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How to import email from Evolution to Thunderbird on Linux

If you’ve used Evolution mail on your Linux PC and you’re considering switching to Thunderbird as it is much more straightforward to use, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to migrate from Evolution to Thunderbird on Linux. In this guide, we’ll go over how to export your email from the Evolution email client and import it into the Thunderbird email client.

Note: you must have the latest Thunderbird email client installed on your Linux PC to follow this guide. For more information on how to get Thunderbird working on Linux, click here.

Save Evolution mailbox

It is possible to migrate from Evolution to Thunderbird on Linux. Unfortunately, there is no Evolution mail option in the Thunderbird import tool, and it doesn’t seem like the app will be added to the Thunderbird import wizard any time soon. As a result, the only way you will be able to import your mail from Evolution is by saving mailboxes as Mbox files.

To start the process, launch the Evolution email client and let it fetch your mail. You may need to click on every individual folder in the app, so it may take a bit. Once all email is loaded into Evolution, follow the step-by-step instructions down below to save your Evolution mailbox.

Step 1: Click on any folder in the Evolution app, and allow all of the messages to load. Then, press the Ctrl + A keyboard combination to select all of the mail in the folder. Use the scrollbar to confirm that absolutely every email, old and new, is selected. If all of the emails are not selected, press Ctrl + A once again.

Step 2: Right-click on any email message, ensuring that all of the emails are still selected. After right-clicking, a menu will appear on the screen. Look through the right-click menu for the option to “Save as mbox.”

Step 3: Once you choose the “Save as mbox” option, a pop-up window will appear on the screen. In this pop-up window, save the name of your mbox file. For best results, name it after the folder you’re saving.

So, for example, if you are saving an “archive” folder, save it as archive.mbox. An “inbox” folder? Try inbox.mbox. Just be sure that the mbox file has a proper name that allows you to identify it.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 for each folder in Evolution, ensuring that you have all of your mail messages exported. The exporting process may take a bit of time, so be patient. When you finish saving all of your mbox files, move on to the next section of the guide!

Install Thunderbird import extension

Mozilla Thunderbird does not natively support Mbox files. However, you can quickly add this feature to the email client by installing ImportExportTools NG via the extensions store.

Note: your Thunderbird email configuration needs to be POP3 to import an Evolution email to it. The importing process is not possible with IMAP, as they are remote folders.

To install the extension, do the following. First,  launch Thunderbird. Then, click on the settings menu button on the right (next to the search box). Inside of the settings menu, look for the “Addons” menu and click on it with the mouse.

In the “Addons” menu, click on the “Addons” menu item inside. This menu item will take you to the Thunderbird extension manager. Inside of the extension manager, look for “Extensions” on the side and click on it.

After clicking on “Extensions,” locate the search box net to “Find more extensions,” and type in “ImportExportTools NG.” Press Enter to search. Then, look through the search results for “ImportExportTools NG.”

On the ImportExportTools NG page, click on the “Add to Thunderbird” button to add the extension to your email client. Then, restart Thunderbird to finish the setup process.

Importing to Thunderbird

To import your email exported from Evolution as a Mbox file, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Open up Thunderbird and select your email account in the app with the mouse. Then, right-click on the inbox folder to bring up the right-click menu.

Step 2: Look through the right-click menu, look for ImportExportTools NG in the menu, and select it with the mouse. Then, look for the “import mbox” option, and select it with the mouse to bring up the importing tool.

Step 3: In the import menu, locate “Import directly one or more mbox files” and click on the “OK” button to continue.

Step 4: Using the file manager pop-up window, browse for the exported Evolution mbox mail file on your PC. Then, select “Open” to import it.

Once the mbox file is added to the Thunderbird mail client, you will see your old exported email messages. Repeat steps 1-4 to add all of the mbox files if you have more than one file saved.

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