How do I view Gmail exports locally on my computer?

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We provide detailed instructions on how to view your MBOX exports in Thunderbird as it is free and available across all platforms. To get started, you will need to set up a mail account through Thunderbird in order to view MBOX exports in the application. The instructions below are specifically for Thunderbird. If you are looking for information on other clients then the University of Wisconsin Knowledge Base details several options here, including importing MBOX data into Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail. To view your Gmail MBOX exports in Thunderbird:

Step 1: Install "ImportExportTools" Add-On for Thunderbird
1) To download the "ImportExportTools" extension utility that works with Thunderbird, go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/thunderbird/addon/importexporttools/
2) On that page, locate the "Download Now", ensuring the download supports MBOX files. Save the file, noting the location where you saved the .xpi file
3) In Thunderbird, go to the menu in the upper right corner and and click on "Add-Ons"

4) In the Add-ons Manager tab that opens, go to the gear icon, then "Install Add-on From File"
5) Locate the .xpi file that you downloaded and follow the instructions prompted to install
6) Restart Thunderbird


Step 2: Extract the zipped up email archive file provided to you
1) Download and Extract the Gmail Export that we have sent you. The archive file is in .ZIP file format.

2) Extract the .zip file that you received. Once extracted, you will have several MBOX files which are each named according to the corresponding label in Gmail. Please note the location of where you extracted the files to.


Step 3: Import the emails from the MBOX file for the label that you want to view
1) In Thunderbird, import the MBOX file to a local folder; in the navigation pane on the left, right-mouse click "Local Folders" and then select ImportExportTools > Import mbox file
2) Choose the option to "Import directly one or more mbox files" and select 'OK'
3) In the files browser, locate the folder where you extracted the mbox files to in step 3 above.  Select the mbox file that corresponds with the label that you want to restore and then click 'Open'
4) All emails from that label will now be importing. Please be patient, as it will take a while to load all of the emails.

Once this is completed then you can view the messages that we exported to you in Thunderbird.

Importing to Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook only accepts a proprietary filetype when importing large numbers of emails called a PST file. We only export Gmail records in the MBOX file format and do not provide it in the PST file format.

To convert your MBOX file into a Microsoft PST file, you will have to use conversion software. An example is SoftLay's Backupify Converter (http://www.backupifyconverter.com/).

Please Note: Backupify has no affiliation with SoftLay or their Backupify Converter application. Any questions or support requests related to the Backupify Converter software should be directed to SoftLay. 

 

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