How to Convert PST to EML - A Complete Guide

Feb 27, 2024 | By Deepak Singh Bisht

In the realm of email management and data migration, converting PST files to EML format is a common challenge faced by many. Whether you're transitioning from Outlook to another email client that supports EML files, or you simply need to extract individual emails for archiving purposes, understanding the process of PST to EML conversion is essential.

The necessity for PST to EML conversion arises from various professional and personal requirements. PST files, standing for Personal Storage Tables, are proprietary file formats used by Microsoft Outlook to store email messages, contacts, calendar events, and other data. On the other hand, EML files are widely accepted email formats supported by numerous email clients, making them more versatile for data storage and sharing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most efficient and reliable methods to convert PST to EML. From manual method to utilizing top-notch PST to EML converter software, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to execute this conversion smoothly and effectively. Whether you're a novice seeking a straightforward solution or an IT professional looking for advanced options, this guide promises to cater to all your PST to EML conversion needs.

Why convert PST to EML?

The decision to convert PST to EML can be driven by a variety of professional and personal reasons, making it a vital process for those utilizing email for communication, data storage, and archival purposes. Understanding the benefits and applications of converting PST files to EML format can help users make informed decisions about managing their email data. Here are several compelling reasons why individuals and organizations opt for PST to EML conversion:

Enhanced compatibility and flexibility: EML files are supported by a wide array of email clients beyond Microsoft Outlook, including Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, and Apple Mail. Converting PST to EML allows users to access their emails across different platforms and devices, enhancing flexibility and ensuring that important information is always at hand, regardless of the software environment.

Simplified email archiving and sharing: EML files represent individual email messages, making them easier to share and archive. When you convert PST to EML, each email becomes a separate file, which simplifies the process of organizing, storing, and retrieving specific messages. This is particularly useful for legal compliance, data preservation, and when sharing emails with others who may use different email systems.

Facilitates migration to other email clients: For users and organizations looking to migrate from Outlook to other email platforms, converting PST to EML is a necessary step. This conversion process ensures that all existing email data can be seamlessly imported into the new email client, facilitating a smooth transition and continuity of email communication and data access.

Increased data security: EML files are less prone to corruption compared to PST files because they are simpler in structure. Converting PST to EML can therefore help increase the safety of your data.

In summary, converting PST to EML provides users with greater control over their email data, enhancing accessibility, compatibility, and data management capabilities.

How to convert PST to EML?

Converting PST files to EML format can be approached in two primary ways: through a manual process or by utilizing specialized conversion software. Each method has its own set of advantages, depending on the user's technical expertise, the volume of data to be converted, and the need for efficiency and data integrity. Below, we outline both approaches to help you choose the best method for your PST to EML conversion needs.

Note: Before proceeding with any methods for PST to EML conversion, it's crucial to prepare a backup of your PST files. Creating a backup ensures that your original data remains intact and secure, safeguarding against potential data loss or corruption during the conversion process.

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Method 1: Convert PST to EML using Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird

This method involves leveraging the capabilities of both Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird to manually convert PST files to EML format. It's a two-step process that first requires you to import your PST file into Thunderbird, followed by exporting the emails as EML files. This approach is beneficial for users who prefer not to use third-party PST to EML conversion software. To proceed, ensure you have both Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird installed on your computer.

Step 1: Import PST to Thunderbird

  1. On your Windows machine, navigate to the Settings and select the Default Programs option.
  2. Click on Email and choose MS Outlook (Desktop) from the Choose an app list. This step ensures Thunderbird can locate and import the PST file directly from Outlook.
  3. Launch Thunderbird and click on the menu icon.
  4. Select Tools > Import option.
  5. From the Import Tool window, choose Import from Outlook and click on the Continue button.
  6. Select Mail Messages as an option and click on the Continue button.
  7. To start the import process, click on the Start Import button.
  8. Once the process is complete, click on the Finish button.

Step 2: Export EML from Thunderbird

  1. Navigate through the imported emails in Thunderbird and select the ones you wish to convert to EML. You can select multiple emails by holding the Ctrl key.
  2. Right-click on the selected emails, then choose the Save As option.
  3. Select the folder where you want to save the EML files and confirm by clicking on the Select Folder button. Thunderbird will export the selected emails as individual EML files to the specified location.
  4. After the export process is complete, navigate to the chosen folder to find the EML files. You can now open these files with any compatible email client to verify their integrity and content.

By following these steps, you can convert PST to EML using Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird without the need for specialized PST to EML converter software.

Method 2: Convert PST to EML using Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail

This method utilizes Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail to manually convert PST files to EML format. The process encompasses exporting your PST file data to Microsoft Exchange Server using Outlook, then importing this data into Windows Live Mail, and ultimately saving the emails as EML files. This procedure requires both Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail to be installed on your computer. Follow the detailed steps below to ensure a smooth conversion process.

Step 1: Export to Microsoft Exchange Server

  1. Launch Outlook, and click on File > Open > Import.
  2. The Import and Export Wizard will open. Here, select Export to a file, and click the Next button.
  3. Choose Microsoft Exchange, and click the Next button.
  4. Select the folder to export from, and choose a location to save the exported file.
  5. Click the Finish button to complete the export.

Step 2: Import to Windows Live Mail

  1. Open Windows Live Mail and click on File > Import > Messages.
  2. Select Microsoft Exchange as the format, and then click the Next button.
  3. Navigate to the location of the exported file from Outlook, and click Next to import.
  4. Once the import is complete, right-click on the email and select Save As to save the email in EML format.

By following these steps, you can convert PST to EML using Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail without needing specialized conversion software. This manual method is best suited for users comfortable with navigating these email clients and who need to convert a manageable volume of data.

Method 3: Convert PST to EML using Gmail IMAP

This method involves using Gmail's IMAP feature as a bridge to transfer emails from PST files in Outlook to Thunderbird, facilitating a smooth conversion to EML format. By leveraging Gmail as an intermediary, you can take advantage of its robust IMAP capabilities to manage your email data efficiently across different platforms. This approach is particularly beneficial for those seeking a seamless transition of emails to Thunderbird. Below are the steps to utilize Gmail IMAP for PST to EML conversion.

Step 1: Enable IMAP Protocol in Gmail

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Gear icon and select See all settings option.
  3. Go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. In the IMAP Access section, choose Enable IMAP option.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Step 2: Generate App Password for Outlook and Thunderbird

  1. Visit
  2. Navigate to the Security tab, and enable 2-Step Verification.
  3. Return to the Security section, find App passwords, and select it.
  4. Enter Outlook and Thunderbird as the app name, then click Create.
  5. Copy the App password to a secure location and click Done.

Step 3: Configure Gmail in Outlook

  1. In Outlook, go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  2. Click New under the Email tab.
  3. Enter your Name, Gmail address, and app password.
  4. Click Next to start the verification.
  5. After verification, click Finish.

Step 4: Migrate Emails from Outlook to Gmail

  1. In Outlook, under the Gmail mailbox, create a new folder for the emails you wish to migrate.
  2. Select the Outlook emails you wish to migrate, then press and hold the Ctrl key while dragging the selected emails to the newly created Gmail folder in Outlook.
  3. Check your Gmail to ensure the emails have appeared in the new folder.

Step 5: Configure Gmail in Thunderbird

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird and navigate to Menu > Account Settings.
  2. In the left sidebar, select Account Actions > Add Mail Account.
  3. Provide your Name, Gmail Address, and the app password. Make sure "Remember password" is checked, then click Continue.
  4. Select IMAP as your configuration and click Done.
  5. A success message will appear, indicating the successful addition of the Gmail account.

Step 6: Export EML files from Thunderbird

  1. Navigate to the Gmail mailbox within Thunderbird to locate your migrated emails.
  2. Select the emails you wish to convert to EML. You can select multiple emails by holding the Ctrl key.
  3. Right-click on the selected emails and choose Save As to export them as EML files.
  4. Choose the location where you want to save the EML files and click Save to start exporting.
  5. Check the destination folder to ensure that the EML files have been correctly saved and are accessible. You can open these EML files with any compatible email client or viewer to verify their integrity.

By following these steps, you can effectively convert PST to EML using Gmail IMAP, making this method ideal for those who prefer utilizing email services to manage and convert their email data.

Method 4: Convert PST to EML using PST to EML Converter

For those seeking a straightforward and efficient approach to convert PST to EML without the complexities of manual methods, utilizing a dedicated PST to EML conversion tool is highly recommended. Software like SysCurve PST File Converter is specifically designed for this purpose, offering a user-friendly interface and quick conversion process. This software not only simplifies the PST to EML conversion but also supports various other file formats, including MSG, HTML, and RTF, providing a versatile solution for your email conversion needs.

  1. Download and install the SysCurve PST to EML Converter.
  2. Open the tool and click on the Add file option.
  3. Browse for the PST file you intend to convert and click on the "OK" button to initiate the file loading process.
  4. Once the loading is complete, the software will display a preview of the emails. You can click on any message to view its content in detail.
  5. Click on the Export option and choose the specific folders you want to convert to EML format.
  6. Select EML as your export option and specify the destination path where you want the converted EML files to be saved.
  7. Click on the Export button to begin the conversion process. The software will efficiently process and convert the selected items.
  8. After the conversion is successfully completed, a Finish button will appear. Click on it to conclude the process.

The use of a PST to EML converter like SysCurve simplifies the conversion process, making it accessible even to those with minimal technical expertise. This method ensures a reliable and swift conversion of PST files to EML format, eliminating the manual handling and potential errors associated with other methods. By following these straightforward steps, users can efficiently manage their email data conversion, ensuring the integrity and accessibility of their emails in the desired format.

Other helpful features

  • Convert PST to EML, MBOX, EMLX, MSG, HTML, RTF, and other file formats.
  • Preview PST file data inside the software
  • Maintain original folder structure.
  • Process unlimited PST files.
  • Migrate PST to Office 365 and Live Exchange Server.
  • No limit for PST file size
  • Perform selective conversion based on date, to, cc, subject, from, etc.
  • Free PST to EML conversion for the first 20 items from each folder
  • Support all versions of MS Outlook, including Outlook 2019.
  • Compatible with all editions of Windows OS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why convert PST to EML?

Converting PST files to EML format offers several advantages. It improves compatibility with a wide range of email clients, simplifies the process of email archiving and sharing, enables easier migration to different email platforms, and potentially enhances data security by converting emails to a format that's less prone to corruption.

Can I manually convert PST to EML without using specialized software?

Yes, it's possible to manually convert PST to EML by using email clients such as Microsoft Outlook combined with Mozilla Thunderbird or Windows Live Mail, depending on your available resources and preferences. This approach allows users to leverage existing software tools, although it requires a step-by-step process that varies depending on the specific applications and versions used. It is a practical option for users with basic technical skills and those who prefer not to use additional software.

What is the best PST to EML converter available?

The SysCurve PST File Converter stands out for its ability to efficiently convert PST files into various formats including EML, MBOX, MSG, and HTML. Its versatility and user-friendly interface make it a top choice for users seeking reliable conversion tools. The software also offers a free PST viewer, enhancing its value by providing users the ability to preview PST content before conversion, ensuring accurate and desired outcomes.

Can I convert multiple PST files to EML at once?

Yes, the batch conversion feature of the SysCurve PST to EML conversion tool is designed to handle multiple PST files simultaneously, significantly reducing the time and effort involved in the conversion process. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses and individuals dealing with large volumes of email data.

Is it possible to convert specific emails from a PST file to EML?

Yes, the selective conversion feature of the SysCurve PST to EML software offers users the flexibility to choose specific emails for conversion, rather than converting the entire PST file. This targeted approach allows for more efficient data management and enables users to focus on converting only the emails that are relevant to their needs, saving time and reducing unnecessary data transfer.

Will converting PST to EML affect my original PST file?

The integrity of the original PST file remains intact throughout the conversion process when using reputable tools like SysCurve PST File Converter. The software is designed to create new EML files based on the data extracted from the PST file, ensuring that the original data is neither modified nor compromised. This approach provides peace of mind to users by safeguarding their original email data against any form of alteration or loss.

Can I convert PST to EML without Outlook?

Yes, SysCurve PST to EML Converter facilitates the conversion of PST files to EML without the need for Outlook to be installed on the user's system. This standalone capability is particularly advantageous for users who do not have access to Outlook or prefer not to use it, offering a versatile solution for PST to EML conversion.

Does SysCurve PST to EML Converter maintain the original folder structure?

Yes, the SysCurve PST to EML Converter maintains the original folder structure during the conversion process. This feature is crucial for users who rely on the specific organization of their email data for easy navigation and management. By preserving the folder hierarchy, the software ensures that the converted EML files reflect the exact structure of the original PST file, allowing users to seamlessly continue their work without the need to reorganize their emails.

Is SysCurve PST to EML Converter safe to use?

The safety and security of SysCurve PST to EML Converter are paramount, with the software being designed to operate as a desktop-based application that keeps all data on the user's computer. It does not alter the original PST file, ensuring that the integrity of the user's data is maintained.

Does the tool offer a demo version?

Yes, the SysCurve PST File Converter tool offers a demo version that provides potential users with an opportunity to evaluate its capabilities. This demo version allows users to view the contents of PST files and convert up to the first 20 items per folder for free. This feature is particularly beneficial for those looking to test the software's functionality and ensure it meets their conversion needs before committing to a purchase.

What should I do if the converted EML file doesn't open in my email client?

If you encounter issues opening a converted EML file in your email client, first verify that the email client supports the EML format. If the problem persists, ensure that the EML file has not been corrupted and that the conversion was completed successfully. In some cases, re-converting the file or using a different email client may resolve the issue, ensuring access to your converted email data.

The final word

In conclusion, converting PST files to EML is a crucial task for enhancing email management, ensuring data portability, and facilitating the migration process across different email clients. As we've explored, there are several methods to accomplish PST to EML conversion, each with its own set of advantages and geared towards different user needs. From manual conversion techniques using Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird or Windows Live Mail to leveraging Gmail's IMAP feature, these methods provide flexibility and control over your email data.

However, for those seeking an efficient, reliable, and straightforward solution, utilizing dedicated PST to EML converter software represents the most effective approach. Tools like SysCurve PST to EML Converter simplify the conversion process, making it accessible even to those with minimal technical expertise. With such software, users can quickly convert large volumes of PST files to EML format without the risk of data loss or corruption, ensuring a smooth and secure transition of email data.

Choosing the right PST to EML conversion method depends on your specific requirements, including the volume of data, the need for data integrity, and your technical proficiency. Whether you opt for manual methods or decide to use specialized PST to EML conversion software, the goal is to ensure seamless access to your emails across different platforms, enhancing your productivity and data management capabilities.

For those prioritizing ease of use, speed, and reliability, PST to EML converter software is the preferred choice. These tools are designed to streamline the conversion process, offering a hassle-free experience while ensuring that your email data is accurately and efficiently converted to EML format. By selecting a reputable and powerful PST to EML software, you can confidently manage your email data.

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.

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