How to View Thunderbird MSF Files to Open and Read?

Rollins Duke   
Published: May 10th, 2024 • 6 Min Read

Overview: In this post, I will show you how to view Thunderbird MSF files by using one of the best free Thunderbird MSF file viewers. Using this tool, users can easily open and read MSF files without any issues.

A user installed the latest version of Thunderbird, i.e., 91.7.0 on his system. He then moved the MSF data files from the folder of the older version of Thunderbird to the folder of the newly-installed version of Thunderbird, i.e., 91.7.0 version.

He then attempted to configure his account with the help of IMAP. However, when he tried to read his mail messages, he was unable to view Thunderbird MSF files as what he saw was only an empty folder.

How would he be able to view his mail messages again from the Thunderbird MSF files? Before starting the conversion, let’s collect some knowledge about Thunderbird MSF files.

What is Thunderbird MSF File Format?

Thunderbird tends to store your email data in two parts. First is the MBOX file (this is without the extension) which is actually the standard format of Thunderbird for storing the emailing data. The second is the MSF file that is also called the “Mail Summary file” (with .msf extension), which is basically Thunderbird’s index file containing only the headers and the summary of the mails.

All the other sub-containers such as the Drafts, Sent mails, Trash items, Important, etc., are usually stored inside the .sbd directory. In this, there are pairs for each of the containers such as the Draft.MSF and Draft, Trash.MSF and Trash.

How to View and Read an MSF File of Thunderbird?

The MSF file is the index file that does not hold the text contents of the mail messages. So, in the above-mentioned scenario, the user placed only the header and the emails summary, and not the entire email data. Therefore, rather than viewing Thunderbird MSF files, he just required to check the Thunderbird’s email file that is without the extension. For verifying whether or not the file is of the MBOX type, you can follow the below-given tips:

  • First, you must check the file extension: Files such as “INBOX, OUTBOX, etc.” will get displayed simply without any of the file extensions.
  • The second step is to check the size of the file. The MSF file holds the size of only a few KBs while the MBOX file is much larger in size.

Quickest Way to View Thunderbird MSF Files

One of the best and highly recommended ways to open and read Thunderbird MSF files is the BitRecover batch Thunderbird Viewer Tool. The software has many amazing and sophisticated features. Free Thunderbird MSF file viewer is created with unique and advanced algorithms, which makes the software easy to use for both technical and non-technical users. Some of the amazing features of the software are:

Special Features of the Thunderbird MSF file Viewer

  • The software is capable of loading Thunderbird MSF files automatically from the local storage locations. Users can upload MSF files and folders manually.
  • The tool is completely free to view Thunderbird MSF files. There is no need to purchase any licensed version to view the MSF files.
  • The free Thunderbird MSF file viewer software maintains the original hierarchy of all folders.
  • There is no need to install any Thunderbird email client or any other third-party tool on your machine.
  • The software provides advanced search and filters options to view and read specific MSF files.
  • The Free Thunderbird MSF file reader is compatible with all Windows OS including Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and other versions.
  • The utility provides a simple and easy-to-use interface, which makes the tool easy to use for all users.

How Does the Software Work to View Thunderbird MSF Files?

  1. Download and run the software on your machine.
  2. After that, the software automatically loads the Thunderbird profile data.

    automatically loads the Thunderbird profile data to view Thunderbird MSF files

  3. Users can upload the files and folders manually by using the Open button.

    users can upload the files and folders

  4. Browse the location of files and folders.

    browse the location of files and folders

  5. Users can view Thunderbird MSF files on the software panel.

    Lastly users can view Thunderbird MSF files

This software is totally free to view multiple Thunderbird MSF files at once; however, if you want to convert and save Thunderbird MSF files into other file formats, then you should use the BitRecover Thunderbird Converter Tool.

Where Are the Emails Stored in Thunderbird?

In the Thunderbird new version 38.4.0, the email file location is:

Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7


Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\

General Asked Questions

  • Can I view Thunderbird MSF files through this software?

    Yes, the tool supports any type of Gmail data whether it is hangouts, emails, or contacts.

  • Can this tool be installed on Windows 10?

    Yes, the tool supports every edition of Windows OS like Win 10, Win 8.1, Win 7, and all previous Windows OS versions.

  • Can I use this software free of cost?

    Yes, this software is 100% free and users can preview unlimited Thunderbird emails through it without having any problem.

  • What actually is an MSF file?

    “Before using Thunderbird, I used to hear that MBOX file is created by this email application. However, when I started using Thunderbird, I came to know that there is no MBOX file in it. Instead, I found MSF files there. Will someone help me in knowing more about MSF files?”

    By default, MSF files are created by Thunderbird. An MSF file is the Mail Summary File, which is also created as a mail file in the MBOX format and with .msf file extension. Therefore, there is an MBOX file in Thunderbird but it appears in some other file extension.

  • What are the possible ways to import Thunderbird MSF files into Outlook?

    The most convenient and possible way is to use the Google Gmail Loader utility, which is available for free of cost and can easily be accessed by a universal set of users.

Time to Say Goodbye

This article discussed the easy procedure to view Thunderbird MSF files quickly and with complete security. Using the professional solution will not only save users’ time and effort but also let them view multiple Thunderbirds MSF files at the same time. The free demo version is also available for you to test the functionalities of the software before investing in it.