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My parents have recently bought a MacBook Pro after previously using a Windows XP machine. They have their email (provided by their ISP) stored in Microsoft Outlook (I think it's 2003), and the mail is no longer on the (ISP's) server.

What is the best way of transferring all the email messages across to the Mac? Happy to use something like Thunderbird as the new email client if that makes things easier.

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I assume your parents are using POP? Does the ISP provide IMAP access? – lajuette Jul 25 '10 at 8:13
@lajuette Yes they currently use POP. The ISP does provide IMAP access. – jwaddell Jul 25 '10 at 8:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Thunderbird imports outlook personal folders (.pst file on outlook 2003) without any problem at least on windows and linux so I guess it will do the same on Mac. Just copy the pst file (or files) to the Macbook and import them with Thunderbird (if it doesn't find them alone after setup)

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Thunderbird on the Mac side won't import a .pst (at least in any reliable sense). You'll need to import it into Thunderbird on the PC and then bring the .mbox files over to the Mac. See – Chealion Jul 26 '10 at 16:06
I ended up installing Thunderbird on both the Windows and Mac machines, importing in to Thunderbird Windows and then copying the Thunderbird profile across to Thunderbird Mac. – jwaddell Aug 1 '10 at 23:42
yes, that's the way I would use too. No idea why Thunderbird on Mac can't import directly from Outlook as it does on the other OS. After seeing Chealion comment I tried to see if there were a reason but couldn't find anything. – laurent Aug 2 '10 at 0:57

There are a few possible ways:

  1. Export the mails to the EML format and try to open them with the mail client on the Mac.
  2. Set up a mail account that uses IMAP in Outlook 2003 (along with the "old" POP account) and move (drag'n'drop) the mails to the IMAP account.
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