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.MBOX File Extension

File TypeEmail Mailbox File

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CategoryText Files

What is an MBOX file?

An MBOX file is an email mailbox saved in a mail storage format used for organizing email messages in a single text file. It saves messages in a concatenated format where each message is stored after another, starting with the "From" header. MBOX files were originally used by Unix hosts but are now supported by other email applications, including Apple Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird.

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.

Opera Mail, which was discontinued in 2016, also stored messages in the MBOX format.

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.

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Programs that open MBOX files

Updated 6/21/2019

About MBOX Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.mbox suffix is and how to open it.

The Email Mailbox file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, and Linux programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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