How to Import Maildir to Thunderbird – Authentic Method

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What are Maildir Files?

Maildir files are used to store the mailbox data of Thunderbird and other email clients. It allows saving a single email per file. It is based on the EML data format which also saves an individual email in a single file. However, unlike EML files, it saves emails in directories and subdirectories (new, cur, and temp). It is a more organized way of saving email items.

If you have Maildir files and want to migrate Maildir to Thunderbird email client, you can either migrate your emails manually or via using a professional tool. Let us first start with a manual method.

Manual Method to Import Maildir to Thunderbird Email Client

The manual procedure to convert Maildir to Thunderbird email client is quite easy. Every user can import their mailbox data into Thunderbird without any technical assistance. Also, this manual solution consists of only a few simple steps. Follow the below steps to migrate Maildir to Thunderbird email client.

Note: Before following the below procedure, you have to install the ImportExportTool NG add-in to the Thunderbird email client.

  • Open Mozilla Thunderbird in your system.
  • Click on the Tools button and choose ImportExportTools NG.
choose importexporttools ng to import maildir to thunderbird
  • After that, select the Import message option from the list.
  • In the file explorer wizard, change the file type to All Files.
  • After that, select the desired Maildir file you want to import and press Open.

Although importing a maildir file is quite simple through a manual method, it has various drawbacks. Therefore, this approach is suitable for users who do not have specific migration requirements and want to export complete maildir file content to the Thunderbird email client.

Limitation of Manual Methods

Depending upon the user’s requirement, the manual method for importing Maildir to Thunderbird has several flaws that make this approach unsuitable and unreliable for many users. Some of the common drawbacks of the DIY methods are:

  • You cannot export specific mailbox data from the selected Maildir file.
  • It does not enable you to open the Maildir file before you import the file to Thunderbird.
  • Sometimes, the migration fails because of dissimilarity between the versions of the Maildir file and Thunderbird email client.
  • The chances of data loss are high. So, it is not a reliable and secure approach.
  • You cannot filter out unnecessary mailbox items like duplicate emails and email attachments.

Because of these limitations, most users refrain from adopting manual procedures. Now, the question comes, if this manual solution is not adoptable, what else should users choose? The answer is an automated Maildir Converter tool.

Professional Solution to Convert Maildir to Thunderbird

DRS Maildir Migrator Tool enables you to import Maildir into Thunderbird and many other email clients like Gmail, Office 365, Yahoo Mail, AOL, Live Exchange, etc. With this software, you can also import Maildir to MBOX, PST, EML, MSG, PDF, HTML, CSV, DOC, DOCX, and DOCM file formats. This utility provides numerous features to skip unnecessary mailbox data and migrate only the desired items. You can run this application on your Windows PC, irrespective of the OS version.

Features of DRS Maildir Converter Tool

  • This application enables you to import all sub-directories of Maildir files: new, cur, and temp.
  • Convert Maildir to PST, MBOX, EML, EMLX, MSG, PDF, CSV, HTML, MHTML, DOC, DOCX, etc.
  • Migrate emails from Maildir file to Thunderbird, Opera Mail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Office 365, AOL, IMAP, iCloud, Live Exchange, and many other email clients.
  • Options to remove duplicate emails, migrate emails without attachments, and date range filtering feature to exclude all unnecessary mailbox data.
  • Widely compatible with all versions of Windows OS.

Steps for Importing Maildir Files into Thunderbird Email Client

Follow the below procedure to migrate your Maildir files to Thunderbird email client.

  • Download and install the DRS Maildir Converter Tool. Run it as administrator.
download maildir converter
  • Now, choose the Multiple Files/Folder option and click the Next button.
select file/folders
  • Click on the Select File button and choose desired Maildir files. Press Open to add them all.
choose maildir file
  • The selected files will be added to the application. Click on the Next button.
add the selected maildir file
  • Check the mailbox preview and choose desired items. Press the Next button.
preview of maildir files
  • Choose Thunderbird in the Save/Backup/Migrate as field. Mozilla Thunderbird email client must be installed on your PC.
choose thunderbird as destination to import maildir to thunderbird
  • Now, select the remaining migration options and click on the Convert button.
choose option as per your requirement


The DIY approach to import Maildir to Thunderbird email client has various drawbacks. So, it is not suitable for beginners or non-technical users. Therefore, we recommend you use the professional solution mentioned above. It offers multiple features to filter out all the undesired mailbox items.

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