Home > Mac administration, Office 2011 > Outlook 2011 can’t import Outlook 2011-generated mbox mail archive files.

Outlook 2011 can’t import Outlook 2011-generated mbox mail archive files.

Outlook 2011 has a bug currently with importing Outlook 2011-generated mail archive files, where Outlook 2011 can export mail to .mbox files, but can’t then import the Outlook 2011-generated mbox files using its mbox import function. To fix this for one of my users (who needed to import mbox files given to her by another Outlook 2011 user), I came up with this workaround.

In this case, I was using Apple Mail and the procedure assumes that Apple Mail hasn’t been configured.

Here’s what needed to be done to fix it:

1. Open Apple Mail.
2. Set up a dummy account. (localhost was used for all requested server names.)
3. Import the mbox files using the following procedure:

A. In Mail, click on the File menu and select Import Mailboxes…
B. In the Import window, select Files in mbox format.
C. Select the mbox files to import.

4. Once imported, quit Mail
5. Open Outlook 2011.
6. Import the mbox files using the following procedure:

A. In Outlook, click on the File menu and select Import
B. In the Begin Import window, select Information from another application.
C. Select Apple Mail.
D. In the Import Items window, uncheck all except for Messages

7. Outlook will seem to freeze as it imports the messages.
8. If the On My Computer folders are hidden, you will need to unhide them (see here for details: http://derflounder.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/enabling-the-hide-on-my-computer-folders-checkbox-in-outlooks-general-preferences/ )
9. Find the Mail import folder.
10. Copy the imported mail into a new folder under the user’s Exchange inbox.
11. If you unhid the On My Computer folders, re-hide them.

  1. Awais Noorani
    December 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I’ve found a way in which you can import Apple Mail into Outlook 2011 on Mac OS X Lion.

    The software I’m running is Mac OS X 10.7.2 on a 2011 MacBook Pro.

    You need to purchase an app called Emailchemy. It’s 29.99 for an individual license, and 49.99 for a family license. There are enterprise versions available as well.

    Once you run the app, you need to do the following:

    1. Export all mailboxes from Apple Mail to your desktop (or any other suitable location on your computer). You do this by selecting the mailbox, and then clicking on “Mailbox”, and then “Export Mailbox”. Save the destination, and the file is saved automatically.

    2. Then you open Emailchemy and do the following:
    – click on “toolbox” in the bottom left hand corner
    – click on the second box on the top left hand called “advanced email conversion”
    – click on “add file”
    – select the folder (s) you just exported from Apple Mail (e.g. Inbox.mbox)
    Now here comes the trick
    – select format “apple mail 1.0 in the format option at the bottom
    – then 3 sub-folders will appear “info-p.list”, “mbox” and “table of contents”
    Select “mbox”
    – click on “convert” and choose a save file name. Choose the format “MBOX file (standard mbox)”
    – click on save

    And you then have a folder created which Outlook 2011 recognizes and can import.

    I just imported all my Apple Mail into Outlook 2011 – it works really well too – the formatting, attachments, etc are all there!

    Hope this helps.

  2. Arnel Tuazon
    January 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Worked like a charm! Thanks for this tip!

  3. Rick Edmonds
    September 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Are Apple that arrogant that they believe that people wouldn’t want to export from Apple Mail to another email program?
    I set up a new IMAP account in Apple Mail to synch with my Gmail account, moved my emails into my inbox, they ‘uploaded’ go my Gmail account. I then set up the same account in Outlook and ‘downloaded’ the same emails with their original send dates intact.

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