.MBOX File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .MBOX file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

MBOX File Recovery

What is a .MBOX file?

An MBOX file is an email mailbox saved in a mail storage format used for organizing email messages in a single text file. It saves messages in a concatenated format where each message is stored after another, starting with the "From" header. MBOX files were originally used by Unix hosts but are now supported by other email applications, including Apple Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird.

What Are Common Causes of ".MBOX" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".MBOX" file loss or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete ".MBOX" files while organizing or cleaning up their email folders.
  2. Software or hardware issues: Issues with email clients, such as crashes, errors, or corruption, can lead to the loss or failure of ".MBOX" files. Additionally, hardware failures, such as a hard drive crash or power outage, can also result in data loss.
  3. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and corrupt ".MBOX" files, making them inaccessible or causing data loss.
  4. File system errors: Errors in the file system, such as file system corruption or bad sectors on the storage device, can cause ".MBOX" files to become unreadable or lost.
  5. Improper email client shutdown: If an email client is not properly closed or shuts down unexpectedly, it can result in the loss or corruption of ".MBOX" files.
  6. Email synchronization issues: Problems during the synchronization process, such as interrupted or incomplete syncing, can lead to the loss or failure of ".MBOX" files.
  7. Migration or transfer errors: When transferring or migrating email data from one email client to another, errors can occur, resulting in the loss or corruption of ".MBOX" files.
  8. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidental formatting of storage devices or improper handling of email data, can lead to ".MBOX" file loss.

To minimize the risk of ".MBOX" file loss, it is recommended to regularly backup important email data, use reliable email clients, and maintain a secure and updated system.

How to recover lost ".MBOX" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".MBOX" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".MBOX" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".MBOX" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".MBOX" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".MBOX" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".MBOX" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo email Mailbox File image file file?

Programs that open ".MBOX" files

Mozilla Thunderbird Mozilla Thunderbird
CoolUtils Total Thunderbird Converter CoolUtils Total Thunderbird Converter
Kernel MBOX Viewer Kernel MBOX Viewer
Aryson MBOX to PST Converter Aryson MBOX to PST Converter
Apple Mail Apple Mail
Microsoft Outlook 2016 Microsoft Outlook 2016
Mozilla Thunderbird Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla Thunderbird Mozilla Thunderbird

Additional Information

  • File type: Email Mailbox File

  • File extension: .MBOX

  • Developer: N/A

  • Category: Text Files

  • Format: Text


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 12:50 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .MBOX files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What are the common causes of .MBOX file corruption and how can I repair it?

    There are several common causes of .MBOX file corruption, including:

    1. Hardware or software issues: Problems with the hard drive, operating system, or email client software can lead to file corruption.
    2. Virus or malware infection: Malicious software can damage or corrupt .MBOX files.
    3. Sudden system shutdown: If the system crashes or shuts down abruptly while accessing or writing to the .MBOX file, it can get corrupted.
    4. File system errors: Errors in the file system structure can cause corruption in .MBOX files.
    5. Oversized files: When the .MBOX file exceeds its maximum size limit, it may become corrupted.

    To repair a corrupted .MBOX file, you can try the following methods:

    1. Use a reliable email client: Import the .MBOX file into a different email client that supports the format, as it may have built-in repair capabilities.
    2. Use an MBOX file viewer: Open the .MBOX file with a dedicated viewer that can repair minor corruption issues and allow you to extract the data.
    3. Scan for viruses or malware: Run a thorough scan of your system to detect and remove any malicious software that may be causing the corruption.
    4. Use inbox repair tools: Some email clients provide built-in repair tools or utilities that can fix minor corruption issues.
    5. Repair the file manually: If you have technical expertise, you can try manually repairing the .MBOX file using a text editor or specialized software designed for file repair.
    6. Restore from backup: If you have a backup of the .MBOX file, restore it to recover the data and replace the corrupted file.

    It's important to note that the success of these methods may vary depending on the extent of the corruption and the specific circumstances. Therefore, it's recommended to create regular backups of your .MBOX files to minimize the risk of data loss.

  • Are there any reliable software tools available for repairing .MBOX files? If so, what are their features and how effective are they?

    Yes, there are several reliable software tools available for repairing .MBOX files. Some of the popular ones include:

    1. SysInfoTools MBOX Recovery: It can repair corrupted MBOX files and recover all mailbox items like emails, attachments, contacts, etc. It supports MBOX files created by various email clients, such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc. The software is effective in recovering data from severely corrupt MBOX files.
    2. Stellar Repair for Outlook: This tool can repair corrupt MBOX files and extract all mailbox items. It can also convert MBOX files to PST format, making it compatible with Outlook. The software supports both single and multiple MBOX files and provides a preview of recoverable items.
    3. Aryson MBOX to PST Converter: It can repair damaged MBOX files and convert them to PST format. The software supports MBOX files from multiple email clients and provides options to save the converted files in various formats like PST, EML, MSG, etc. It also maintains the folder hierarchy during the conversion process.
    4. Remo Repair Outlook (PST): While primarily designed for repairing Outlook PST files, this tool can also repair corrupt MBOX files. It can recover all mailbox items and save them in a new healthy MBOX file. The software supports MBOX files from different email clients and provides a simple user interface.

    The effectiveness of these tools may vary depending on the severity of the corruption in the MBOX file. It is recommended to try the free trial versions of these tools to evaluate their features and effectiveness before making a purchase decision.

  • Is it possible to manually repair a corrupt .MBOX file without using any third-party software? If yes, what are the steps involved in the repair process?

    Yes, it is possible to manually repair a corrupt .MBOX file without using any third-party software. Here are the steps involved in the repair process:

    1. Make a backup: Before attempting any manual repair, it is crucial to create a backup of the corrupt .MBOX file to avoid any data loss.
    2. Open the .MBOX file in a text editor: Use a text editor like Notepad or TextEdit to open the corrupt .MBOX file. This will allow you to view the content of the file in plain text.
    3. Identify and remove the corrupt messages: Scan through the content of the .MBOX file and look for any irregularities or corrupted messages. You can identify them by looking for any unusual characters or formatting issues. Once identified, remove those messages from the file.
    4. Reconstruct the file structure: If the file structure is damaged, you may need to manually reconstruct it. This can be done by creating a new .MBOX file and copying the content of the original file into it. Ensure that the structure of the new file matches the original file.
    5. Save the repaired .MBOX file: After making the necessary repairs, save the modified .MBOX file.
    6. Test the repaired file: Open the repaired .MBOX file in the email client or software used to access it and check if the repaired file is working properly. Verify that all the messages are intact and accessible.

    It's important to note that manually repairing a corrupt .MBOX file can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it may not always be successful. Therefore, it is generally recommended to use reliable third-party software specifically designed for repairing .MBOX files to ensure a more efficient and accurate repair.

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