I’ve kept all of my e-mail since 1995, and I don’t have any intention of losing it just because I switch from a Mac to a PC. I needed to export my mail from Mailsmith and import it into Outlook. The process I came up with acutally works to import mbox files into Outlook from any program that can make .mbox files — including Netscape Mail, Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Pine, and, well, probably anything that runs on *nix systems.
Now, “some folks”:http://fkeeps.com/fmorph/fmindex.htm will want you to give them money to import your mail from an .mbox file into Outlook. My procedure has the positive side effect of being free.
Since I was using Mailsmith, and not something like Netscape Mail or Apple Mail that uses mbox files as its native store, I had to export everything first. Fortunately, BareBones provides “a simple Applescript to do just that”:http://www.barebones.com/support/technotes/tech_import_export.shtml.
Outlook won’t just go and import mbox files. It does import from Eudora, which uses .mbx files with associated .idx files that keep some sort of an index of something (I am too lazy to look inside). Eudora does import straight .mbox files and will generate .idx files for them. So, the “Light or Sponsored version of Eudora”:http://eudora.com/products/eudora/download/ is your friend, and our middle step in this process.
Eudora is very liberal in what it considers its mailstore; specifically, it will consider any .mbx file you put in your user folder as its mailstore and display it as a folder. To import all of your mbox files into Eudora, you just need to rename them with a .mbx file extension. You can “use the shell to do this”:http://www.secretaboutbox.com/site/articles/extensions.php.
Once Eudora’s open, you’ll need to open and rename each folder to make sure that Eudora builds an .idx file for it. Sadly (since I have 90-some folders), I couldn’t figure out a way to automate this. Probably would be a quick job with some Visual Basic and COM, if you already knew Eudora’s object model.
Now that Eudora has built an .idx file for each folder, Outlook will be more than happy to import all of your mail. For free!