How to export from Outlook and import to Zimbra Desktop without having a ZCS (Zimbra Server) for home use.

I have had many people request this because where they work now uses ZCS and they would like to have Zimbra Desktop at home so that they may add their G-mail, Yahoo, and IMAP accounts but still have the ability to view their work email account, and send calendar appointments home to their family to verify times and dates etc.

I have found a solution to the problem, it's about an hour process total but in the end it is worth it!

Here is the solution of how to migrate from Outlook to Zimbra (Have tested with Outlook 2000-2010)

Warning: Use this process at your own risk. These steps have worked perfectly for me. I am not responsible for any data loss, equipment failure, conflagration, nuclear detonation, global cooling or warming, constipation, diarrhea, headache, nausea, sudden death, harm to animals, or any other malady you may experience from this moment in time to all eternity. Be careful, and have a good time.


Here are the first steps you'll want and that's exporting your contacts, and calender from Outlook directly into Zimbra which is about as easy as easy can be.

In Outlook click "file" "Import Export."

"export to a file" "next."

"comma separated values (DOS)" "next."

Now for the first time: select "contacts" (the 2nd time select calendar).

Now export the file to a location you can remember (C:\users\(current user)\my documents) documents is normally the easiest.

Now open Zimbra desktop and go to preferences, next go to "import export" under your account (NOT LOCAL FOLDERS).

Browse for the file you just created (calendar or contacts) and click ok.

If under where it just imported to says the correct destination (conacts or calendar) then click import on the bottom right. If not click on "all folders" and manually select where it's going.

Repeat this step if you started with your contacts/calendar and need to do the other one.

Now for the dreaded E-Mail Import (it's a long process but completely worth the effort) and I'm sure you've done enough hair pulling looking for this post anyway.

First thing to do, download Mozilla Thunderbird (it's the only program that can import from Outlook's mail folder). Here's the link to it: http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/download/

Quite Obvious, but install Thunderbird next. If you see a checkbox that says "use thunderbird as default mail client" uncheck that or you will have issues. If you missed the last step you can change it later but it's easiest to fix it now.

Once it's installed start Thunderbird. The first thing that will pop up is "mail account setup." Click cancel because you dont need to set one up.

Next you will get "system integration." Uncheck everything (feeds is grayed on mine because I dont have any)

Now click ok.

You should see "email, newsgroups, feeds, etc"

Click "tools" (across the top)

Now click "import."

Import only mail so set the bullet point to mail

Then click next

Then select your mail client (outlook for example). As long as it is still set as your default mail client this will work (provided that you read all the previous instructions about not making mozilla the default).

Click next.

Now there should be a "finish."

Now your Thunderbird should start pulling in all the emails into a file titled "outlook import." If you click the > that is to the left of it, it will show what folders it contains (being everything out of Outlook you have made).

Now that you've completed that, let it download the messages into Thunderbird. It will likely take quite awhile depending on the amount of emails you have and attachments etc.

Once that is FULLY completed then you can close Thunderbird.

Now you need to find the files that Thunderbird made for your mailbox. They are located in (windows vista and 7) in C:\Users\(username)\appdata\roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\(some random stuff.default)\Mail\OutlookImport.something

Inside that Outlook folder are all your Outlook files. There are 2 files for every file, there is a .msf and a no extention "file."

The "file"s are really .mbox format which is what Thunderbird uses to store email (the .pst is no longer a issue).

Now your next step is to download this program: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/E-mail/Mail-Utilities/mbx2eml.shtml

There are others like it out there. The difference between them is this will store your "recieved" date from Outlook, rather than having them all receive the day you import everything. If you don't want 1000's of unread emails sitting in your inbox this is the tool to use.

There are step by step instructions in the "readme" inside the zip file you will download to import everything and export it to the EML

REMEMBER THAT THE "file" files are the MBOX files, I searched for hours trying to find... what is the .mbox file this program needs???

Now what that program just did is extracted every single email out of their previous mbox format and now they are all .eml FINALLY SOMETHING ZIMBRA CAN READ!!!!!

But wait there's more...

Go to: (C:\mbxtoeml something something (It's the eml folder that mbxtoeml has you create.)

Inside that folder you should have all of your folders (inbox, sent, deleted items etc.)

Now you need to download another program called PeaZip because we have to compress all those files into the readable by Zimbra kind of file. http://www.peazip.org/index.html

Download PeaZip for windows and install it (it's a next, next, next install -everything is fine as it's default)

Open PeaZip and go into C:\(the eml folder you created)\ Now you should see the "inbox, sent, deleted" folders

Highlight them all (click and drag to select them all).

Click Add

Now change the format from zip to TAR

Above format options, change the destination/name if wanted.

Now click "ok"

Wait for it to create the .tar file in that location (make sure you know where you put it).

Now find it in the window that's open. It should default to the same folder as the eml files. It will be at the bottom

Now click on the "inbox.tar" (or whatever yours in called) and click "add" again.

Change the format to GZip (the file path above that should now have changed to .tar.gz this is good we're almost there.

Click ok (remember where it put it).

Close PeaZip upon completion.

Open "My Computer" and find the file you just created.

What you will see is: "inbox.tar" That can't be imported by Zimbra yet (I know just GREATTT).

Now, on Windows Vista / 7 click "Organize" (for XP click "tools").

Click "folder and search options."

Click the "view" tab.

Under the "hidden files and folders" you should see "hide extensions for known file types." Uncheck that and click "ok" (it might warn you don't listen to it ;) )

Now you should see "Inbox.tar.gz" if you did everything previous correctly

right click on it and click "rename"

change .tar.gz to .tgz

when you click off of it a window will pull up saying "if you cange a file name extension etc.

click yes on that window

NOWWW FINALLLYYYYY you have an "Inbox.tgz" - if you did everything correctly.

Open Zimbra Desktop

Go to preferences (this is assuming you've already created your email account on Zimbra Desktop if you haven't do that now).

On the far left, click "Import/Export" under your email account address. (DO NOT CLICK ON "IMPORT/EXPORT" UNDER LOCAL FOLDERS)

Under "import" click "browse" and find our inbox.tgz we just made and select it.

It should automaticly say destination :inbox or something of the sort. If not, manually point it by clicking "all folders" and find "inbox" and select that.

Now click "import" and now you should start seeing your inbox populate with your folders, and emails. This will take quite a long time so just set it and go get some coffee or something. by the time you get back it should be done and you have a fully functioning Zimbra Desktop with all your old emails :)

I hope it works for you as well as it did for me!!!!!

Jump to: navigation, search