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What do you understand by MBOX (MailBOX) file?

MBOX file format is the short name of MailBOX. MBOX is a file format for a text file used to organize and store mail messages. MailBOX file are used in several email client such as:-

Mbox is a well supported by a number of e-mail applications. Each mbox file represent a set of email messages that are sequentially and grouped into a folder. MBOX messages are stored in the source format, e.g plain text may be stored as ASCII or Unicode, binary data is stored as Base64-encoded text.

It’s MIME type is text/x-mailbox. MBOX format is a plain text file which contains the email as 7-bit ASCII text & the rest things such as attachments are stored an encoded format.

MailBOX File Format

MBOX File Location

The default location of MBOX file is /user/library/Mail/Mailboxes/directory. The default location of MBOX file depends on the email client.

MailBOX file Location

How to open MBOX File?

  • STEP1: Go to MBOX file, right click on this file
  • STEP2: Select Open with option.
  • STEP3: Select the compatible application that open MBOX file. (If compatible application not available to open MBOX format file, So go to STEP 4)
  • STEP3: Use MBOX viewer tool to open mbox format file without the need of email client.

MBOX File Supported Platform

  • MS Windows
  • MAC
  • UNIX

MBOX File Common Variants

Several Common Variants of MailBOX file are:-

  • Mboxo uses the constant string in place of sender’s mail address.
  • Mboxrd is variant of mboxo mailbox format.
  • Mboxcl format is used by unix System V mailboxes. Mboxcl2 is a similar format to “mboxcl”.

3 Common reasons to occur MBOX file error

  • Due to System Hardware Failure
  • Due to harmful Malware attack
  • Due to crash of email client

Extract Data Form MBOX

User can easily extract data from MBOX File Format. It is possibility when you successfully extract mbox data file from any email clients such as apple mail, mulberry, thunderbird, opera mail etc. but user are unable to open and read MBOX data file, so In this case third party tool help to extract MailBOX file ad save in different format like as (csv, pdf ) etc.

Supported Version

Operating System: Windows 10, 8, 7 , XP, 2000 and 98

Microsoft Outlook: Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2000


It is the open source standard for email archives. MBOX is a file format used by several email client. In this article discussed about the concept of MBOX file format, its location, supported platform, common variants. Also tell us about the way to open MBOX file and reasons of occur MBOX File error.