked
- Now Go to Outlook application and click on Send/ Receive to update IMAP box
Move PST Data to IMAP Folder
- First Close the Outlook application in your system
- Now go to Control Panel, click show items as small icons
- Click on the Mail icon and then Data files
- Select the IMAP account and click on Open Folder to open the folder that contains the PST files.
- Move the PST file to any desired folder or directory, make sure the PST file has the same name from where it is copied
- Go to Data Files window and click on the accounts data file
- It will show an error message ‘can’t find files’ and ask outlook to look for it
- Close all the windows and Restart Outlook
- Now proceed for Final Step to complete PST to MBOX transfer
Move IMAP Mailbox to Outlook for Mac
- The first step is to create the same IMAP account in Outlook for Mac
- Add your IMAP (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) account in Mac Outlook
- Once the account is created, then move the IMAP mailbox folder from Outlook to Outlook for Mac inbox folder.
In this way the Outlook PST file will be converted to Mac MBOX format and you can access the PST files as MBOX in Outlook for Mac. You can also convert the MBOX files to PST format easily with MBOX to PST converter.