export a MBOX

How to Export Files from Gmail (Inbox) and Yahoo as a MBOX

Maybe you want to move to a different email provider. Maybe you need to export an archive for a new listserv. Either way, the best plan is to export your files from Gmail and Yahoo as a MBOX, an old Unix file type that’s still used for email archives across both PC and Mac. Here’s how to export a MBOX file from both these common email providers.

Export a MBOX file from Gmail (Inbox)

Gmail is the easiest of the two to export from. It has its own export fuction, unlike Yahoo Mail.

  1. Go to this page to start exporting your email from Gmail.
  2. You should see this screen.exportingemail1
  3. If you’re just exporting to create an archive of your email, select “Include all of your emails” and skip to Step 5.
  4. If you’re downloading emails from a list, first make sure that your list emails are bundled together. Hopefully, you’ve been bundling them up to now, but if you haven’t, you’ll have to go through and stick them in a bundle individually.
    • Once your emails are bundled, select “Select labels” and then click “Gmail labels.”
    • Make sure only your list bundle or label is check marked.
    • exportingemail2
    • Click “Done.”
  5. Click “Next.”
  6. exportingemail3
  7. Change nothing. Click “Create Archive.”
  8. Your archive will now be emailed to you. This may take an hour to a day.

Export a MBOX file from Yahoo Mail

Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly, Yahoo Mail doesn’t have a native way to export email files. Instead, you’ll need to use an email client such as Outlook, Thunderbird, or MacMail. Check out this Yahoo Help file for instructions on how to connect to Yahoo Mail using an email client. You can then export your MBOX file using that client.

Need more help? Feeling real confused? Leave a comment below and tell use your woes.

Miranda Regan

Miranda Regan

Freelance Writer & Editor at mirandaregan.com
A freelance editor who also writes about people, tech, English grammar, and anything else she can cram into a paragraph, Miranda's been hopping around online communities since she was 11 and wasn't allowed to play Neopets.

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Miranda Regan

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