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Get Guide to Batch Convert Thunderbird Email to PDF Files

Lalita | Modified: 2021-09-28T13:09:15+00:00|PDF, Thunderbird | 6 Minutes Reading

I have MBOX files exported from Mozilla Thunderbird mailboxes to investigate and collect evidence from them. Luckily, I found 5 to 6 email conversations from those files, which I think needs to be shown in the court. The standard file format to show digital evidence in court is PDF. This means that now I have to batch convert Thunderbird email to PDF so that I can present them in front of legal authorities. Can anyone suggest me a quick solution to print emails from Thunderbird to PDF? Thanks in advance!

Adobe PDF document is considered as an open standard file format, controlled by an international organization for standardization. It is widely used to view and share documents on smartphones, iPhones, tablets, and other portable devices. Government bodies and forensic investigation teams popularly use portable documents to prepare a presentation or display evidence in court. PDF file is the only digital format, which is independent of any application, operating system, or hardware. Here, we are going to cover solution on how Thunderbird save email as PDF with the manual or automated method.

Solution to Save Thunderbird Emails as PDF With Attachments

Forensic investigators, business officials, or normal computer users can use MBOX Converter software. This tool is available for Windows and Mac operating systems.

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Windows OS
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Mac OS
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It supports to save Thunderbird MBOX to PDF in batch with/without attachments. The file type of attachments is the same as it was at the time of drafting, sending, or receiving the mail. The software has the capability of converting emails of Thunderbird to PDF with attachments without hampering the internal message properties and content. You can try the free version of this software and deeply examine the technical useful features provided in it.

Steps to Batch Convert Thunderbird Email to PDF With Attachments

To save Thunderbird emails as PDF on Windows, follow the below steps:

Step 1. Run the conversion tool and click on Add File button.

run converter

Step 2. Use the Default Profile option if Thunderbird is configured. Else, select MBOX files from the system.

import files

Step 3. The software will preview the emails. Click on the Export button to proceed.

preview emails

Step 4. Now, select PDF from the options and set the destination location.

select pdf

Step 5. Click on the Export button to start converting emails from Thunderbird to PDF documents.

click Export

Once the files are converted successfully, click on OK button to confirm it.

confirm conversion

Note: The Mac version of the tool is available for users with Mac systems having OS 10.8 or higher. Its functionalities are more or less similar to the Windows tool with the exception of email preview.

Manual Solution to Convert Email from Thunderbird to PDF – For Both Mac & Windows Users

We are going to illustrate method to convert Thunderbird email to PDF– Windows and Mac operating system users. Of course the method varies as per the operating system. Therefore, first you need to determine the OS where you want to Thunderbird save email as PDF and then, go with the respective procedure.

For Windows OS Users

If you are working on Windows operating system, you have to download and install setup file of Thunderbird email client (if not available). This respective email client is free of cost so, we don’t think that you may have any problem in installing this mailing app. Once done with the installation, import source MBOX files in Mozilla Thunderbird. Now begin with following manual steps to convert Thunderbird email to PDF on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, etc., platforms:

1. Download .xpi file of ImportExportTools add-on from internet on your PC


Note: The ImportExportTools add-on does not work on Thunderbird 68 and above versions. Use the xpi file of ImportExportTools NG add-on.

2. Launch Mozilla Thunderbird on your system


3. Go to the top menu bar of Thunderbird, and click on Tools >> Add-Ons


4. Click on the Gear icon and select the Install Add-on From File option


5. Navigate towards the PC location where you have downloaded the importexporttools.xpi file in Step (1)


6. Continue with the procedure of converting Thunderbird emails to PDF by hitting on Install Now button


7. Once the add-on gets successfully installed in Mozilla Thunderbird, click on Restart Now link


8. Open the folder of MBOX file whose emails are to be printed in PDF format. Select the desired emails and right click on them


9. Choose Save Selected messages >> PDF format option


10. Define the destination directory and click on Select Folder


11. Finally, you are done with Thunderbird to PDF conversion on Windows. You can verify the process completion by locating the path, which you have defined in Step (10) and then, accessing the portable documents.

11 - Convert Thunderbird Emails to PDF


If it is your first time converting Thunderbird email to PDF using the add-on, you will receive a warning that your attachments will be discarded. This is the harsh truth behind the free manual method.

If you want to maintain the attachments even after converting the emails in PDF documents, kindly switch to the Automated Tool described in the above section of the article.

For Mac OS Users

By default, Mac operating systems’ users are provided with Apple Mail email application. You have to use this mail client to manually convert Thunderbird email to PDF file on Mac OS. Import the MBOX file whose emails are to be saved in portable documents format and then, continue with following steps:

  • Launch Apple Mail email client and click on the MBOX folder
  • Select message at a time, which you want to save in portable document format and then, right-click on the same panel
  • Move the mouse cursor towards File menu, explore it, and select Save As option
  • From the list of file format options, select PDF
  • Repeat Step (2) to (4) for all MBOX messages, which are to be printed in PDF format.

Stay Here! There’s Something More Important To Tell You

The manual methods posted in this blog are useful only when there are a maximum of 10 to 20 emails to be converted from Thunderbird to PDF. Also, the respective approaches support emails without attachments, which means that email attachments cannot be printed in Adobe PDF document via these procedures.

Common Reasons to Convert Thunderbird to PDF Files

There is no particular reason the user needs to convert Thunderbird emails to a PDF file. Still, through the following points, we’ll illustrate some common causes that users need to Thunderbird save email as pdf:

  • To access or read Thunderbird messages on any portable device
  • It is the best practice to backup emails on a secondary location
  • Share business emails with C-level executives for official purpose
  • Widely used for data analysis by digital forensic investigation team
  • Open important emails on PCs where MBOX supportive app is absent

Author Suggestion

It is safe to say that there are options available to convert Thunderbird email to PDF. However, these manual (free) methods are unable to hold the attachments in the PDF file. So, for the sake of maintaining the attachments, it is a must to use the provided conversion tool. This tool is available for Mac and Windows users. It allows to save Thunderbird emails as PDF with attachments in bulk.