Best Practices to Import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2016 & 2019

Microsoft comes up with a new release or update of current products frequently. Last year it rolled out Office 2019 for Windows and Mac. Major updates were made to Access, Excel, Word, and Outlook – the most popular desktop email client.

Since the release of Outlook 2019, we have seen an increase in user queries regarding how to import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2019. This sorta problem can be confusing at first since Mac Outlook supports OLM & PST files while most Mac-based email application uses MBOX file format.

The answer to this cropping up query i.e., how to open MBOX file in Mac Outlook 2019 is explained in this article along with other relevant information. Also, the new release features some added functionalities in Outlook, but since the data file format is the same, the given solution can also be applied to MS Outlook 2016 & 2011 for Mac. So, keep reading to know more about this issue and find the perfect way to resolve it completely.

MBOX & Outlook for Mac – Interconnection

Mac Outlook actually has a functionality that lets you export its mailbox items in MBOX format. Yes, you can do it by simply dragging the Outlook mailbox folder onto your Mac desktop. Now, it should be obvious that an application which generates MBOX files must also have a way to import it back.

This is where you are wrong!!

When it comes to importing emails, it provides only two supported formats i.e., OLM and PST. Even dragging & dropping the file back onto the Outlook interface won’t work. There are no direct means to open or import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2019 or 2016.

Problems at hand:

Many users after exporting their Outlook mailboxes as MBOX files chose to delete the data from Outlook itself. It was done with the notion that Outlook will be able to import it back. Now they are unable to open MBOX file in Mac Outlook.

Also, due to the benefits that Outlook 2019 possesses in the form of features and functionalities, many users from MBOX based applications like Apple Mail are switching to Outlook. Thus, generating a need for opening MBOX file in Outlook.

How do I Import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2016 & 2019?

This section focuses on the best possible practices using which you can open the mailbox files in Outlook for Mac. We will first go for the manual process, then head to the automated solution to convert MBOX files. You may choose what you want to use as per your requirements.

Manual Way:

Do note that Microsoft provides no direct solution for this. What we are describing here is a manual workaround, thus contains a series of procedure that must be followed sequentially.

1. Import MBOX file in Apple Mail: Apple Mail is the default email client of Mac OS and supports direct import of MBOX files. Carry forward with the following steps:

  • Click on the File menu, and select the Import mailboxes… option.

  • Now, in the Import box, select Files in mbox format and continue.

  • Browse and select the MBOX files from the Mac system. Continue with the procedure to import MBOX in Mail app.

There is no requirement of doing this step if the mailbox you want to open in Outlook is already present in Apple Mail.

2. Export Mac Mail to Mac Outlook 2011: You will need MS Outlook 2011 for this since it has a built-in option to import data from Apple Mail directly. The steps are:

  • Close Apple Mail application.
  • Start Outlook for Mac 2011, and go to File> Import
  • Select Information from another application option
  • Choose Apple Mail, then go on to select the items you want to import.
  • Continue until the import process is completed. Click on Finish.

3. Import Mac Outlook 2011 to 2016: This is the final step to import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2016. There is a native option in Outlook 2016 that enables a user to directly import contents of 2011. To do so, open Outlook for Mac 2016, go to Tools > Import; choose outlook 2011 data on… > Continue > choose location of Outlook 2011 identity and Continue. The files will start importing. Please wait till it completes.

Automated Way:

The manual way requires a configured and working Outlook 2011 and 2016 applications. Also, you may not find the import option in Outlook 2019, so you will need to export Outlook 2016 data as PST after it imports it from 2011. Then import this data in Outlook 2019. Quite confusing, isn’t it? You get the idea! The series of procedure is lengthy and has a certain risk of losing data.

To be able to import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2016 & 2019 in a more convenient manner, certain quality tools can be used. It will allow you to easily convert MBOX files to PST without wasting your time and effort. Furthermore, it diminishes any risks or threats of data loss that the manual procedure has. Such tools take advantage of the fact that Outlook (both Mac and Windows) has an inbuilt import PSt option. And generates PST file without manipulating your email data.

In case you are wondering which utilities to go for, have a look at SysTools MBOX Migrator. It provides an easy to use interface laced with powerful features. Allowing you to experience fast and accurate conversion. All you need to do is specify the source and destination file, and in return import MBOX to Mac Outlook 2016 or 2019 without any problems.


The article addresses one elevating user query i.e., how to import or open MBOX file in Mac Outlook 2019. A manual procedure is defined which has to be followed sequentially for successful results. However, due to the length and complexity it contains, using a specialized tool will be your best choice. In that respect, we also provided a trustworthy solution that does not play hide and seek with your data. Instead generates quality results in the least possible time. You may try the free version to personally view the tool’s working.