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Repair & Recover MBOX File – Step by Step Guide

This article describes various manual methods to resolve the most commonly faced MBOX errors by the users. This will provide step by step solution to repair MBOX file easily for resolving user query.

A user can also use the SysTools MBOX Converter software to convert his MBOX Files to various file formats. This software will fix the corrupt files and recover these files quickly and efficaciously.

What is a MBOX file?

MBOX acronym stands for MailBox. It is a popular file format which is used in a number of desktop email clients. The User profile in MBOX File stores emails, events, calendar and other information. These MBOX files are used by emails clients are used in all the major platforms including Windows, Mac & UNIX. This portrays its wide range of use in Technology Field.

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Categories of MBOX files

MBOX file used in different email clients have their variation as per email client extension, but the basic formatting used in it remains the same.

The variants of MBOX mail file format are: mboxo, mboxcl, mboxcl2, mboxrd, mbs, mbx

They are utilized by different email clients over the vast range of MBOX file. But the main and current form used today is .mbox extension.

mbox email clients

Does MBOX file suffers from corruption?

Corrupt MBOX file is a major issue for the user community to deal with, as the user cant access the mailbox and other information stored in the file extension. Unfortunately, MBOX file format also suffers greatly from the corruption problem.To recover MBOX file, make use of the effective solution mentioned below in the article.

Common Factors and corruption issues of MBOX email file format?

There are many factors which lead to a damaged MBOX file . Some of them are as follows:

  • Improper Windows Shut-down-Corrupt MBOX email file can be a result of improper shut-down and the users need to fix corrupt MBOX email file for errors in that situation..
  • Sudden Email Client Crash- Email client crash can lead to a corrupt file which requires a MBOX repair tool to recover the corrupted file.
  • Virus, Malware & Trojans Attack- Corrupt MBOX email file can be a result of Virus, Trojan or a Malware attack which need to restore MBOX File.
  • System Hardware failure- It is the most common corruption issue of MBOX mails and users can repair MBOX file with the help of MBOX recovery.

How to repair corrupt MBOX files?

The users can repair corrupt MBOX file by preventing the factors which are mentioned above. In addition to that, some manual methods and MBOX recovery tool can be beneficial at times.

The repair steps can be cumbersome for the user as it doesnt guarantee to recover or fix MBOX file completely. Nevertheless, the manual methods to repair corrupt MBOX file does the job in some occasions. So, the users should look for manual methods first to fix corrupt MBOX file.

Manual Methods to repair MBOX file

MBOX Mail file is used widely by most of the email clients including Apple Mail for Mac, Thunderbird, Seamonkey etc. The manual methods differ according to the email client configuration and platform settings for the email client to recover corrupt MBOX file.

Users can repair corrupt MBOX file by preventing the factors which are mentioned earlier. In addition to that, some manual methods that can help to recover MBOX File can be beneficial at times.

Certain tips & tricks to repair MBOX file are as follows:

1. Synchronizing of Email client using IMAP protocol

This method works most of the times as every email client gives the option to synchronize the user mailbox with web email client using IMAP protocol.
In case the user is not able to access the MBOX in the host email client, synchronizing the mailbox with other client can restore corrupt file and resolve MBOX file errors also.

The method to recover MBOX File is described below:

  • Configure IMAP account (Use a web mail account like: Gmail or other) of the user in the host & other email client.
  • The Gmail account serves as the mediator to restore MBOX file of the host email client and back-up the mailbox.
  • To start, in Gmail settings, enable IMAP feature.
  • enable imap

  • Open the host email client, configure and fill the IMAP account information.
  • host settings

  • Now copy the emails from the host email client into the configured IMAP account.
  • Configure the same account in other email client with IMAP
  • Click on send/receive option in Gmail Tab.
  • You can now access all the emails in this email client and even export the healthy emails to the local computer.

2. Converting MBOX file emails to EML format and restore them in other email client

This method is also useful if the user cant access or read the emails of the corrupt MBOX mail file. The simple solution to fix MBOX file is to save the emails into EML and then restore it in the email client

The procedure is described below:

  • Open the host email client and save the emails to EML file using "drag and drop" or "Save as" feature to a folder.
  • save as eml

  • Save the emails to the desired destination.
  • save as eml

  • Open the EML files in other email client to recover corrupt MBOX file.
  • open eml files

  • Now export these emails from the other email client in healthy local files.

3. Re-installing the Email client & Restore MBOX file

Following are the steps to recover MBOX:

  • One option is to restore MBOX file mailbox and re-installing the email client. In this, the corrupted file is back-up in a folder and the email client is uninstalled.
  • After successfully un-installation, install the email client and copy the back-up folder back to the original destination.
  • Launch the email client and check whether the damaged MBOX file is accessed or not.

MBOX repair Alternative

There are some free as well as paid tools available like MBOX Converter by SysTools that enables users to convert .mbox file to pst & also restore & fix corrupt MBOX file.They can also effectively repair MBOX file. They are probably the last option if the file is beyond manual repair and user find it difficult to resolve MBOX file errors.

You don't have to worry that the converted file format will not be accepted by the email application associated with corrupt MBOX file. You can use the software to recover MBOX and convert it to EML files, which are importable in almost all MBOX email clients worldwide.

Follow the steps given below to recover your MBOX File:

  • Launch the tool and click on “Add File” option to add single or multiple .mbox files(s).
  • add file

  • You can choose between “Default profile configured” or “Select file/folder from file system” options.
    • Default Profile Configured option - If you want to directly fetch the MBOX file associated with a configured Thunderbird application.
    • Select file/folder from file system (Recommended) - If you want to add the MBOX file(s) having errors from local system.

    select file

  • Add the files and click "Process" button.
  • process file

  • Preview all the recovered emails in the preview window.
  • recover emails

  • Select the “Export all Folder” option and change the default location by clicking on “Change” option.
  • change destination

  • Choose the file format as per your desire (EML is recommended)
  • select eml

  • Click "Export" to start the recovery process.
  • export

  • Once done, you will get healthy EML files which you can open directly in all MBOX email clients.
  • open recovered file

The tool has the ability to process multiple MBOX Files in bulk. It can also recover MBX/MBS files. A user can has plenty to options to choose from when exporting the recovered files: PST, MSG, EML, PDF, HTML, NSF. You can recover MBOX emails with attachments even after permanent deletion.


Corrupted MBOX file can be a headache, especially if the user is looking for a solution to repair MBOX file instantly. Manual methods can do the job in some cases but suffers from cumbersome tasks and are not reliable also. Hence the experts recommend using MBOX recovery tool. This tool permits to convert and repair multiple MBOX Files in bulk. The tool is capable to support all latest Windows OS version.