How to Convert PST Files - A Comprehensive Guide

Jul 27, 2023 | By Deepak Singh Bisht

In our digital age, where we rely heavily on effective communication, email has become a crucial tool for both personal and professional exchanges. Microsoft Outlook, a major player in this sphere, utilizes a unique file type known as the PST, or Personal Storage Table file, to manage and store its data.

In this post, we will learn how to convert PST files. We will discuss the top five methods of conversion and introduce a powerful third-party software called the Outlook PST Converter tool. This guide is designed for everyone - whether you're an IT professional working with these files regularly, a daily Outlook user, or just starting your journey into this area, we've got you covered.

What is a PST file?

The Personal Storage Table, or PST, is a specific file format designed and utilized by Microsoft. This file is crucial for MS Outlook's operations as it serves as the primary storage medium for important mailbox items. These could include emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, and even journals. The PST files are stored locally on your computer, offering a convenient method for data management and retrieval within the Microsoft Outlook ecosystem.

Why Convert PST files?

Microsoft Outlook is a comprehensive tool with robust functionalities. But, there are times when you need to access or share your Outlook data with those who may not use Outlook. This is when you encounter a roadblock. PST files are not compatible with any other email client apart from MS Outlook. To overcome this limitation and to ensure your data is accessible across different platforms, converting PST files becomes essential.

In which format do users convert PST files?

The choice of format for converting PST files depends largely on the specific requirements of the user. However, MBOX and EML are the most commonly chosen formats for conversion due to their wide support across various email platforms. For sharing purposes, users often opt to convert PST files into MSG, HTML, and other file formats.

With the basics of PST and the need for its conversion established, let's dive into the various methods to convert PST files. We'll begin with some manual methods and gradually move towards an advanced third-party tool, the Outlook PST Converter, to give you a comprehensive overview.

How to convert PST files?

PST files can be converted using a variety of methods. Some methods involve manual processes, while others make use of an Outlook PST Converter tool to simplify the conversion. We will explore each method, providing a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Instant Solution - SysCurve PST File Converter

| 446 Reviews

Quickly convert PST files to EML, MBOX, MSG, HTML, and other file formats.

Method 1: Convert PST files using Google Takeout

This method is perfect if you wish to convert PST files to MBOX format. It involves configuring Gmail in Outlook and migrating emails from Outlook to Gmail. Afterward, Google Takeout is used to export all the emails to MBOX format. The process can be broken down into five significant parts:

Step 1: Enable IMAP from Gmail

Start by enabling the IMAP option from your Gmail settings. Here's how to do it:

  1. Sign in Gmail
  2. Click on the Setting icon
  3. Select the Settings option
  4. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab
  5. Enable the IMAP option
  6. Click the Save Changes button.

Step 2: Generate App Password

Next, you'll need to generate an App password for added security. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the
  2. Click the Security option and enable the two-step verification
  3. Click the Security option again and select the App password option
  4. Log in Gmail account again
  5. Select the Other (custom name) as an app option
  6. Enter Outlook Desktop and click the Generate button
  7. Copy the app password

Step 3: Configure Gmail in Outlook

Now that you have your App password, it's time to configure Gmail in Outlook:

  1. Launch MS Outlook and go to the File option
  2. Click the + Add Account button.
  3. Enter your name and Gmail email address
  4. Enter your App password and re-enter your App password
  5. Click the Next button to start the verification
  6. After the verification process, click the Finish button.

Step 4: Migrate emails from Outlook to Gmail

After configuring Gmail in Outlook, proceed to migrate emails from Outlook to Gmail:

  1. Right-click on the Gmail mailbox and select the New Folder option
  2. Enter PST Data as a folder name and press the enter key
  3. Select the Outlook mailbox and right-click on the Outlook email folder you want to import
  4. Choose the Copy Folder option and select the PST Data folder that you created earlier and click the OK button
  5. Go to Gmail and refresh the page. You will find the PST Data folder moved to your Gmail accounts.

Step 5: Export emails from Gmail using Google Takeout

  1. Go to Google Takeout (
  2. From Create a new export, select the Deselect all option.
  3. Select Gmail and click on the Next Step button.
  4. In the Choose file type, frequency & destination section, choose Export once as a frequency.
  5. Select the file type as .zip and choose the file size split option as per your requirement
  6. Click the Create export button.
  7. Click the Create export button.
  8. Open the email and click the download link.
  9. After downloading, extract the .zip file, and you will find the MBOX file.

Note: This method might take a while. Depending on the size of your mailbox, it could take a few hours to a couple of days.

Method 2: Convert PST files to EML using Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird, an open-source cross-platform email client, is another tool you can use to convert your PST files to EML format. The process essentially involves importing your PST file into Thunderbird and subsequently using it to export your emails. This might seem complex, but we can break it down into two manageable parts for easier understanding:

Step 1: Import PST to Thunderbird

  1. In your machine, go to the Settings and select the Default Program option
  2. Click the Email and select MS Outlook (Desktop) from the Choose an app list
  3. Start Mozilla Thunderbird and click the Thunderbird menu icon
  4. Select the Tools and choose the Import option
  5. Select Import Everything or choose the Mail option as per your need and click the Next button
  6. From the select the type of file, select Outlook and click the Next button
  7. Click the Finish button to complete the process.

Step 2: Export EML from Thunderbird

Once you've imported your PST file data into Thunderbird, follow these steps to export to EML:

  1. Select the emails you want to convert.
  2. Right-click on the selected emails and select Save as an option
  3. Provide a location to save EML files and click the Select Folder button
  4. After that, Thunderbird will export selected emails.

Note: This method may not work properly on some versions of Thunderbird. In such cases, you would need to use a third-party PST File Conversion tool.

Method 3: Convert PST to MSG using Drag & Drop

For this method, all you need is MS Outlook. Simply open MS Outlook, select the emails you want to convert, and drag and drop them to a specific folder. This method quickly converts PST files to MSG format. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open MS Outlook.
  2. Select the emails you want to convert.
  3. Drag and drop the emails to a specific location.

Method 4: Convert PST to HTML using Save As an option

This method helps you convert PST files to HTML format, with the help of the Save As option in MS Outlook. This process involves saving each email as an HTML file, and here are the steps:

  1. Launch MS Outlook
  2. Select the Inbox folder
  3. Select the email you want to convert
  4. Go to the File option and select Save as an option
  5. Choose HTML as save as a type
  6. Select a location where you want to save the HTML file and click on the Save button

Note: This method requires you to save each email manually, which can be time-consuming if you have a large number of emails.

Method 5: Convert PST files using PST File Converter

As an alternative to manual methods, consider using a professional PST file conversion tool. One such tool that stands out is the SysCurve PST File Converter. It's a user-friendly software that allows you to convert PST files into different formats, such as MBOX, EML, MSG, EMLX, and others, with just a few clicks.

  1. Download, install and open the SysCurve PST File Converter.
  2. Click the Add File option, select the PST files you want to convert, and click the OK button.
  3. After the loading process, the software will generate a preview mode. Select any item to see the message. (Optional)
  4. Click the Export option and select the folders you want to Export.
  5. Select the export file option as per your requirement
  6. Click the Browse button and provide a path to save the converted file.
  7. Click the Export button to start the PST file conversion.

Other helpful features

  • Convert PST files to MBOX, EML, MSG, HTML, and other file formats.
  • Preview PST file data.
  • Save Individual emails to MSG, EML, HTML, MHTML, and RTF format.
  • Migrate PST to Office 365 platform
  • Perform selective conversion based on To, Cc, Bcc, Subject, and Date.
  • Free PST file conversion for the first 20 items per folder.
  • Support all versions of MS Outlook
  • Compatible with Windows OS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let's tackle some commonly asked questions about PST file conversion:

How to convert PST files without Outlook?

Yes, the SysCurve Outlook PST Converter tool lets you convert PST files without installing MS Outlook.

What is the best PST File Converter?

There are several good options available, but SysCurve PST File Converter stands out for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive feature set.

Can I convert PST files online?

There are online platforms for PST file conversion, but due to data security concerns, it's recommended to use offline software like the SysCurve PST File Conversion tool.

Can I import PST to Office 365 using this software?

Yes, the SysCurve Outlook PST Converter tool supports the migration of PST to the Office 365 platform. However, this feature is available in business and enterprise versions of this software.

Is there a free demo version of this tool?

Yes, SysCurve PST File Converter offers a free demo version that lets you view PST file data and allow you to perform PST file conversion for the first 20 items from each folder.

Can I convert a corrupted PST file using these methods?

Manual methods may not always be successful in converting corrupted PST files. However, advanced tools like the SysCurve PST File Converter are designed to handle and convert even corrupted PST files.

Will these conversion methods retain my email attachments?

Yes, whether you're using a manual method or a third-party tool like the SysCurve Outlook PST Converter tool, email attachments are typically preserved during the conversion process.

What to do if the manual methods do not work?

If manual methods fail or seem too complicated, consider using a third-party tool like the SysCurve PST File Conversion tool. It simplifies the process and increases the success rate of conversion.

What makes a third-party tool like SysCurve PST File Converter better than manual methods?

Third-party tools like the SysCurve Outlook PST Converter tool provide user-friendly interfaces, more file format options, bulk conversion capabilities, and a higher success rate. These features make them a more efficient and convenient choice for PST file conversion.

The Final Word

Understanding how to convert PST files is crucial, whether you're an IT professional seeking efficiency or a regular user who wishes to perform the conversion independently. Though manual methods can be effective, they tend to be tedious and may require technical expertise. For a more efficient and user-friendly solution, consider the SysCurve Outlook PST Converter tool. This powerful software offers a straightforward process for PST file conversion, making it quicker and safer.

The Author

Deepak Singh Bisht

Deepak Singh Bisht

Content Lead |

Deepak Singh Bisht is a dedicated IT professional with over 9 years of experience, is a key member at SysCurve Software for the last 5 years. His expertise lies in email migration and data recovery, with a focus on technologies like MS Outlook and Office 365. Deepak, who also delves into front-end technology and software development, holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Applications.

More from Deepak Singh Bisht