How to convert the PST files to an EML format

PST and OST files are used by MS Outlook to store messages, contacts, tasks, events and other information. One PST or OST file is associated with each email account. PST files are used for POP3 accounts and OST files for IMAP accounts.

Both formats (PST/OST) are proprietary, which makes them poorly cross-platform and compatible. That means it is not so easy to read contents of PST or OST files e.g. in Linux or MacOS, import PST file into another mail program or service like Gmail or Yahoo! To do so you need to convert the information contained in PST files to a cross-platform, widely used format. For e-mails that is EML format.

You can convert Outlook messages to EML format in several ways. All methods of exporting messages from PST to EML files are described in detail in this article.

How to convert the PST files to an EML format

Why should you not use online PST to EML converters? Because your PST files may contain sensitive data. Using online export tool implies that you will have to upload pst files to a third party server. You have no control over how this data will be used later.

All methods of converting PST files described here assume that MS Outlook is installed on the computer to be used for the conversion.

How to extract EML Files from Outlook PST by using Export Tool

This method is the easiest, most accurate and fastest. Easy means that you need to put minimal effort in order to convert PST to EML. Correct means that all metadata (headers), formatting and attachments of the exported messages will be preserved, this is not always possible with other methods. Fast means that you will need minimal time to convert compared to other methods. In addition, Expert PST File Converter provides you with more extremely useful features:

  • renaming EML files
  • filtering messages by date, sender, subject, etc.
  • exporting messages from PST/OST files to cloud mail services (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, iCloud etc. or IMAP account)
  • exporting to alternative MBOX and MSG formats

Watch a short video on how easy the conversion can be done:

To convert PST file to EML files, perform the following steps:

  1. Download, install and launch PST Export Tool

  2. Select the data source. This can be an Outlook profile or any PST file. You can also select individual folders in the PST file, from which you want to save messages as EML files.

    Click Next to continue.

    Conversion wizard - page 1
  3. Select EML as the format for saving messages. Specify the folder in which you want to save the EML files. You can also change the way you rename files. Click Next to continue.

    Conversion wizard - page 2
  4. If you wish to convert all the messages, just click Next.

    Check the Exclude duplicates checkbox to exclude duplicate messages.

    You can also add rules to filter messages, for example "export only messages from John Doe". To add a rule, click the Add button. To delete a rule, click on it and press Delete.

    Click Next to continue.

    Conversion wizard - page 3
  5. The message conversion will start. Wait until the process is finished and click OK and Finish to close the program.

    Conversion wizard - page 4

How to covert PST file to EML format with Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a popular free email program that has advanced email import/export features. You just need to import emails from Outlook to Thunderbird and then export them as EML files.

To export a PST file to EML format:

  1. Install Mozilla Thunderbird. You can download the program from the project website .

    Important! If you are using the 32-bit version of Outlook, you must install the 32-bit version of Thunderbird. If you are using the 64-bit version of Outlook, you must install the 64-bit version of Thunderbird.

  2. Start Thunderbird, click the Hamburger icon, and select the Tools menu item.

    Mozilla Thunderbird Tools menu item
  3. From the Tools menu, select Import...

    Mozilla Thunderbird Import menu item
  4. When the Import tab opens, select Import from Outlook and click Continue.

    Import tab, select Import from Outlook
  5. Leave only the Mail Messages checkbox selected and clear all other checkboxes. Click Continue.

    Import tab, check Mail Messages checkbox
  6. Click the Start import button.

    Import tab, press Start Import button
  7. Wait until the process of importing emails from Outlook to Thunderbird is finished and then click Finish

    Import tab, press Finish button
  8. In Mozilla Thunderbird the imported emails will be saved in the Outlook Import subfolder within the folder called Local Folders.

    Outlook Import folder in Thunderbird
  9. Select the folder in Thunderbird from which you want to save the messages to EML files. Click on the message list and press Ctrl + A to select all messages in the folder. Right-click on the selected messages and select Save As... from the drop-down menu.

    Save As context menu item
  10. Choose the folder on the hard drive where you want to save the EML files and click Select Folder.

    Choose Folder dialog
  11. That is all. You will find the exported EML files in the folder you specified.

    Messages exported to EML files

Check out the video:

Using local Mail Server to copy mail from Outlook PST to EML files

A rather complicated method for advanced users. We are going to use a local Mail Server and the IMAP protocol to export messages. The basic difference from the previous method is that the actual conversion is performed within MS Outlook before sending them to the server. In the previous method the conversion was performed in Mozilla Thunderbird. This method also requires Mozilla Thunderbird, but not for conversion. We need it to extract messages from the server and export them to the EML format.

We suggest you use the free, open source mail server hMailServer. You can download the hMailServer installer by clicking here .

To convert Outlook messages to EML files:

  1. Install hMailServer

  2. Configure hMailServer and create an IMAP account

  3. Add IMAP account to Outlook as described

  4. Add an IMAP account in Thunderbird as described

  5. Perform message conversion. To do this:

    • Close Thunderbird and start Outlook

    • Click on the folder you want to convert messages from and press Ctrl + A to select all messages

    • Drag and drop messages into the Inbox folder of your export@localhost account

      Important! Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging to copy the messages, otherwise they will be moved.

    • Open Thunderbird. Wait until synchronization with the server is complete. Go to the Inbox folder of the export@localhost account, you will see the copied messages here. Press Ctrl + A to select all messages. Right-click on the selected messages and choose Save As... Specify the folder in which you want to save the EML files and click Select Folder.

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