How to Read Google MBOX File?

There are many users who have a Google MBOX file but don’t know how to read it. So, here we will explain a method that can help you read Google MBOX file in a very easy and effective manner.

A MBOX file is a format that stores multiple email messages in one file. It is used in various email programs and platforms, like Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Entourage, etc. Along with these programs Google also uses an MBOX file to save the data when you export your data in Google Takeout.

What is Google Takeout?

Google Takeout is an export tool that is used to archive or export your data from Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive, etc. It exports the data in ZIP and TGZ formats, but after extracting the files, they are saved in MBOX file format. This tool is mainly used to take a backup of your Gmail data for future use. Now, to read Google MBOX file, you cannot do this directly, but there are some methods available.

Note: There are chances that your Gmail emails or other data are not secured or that you have accidentally deleted them. In that case, backing up the data is the best solution. With this, you can retrieve your data when you delete it or secure it for any issues.

Methods to View Google MBOX File

If you have a Thunderbird program then you can easily view But if you don’t have it, then you can use professional software to view the file. But before using these methods, make sure your file is located safely in your system.

Read Google MBOX File in Thunderbird

Whenever you want to view any MBOX file, you have to use the addon to import the file in Thunderbird. There is no in-built option available to import or export the file. So, first, download Import/Export Tools NG from the official Thunderbird site.

  1. Open the Thunderbird program and click on the Tools option.
  2. Select the Import/Export tool, and then Import the mbox file.
  3. Click on Import directly one or more mbox files and hit OK.
  4. Go to the location where your Google Takeout MBOX file is saved and click on Open.

Now, you can read the content of the files. But what about if you don’t have the program or have problems using it? The next method is the best one.

View Google MBOX File by Professional Software

If we talk about software that helps you read MBOX files, there are many. However, among them, the FreeViewer MBOX Viewer Tool is one of the best ones out there. This tool doesn’t need an email client, as you can directly read Google MBOX file. It is also used for forensic analysis because it offers many advanced options. Moreover, there are many other features in the software that help the users in their work.

Note: If you want to view your Google MBOX file in PDF, PST, or any other format, you can use the Pro and Pro Plus editions of the software.

Features of Software

  • The software provides you with a complete preview of your data, like contacts, calendars, events, journals, etc.
  • It has the option to scan your file if you are using a corrupt MBOX file.
  • You can view multiple MBOX files along with attachments.
  • The software is available in Windows 11 and the lower versions.
  • Users can check their sender, receiver, subject, and other information in the MBOX file.
  • Preview your file in various modes, such as normal mail view, properties, HEX, HTML, RTF, etc.

Steps to Read Google MBOX File

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Go to the Add File option and select the MBOX file from the list of email applications. Click on Select file(s)/folder from the file system, then click the Next button.
  3. If you have a single MBOX file, click on the Browse button and open it. Click on the Process button.
  4. For folders, click on the Use Folder mode and Maintain Folder Hierarchy options. Then, browse the folder and click Process.
  5. Now, your file is loaded on the left panel of the screen. Click on the file, and your data will be displayed in the centre of the screen.
  6. Click on the emails one by one and preview the content of the data.
  7. You can change the view mode to horizontal or vertical by clicking the Switch User option.
  8. To export the file or other advanced options, click on the Upgrade to Pro option.


Google Takeout is the only tool on Google that exports the data from MBOX files. So, to read Google MBOX file, we share two methods with you in this article. Both methods are great in their own way; however, software is a better option. You have to just add the file, and you can view the content very clearly.

Read more: Efective and efficient ways to print Thunderbird emails to PDF format

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