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.MBOX File Extension

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File TypeE-mail Mailbox File

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CategoryText Files


This file is saved in a plain text format. You can open and view the contents of this file using a text editor.


Email storage format used for organizing email messages in a single text file; saves messages in a concatenated format in which each message is stored after another, starting with the "From" header; originally used by Unix hosts but now supported by other email applications, including Apple Mail.

More Information

Version 1.x of Apple Mail used MBOX files and stored them in the /User/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/ directory. However, Mail 2.0 and later uses the .EMLX format, which separates the messages into individual files so that they can be searched by Spotlight.

Common MBOX Filenames

INBOX.mbox - The name given to the primary Inbox mail folder in Apple Mail, the default email program for Mac OS X.

Programs that open MBOX files
Mozilla Thunderbird
CoolUtils Total Thunderbird Converter
Kernel MBOX Viewer
Apple Mail
Microsoft Outlook 2016
Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla Thunderbird
Updated 11/24/2015