Converting Internet messages to Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Outlook

Please note: This page references older, outdated technology and is no longer maintained. As a result, links may point to documents no longer available or redirect to articles referencing newer versions. We've left it published for historical reasons and in the hope that it will benefit the few sites stilling using the older technology.

August 29, 2005 - This page was last updated in the late 1990s and is substantially outdated. Use it at your own risk. There are now several tools that can convert Internet messages, including:

  • Address Magic Personal PLUS
  • Aid4Mail
  • Transend Migrator
  • Converting messages from Internet e-mail programs, such as Eudora, to Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Outlook requires an intermediate conversion to Microsoft Internet Mail. Once you have the messages in Internet Mail, you can move them to Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Outlook folders.

    Microsoft Internet Mail (version 4.70.1162 and later) can import messages from Eudora Pro or Light (through version 3.0) and Netscape Mail (version 2 or 3). Outlook Express can also import from Netscape Communicator (v4). If you don't have either IM or OE, you can still convert messages with the aid of a third-party program (see Step 3 below):

    The Basic Procedure

    1. If you have Internet messages in any other format than Eudora or Netscape, as mentioned above, convert them to a Eudora .mbx file using the method described under Hal's Method #1, General Info on Converting to Eudora or one of the programs listed on our Converting Addresses and Messages to Microsoft Exchange page. (There is also a Mail System Converter that handles Pegasus and several other message systems.)

      If you have upgraded to Netscape Communicator and have only Internet Mail, not Outlook Express, drop back to Netscape 3 mail and do a "Compress Files." (Thanks to Mike Callihan for this tip.)

    2. Clean up the Eudora .mbx file. (You can skip this step if you don't care about dates.)

    3. If you have a recent version of Microsoft Internet Mail (or Outlook Express), use File | Import | Messages to import the messages from the Eudora .mbx file or Netscape mailbox.

      If you have an older version, use E2M or EUD2IEM to convert the Eudora .mbx file to a Microsoft Internet Mail/Outlook Express .mbx file.

    4. Apply Hal's Method #1, exporting the messages from Internet Mail to Exchange/Outlook.


      Apply Hal's Method #2, forwarding the messages to yourself.

    E2M is a program for converting Eudora messages to Microsoft Internet Mail. EUD2IEM also converts Eudora messages to Microsoft Internet Mail, but via a command-line interface that lets you convert several files at once.

    Cleaning up the Eudora .mbx file

    This information on the conversion process has been provided by Paul McIlfatrick, author of EUD2IEM and VMS2IEM.

    When importing e-mail messages from Eudora, Microsoft Internet Mail doesn't get the correct 'Sent' or 'Received' dates for those messages that were sent or forwarded from Eudora - messages that were received are OK.

    I have investigated and found that for these types of messages Eudora uses the date after the 'From ???@???' separator in the .mbx file.

    To get these messages imported by Microsoft Internet Mail so that the 'Sent' and 'Received' dates are correct, the .mbx file must be edited and a 'Date: <date> <time from GMT offset>' and a 'Received: ; <date> <time from GMT offset>' line added after the Eudora message separator. For example, a message sent from Eudora has the following:

    From ???@??? Tue Nov 19 14:16:20 1996
    To: Joe Bloggs jbloggs@xxx.yy.zz
    From: myself
    Subject: This is ...

    This must be changed to:

    From ???@??? Tue Nov 19 14:16:20 1996
    Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 14:16:20 +0000
    Received: ; Tue, 19 Nov 1996 14:16:20 +0000
    To: Joe Bloggs jbloggs@xxx.yy.zz
    From: myself
    Subject: This is ...

    Note: that the +0000 part must be included but modified to suit your own time zone.

    I have also found that some messages cannot be imported by Microsoft Internet Mail from Eudora because of the line:

    Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="---- 

    in the Eudora .mbx file. When this line was deleted the message was imported OK.

    Hal's Method #1:

    Hal Hostettler, a fellow Microsoft MVP, has moved several hundred messages out of Netmanage's Chameleon mail client into Microsoft Exchange by converting messages to Eudora, running E2M to convert them to Microsoft Internet Mail, then exporting from Microsoft Internet Mail to Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders. He offers two methods. The first is easier, but doesn't preserve addresses in a way that they can be added to the Address Book.

    I've discovered a cute trick that will allow you to move mail messages from just about ANY mail client into Exchange/Windows Messaging via Microsoft's Internet Mail (the mail part of Internet Mail & News). A neat utility called E2M will convert a Eudora mailbox into an IM&N mailbox. [NOTE: You could also use EUD2IEM.] It turns out that this utility only needs the .MBX file and doesn't use the Eudora .TOC file. What's even cooler is that a Eudora .MBX file is *very* easy to synthesize by saving your mail messages to text files with headers, adding a Eudora 'start of message' line to the beginning of each text file, and concatenating them all together! The exact process is as follows:

    1. Use your existing mail client to save messages to be moved as text files with headers. This should be done on a 'by folder' basis and the files should be placed in a temporary directory.
    2. Insert the line "From ???@??? Tue Jan 23 18:04:27 1996" (without the quotes) into each message before the first line of the header using your favorite text editor. This is the Eudora 'Start of Message' marker that the E2M utility looks for; the date in this line is unimportant and isn't used.
    3. Open a DOS window in this temporary directory and type "copy /a *.txt (filename).mbx", again without quotes, where (filename) is whatever you want the mailbox to be called. This concatenates all the separate messages into a single mailbox file.
    4. Start E2M, point its input at the .mbx file you just made, the output at your IM&N mail folder, and hit the convert button. This writes the new IM&N mailbox.
    5. Start Internet Mail. Choose File, Folder, Compact, and select the new mailbox. You'll get an error message stating that the mailbox is damaged; click OK to repair it. This is because you have a .mbx file without a companion .idx file. When you click OK, IM will rebuild the .idx file and BINGO!, messages are moved, headers, attachments, and all! Too COOL!
    6. Now choose File, Export, Messages to copy the messages from IM&N to your Exchange/Windows Messaging folders.

    CAUTION: When you export messages from Microsoft Internet Mail to Microsoft Exchange in this way, the underlying e-mail addresses are not transferred in any way that makes them easily accessible. (Dates are also not transferred.) About the best you can do is set Exchange to include the text of incoming messages on replies. This will put at least SMTP addresses into the text of the reply, and you can then copy it into the To box. It's probably best not to delete your old Microsoft Internet Mail messages if you think you'll need to refer to those e-mail addresses. Alternatively, try the other method below.

    Hal's Method #2:

    Instead of using File, Export, this method involves forwarding messages to yourself.

    1. Set Internet Mail so that it does not immediately download new messages and delete them from the server. You can do this two ways, all on the Options dialog box (Mail, Options.) Either check Send Messages Immediately and uncheck Check for Messages Every XX Minutes, or, on the Server Advanced settings, check Leave a Copy of Messages on Server. In any case, you need to ensure that the message you're about to send can be retrieved by Microsoft Exchange.
    2. Select the Internet Mail folder that you want to move, click on any message, then choose Edit, Select All.
    3. Choose Mail, Forward and send all the messages to yourself. (If you're sending a single message, choose Mail, Forward as Attachment.) You could also select messages in batches, rather than sending them all together.
    4. From Microsoft Exchange, Windows Messaging or Microsoft Outlook, retrieve the message you just sent.
    5. Open the message and drag the attachments -- all the messages forwarded from Microsoft Internet Mail -- to the appropriate folder(s).

    When you open any message transferred in this fashion, you still won't see an Internet header on the Properties dialog box. However, From, To and CC addresses will all be available when you right-click on any name in an open message, and you'll be able to add them to the Personal Address Book or Contacts list.

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